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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, January 26, 2015

When a Dollar was Worth About a Dollar

A quick post with thoughts on the economy back in the day vs. today...

Examine the picture below paying particular attention to the decor, the furnishings, the dress, the intensiveness by which the sewing tasks are being done. Also, notice the gender and ages of the persons in the photograph. Examine the photo very closely before reading the caption that provides the 'true picture' of the picture. Time Period is the early 20th century when a dollar was worth about a dollar.

Mrs. Battaglia, Tessie (age - 12 years), Tony (age - 7 years), 170 Mulberry St. Rear house, 5th floor. Garment workers. Husband crippled by a fall, tends to basement. Mrs. Battaglia works in shop except Saturdays, when the children sew with her at home. Get 2 or 3 cents a pair finishing men’s pants. Said they earn $1 to $1.50 on Saturday. Father disabled and can earn very little. New York. 01/25/1908
[From the series National Child Labor Committee Photographs taken by Lewis Hine

News reports on television and radio, in the newspaper, across the Internet each have their own opinions and explanations concerning the state of the economy. The fact is, however, across the board America is experiencing a decline amid ongoing financial struggles. Cost of living so-called increases in salary no where come close to the increases in the cost of living. The 2 - 3 cents or $1.00 - $1.50 earned at the beginning of the 20th century would not go very far in today's market. In fact, survival would be approaching nil.
For a little interesting activity, check out...

Purchasing Power of Money in the United States from 1774 to Present

It is a neat way to compare the relative value of a past amount of dollars to the present amount.
Food for thought...
“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.” Sam Ewing

What are your thoughts on this economical matter?
Related Article:
Daily featured documents from the holdings of the U.S. National Archives