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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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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. Continue examining 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. This was during the time when a dollar spent was a dollar earned whether on the job or completing chores at home!

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]
Sparseness was the name of the game in the early 20th century. Children received money only in exchange for their work...and little at that. Many city kids earned spending money selling small items...gum, candy, flowers, pencils, candles, and so forth...on the streets.
The dollar has lost a lot of value in the last 100 years. In 1915, a person with only $4.26 could buy the same amount of food, clothing, and other necessities as $100 would buy in 2015.
Suppose your child asks you for money (more than a dollar). If you were to ask in return if he or she knows the value of a dollar, the reply might be something like this: "Of course I know the value of a dollar. Why do you think I need ten of them?"
 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. One thing for sure, the dollar does not carry much weight today when it comes to buying power. 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...

The US Inflation Calculator

Easily calculate how the buying power of the US dollar has changed from 1913-present, get inflation rates and inflation news
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 Articles:
Daily featured documents from the holdings of the U.S. National Archives
What is the Value of a Dollar Today?

The dollar's value has fallen steadily since 1940.   
Photo by Ed Honowitz/Getty Images