19th Century Prices

by Stephen B. Mann (smann@cnsvax.albany.edu)

The following list is collated from a copy of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog. This catalog is a wonderful introduction to the world of 1897 America: arsenic pills, corsets, boy's sailor suits, razor strops, butter churns, and other picture postcards.

This list can be of extreme use to any GM setting a game in the late 19th or early 20th centuries (Space 1889 and Castle Falkenstein people, pay attention!). Even if your game is not set during this period, this list can still be of use with some judicious tweaking.

I highly recommend the catalog to anyone wishing more detail Due to my reluctance to spend more time than I already have, I've breezed through the products listed in the catalog's 786 pages, and fudged some of the data. I've left out numerous minor items, and included many other items that caught my attention.

The price range listed represents different brands, materials, and/or slightly different products. For instance, the price listed for "Books" ($00.12 - $04.25) includes dictionaries, medical references, atlases, adventure stories, mysteries, poetry, etc.

BTW, for the truly curious, the information listed here is in the same order as presented in the catalog. I've also tried to keep the same names, though some might be confusing or misleading.

                  1897 Sears, Roebuck Catalog
                     Fred L. Israel, editor
                    Chelsea House Publishers
                       ISBN 0-87754-045-4
                      0-7910-1945-4 (pbk.)

=================================================================


ITEM                            PRICE RANGE       PER
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tea                           $00.12 - $01.00     pound
Coffee                        $00.15 - $00.35     pound
Cocoa                         $00.20 - $01.15     pound
Spices                        $12.00 - $75.00     pound
Extracts                      $00.05 - $00.35     2 oz. bottle
Herbs                         $00.05 - $00.25     2-4 oz. package
Canned Fruit                  $00.08 - $00.52     can
Canned Vegetables             $00.07 - $00.23     can
Jam/Jelly                     $00.40 - $02.15     20 lb. pail
Dried Fruit                   $00.05 - $00.15     pound
Table Sauces                  $00.25 - $00.75     quart
Pickles                       $00.10 - $00.30     pint          .
Meat                          $00.06 - $00.15     pound
Preserved Meat                $00.12 - $00.25     pound
Fish                          $00.05              pound
Canned Fish                   $00.04 - $00.45     can
Soup                          $00.25 - $00.80     can
Flour (various types)         $00.02 - $00.05     pound
Rice                          $00.03 - $00.06     pound
Pasta                         $00.08 - $00.13     pound
Cheese                        $00.11 - $00.85     pound
Crackers/Biscuits             $00.08 - $00.23     pound
Candy                         $00.07 - $00.20     pound
Syrup/Molasses                $00.40 - $01.15     gallon
Soap                          $00.03 - $00.06     bar/cake
Perfume                       $00.35 - $00.48     2 oz. bottle
Ink                           $00.22 - $00.33     pint          .
Polish (shoe, metal, etc)     $00.03 - $01.80     can
Matches                       $00.01 - $00.03     100
Candles                       $00.10 - $00.90     pound
Rope/Cordage                  $00.05 - $00.25     pound
Broom                         $00.08 - $00.50     each
Brush                         $00.04 - $00.25     each
Oil (various types)           $00.07 - $00.63     gallon
Paint                         $00.65 - $02.50     gallon
Toilet Paper                  $02.25 - $06.15     100 rolls
Paper Bags                    $00.12 - $00.60     100
Cigars                        $01.00 - $08.70     100
Cigarettes                    $02.00 - $03.25     500
Plug Tobacco                  $00.15 - $00.75     pound
Garden Seeds                  $00.03 - $02.95     pound
