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Prices and Wages by Decade: 1900-1909

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, 1900-1909

Wages by race, 1900-1909

...and by location:

Women's wages, 1900-1909

Wages by occupation (A-Z), 1900 to 1909

  • Building and construction wages, 1890-1903
    Provides tables that compare wage rates in U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France and Belgium for specific occupations, including blacksmith, boiler makers, bricklayers, carpenters, compositors, hod carriers, iron molders, general laborers, machinists, house painters, plumbers, stone cutters, and stone masons. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Bulletin #53, pp 724-728.
  • Building and construction wages by occupation and city, 1902-1910
    Wages in 1902, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910 for bricklayers, stone masons, structural-iron setters, ornamental-iron setters, plasterers, tile setters, plumbers, steam fitters, gas fitters, carpenters, painters, stonecutters, electricians, sheet-metal workers, marble setters and cement finishers in each of 25 major American cities.
  • Farm labor wages, 1866-1909
    Browse this book's table of contents for wage rates for all states and the US as a whole, including some rates from prior to 1866.
  • Farm laborers, 1818-1948
    Lists average monthly earnings with board, by geographic divisions. Data for years: 1818, 1826, 1830, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1909, 1919, 1929, 1940, 1948. Read the explanation and historical context for this table.
  • Farm hands and ranch hands - Wages, 1900-1910
    Members of the agricultural industry from select states report average wages (with and without board) per month at their farms, ranches, or dairies for the years 1900-1910.
  • Government - Congressional salaries, 1789-present
    Historical chart shows salaries of members of the U.S. Congress, along with dates of enactment and statutory authority for each pay increase.
  • Iron and steel industry workers, 1907-1924
    Earnings per hour, customary hours of labor, and actual hours and earnings in one pay period in 1924 are presented in this report for wage earners in ten departments of the iron and steel industry in the United States. Summary figures for preceding years are also shown for each department.
  • Iron and steel industry -- Wages and hours, 1912
    Wages and hours of labor for workers in the steel industry, broken up by location and occupation. Source: U. S. Congressional Serial Set Vol. No. 6096.
  • Lumber, millwork, and furniture industries, 1907-1912
    Wages and hours of labor in lumber manufacturing for the years 1907 to 1912, including information from 1890 to 1912. Source: U.S. BLS Bulletin no. 129.
  • Military pay for enlisted men
    Many military job titles are listed separately such as electrician, band leader, sergeant major, etc. Pay tables extend from pages 775-782. Source: Soldiers' adjusted compensation: hearings ... Published 1920.

Manufacturing wages, 1900-1909

WAGES in MANUFACTURING, 1900s -- General sources

See tabs above for specific industries

WAGES in CLOTHING MANUFACTURING, 1900s

WAGES in TEXTILE MANUFACTURING, 1900s

Wages in selected states, 1900-1909

WAGES in CALIFORNIA, 1900s

WAGES in CONNECTICUT, 1900s

WAGES in HAWAII, 1900s

WAGES in MICHIGAN, 1900s

WAGES in MISSOURI, 1900s

 

WAGES in MONTANA, 1900s

WAGES in NEW JERSEY, 1900s

WAGES in TEXAS, 1900s

WAGES in VERMONT, 1900s

WAGES in WISCONSIN, 1900s

International wages by country, 1900-1909

Wages in ARGENTINA, 1900s

Wages in AUSTRALIA, 1900s

Wages in AUSTRIA, 1900s

Wages in BELGIUM, 1900s

Wages in BULGARIA, 1900s

WAGES on CARIBBEAN ISLANDS, 1900s

Wages in CANADA, 1900s

Wages in FINLAND, 1900s

WAGES in FRANCE, 1900s

Wages in GERMANY, 1900s

Wages in IRELAND, 1900s

WAGES in ITALY, 1900s

Wages in JAPAN, 1900s

WAGES in MEXICO, 1900s

WAGES in NEW ZEALAND, 1900s

WAGES in NORWAY, 1900s

WAGES in the PHILIPPINES, 1900s

WAGES in POLAND, 1900s

Wages in RUSSIA, 1900s

Wages in SPAIN, 1900s

WAGES in the UNITED KINGDOM, 1900s

Prices in the U.S., 1900-1909

PRICES for FOOD, 1900s

PRICES of FARM IMPLEMENTS and TOOLS, 1900s

MAIL ORDER MERCHANDISE

PRICES for HOUSING, 1900s

HOME PLANS and COSTS

PRICE of BUILDING MATERIALS

LAND and FARM PRICES

HOUSEHOLD UTILITIES

COST of HEALTH CARE, 1900s

PHYSICIANS and DOCTORS' FEES, 1900s

PRICES for COMMUNICATION, 1900s

PRICES for TRANSPORTATION, 1900s

AUTOMOBILE PRICES

MOTOR WAGON and COMMERCIAL VEHICLE PRICES

4-ton Mack truck priced at $4250 in 1907

GASOLINE PRICES

RAILROAD FARES

OTHER TRANSPORTATION PRICES

HOTEL RATES

COST of a COLLEGE EDUCATION, 1900s

In the 1900-1909 decade, 4% to 5% of the population aged 18-21 enrolled in college. Source: U.S. Bureau of Education.

OTHER COLLEGE EXPENSES

ENTERTAINMENT - TICKET PRICES

PRICES for ANIMALS, 1900s

PRICES for SERVICES, 1900s

Cost of living and consumer expenditures, 1900-1909

International prices by country, 1900-1909

Prices in ARGENTINA, 1900s

Prices in AUSTRALIA, 1900s

Prices in AUSTRIA, 1900s

Prices in BELGIUM, 1900s

Prices in CANADA, 1900s

Prices in FRANCE, 1900s

Prices in GERMANY, 1900s

Prices in GREAT BRITAIN, 1900s

Prices in HUNGARY, 1900s

Prices in INDIA, 1900s

Prices in IRELAND, 1900s

Prices in ITALY, 1900s

Prices in MEXICO, 1900s

Prices in POLAND, 1900s

Prices in the PHILIPPINES, 1900s

Prices in RUSSIA, 1900s

Prices in SWEDEN, 1900s

Sources showing prices in MULTIPLE COUNTRIES, 1900s

Quotable facts for the 1900-1909 decade

In the United States...

  • Milk cost an average of 14¢ per half gallon in 1900. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
  • Eggs cost an average of 21¢ per dozen in 1900. Source: U.S. BLS
  • Coffee averaged of 23¢ per pound in 1900. Source: U.S. BLS
  • 4,192 passenger cars were produced in the U.S. in the year 1900 (source), when the total population was 76 million (source). 
  • A gallon of gasoline cost around 18¢ to 20¢ in 1900. Source: The Horseless Age 
  • Selected occupational earnings averages in 1900:
    • Shoemakers earned about $2.40 per day. Source: U.S. BLS
    • Public school teachers earned around $40 per month. Source: Bureau of Education 
    • Carpenters earned $750 per year. Source: U.S. BLS
    • Engineers earned $1,050 per year. Source: U.S BLS 
  • In 1903, an estimated 15,000 Americans had a net worth of $300,000 or more. Source: preface to the Financial Red Book, 1903.  By 1905, 18,000 individuals made the cut (source).

Tools and calculators, 1900-1909

Timeline -- Major economic events of the 1900s

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1900

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1901

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1902

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1904

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1905

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1906

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1907

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1908

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1909

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

Legend

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Phone (573) 882-0748