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Invoice from 1954

BigErl
BigErl Member Posts: 29
This is an invoice from when my grandfather converted from coal to gas. I believe the house had steam heat. I know we're not supposed to discuss pricing but I think the statute of limitations has expired on this one. Everyone break out your inflation calculators.
GrallertZmanRomanGK_26986764589

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966
    What cost $445 in 1954 would cost $4035.65 in 2016.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,187
    edited June 2017
    He converted to oil. That's awesome, finding old things like that.
    BTW Grandpa got robbed. I would've done the job for $399.99
    GrallertMilanD
  • BigErl
    BigErl Member Posts: 29
    Oh yeah. My mistake. Coal to oil.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    Considering that my grandparents built their house in 1952 for $12000, that was a pretty steep price. Imagine if you had to pay 5% of the cost of your home to convert to gas. Geeesh
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,710
    Maybe I remember incorrectly. In 1968 I was involved with a row of attached stores with two floors of apartments above. The number I remember for complete heating system for each unit of a store plus four apartments above is $1000.oo. That's boiler,pipes & radiators. Supplied & installed. I remember wondering how contractor could do that?
  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    it was worth the cost not to shovel coal anymore,lol
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    I wonder if they squabbled over the bill? Being it was written out as four hundred forty four dollars. Then the actual number is 445.00. 1.00 bought a lot back then.

    With checks the written amount prevails over the number........
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 2,666
    i had a old proposal from the late 1910 1920 era a buddy had found in some old plumbing catalogs in his home when he brought it for a large home in butler nj the job was priced and layed out by a long gone engeener in suffern ny .the bid consisted of all 21 rads ,valves ,traps,hoffman differental loop and all piping and the boiler with a coal stocker with labor included .Also there where 2 boiler choices the first was a ideal and the second was as it was stated was a new company burmhan .the burmhan was under 50 or 60 bucks cheaper then the ideal .If i remember the whole price installed was about 1800 or 1900 hundred bucks .thanks also included all the insulation and 2 bags loose asbestos.i remenber looking at that bid proposal and thinking you couldn t even get half those rads today for that price . i think thats when nobody had paper money only change and there was a 1/2 cent and you could get some thing with that lol p also thanks for sharing peace and good luck if i find the copy of that propasal i ll try to post clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,927
    A church in my town built in 1911-1915 has the financial statement for it's construction. Maybe 8000 sq ft. Gothic style with square clock tower about 80' tall. All brick with full basement for school.
    The GC was B.J. Jobst with a contract of $27,415.00. He had an overrun for extras of $63.12.

    The architect was paid 593.00.....would have been gravy for him then as you find the nearly identical construction in the Midwest at that time.

    Heating and plumbing was $1600.81.
    That was 18 CI rads exceeding 1218 EDR.
    220' of 3" threaded supply pipe.
    4" threaded risers and header.
    220' of 2" buried under floor wet return.
    Steam Coal boiler with cordless shovel.

    Boiler was converted to oil then changed to existing NG.
    Wet returns were changed to dry returns.
    All supply piping and rads still in use today.

    I don't know what "plumbing" could have been done as there was still no muni water nor electricity. Windmill water would have been available. There was his & hers outdoor rest rooms near the church. "Green composting toilets" we would call them today ;)

    The church was pre-wired with knob & tube awaiting electric power which was still at least 5 years away. A generator was used as needed until then.
    The pre-wiring and gas lighting contract was $420.81, apparently electrical people also did carbide gas piping for lighting.

    This was a "Mission Project" for Europe. Money was sent before WW1 which changed that continent into a mission project of it's own.
    For instance windows donated by the
    "Poles and Bohemians"......"Germans"...."Austrians".....and the
    "Bavarians" and other local organizations. Painted by the "Munich Studio of Chicago" leaded glass costing $150.00 each.

    Total expenditures were $39,856.89......total donations were $39,889.38. Remaining balance of $32.49.
    No money borrowed, no interest paid.
    ratioMilanDSolid_Fuel_Man
  • zmcgarvey
    zmcgarvey Member Posts: 20
    Where do you live, that electricity was still a few years away, in 1915?

    It's amazing seeing some of these prices. It makes you wonder if, adjusted for wage inflation, life today is cheaper or more expensive? In other words, has the buying power of an average worker's wages increased or decreased in the last 100 years. They say labor productivity has increased exponentially in that time frame, but most people used to get by with only one spouse working. Now, if both you and your wife don't work (and around here, each make at least 80k or so a year), you wouldn't have a pot to piss in.

    It makes you wonder. Are these times more expensive, or has our taste for consumption just increased?

    JUGHNE said:

    A church in my town built in 1911-1915 has the financial statement for it's construction. Maybe 8000 sq ft. Gothic style with square clock tower about 80' tall. All brick with full basement for school.
    The GC was B.J. Jobst with a contract of $27,415.00. He had an overrun for extras of $63.12.

