Price check – June, 1940 December 9, 2021December 8, 2021 The gasoline pumps at Pie Town, New Mexico Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. Click image to enlarge – price on pump reads 20¢ a gallon Related
2 thoughts on “Price check – June, 1940”
Another photograph of the filling station (original Kodachrome transparency) by Russell Lee https://www.shorpy.com/node/84?size=_original#caption Reportedly “the town needed paint, and Standard Oil said they would donate it if the [entire] town was painted in their colors–hence the red white and blue. This garage building burned sometime in the early or middle 40’s.”
$1 in 1940 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $19.76 today, an increase of $18.76 over 81 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 3.75% per year between 1940 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 1,875.64%.
This means that today’s prices are 19.76 times higher than average prices since 1940, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 5.06% of what it could buy back then.
The inflation rate in 1940 was 0.72%. The current year-over-year inflation rate (2020 to 2021) is now 6.22% [Oct 2021] https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1940?amount=1
The closest gas station is 56 miles away in Magdalena.
See also https://www.shorpy.com/files/images/1a34107u.jpg and click image to enlarge
Note the warning notice on pumps: “For use as a motor fuel only CONTAINS LEAD (Tetraethyl)”
Leaded fuel was sold for 100 years, despite knowing its health risks https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/12/how-the-leaded-fuel-was-sold-for-100-years-despite-knowing-health-risks/