Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Prices and Wages by Decade: 1790-1799

Links to government documents and primary sources listing retail prices for products and services, as well as wages for common occupations.

Wages in the United States, 1790-1799


Foreign wages, 1790-1799

Economic analysis and calculators, 1790s

Prices in the United States, 1790-1799

See FOOD prices by state below.

Prices for HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, 1790s

Prices for CLOTHING and SEWING SUPPLIES, 1790s

  • Clothing - Hats, handkerchiefs, stockings, gloves, breeches, pantaloons, hose, coats, shawls and vests.
  • Cloth 
  • Dress goods - Prices for alpaca wool and calico by the yard, as well as batiste, cambric, cashmere, crape, gingham, gauze, lawn, muslin, linsey woolsey, plaid, poplin, satin, silk, velvet and many other fabric types.
  • Dry goods - Prices for blankets, cotton flannel, damask and denim, diaper cloth, shirtings, ticking, and more.
  • Boots, shoes and leather - Prices reported by the individual pair or by component such as buckles, leather, buttons, braid, fringe, etc. Detailed prices for style and type of shoe, boot, sandal, slipper, rubber overshoe, etc.  
  • Buttons and dress trimmings - Button prices reported by the dozen.  Fringe and tape by the yard. 
  • Ribbons and laces 
  • Small wares - Yarn, needles, pins, embroidery silk, cotton and linen thread.  

Prices for TRAVEL and TRANSPORTATION, 1790s

Prices for HOUSING and LAND, 1790s

Prices for BUILDING SUPPLIES, 1790s

Prices for HEALTH CARE, 1790s

Prices for SERVICES, 1790s

MISCELLANEOUS prices, 1790s

Food prices in the United States, 1790-1799

  • Dairy products - Price per pound of butter; eggs and cheese; quarts of milk.
  • Food preparations - Prices for biscuits, sugar, salt and tea, bread, lemons, chocolate, coffee, crackers, raisins, lard, macaroni, molasses, and more.
  • Flour and Meal - Flour prices including buckwheat flour, graham flour, "Indian Meal," rye meal, oatmeal, wheat bran and more.
  • Agricultural products (Fruits, vegetables, grains) - Reported for almost every year as far back as the 1750s.
  • Meats and Nuts - Prices by the pound for bacon, beef, ham, lamb, mutton, pork, etc. The table for nuts includes prices by the pound for almonds, filberts and walnuts.
  • Poultry and game - Price per pound of goose, turkey, and poultry.
  • Fish - Prices for halibut, herring, haddock, salmon, codfish, eels, etc. by the pound.
  • Liquors and Beverages - Prices for brandy, cider, wine, gin, rum and more.
  • Spices and condiments - Prices by the pound or ounce for wide variety of spices and for vinegar.  

Foreign prices by country, 1790-1799


The following book was noted in the statistical literature for providing actual English working class family budgets for the late 18th century.  It does list amounts in English money, so users may wish to check this U.S. dollars to British pounds exchange rate calculator.




Ask a Question

Reference service is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Marie Concannon, Government Information Librarian
Government Documents Department
106B Ellis Library (1st Floor East)
University of Missouri, Columbia
Phone (573) 882-0748