Drugs/Medicine                $00.04 - $00.97     box/bottle
Bust Developer                $01.46              set
Hair Restorer                 $00.57              bottle
Beauty Drugs                  $00.35 - $01.00     bottle
Veterinary Instruments        $00.20 - $15.00     each
Medical Instruments           $00.50 - $08.00     each
Nails                         $01.60              kegs
Bolts                         $00.20 - $03.70     100
Screws                        $00.05 - $01.50     gross
Weighing Scales               $01.70 - $20.00     each
Shovels/Pitchforks/Rakes      $00.29 - $01.75     each
Lawn Mowers                   $02.35 - $06.50     each
Water Pumps                   $00.90 - $08.57     each
Iron Pipes                    $00.02 - $00.78     foot
Pipe-Fitting Tools            $00.25 - $04.95     each
Blacksmith's Tools            $00.10 - $17.75     each
Mechanic's Tools              $00.02 - $19.15     each
Builder's Hardware            $00.05 - $06.10     each
Tackle Blocks/Pulleys         $00.03 - $02.87     each
Chains                        $00.03 - $00.18     yard
Ice Skates                    $00.25 - $03.65     pair
Steel Safes                   $13.25 - $87.90     each
Laundry Wringers              $01.30 - $03.00     each
Carpet Sweepers               $04.00 - $03.90     each
Coffee Mills                  $01.32 - $03.14     each
Ice Cream Freezer             $01.43 - $06.04     each
Bells                         $00.94 - 168.75     each
Table Cutlery                 $00.40 - $02.65     set
Shears/Scissors               $00.20 - $01.00     each
Pocket Knives                 $00.04 - $01.50     each
Hair Clippers                 $01.00 - $03.75     each
Razors                        $00.60 - $02.00     each
Razor Strops                  $00.30 - $00.60     each
Paint Brushes                 $00.03 - $01.65     dozen
Gas Stoves/Ovens              $01.40 - $19.50     each
Oil Stoves/Ovens              $00.85 - $14.00     each
Oil Heater                    $06.00 - $07.33     each
Gas/Oil Torches               $01.00 - $02.30     each
Wood/Coal Stoves              $02.82 - $48.90     each
Stove Furnishings             $00.03 - $11.35     each
Lamp/Lantern                  $00.40 - $05.45     each
Pail/Bucket                   $00.12 - $04800     each
Washing Machine               $02.50 - $05.50     each
Baskets                       $00.18 - $01.65     each
Butter Churn                  $00.56 - $20.80     each
Wind Mill                     $19.00 - 190.00     each
Grain Grinders                $03.65 - $65.50     each
Plows                         $02.00 - $51.00     each
Men's Suits                   $02.98 - $22.00     each
Men's Coats                   $01.50 - $04.50     each
Men's Pants                   $00.75 - $05.00     each
Men's Overcoats               $06.95 - $12.75     each
Men's Vests                   $00.65 - $04.00     each
Men's Summer Coats            $00.35 - $07.50     each
Men's Smoking Jackets         $03.25 - $09.50     each
Men's Overalls                $00.35 - $02.38     each
Boy's Long Pants Suits        $02.35 - $08.00     suit
Boy's Long Pants              $00.75 - $02.95     each
Boy's Two/Four Piece Suits    $00.75 - $04.35     suit
Boy's Knee Pants              $00.15 - $01.25     each
Men's Mackintoshes            $02.95 - $08.40     each
Boy's Mackintosh Coats        $02.75 - $04.95     each
Ladies Mackintoshes           $02.95 - $09.40     each
Oil Slickers/Jackets          $01.10 - $02.90     each
Oiled Pants                   $00.95 - $01.10     each
Rubber Coats                  $01.45 - $04.90     each
Children's/Ladies Shoes       $00.60 - $03.50     pair
Men's Shoes                   $01.25 - $03.75     pair
Men's Boots                   $00.85 - $05.50     pair
Cobbler/Tinker's Toolkit      $00.68 - $01.95     set
Men's Shirts                  $00.37 - $01.45     each
Men's Sweaters                $00.25 - $03.25     each
Men's Hose                    $00.25 - $01.10     pair
Suspenders                    $00.18 - $02.96     each
