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Photo Credit: Patrick St. John

In modern colloquia, today is Black Friday, the annual day the American retail market reduces the cost of merchandise to reap in record-breaking sales. While the nuances of this . . .  tradition is changing, such as starting sales on Thursday and including Cyber Monday into the foray of marketing schemes. The attraction of bargain merchandise will never go out of style.

I am averse to shopping to begin with, but more so during peak times where large crowds are sure to congregate. Upon researching, I came across an enormous list of goods and their advertised prices. It was fascinating to me to witness their sticker prices, however I have no concept of what such dollar amounts equate with modern prices. So behold! The annotated list with current 2012 prices adjusted for inflation.

Children’s Apparel: Pair of pants and hat (1893): $5.00    2012: $128.21

Children’s Shoes: Button boots (1875): $0.60    2012: $12.50

Men’s Apparel: Silk walking costumes; in solid colors (1881): $16.85    2012: $382.95

Men’s Golf Cap: Correct style (1895): $1.00    2012: $27.03

Men’s Necktie: Black bows in rich red silk (1873): $0.50    2012: $9.62

Men’s Shoes: Working (1875): $0.98    2012: $20.42

Women’s Corset: Hercules “supporting, woven, spoon steel, cannot stretch, break or lose its shape, avoids all pressure on the chest” (1881): $3.00    2012: $68.18

Women’s Parasols: Pardriges’ satin regular, sale (1882): $3.90    2012: $88.64

Women’s Shoes: Button shoes (1892): $1.50    2012: $37.50

Women’s Skirt: Lustre’s “wool best and lightest all year round skirt, five gored, 3.5 yards wide” (1896): $2.50    2012: $67.57

Typewriter: Hall’s, “guaranteed to do better work, and a greater variety, than any other typewriter in the world” (1887): $40.00    2012: $975.61

Bedroom Set: 4 pieces, antique (1875): $11.00    2012: $229.17

Chair: New solid oak high-back chair (1875): $1.00    2012: $20.83

China: Washington Hadley’s White French, dinner set, 130 pieces (1868): $30.00    2012: $483.87

Pocket Watch: Imperial officer “our whole stock of imported watches being of rich and novel designs, are now offered at reduce prices” (1865): $10.00    2012: $140.85

Automobile: The Winton Motor Carriage “a road locomotive, it does not take an engineer to run it” (1899): $1,000.00    2012: $27,777.78

Piano: Steven-octave, French action, rosewood, cost including stool and cover (1863): $300    2012: $5,454.55

Violin: With bow, case, and instruction book (1877): $5.00    2012: $108.70

House: For sale, Brooklyn; three-story brick; has marble mantels, gas fixtures, near the Hamilton Ferry (1863): $3,500.00    2012: $63,636.36

Sewing Machine: Singer, “buy the improved Singer sewing machine with a complete set of attachments” (1896): $9.00    2012: $243.24

Bicycle: Windsor American Beauties, “bicycling should be pure happiness” (1896): $85.00    2012: $2,297.30

Skates: Peck and Synder’s American Club, “the only perfect self-fastening skate that adjusts without heel-plates, shades or key; fully polished” (1875): $7.00    2012: $145.83

Cigar: Best in town (1885): $0.05    2012: $1.19

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