Inflation, circa 1957

This has been circulating via email. The following were some comments made in the year 1957:

(1) "I’ll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, its going to be impossible to buy a weeks groceries for $20.00."

(2) "Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won’t be  long when $5,000 will only buy a used one."

(3) "If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous."

(4) "Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?"

(5) "If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store."

(6) "When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon? Guess we’d be better off leaving the car in the garage."

(7) "Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls;"

(8) "I’m afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying damn in "Gone With The Wind", it seems every new movie has either hell or damn in it."

(9) "Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn’t surprise me if someday that they will be making more than the President."

(10) "I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now"

(11) "It’s too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet."

(12) "It won’t be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work."

(13) "I’m just afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business."

(14) "Thank goodness I won’t live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to Congress."

(15) "The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on."

(16) "I guess taking a vacation is out of the question now days. It costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel."

(17) "No one can afford to be sick any more, $35.00 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood."

Amusing . . .

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  1. John commented on May 28

    Is the point supposed to be that it will all keep going forever?

    Because it won’t, you know…

  2. Eric H commented on May 28

    That reminds me – with inflation and all, the two-income family just won’t cut it anymore. Isn’t it about time they started allowing polygamy just so that we can make ends meet?

  3. Anonymous Coward commented on May 28

    *Great* idea, my wife might actually go for that one. Thanks!

  4. hans commented on May 28

    now I wouldn’t mind that – as long as they don’t allow polyandry too

  5. barnaby33 commented on May 28

    Polygamy: noun – One wife too many.
    Monogamy: noun – The same.

  6. Big Al commented on May 28

    One could still get a motel for $10 in ’57, so perhaps this is phoney.

  7. albtrssp commented on May 28

    “The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.” – whomever said this was completely correct. The drive-in restaurant never did catch on (who wants to just sit there in the car and eat?), as opposed to the drive-through restaurant.

  8. brion commented on May 28

    i don’t believe this. They all sound like apocryphal quotes to me.

  9. Brian commented on May 29

    This sounds very apocryphal. This is reminiscent of that e-mail that went around that said the biggest problems in schools in the 1950’s were “talking in class, chewing gum, running in the halls and making noise.”

    Besides, Babe Ruth made $80,000 in 1931 and 1932.
    http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00242487.html

    I hope you’re not on speaking terms with anyone who sends you this kind of claptrap.

  10. muckdog commented on May 29

    Just watch out for a kid named Marty McFly.

  11. Bobby Firestone commented on May 29

    Being that I wasn’t alive in 1957 I don’t know what the price of gas was or how much a hotel room cost. What I do know is the Babe was making more than the president in the 30’s and don’t trust things that show up in your email.

    Giving the benefit of the doubt that these things were actually said in 1957 all it shows is how easy it is to program people to accept a new price reality. $65 crude oil was unimaginable just a few years ago but here it is. Gas at the pump over $3.00 barely a headline last year the end of the world.

    If you say something enough times the impactis lost just like the 25 cent pack of cigarettes.

  12. Dave L commented on May 29

    Agree, it looks fake – although it hasn’t shown up on Snopes yet.

    Postage: a first-class stamp cost 3 cents in 1957. It didn’t go to 10 cents until the early 1970s.

  13. Dave L commented on May 29

    Agree, it looks fake – although it hasn’t shown up on Snopes yet.

    Postage: a first-class stamp cost 3 cents in 1957. It didn’t go to 10 cents until the early 1970s.

  14. Kaleberg commented on May 31

    This is an obvious fake. NO ONE had email in 1957.

    The car prices are off too. In 1957, new car prices were moving up towards $2000. The VW Beetle, which was off the radar until the 60s, came in around $1500.

    The long hair complaint was from the 60s, not the 50s, and the worries about the movies were more about sexual sensationalism rather than the word “damn”. Basically, if the woman wasn’t punished for having sex, the movie was immoral. (This led to a lot of “twist” endings).

    The electric kitchen thing was odd, too. Manufacturers had been pushing electric kitchens since the 1930s. Didn’t they have one at the 39 NY World’s Fair?

    This sort of list is fun to make, but research helps make it more convincing.

  15. Taryn Pongratz commented on Jul 12

    Does anybody know how much a hotel/motel room did really cost in 1957. Or a dinner out?

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