60 years: Then and Now

Things sure were different in 1956.

In Montreal, when I was 11, a small chocolate bar cost 5⊄ – a large one all of 10⊄. Now? How about $2 or $3, and up?

I could buy a small coke for 6⊄ and a piece of divine chocolate-fudge layer cake for another 15⊄. (At Woolworth’s, which has gone the way of the dodo.) The same thing now would set me back anywhere from $5 upward. (And I’m sure the cake would taste nowhere near as delicious!)

You could go into many restaurants and buy the daily special at lunchtime for $1.00 or less. Now you won’t get much for under $10.00 or so.

50s Deli Menu
A Washington, DC menu from the 50s – probably not too different from our Ben’s.
Photo (cc) by StreetsofWashington

While we’re on food – I remember shopping at the Dominion supermarket or Steinberg’s for my mother and paying about 25⊄ for a pound of hamburger.

In fact, you could buy a week’s groceries for a family of four for $11. I distinctly recall that figure, because my mother once sent me to do the order – she gave me a list along with a ten-dollar bill. But it wasn’t enough! I was short a dollar. Oh, the trauma! Don’t ask! 😀

Transportation: can we talk? I remember student bus tickets at 5⊄ apiece. Now: $2.25.

Gas in Montreal? According to historical records, it was 30⊄ a gallon and now costs around $2.45.

The taxi drop is $3.55 now, but I remember it being 35⊄ back in ’56.

But yes, I should get real, as they say. After all, our wages have shot way up over the years. My starting salary at my first job (Prudential Assurance) was all of $35 a week. I would think it’s now more than ten times that. But have salaries kept pace with prices? That depends on how luxurious a life you pine for – or which end of the telescope you look through.

There is so much more to touch on… and so little time. Au revoir until future posts when I will dare to compare entertainment, the political scene and more… then and now. Thanks for dropping by!

13 thoughts on “60 years: Then and Now

  1. I will be really impressed if you had this menu to hand. Were you really a perspicacious youngster who thought to hang on to a diner menu to await your salad days so you could wax nostalgic? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Liked by 1 person

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