Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Good Old Days

This picture shows an old storefront in Salem, Illinois in 1940. It is interesting to see that three pounds of Sausage costs 25 cents. Looking at these prices makes us long for the good old days. However it is interesting to note that median income in 1940 was about $515 per year, or around 25 cents per hour. So, if you worked an hour, you could buy 3 pounds of sausage. Average household income today is about $48,000 per year. In most cases there are two wage earners today, so probably the average income per person is about $24,000, or about $12 per hour. I just bought some sausage, and it was $4 per pound. So, today the average person could buy 3 pounds of sausage for one hour of work. While these numbers are pretty rough, to first order, the average person today has to work the same aount of time to buy a pound of sausage. The real question, did the average person enjoy their sausage more then or now?


  1. I'd say they enjoyed their sausages more then.

    There would have been a lot more manual labour, people would have built up a real appetite, and heartily enjoyed their evening meals.

    We are much more sendentary these days, food is so 'convenient'. In the west we have have what we want when we want it. I doubt that many of us have 'earnt' our dinners like the peeps of yesteryear, or particularly look forward to sausages.

  2. I agree with you. I also think it might have been better sausage back then. Home made sausage is much better than the mass produced sausage you eat today. Also some chance back then that the family sat around the dinner table and had a meal without the TV blaring.

  3. "Eat more Oleo" and sausages . . . . and now we have burgers and fries. Gee, look how far we come in our quest for nutrition. ;-)

  4. Great lettering on that window. Thanks for posting