    The architect was paid 593.00.....would have been gravy for him then as you find the nearly identical construction in the Midwest at that time.

    Heating and plumbing was $1600.81.
    That was 18 CI rads exceeding 1218 EDR.
    220' of 3" threaded supply pipe.
    4" threaded risers and header.
    220' of 2" buried under floor wet return.
    Steam Coal boiler with cordless shovel.

    Boiler was converted to oil then changed to existing NG.
    Wet returns were changed to dry returns.
    All supply piping and rads still in use today.

    I don't know what "plumbing" could have been done as there was still no muni water nor electricity. Windmill water would have been available. There was his & hers outdoor rest rooms near the church. "Green composting toilets" we would call them today ;)

    The church was pre-wired with knob & tube awaiting electric power which was still at least 5 years away. A generator was used as needed until then.
    The pre-wiring and gas lighting contract was $420.81, apparently electrical people also did carbide gas piping for lighting.

    This was a "Mission Project" for Europe. Money was sent before WW1 which changed that continent into a mission project of it's own.
    For instance windows donated by the
    "Poles and Bohemians"......"Germans"...."Austrians".....and the
    "Bavarians" and other local organizations. Painted by the "Munich Studio of Chicago" leaded glass costing $150.00 each.

    Total expenditures were $39,856.89......total donations were $39,889.38. Remaining balance of $32.49.
    No money borrowed, no interest paid.

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Spending power has most certainly decreased. Probably since the late 60's.

    Another thing to consider is goods, and services we deem necessary to purchase now verses back then. More items consuming the living wage.
    NY_Rob
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited July 2017
    http://buyupside.com/calculators/purchasepowerjan08.htm

    .04 in 1915 was worth the same as a dollar in 2015.


  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Gordy said:

    Another thing to consider is goods, and services we deem necessary to purchase now verses back then. More items consuming the living wage.

    Great point!
    Before the 1970's nobody had to pay for cable TV and there was no internet... so no charges.
    No cell phones either... so no bill.

    I did a comparison of car insurance rates tied to the minimum wage from when I started driving at age 18 in 1979 vs today's insurance for an 18yo today tied to the current NY (outside Manhattan) minimum wage....

    1979
    $300/six months car insurance for 18yo male
    $60/week income working 20hrs/wk at $3.00/hr
    19% of weekly income goes towards car insurance

    2017
    $2,400/six months car insurance for 18yo male
    $194/week income working 20hrs/wk at $9.70/hr
    47% of weekly income goes towards car insurance




  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited July 2017
    I think the auto insurance industry's inflation rate has increased do to.

    More vehicles on the road.
    More complex vehicle technology.
    Higher cost to repair.
    Industry learning curve from the past.
  • MilanD
    MilanD Member Posts: 1,159
    > @Gordy said:
    > http://buyupside.com/calculators/purchasepowerjan08.htm
    >
    > .04 in 1915 was worth the same as a dollar in 2015.

    That's a 2,500% inflation (25×) over 100 years... But only 3.27% on an annual compounding interest. Ain't compound interest the greatest force in the universe?
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Some bills you may, or may not have had in 1915.

    Phone bill.

    Electric bill. With certainly much less devices consuming electricity.

    Water, and sewer bill. Wells, and septic much more prevelant.

    Insurances of any type. Owning a home had much more risk since homeowners insurance had not yet been thought of. Insuring an automobile if you owned one even. Health insurance?

    Certainly dining out was not a daily event. Some dine out for all three daily meals today.

    Property Taxes in general were far less. Because roads, fire protection, ambulance service, police, schools, parks, highway maintenance etc. was just in its infancy.

    Just a few things.....


  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    MilanD said:

    > @Gordy said:

    > http://buyupside.com/calculators/purchasepowerjan08.htm

    >

    > .04 in 1915 was worth the same as a dollar in 2015.



    That's a 2,500% inflation (25×) over 100 years... But only 3.27% on an annual compounding interest. Ain't compound interest the greatest force in the universe?

    When you can get it.........

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,927
    I live in North Central NE, 30 miles south of SD. This would have been the same story for any rural town out here in flyover country.

    Checking our history books: Special election 8-14-1922, citizens voted 177 to 48 in favor of bonding for an electric plant.
    Bonded 10-5-1922 for $21,000.
    (Today can you imagine 48 responsible voters going to the polls to vote against having electricity??.....only the Municipal entity could have built it....no other choices for electric power at the time.....and this being NE, the only public power only state, is the same situation today.)
    Bid for building accepted 9-1922 for $11,000 and equipment for $6,041. (1920's was somewhat boom time for USA, compared to 1930's)
    Regular power service began on 2-21-23. (about 180 days from voting to having electricity.....try to get a "dirty diesel" plant on line today in that time frame. Another reason costs were less at that time for anything.)
    The Fairbanks Morse single cylinder 38 KW engine ran initially for only 16 hours per day.......who really needs electricity after 8 PM...even today what productivity comes from it ?? >:)
    This was a "Hothead" diesel...You spotted the 7' OD flywheel to start on the downstroke....inserted an explosive charge into the cylinder port on the head and light it, this force would give you maybe 2-3 revolutions and probably start.
    Within a few years it was 24/7, except when a key employee had to attend a fire chief meeting for several days then back to the 16 hour routine......would that work now?

