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Prices Spike Affect Cost of Living 1917

The big issue 100 years ago was the cost of living in 1917 and the availability of food and coal due to the First World War. It was a theme that was clearly evident as stories were appearing weekly. Sugar beets were being sold by local farmers to processing companies for $8 a ton.

cost of living 1917 cartoon

Prices Affecting the Cost of Living in 1917

Back in 1917, if you were making $700 year, you were doing about average. Gas was 15 cents a gallon. A first class stamp cost 2 cents. A new house cost about $3,300.

The cost of living 1917 is closely aligned with the census statistics on prices for 1915 include:

  • Loaf of bread: 7 cents
  • Dozen eggs: 34 cents
  • Quart of milk: 9 cents
  • Pound of steak: 26 cents

The average price of a car in the US was about $400 ($8,900 in todays dollars when adjusted for inflation). The average hourly wage was 22 cents an hour. (About $5 in todays dollars). In 1917 traffic in New York city showed more cars than horses for the first time.

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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