Neckties                      $00.18 - $00.58     each
Bow Ties                      $00.06 - $00.38     each
Men's Handkerchiefs           $00.35 - $04.35     dozen
Ladies Handkerchiefs          $00.50 - $03.75     dozen
Men's Gloves/Mittens          $00.08 - $01.45     pair
Ladies Gloves/Mittens         $00.09 - $01.75     pair
Men's Hats/Caps               $00.21 - $05.25     each
Men's Long Sleeve Undershirt  $00.25 - $01.37     each
Men's Undershirt/Long Pants   $00.50 - $01.16     set
Ladies Union Suit             $00.43 - $01.25     each
Ladies Undershirts            $00.06 - $00.87     each
Men's Socks                   $00.08 - $00.48     pair
Ladies Hose                   $00.05 - $02.47     pair
Umbrella                      $00.60 - $05.00     each
Canes                         $00.19 - $01.75     each
Trunks                        $00.48 - $08.00     each
Suitcases                     $00.35 - $05.25     each
Cloth                         $00.05 - $02.50     pair
Ribbons                       $00.04 - $00.48     pair
Lace                          $00.02 - $00.55     pair
Ladies Shirts                 $00.25 - $03.98     each
Ladies Skirts                 $01.19 - $09.25     each
Ladies Wraps                  $00.69 - $14.75     each
Ladies Suits                  $03.15 - $18.00     set
Ladies Night Gowns            $00.39 - $01.60     each
Carpet                        $00.23 - $01.25     pair
Lace Curtains                 $00.55 - $05.25     pair
Sheeting                      $00.04 - $00.19     pair
Blankets                      $00.55 - $04.98     pair
Tablecloth                    $00.15 - $00.98     pair
Linen Napkins                 $00.28 - $02.85     dozen
Linen Towels                  $00.06 - $00.30     each
Wallpaper                     $00.01 - $00.10     yard
Ladies Hats                   $00.19 - $06.95     each
Girl's Dresses                $00.37 - $01.62     each
Corsets                       $00.40 - $01.89     each
Bust Pads                     $00.25              set
Ladies Underskirts            $00.50 - $01.58     each
Ladies Corset Covers          $00.15 - $00.35     each
Ladies Drawers                $00.20 - $00.80     each
Ladies Chemise                $00.25 - $01.00     each
Ladies Veiling                $00.13 - $00.22     yard          .
Buttons                       $00.05 - $02.70     gross
Thread                        $00.01 - $00.05     spool
Straight Pins                 $00.02 - $00.16     package
Safety Pins                   $00.02 - $00.30     dozen
Thimbles                      $00.01 - $00.03     each
Tape Measures                 $00.04 - $11.00     each
Sewing/Crochet Needles        $00.04              paper
Ladies Wallets                $00.05 - $00.92     each
Comb                          $00.05 - $00.32     each
Hair Brush                    $00.15 - $00.90     each
Toothbrush                    $00.03 - $00.28     each
Ladies Belts                  $00.10 - $00.60     each
Yarn                          $00.55 - $01.30     pound
Smoking Pipes                 $00.04 - $03.95     each
Folding Hand Fans             $00.03 - $00.95     each
Books                         $00.12 - $04.25     each
Encyclopedia Sets             $18.00 - $19.95     set
Family Bible                  $02.15 - $06.50     each
Stationery                    $00.04 - $00.27     150-400 sheets
Writing Paper                 $00.55 - $01.85     ream
Envelopes                     $00.32 - $00.61     250
Glue/Mucilage                 $00.07 - $00.23     bottle
Inkstands                     $00.11 - $00.50     each
Pencils                       $00.03 - $00.85     dozen
Penholders                    $00.03 - $02.40     dozen
Pens                          $00.03 - $00.10     dozen
Rubber Erasers                $00.01 - $00.09     each
Rubber Bands                  $00.30              box
Clipboards                    $00.27 - $00.33     each
Paper Clips                   $00.04 - $00.06     each
School Bags                   $00.08 - $00.20     each
Chalk                         $00.07 - $00.35     gross
