Skip to Main Content

Prices and Wages by Decade: 1840-1849

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, 1840-1849

Wages by occupation, 1840-1849

Blacksmith wagesBlacksmiths worked
10-13 hours per day,
six days a week and
earned $1 to $2/day

Wages by state, 1840-1849

WAGES in CALIFORNIA, 1840s

WAGES in IOWA, 1840s

WAGES in KENTUCKY, 1840s

WAGES in MAINE, 1840s

WAGES in MICHIGAN, 1840s

WAGES in MISSOURI, 1840s

WAGES in NEW HAMPSHIRE, 1840s

WAGES in NEW JERSEY, 1840s

WAGES in NEW YORK, 1840s

WAGES in OHIO, 1840s

WAGES in OREGON, 1840s

WAGES in PENNSYLVANIA, 1840s

WAGES in RHODE ISLAND, 1840s

WAGES in VIRGINIA, 1840s

WAGES in VERMONT, 1840s

WAGES in WISCONSIN, 1840s

Women's wages, 1840-1849

Wages by race, 1840-1849

  • South Carolina
    • Farm labor (Negro), $5 per month
    • Labor (Negro),  $8 - $10 per month; $100 per year
    • Mechanics (Negro), $20 per month; $200 per year
  • Louisiana
    • Laborer (Colored), 50 cents per day
  • Mississippi
    • Labor (Colored), 50 cents per day

Foreign wages by country, 1840-1849

WAGES in MULTIPLE COUNTRIES

WAGES in AUSTRALIA

WAGES in CANADA

WAGES in IRELAND

WAGES in FRANCE

WAGES in GERMANY

WAGES in RUSSIA

WAGES in the UNITED KINGDOM

Foreign wages by occupation (A-Z) then country, 1840-1849

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.  Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.   Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.   Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country. Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.   Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country. Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country. Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.   Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Click a letter tab to see average daily wages for males and females by occupation and country.   Source: A Compilation of Wages in Commercial Countries from Official Sources, Volume I and Volume II. Issued as the 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor (1900).

Food prices by state, 1840-1849

Transportation prices - 1840-1849

  • New York City
    • 1841. Source: The tourist, p. 93
    • 1845. Source: New-York traveller, p. 37
    • 1846. Source: Great metropolis, p. 109
    • 1847. Source: Appleton's, p. 117
  • Boston, 1847. Source: Appleton's, p. 44
  • Philadelphia, 1847 in Appleton's, pp. 218-220

More prices in the United States, 1840-1849

HOUSING and LAND, 1840s

PRICES for ANIMALS, 1840s

PRICES for HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, 1840s

CLOTHING PRICES, 1840s

COMMUNICATION RATES, 1840s

HOTEL RATES

Revere House, 1848The Revere House in Boston charged
$2 per day in 1848

HEALTH CARE prices, 1840s

PRICES for SERVICES, 1840s

Barbershop and salon prices advertised in newspapers:

  • 1841 -- Haircut 25¢ and shave, 6¼¢ (source)
  • 1843 -- Haircut 12½¢; shaving 6¼¢
    (source indicates these are price reductions)
  • 1847 -- Ladies shampoo, cut and style, 50¢; and children's haircut 12½¢ (source)
  • 1848 -- Haircut 25¢ (source)

COST of ATTENDING COLLEGE, 1840s

BOOK PRICES, 1847

PRICE of AMUSEMENTS, etc., 1840s

Prices in foreign countries, 1840-1849

TAXES

Economic analysis and calculators, 1840s

Ask a Question

Marie Concannon, Government Information Librarian
Government Documents Department, Ellis Library
University of Missouri, Columbia
Email: concannonm@missouri.edu
Phone (573) 882-0748