Christmas Shopping, Stereo System: 1958 v. 2009
In 1958, the “best stereo sound equipment" Sears had to offer was advertised for sale in its Christmas catalog for $84.95 (pictured on left above), boasting that “You’ll be amazed at the ‘living sound’ you’ll hear on this newest development in portable phonographs. Four tubes per rectifier. Hear every note, every shading of tone.”
I doubt anybody today would be too amazed at the sound quality of that 1958 state-of-the-art stereo equipment, and nobody would trade his or her iPod for that system, especially considering that the "time cost" of today’s iPod (12.51 hours of work at today’s average hourly manufacturing wage of $18.59 to earn enough income [ignoring taxes] to purchase a $229.99 iPod at Wal-Mart ) is almost 71 percent cheaper than Sears’ best stereo equipment in 1958 for (42.9 hours of work at the average wage of $1.98 per hour to earn enough income to purchase the $84.95 stereo in 1958).
Read more here at the Enterprise Blog.