Toasters Were 12X More Costly in 1949 vs. Today
Cost of Sears Toaster in 1949: $16.95 or 13.5 hours of work at the average hourly manufacturing wage of $1.26:
Cost of Sears toaster in 2009: $19.99 or 1.1 hours of work at the average hourly manufacturing wage of $18.03:
Bottom Line: The price of a toaster in 1940 was 12.3 times more expensive in 1949 (13.5 hours) than in 2009 (1.1 hours), when the price is measured in the number of hours worked at the average manufacturing wage. If we paid the same price today as in 1949 (13.5 hours at the average hourly wage of $18.03), a toaster today would cost $243.40. See related post below.