Blackboards                   $00.54 - $07.15     each
Playing Cards                 $00.08 - $00.30     package
Drafting Tools                $00.22 - $26.00     set
Pocket Watches                $00.98 - $72.85     each
Gold/Diamond Rings            $01.35 - 120.00     each
Gold/Diamond Stick Pins       $00.23 - $00.25     each
Diamond Shirt Studs           $05.95 - $73.00     each
Diamond Ear Rings/Drops       $00.35 - 152.00     pair
Gold Locket                   $08.65 - $11.90     each
Gold/Silver Brooch Pins       $00.45 - $13.75     each
Gold Pendant/Brooch           $03.95 - 225.00     each
Gold/Silver Bracelets         $00.95 - $29.75     each
Men's Vest Chains             $00.35 - $06.95     each
Gold Necklace w/ Pendant      $01.45 - $08.00     each
Gold Rings                    $00.60 - $11.50     each
Gold Rings w/ Gems            $01.25 - $18.40     each
Gold Watch Charms/Lockets     $00.25 - $04.75     each
Gold Lapel Pins/Emblems       $00.20 - $03.75     each
Gold Cuff/Collar Links        $00.10 - $05.50     pair
Silver Belt Buckles           $00.40 - $03.00     each
Gold/Silver Fountain Pen      $00.65 - $03.45     each
Silverware                    $00.70 - $01.00     set
Silver Cake Stand/Dish        $01.25 - $03.25     each
Silver Tea Set                $05.90 - $11.00     set
Clock                         $00.57 - $14.00     each
Eyeglasses                    $00.10 - $05.50     pair
Opera Glasses                 $01.65 - $06.25     each
Field/Spy Glasses             $00.25 - $23.00     each
Telescopes                    $47.00 - $59.00     each
Microscopes                   $00.15 - $39.00     each
Magnifying Glasses            $00.30 - $02.00     each
Compasses                     $00.15 - $09.75     each
Surveyor's Instruments        $00.90 - 100.00     each
Thermometers                  $00.14 - $03.75     each
Barometers                    $02.00 - $15.50     each
Magnets                       $00.06 - $01.80     each
Electric Motors               $02.95 - $13.50     each
Dry Batteries                 $00.50 - $01.90     each
Telephones                    $07.00 - $16.50     each
Cameras                       $00.85 - $85.00     each
Developing Fluid              $00.20 - $00.50     8 oz. bottle
Magic Lanterns                $00.75 - $27.50     each
Magic Lantern Slides          $00.35 - $07.20     dozen
Graphaphones                  $25.00 - $35.00     each
Graphaphone Records           $00.50              each
Pianos                        125.00 - 179.00     each
Organs                        $38.95 - $56.00     each
Violins                       $02.00 - $46.95     each
Guitars                       $03.95 - $00.00     each
Banjos                        $02.10 - $21.00     each
Mandolins                     $03.45 - $19.85     each
Harps                         $03.00 - $29.30     each
Autoharps                     $02.75 - $18.50     each
Zithers                       $03.70 - $11.90     each
Regina (record player)        $08.70 - $78.95     each
Music Box                     $00.48 - $43.35     each
Accordions                    $01.85 - $11.25     each
Harmonicas                    $00.05 - $11.30     each
Flutes                        $01.60 - $15.10     each
Clarinets                     $04.35 - $14.85     each
Drums                         $04.60 - $17.15     each
Cymbals                       $01.85 - $10.20     each
Cornet                        $04.95 - $13.45     each
Trombone                      $06.95 - $14.45     each
Bugle                         $01.60 - $03.25     each
Jew's Harp                    $00.05 - $00.40     each
Xylophones                    $00.95 - $03.75     each
Castanets                     $00.40 - $00.50     pair
Tambourines                   $00.25 - $00.88     each
Strings (violins, etc)        $00.02 - $03.00     each
Tuning Forks                  $00.09 - $00.30     each
Sheet Music                   $00.10 - $01.50     folio
Instrument Instruction Books  $00.12 - $02.00     each
Shotguns                      $03.40 - 189.50     each
Revolvers                     $00.68 - $13.75     each
