This guide points to wages and consumer prices reported in primary sources for each decade back to the 1700s. Whenever possible, we refer to retail price and wage averages found in government publications. When those are not available, we use figures listed in other contemporary sources such as commercial catalogs, travel guides and newspapers.
This site is based on freely available historic resources, mostly from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis FRASER® digital library and the HathiTrust Digital Library. To comprehend historic prices and wage values in current terms, we recommend the website MeasuringWorth.com.
This website is managed by Marie Concannon of the University of Missouri Library's Government Information Department. We welcome questions from students of all ages and the general public.
Government Information Department
Phone (573) 882-0748
Thanks to MU Library employees Cade McKnelly, Jade Neeley, Lindsay Yungbluth, Catherine Hutinett, David Steinmeyer, Amanda Krewson, Kamilah Jones, Scott Peterson, Carrie Carter, and Guinevere Lawson, as well as to Pamela Campbell of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' FRASER® digital library, all of whom provided assistance in the enhancement of this resource.