Cost of Items in 1950

With the 1950 Federal Census becoming available soon, it would be interesting to see the average cost of household items that your ancestors / relatives paid 72 years ago.

The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was 27 cents. An average new car would cost $1,300 and $1,500. One night at a hotel was about $5.90. To purchase a loaf of bread was 14cents and one can of tomato soup was 10 cents. A pound of sweet corn was 8 cents. A gallon of milk was 83 cents and one dozen eggs were 60 cents.

A pair of ladies’ casual shoes was $2.98. A pair of ladies silk or nylon stockings could go between 49 cents and 79 cents. A little girl’s dress was from $1.98 to $2.98.

A man’s dress white shirt sold for $1.79. A simple kitchen chair cost $1.98. A pack of cigarettes was between 17 and 24 cents, depending on the brand.

In 1950 to use a payphone cost 5 cents a call, more for long-distance. By 1951 the phone call was now 10 cents. To mail a letter the stamp cost 3 cents. To purchase a copy of the ‘New York Times’ newspaper cost 5 cents.

The newest entertainment was the television. A black and white Philco TV with a round 12 ½ inch screen cost $149.95 to $200. The average rent per month for an average-sized apartment was $75. To go to the theater and see a movie cost 65 cents.

So quite a difference in prices over 72 years. Of course, average salaries were much lower. The minimum wage was 75 cents an hour. An average family income was about $3,000 to $3,300 a year.

Photo: Ladies’ pair of silk or nylon stockings in 1950.

Related Blogs:

Family Costs in the Early 20th Century

Prices in the 1920s

What Only Cost $1 in 1900?

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