    Now some numbers; a 10,000 gallon train tank car of diesel cost.....all of 2.75 pennies per gallon.
    Customer costs were .07 to .18 cents per KW. (expensive then).
    Today I pay about .16 cents/KW for my 880KW of June at the summer rate. Same entity owns/operates the power system. We roll the diesels only as a peaking plant or if we lose the grid connection supply.......this happens maybe 4-5 times a year. (20 minutes to start up with compressed air...the Hothead left the building in 1970 or so).

    I got a job there at the Light Plant in 1967, (24/7 operation without a grid connection then). It was fantastic, interesting rotating machinery, 2400 volt systems, switchboard for synchronizing generators together, bring more KW on line as need and then dropping them off as the load was shed.......would anyone let a 17 year old kid do that today by himself?? I was just out of high school.

    Outrageous salary for the time; 300 dollars a month for a 50-60 hour workweek......so much better than farm work.
    The other 2 employees (married with 5-6 children each) got maybe $375 to 425 per month for the same hours worked. The overall superintendent of everything and I mean everything, had only a 45 hour week but was on call 24/7 for everything. He might have gotten 475 to 500 per month....people would be outraged if they knew. Absolutely no benefits other than 2 weeks after 2 years there.

    We had a 130' water tower built in maybe 1910. Limited supply mains then, mostly for fire hydrants. Some type of stationary engine would pump the water before the electricity came around. (We have the same tower in use today, cathode protection and epoxy coatings has preserved it well). Today I pay 13 to 18 dollars for all the water I want......new meters are on the way and we expect our monthly bills to at least double.

    A sewer system was installed in the late 1930's as part of the FDR WPA make America great again plan, (also keep people from starving to death as there were no hand out programs, few would take it then, imagine that also--actually people out here raised their own food but you couldn't afford toilet paper then)
    The wages for WPA projects might have been $1.00 to 1.50 per long day, imagine pick and shovel for most of the sewer lateral lines going to houses 6-8 feet deep. The fortunate people who had paying jobs considered the WPA workers to be on "welfare".
    My mother who experienced the 30's always said to go to school and get a good job or you only will be a "ditch digger"....that must have been the source of that term for that generation.

    Most small towns used to have a power plant similar to what we now have. They gave up when "Consumer Public Power" came down the highway. We are fortunate to have kept our plant usable.
    We have about 2,000 KW available using diesel and NG. Small potatoes in power production but we can carry our Village load and get paid for leasing for peaking power.

    Most of you younger and farther east than us may not know that power lines were not installed into the country areas until early 1950's.
    The REA (FDR again) built into the rural areas and actually had a few farmers/ranchers not want to be connected. The charge was going to be something like 3-5? dollars a month. Many had 32 VDC systems from wind chargers or Delco gas plants, charging a battery bank. Some small wind turbines would just charge batteries for the radio.

    Sorry for the length but am a local history buff. :)
    GordyratioMilanDRomanGK_26986764589Canucker
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,304
    edited July 2017
    That is similar to my region time wise. Far north east maine. My parents didn't get electricity until the 1950s, but everyone had a party phone line long before that. My grandmother grew up in a very rural township, and always referred to their electricity as coming from a Delco. Cooling was done by filling an iron pan which surrounded the cylinder and the water was allowed to boil, as long as it never boiled dry the engine would be fine. I'd imagine that the run time wouldn't have been long anyway.

    I also believe our consumption has increased many fold in the last 100 years. How many vehicles does your family own, etc?

    Also, think that everyone burned wood or coal. Some may have had oil pot burner stoves as well. Automatic heat was unheard of. And to think people think I'm crazy for still burning wood in a modern setup with minimal work.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • zmcgarvey
    zmcgarvey Member Posts: 20
    Now don't take this wrong- I believe that without exception, women should get equal pay for equal work. But prior to WW2 and maybe two decades after, the wages of the man of the house were, in more cases than not, sufficient to support a family. It seems that with the widespread entry of women into the workforce, the buying power of a man's wages (or anyone's for that matter) was effectively halved, as it now became necessary for both spouses to earn money, just to keep up.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,304
    edited July 2017
    I am the sole bread-winner and my wife stays home with our children. And I make less than the average wage for a Maine worker. It's all in one's willingness to be content and to do things themselves. I am blessed to be able to do most things myself or with the help of friends.

    No iPhone, and older vehicles paid for with cash.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Gordy