How Much Did Things Cost in 1900?
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, $1 in 1900 was equivalent to approximately $28 in 2013. The average yearly wage was $432, and a steam-powered car cost $1,000. The average home in America sold for approximately $5,000 in 1900.
In 1900, shoppers could buy a 5-pound bag of flour for 12 cents. Round steak was 13 cents a pound, and bacon was a penny more. Eggs were 21 cents per dozen, milk sold for 14 cents per half gallon and butter cost 26 cents per pound. A 10-pound bag of potatoes was 14 cents, and a 5-pound bag of sugar cost the relatively princely sum of 31 cents. Coffee often cost upwards of 35 cents a pound, and a small tin of tea leaves ran between 50 to 75 cents. Chocolate was also relatively expensive, costing around 34 cents per pound.
A properly dressed gentleman in 1900 would have spent between $7 and $16 on his suit, $1 on each of his dress shirts, around $7 on his topcoat and 48 cents for a fine felt hat. Women’s dresses cost between $10 and $12, women’s hats cost 35 cents and shoes for women were approximately $2 to $3 per pair.