Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Wheat cost..
Response To:
Cost of chisels ()

david weaver
..difficult to find for 1790, but I found published wheat prices as well as daily wages for various english occupations in 1761.

For a canal worker wielding a pick, it would take about one day's work to purchase a bushel of wheat. Assuming they could buy one at the posted price (not sure if that was controlled).

For a skilled working like a brick mason, it would take about 5/8ths of a day's wages to buy a bushel of wheat.

Non-commercial occupations (day laborer, etc) didn't fare as well as that. A head housemaid's wages would've purchased a bushel of wheat every two weeks, but presumably, room and board was included making that artificially low.

Not sure when England went to making most tools in a factory - guessing that was already going on in 1790.

( a follow up look at prices in the US shows a bushel of wheat to cost a little bit more for a bushel than a day's wage in 1775 - 78 cents for a bushel of wheat and 60 cents a day for a mason - less for apprentices )

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