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The Value of a Dollar - Two Volume Set

The Value of a Dollar records the prices of thousands of items purchased from the 1600s to the present, along with facts about investment options and income opportunities.

This two-volume set includes the new Seventh Edition of The Value of Dollar 1860-2024 and The Value of a Dollar 1600-1865 Colonial Era to the Civil War.

Using this data, readers will get a sense of how prices changed over time and how those changes compare to the value of the dollar. This text gives readers a broader understanding of life in America through the wallets of real Americans.

The new seventh edition of The Value of a Dollar 1860-2024 is broken down into two comprehensive sections. Section One: 1860-2024 is divided into nine easy-to-read chapters. Each chapter includes currency conversion charts, historical snapshots, selected income, consumer expenditures, investments and standard income. Section Two: Pricing Trends compares the cost of everyday products, services and jobs, in a specified number of years and compares it to today’s dollar.

 A look into what Section One offers:

  • Currency Conversion Charts: used to calculate out what any item in any year would cost
  • Historical Snapshot: a detailed chronology of key economic and historical events from each year
  • Selected Income: a list of jobs in the want ads of major newspapers and reported in the language, representing the types of jobs available and the wages offered across the country.
  • Consumer Expenditures: a report on per-capita expenditures of the day, organized by product type
  • Investments: a selection of yearly investment returns on a diversified portfolio of common stocks
  • Standard Jobs: a selection of national average wages paid for representative jobs

New to this edition is the chapter covering the years of 2020-2024, more images and new conversion charts. This is an invaluable source for all teachers, students, writers and patrons who are researching or are simply curious about social history. The Value of a Dollar is for both the user who simply wants to know what life was like during the time of his or her great-grandparents as well as the serious student engaged in historical research.

The Value of a Dollar 1600- 1865, The Colonial Era to The Civil War records the actual prices of thousands of items that consumers purchased, from the Colonial Era to the Civil War. Our editorial department was flooded with requests from users of our Value of a Dollar for the same type of information, just from an earlier time period. This volume was created to fill that important need.

Divided into six chapters, each fact-filled chapter details:

  • Chapter Introductions & Historical Snapshots – a chronology of key economic and historical events from each year; 
  • Selected Income – a selection of wages of various jobs; 
  • Services & Fees – unique to this volume, it provides a more accurate look at the cost of doing business in early America; 
  • Financial Rates & Exchanges – unique to this volume, it includes the price of gold, inflation rates and more; 
  • Slave Trade – defines the price traded for slaves imported to the Americas by British merchants;
  • Commodities – includes a selection of prices of food items, agricultural products and manufactured goods;
  • Selected Prices – details prices of a wide array of items, from alcohol to fabrics, farm equipment to firearms; 
  • Miscellany – a selection of fascinating insights into early America, drawn from diaries, advertisements, letters, speeches and more.

Additional features include:

  • Handy Currency Conversion Charts, in British currency from 1600-1799 and in US currency from 1800 to 1865, run through the text to make it easy to find out how these currencies of the time relate to today’s dollar.

These volumes are perfect for anyone curious about social history; students studying the topics that require knowledge about everyday life in America; teachers who seek information to enliven classroom discussions; writers who need access to the basic facts of America's commerce; business historians seeking data to establish a framework of wage and price information during a specific period; and reporters seeking to enhance a story with economic details.

Buy the Print & Get Free Online Access
Print edition buyers receive free online access to Value of a Dollar on the popular Salem Press/Grey House platform. Online users can research prices and incomes with ease and browse the entire rich compilation of historical and accessible economic data that The Value of a Dollar has to offer in one easy-to-use online format.

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