# Can you guess how much these everyday items used to cost?

HISTORY

By: Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

Thanks to the relentless march of inflation, prices of everything, from housing to a gallon of milk, continue to rise over time. People living in decades past had to pinch pennies and stretch dollars to afford necessities or splurge on a taste of luxury, just like modern families. Take our quiz to see if you can guess how much everyday items cost in days past!

# How much was a typical home in the U.S. in 1940, as WWII dawned?

The median home value in the U.S. in 1940 was \$2,938, but just like today, prices varied based on where you lived. In 2017, the median price of an existing U.S. home is \$228,400.

# How much did the average family make each year in 1900?

At a time when 60 percent of the population still lived in rural areas, the median household income was \$490 in 1900. In 2015, the median household income in the U.S. was just under \$56,000.

# What did the first Model T cost when it came out in 1908?

The Model T marked the beginning of the move from horse-powered carriage to car. The first units that rolled out of the factory cost \$825 -- that's about \$18,000 today. A new car in 2016 costs around \$31,000.

# What did an annual subscription to a major newspaper cost in the mid-19th century?

You could subscribe to a major newspaper in the 1860s for between \$8 and \$10 per year -- at a time when the average laborer made less than \$1 a day. Today, a subscription to the "New York Times" with home delivery starts at around \$10 a week.

# How much for a six-pack of brewskies in the '60s?

A six-pack of standard American beer cost around \$0.99 in the 1960s. Today, a six-pack of Bud Light rings in at around \$6 or \$7 -- or double that for many craft beers.

# Quick! The Declaration of Independence has just been signed and you want to make a celebratory cake. How much will a pound of butter cost as the Revolutionary War rages?

Back in 1777, a pound of butter cost just \$0.13. By the dawn of the Civil War in 1860, the price had risen to \$0.29 per pound. Today, high-quality butter can easily cost \$4 per pound.

# How much was a gallon of milk in 1965?

A gallon of milk cost just \$0.95 in the mid '60s. Today, a gallon will set you back around \$3.32.

# How much would you need to buy a gallon of gas back in 1929 -- right at the start of the Great Depression?

A gallon of gas cost \$0.21 in 1929 -- that's around \$2.38 in today's dollars. Gas hit its peak in 2008, at \$4.11 per gallon.

# What did a year of public college tuition, room and board cost in 1980?

One year of tuition, room and board for an in-state student at a public college cost \$2,551 in 1980 -- or \$8,307 adjusted for inflation. The same year of tuition, room and board costs an average of \$20,092 per year in 2016.

# What did a Big Mac cost when it was first sold, in 1968?

The Big Mac is a popular item for comparing prices and purchasing power. When the McDonald's classic first came out in 1968, it was priced at \$0.49. By 2015, it cost \$4.79. The restaurant's cheeseburger fared a little better -- starting at \$0.19 in 1955 and priced at \$1 in 2015.

# How much would it cost to see "The Wizard of Oz" on the big screen in 1939?

The average movie ticket cost just a quarter in 1939, arguably one of the biggest years in film history -- "Gone With the Wind," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Stagecoach" and "Oz" all came out that year. Today, the average movie ticket costs \$8.73.

# How much did it cost to get in the gate at Disneyland on opening day in 1955?

Opening day admission at Disneyland cost just \$1, but rides were extra, and ranged from around \$0.10 to \$0.30. Today, rides are included in the price of a ticket, but daily admission starts at a whopping \$91 during off-peak times.

# What did the Apple II PC cost when it was released in the late '70s?

The Apple II, which included a display and was one of the first complete PC's on the market, was priced at \$1,298 when it was released. Today, a new Macbook costs less and offers features early computer users could only dream of -- in a notebook that's wafer thin and unbelievably light.

# The '50s were considered a period when the American Dream was within reach and affordable for all. How much did the average home cost in 1950?

The median price for a standard home in 1950 cost \$7,354 -- that's \$44,600 in today's dollars -- and measured less than 1,000 square feet. Today, the average new home measures more than 2,500 square feet, and median home value is around \$232,500.

# What did a loaf of bread cost in the early '30s?

As the Great Depression reared its ugly head, families had to dig deep to shell out the \$0.05 to \$0.10 needed to buy a loaf of bread. Today, bread averages around \$2.40, or slightly more for whole wheat.

# How much did a postage stamp cost a century ago?

You could mail a letter first-class in the U.S. for a mere \$0.02 in 1915. In 2017, the same stamp costs just \$0.49 -- although it's much less necessary to everyday life, thanks to email.

# How much did a Hershey bar cost in 1968?

Hershey kept the price of its iconic candy bar at just a nickel from 1900 to 1969, when it doubled the price of a bar while also doubling the size.

# How much was a bottle of Coca-Cola in 1900?

A bottle of Coke cost just a nickel for nearly 70 years -- from 1886 to 1930. When the company was ready to raise the price, they tried to get the government to make a 7.5-cent coin. When that didn't work out, they eventually raised the price to \$0.06.

# How much did it cost to see the Cubs play in the 1908 World Series?

A ticket to a World Series Cubs game in 1908 was just \$1.50. When the Cubs went back to the World Series in 2016, the face value of tickets ranged from \$175 to \$400 -- though tickets were actually going for much more than that. For game five, for example, the average ticket sold for \$3,000.

# What did it cost to visit the family doctor in 1958?

A typical visit to the doctor cost \$3.41 in 1958. Today, the average visit costs an uninsured patient \$160, and even insured patients will pay \$49 out of pocket on average.

# How much for a pound of bananas in the mid '50s?

Yes, we have bananas, back then and today! In 1955, bananas cost \$0.17 per pound. Today, they're around \$0.59 per pound -- still cheap by any standard.

# Gotta have steak? How much would one cost you per pound in 1955?

A round steak cost \$0.90 per pound back in '55, compared to \$4.30 per pound today.

# True or false: Air travel is cheaper today than it was 50 years ago.

Today, a standard air ticket costs around 1 percent of a person's average income. Back in the '50s, it would cost around 5 percent of a typical income. A ticket from Chicago to Phoenix was around \$138 round-trip, which equates to around \$1,168 today.

# How much for a pack of smokes in 1960?

Around 50 percent of adults smoked in the early '60s, and cigarettes were dirt cheap, averaging just \$0.20 per pack. Today, they ring in at \$5.51 nationwide.

# How much for a dozen eggs in the mid '80s?

A dozen eggs cost just under a dollar 30 years ago, and averages \$1.73 in 2016.

# What did the average household spend on electricity each month in 1965?

The typical monthly electric bill in 1965 was \$17.55. Today, it's closer to \$110.21 and rising each year.

# How much was a washing machine in the '50s?

A washing machine cost between \$120 and \$130 in 1954. Today, typical budget units range from \$275 to \$400, and even those include bells and whistles that '50s housewives could only dream of.

# How much did a refrigerator cost in the 1940s?

The first modern refrigerators came out in 1925. By 1947, a typical unit cost \$200 -- that's \$1,800 in today's dollars. An average refrigerator in 2016 costs between \$1,800 and \$3,600.

# Love TV? How much would you spend for one in 1947?

A 12-inch black and white television cost \$445 in 1947 -- that's more than \$4,000 in today's dollars. You can get a huge smart TV for around \$1,500 in 2016.