I've been reading quite a bit of LIFE Magazine from the mid to late 30's. As I go, whether in the articles themselves or in advertisements, I often see prices for goods and services listed. Same goes for old catalog scans from Sears, etc.
In order to have a better grasp of the era, and in order to get a feel for how an advertisement or article would have been received, I've been using an inflation converter to determine what something would cost today. (Like this one.
I'd like this thread to discuss US currency inflation and prices of goods and services, and how accurate the "rule of thumb" conversion really is. Or, perhaps a discussion on how something then would have actually been more attainable than now.
For my first example, I would refer to men's suiting of the late '30's. It is quite common to find a higher quality three piece suit of worsted wool priced in a Sears catalog at $15; shoes would be about $9; a hat roughly $9 as well; ties merely $2. This entire ensemble would convert to $242 for the suit, $145 for the shoes and hat each, and $32 for the tie. Yet, one must ask how accurate this is? A nice three-piece suit for $242 would be a steal today, same with the shoes and hat. The tie seems about par.
What do you folks think?