Hand Tools Archive

Re: Wheat cost..
Response To:
Re: Wheat cost.. ()

John in NM
I agree with David, agricultural commodities are not the best comparison because mechanization has drastically reduced those costs.

I prefer comparing to metals prices, especially gold because it is comparatively useless in industry, so it is less affected by industrial demand compared to copper & other metals.

Using the gold sovereign as a starting point, I come up with 0.002354 oz/p (though the sovereign came into use ~30 years later than your date). That gives you a current comparison of $3 modern to on pence circa ~1800. So a 5p chisel would cost $15 today - although I bet modern manufacturing has reduced chisel costs along with wheat costs, that is right around the cost of an average size Narex.

This is just a rule of thumb kind of comparison of course, I'm sure there are lots of holes to be poked.

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