Scientific Calculator: 1.5 days ('75) vs. 33 Min. ('09)
Cost of a rechargeable scientific calculator from Wards in 1975: $58.95, or 12.5 hours of work (1.5 days) at the average hourly wage of $4.72 (total private industries).
Cost of an HP 10s Scientific Calculator in 2009: $9.99 or .54 hours of work (33 minutes) at today's average hourly wage of $18.36.
Bottom Line: If we paid the same price today as in 1975 (12.5 hours, at the average hourly wage today of $18.36), the 2009 HP calculator above would cost us $230 today. Or equivalently, consumers in 1975 actually did pay the equivalent of $230 in today's dollars for a scientific calculator.
Or we could say that the typical consumer today would earn enough money in about one-half hour (33 minutes) to purchase a brand new HP scientific calculator, whereas the typical consumer in 1975 had to work full-time for 1.5 days to earn enough money to purchase a scientific calculator then.