Sunday, August 25, 2013

Restaurant Menu Prices 1938

I was searching through some picture albums of my parents from way back and ran into some restaurant menus  from the depression era of late 1930's.. The first 3 pictures are from the Manhattan  Restaurant


The Second menu (three pictures) is on the Union Pacific Railroad from 1937 somewhere in Wyoming.

This last menu is from the Hotel Windermere in Chicago 1937.

Double click on the images to see what the prices were back then.   Did you notice that the Manhattan offered a broiled (Whole) lobster for 65 cents?  In today's world, you'd be lucky to get half a lobster for $30.  Bear in mind, the people that read these menus in real time are probably dead by now.

The pay raise that everyone gets each year because of inflation is just an allusion. Look around, the new hires are starting out a few pennies less than what the seasoned workers are making.  The neat thing about inflation is that Congress doesn't have to raise the tax rates, you earn more, you pay more.  That's the real difference between the Democrats and Republicans; print as you go verses pay as you go.

The real odd thing is that the average person does not connect the dots. The relationship between government spending and inflation does not exist. Rumor has it, we've always had inflation-- I guess we're supposed to get used to it.  My wife bought a new battery and asked me to guess how much she paid for it, and I said $40.  Her answer; "That's the price you would have paid 20 years ago, the battery was $100."

Let's see, I'll have the broiled lobster with coffee and a slice of cake--that's about 85 cents total, plus 15 cents for a tip.  The trouble is, 76 years of inflation have raised the prices a tad.



Anonymous said...

Of course, when inflation is your friend, people have a different perspective.
You constantly hear people say "I bought my house 20 years ago for $150,000- now it's worth $350,000."
They make it sound like they were brilliant, like they really had something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Look at the bright side! We'll all soon be millionaires! Heck, in Zimbabwe, I'm a millionaire one hundred million times over (got me one of those Hundred Trillion Dollar bills). Bernanke + Obama! Go Team!

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 7:22 and 1:55

Both comments made me chuckle, you made my day! Thanks 4 the humor.

AIM said...

Audit, prosecute, jail, and then end The Federal Reserve. A virus in our country since 1913.

And after ridding the US of the central bank, trace it back to the Power Elite and fix their wagon as well.

Wake up America.

Anonymous said...

such a bad deal. we are taxed as gains due to inflation.

What happened in Zimbabwe when the houses started selling for billions? Did they get a billion dollar tax bill?

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 4:35

I don't think you can make a living selling real estate there. A corrugated roof patched with waxed milk cartons and no indoor plumbing might be traded for something more basic, like 4 sheep, a couple of pigs and a cow or two. Once you trash the currency, the poor will refuse to use any government script.

Of course you've hit the nail on the head in this country -- you get to pay more taxes. But remember, you bought a million dollar home with no money down, and now you are a millionaire. The fact that the home sold for 200k 10 years ago escapes the buyer. Go figure.