Common Goods and Prices

Costs and Comparisons
Many thanks to the “Alias, Smith & Jones” web site for agreeing to contribute to the following information. Other information taken from the “The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the 1800’s.”
Dollar conversions…

$1.00 in ____ = $______ today

1874 = $14.10

1875 = $14.40

1876 = $14.74

1877 = $14.97

1878 = $15.19

Monetary Words…

bit — 1/8 of a dollar (2 bits = $.25 cents)

eagle — $10 gold piece

double eagle — $20 gold piece (1849)

gold dollar — first minted in 1850’s

half dime — 1800-1873

half dollar — first minted in 1801

half eagle — $5 gold piece (1795)

nickel — first minted in 1859

State Bank Notes — issued prior to 1861 and usually redeemable only at the issuing bank; became National Bank Notes to make paper money valuable nation-wide

quarter — first minted in 1804

quarter eagle — $2.50 gold piece (1796-1907)

silver dollar — first minted 1798

slug — $50 dollar gold piece (1851)

V-spots — $5 bills

Prices mentioned in the show…

1870—Abilene, KS, Tom Smith, initially paid $150 per month, later raised to $225.

1876—Wyatt Earp was paid $250/month in Dodge City, KS (considered a very high amount).

1878—Dodge City, Kansas marshal $100 per month, assistant marshal and policemen $75 per month

Salaries could be expected to vary by the size of the town, and the size of its problems.

Cost of hired guns…

Hired guns typically earned $100 to $150 per month though it could go as high as $250.

And the guns they used…

Pearl-handled matched set of Colt .45 Peacemakers with holsters $100

Classic Peacemaker — $17.00 by mail order

cartridges — $.50 cents/box

Food prices…
1870’s San Francisco restaurant prices:
Green turtle soup – 15 cents
Bouillon – 15 cents
Fried smelts – 25 cents
Fried cod – 25 cents
Porterhouse steak – 50 cents
Kidneys with wine sauce – 25 cents
Mallard ducks – 40 cents
Calf’s liver – 25 cents
Boiled ham – 40 cents
Venison steak – 25 cents
Cold roast beef – 25 cents
Tea – 15 cents

1870:
Wheat per bushel – $1.02
Flour per barrel – $3.00
Corn per bushel – 40 cents
Molasses, gallon – 15 cents
Mess pork per barrel – $9
Mess beef per barrel – $8
Lard per pound – 6 cents
Butter per pound – 15 cents
Sugar per pound – 7 cents
Cheese per pound – 5 cents
Rice per pound – 5 cents

Horse, average work horse — $150

Horse, good saddle horse — $200+

Wagon — $65

Saddle — $30, cowboy saddle — $60

Harness — $40 – $60

Buggy — $65 – $85

Food…

oranges — $.50/dozen

dried figs — $.20/pound

dried apples — $.10/pound

dried apricots — $.15/pound

dried peaches — $.12/pound

fresh peaches — 3 for $.10

fresh apples — 2 for $.05

sugar — $.10/pound

flour — $.04/pound

Wages…

prostitute - $200/month; $1$5 per customer)

bank clerks — $150/month

dance hall girls - $.5.25 cents/dance

other:

miner — $20/week

common laborer — $100/month

school teacher — $30/month (small school)

steamboat pilot - $600$700/month

insurance company president — $1000/month

reporters — $20/week

printers — $8/week

typesetters — $4/week

printers devils — $2.50/week

A Faro Dealer could make as much as $100 per week

Most poker games had a $1-$2 limit.
Bets at a Faro were typically $.25-$1
Dice could be played for as little as $.05/throw
Ten-cent chips at the roulette wheel were common

Liquor prices:

From a wholesale liquor store at Dodge City [Kansas became a “dry” state in 1880—no legal manufacture or sale of liquor]

High Mucky Muck (a soft drink), Energy, Fire Fly, Orinoco, Ginger Ale — $20 per cask
British Bass Ale and Irish Guinness Stout — $20 per cask
American brewed beers such as Anhauser — $2 per case
Jamaica Rum — $5 per gallon
Port and Sherry — between $1 to $5 per gallon
Western brandy — $15 per case
Gin — $1.50 per gallon
Whiskey - $2$3 per gallon

Saloon beer prices fluctuated but on average: 2 glasses for $.25 cents or 2 bits.

Common Goods and Prices

A Dark Night's Ride zendugan