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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 by state in the U.S., 1790-1799


Foreign wages, 1790-1799

Food prices in the United States, 1790-1799

  • Dairy products - Prices for butter; eggs and cheese; quarts of milk.
  • Food preparations - Biscuits, chocolate, coffee, molasses, lard, starch, salt, sugar and tea
  • Flour and meal - including "Indian Meal" and rye meal
  • Agricultural products - Apples, barley, beans, corn, oats, potatoes, rice, rye, turnips
  • Meats - Beef, ham, lamb, mutton, pork, veal
  • Fish - Price by the 100/lb. quantity, and also herring and saltfish by the pound.
  • Beverages - Brandy, cider, wine, gin, rum
  • Spices and condiments - Allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pepper, pimento, vinegar

Housing and land prices by state, 1790-1799

More prices in the United States, 1790-1799

Prices for HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, 1790s

Prices for CLOTHING and SEWING SUPPLIES, 1790s

  • Footwear - Boots, shoes, sandals, buckles, shoe leather, slippers.
  • Clothing - Hats, stockings, hose, gloves, breeches, pantaloons, shawls and vests.
  • Dress goods - Calico, cambric, gauze, gingham, muslin, poplin, satinet, serge, velvet.
  • Dry goods - Cotton flannel, damask and denim, diaper cloth, shirtings, ticking, and more. 
  • Cloth - Broadcloth, cassimere, lambskin, wild boar cloth, corduroy and more.
  • Small wares - Yarn, pins, embroidery silk, cotton and linen thread.  
  • Buttons and ribbons

Prices for TRAVEL and TRANSPORTATION, 1790s

Prices for BUILDING SUPPLIES, 1790s

Prices for ANIMALS, 1790s

Prices for HEALTH CARE, 1790s



Prices for ENTERTAINMENT, 1790s

MISCELLANEOUS prices, 1790s

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.




Economic analysis and calculators, 1790s

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Marie Concannon, Government Information Librarian
Government Documents Department, Ellis Library
University of Missouri, Columbia
Phone (573) 882-0748