Your furniture is ready and polished, the place settings are immaculately laid out, your stemware is clear as a diamond, and your finest china rests on the best table linens. You take a step back and admire the masterpiece that is your dining room table. The only thing missing now is the food! After all, what would Thanksgiving be without the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, fresh pumpkin and apple pie? While these dishes are timeless, the cost of food has changed considerably over the past century. While you’re waiting for the bird to come out of the oven, check out these Thanksgiving food ads we found during our research here at the NJDNP.
Below we’ve compared the prices of popular Thanksgiving foods between the early 20th Century and Today. Keep in mind that the average weekly take home pay during 2nd decade of the 20th century was between $15.35 and $28.00.
Turkey: $0.28/lb in 1913 $1.36/lb in 2018
Sweet Potatoes: $0.15/gallon in 1913 $3.39 for a 3 lb bag in 2018
Green Peas: $0.11/can in 1913 $1.47 for a 1 lb bag in 2018
Fresh Cranberries: $0.10/lb in 1913 $2.65/12 oz in 2018
Milk: $0.35/gallon in 1913 $2.92/gallon in 2018
Butter: $0.37/lb in 1913 $2.88/lb in 2018
Eggs: $0.24/dozen in 1913 $2.94/dozen in 2018
Cider: $0.22/gallon in 1913 $5.99/gallon in 2018
Turkey is undoubtedly the most well known food on the Thanksgiving table, but at the turn of the 20th Century there were a number of other protein options available. As you’ll see below, one store was giving away live pigs if an individual spent more than $15.00. Duck was another popular bird.
Wine, beer, and spirits were also an integral part of the Thanksgiving feast. Load up on these ads below. Check out the marketing strategies used by to Elk Wine and Liquor House to entice customers. Did somebody say free?
Have a happy Thanksgiving! Leave a comment below if you find any interesting Thanksgiving related ads and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our mailing list.
(Contributed by Giovanna Ligato-Pugliese and Jacob Paul)