Air Rifles                    $00.35 - $05.95     each
Rifles                        $04.95 - $20.70     each
Repeating Rifles              $09.72 - $19.94     each
Bullets                       $00.14 - $04.25     100
Shotgun Shells                $01.29 - $02.70     100
Gunpowder                     $00.50 - $01.20     1 lb.
Powder Flasks                 $00.29 - $00.50     each
Shell Bags                    $00.30 - $02.00     each
Gun Cases                     $00.38 - $06.25     each
Pistol Holsters               $00.15 - $00.55     each
Cartridge Belts               $00.18 - $01.40     each
Shoulder Holsters             $00.60              each
Money Belts                   $00.40 - $00.75     each
Hunting Knives                $00.70 - $01.65     each
Knife Sheaths                 $00.10 - $00.18     each
Bird Calls                    $00.18 - $01.00     each
Hunting Coat                  $01.30 - $02.95     each
Hunting Vest                  $00.70 - $03.40     each
Chamois Shirt                 $06.00              each
Hunting Hats/Caps             $00.38 - $00.85     each
Leggings                      $00.45 - $03.20     pair
Dog Collars                   $00.15 - $00.95     each
Dog Muzzles                   $00.25 - $00.70     each
Tennis Nets                   $00.90 - $02.90     each
Tennis Raquets                $00.75 - $05.75     each
Tennis Set (net,raquets,etc)  $08.40 - $12.00     each
Croquet Sets                  $00.65 - $03.40     each
Boxing Gloves                 $01.25 - $05.75     two pair
Dumb Bells                    $00.25 - $00.50     pair
Rugby Foot Balls              $00.35 - $02.20     each
Baseballs                     $00.03 - $01.25     each
Baseball Bats                 $00.20 - $00.75     each
Baseball Gloves               $00.20 - $07.50     each
Catcher's Mask                $00.20 - $04.00     each
Catcher's Chest Protector     $04.15 - $07.50     each
Athletic Supporter            $00.25 - $00.45     each
Suspensory (Jock Strap)       $00.19 - $01.50     each
Elastic Bandages/Supporters   $00.21 - $04.40     each
Fencing Foils                 $01.35 - $02.75     each
Fencing Masks                 $02.25 - $02.65     each
Fencing Gloves                $01.75 - $02.70     pair
Fishing Rods                  $00.09 - $06.25     each
Fishing Reels                 $00.09 - $08.00     each
Fishing Line                  $00.03 - $02.20     dozen
Fishing Hooks                 $00.05 - $00.75     box of 100
Fishing Lures                 $00.05 - $01.20     each
Fishing Flies                 $00.20 - $01.40     dozen
Tackle Boxes                  $00.75 - $03.09     each
Fishing Nets (Dip/Landing)    $00.15 - $01.00     each
Creels/Baskets                $00.70 - $01.45     each
Lake/River Seines (nets)      $00.68 - $38.75     each
Oars                          $00.88 - $01.46     pair
Life Preserver                $01.10 - $01.25     each
Animal Nets                   $00.09 - $00.28     yard
Hammocks                      $00.35 - $04.25     each
Wedge Tents                   $03.65 - $13.50     each
Miner's Tents                 $02.30 - $09.30     each
Refreshment Tents             $07.55 - $34.85     each
Wall Tents                    $04.75 - $52.85     each
Photographer's Tents          $17.23 - $47.40     each
Lawn Tents                    $05.00 - $10.60     each
Wagon Covers                  $01.65 - $07.75     each
Arctic Sleep Bags             $13.00              each
Campers' Clothes Bags         $00.60              each
Campers' Carryall Bags        $03.50              each
Folding Canvas Boats          $24.00 - $35.00     each
Hunting Skiff                 $22.00              each
Camping Outfits               $06.50 - $09.00     set
Folding Cots                  $01.50              each
Folding Camp Stools/Chairs    $00.50 - $01.95     each
Outdoor Lamps                 $02.25 - $06.50     each
Bicycles                      $24.95 - $56.00     each
Tricycles/Velocipedes         $01.35 - $11.65     each
Bicycle Parts/Accessories     $00.05 - $15.00     each
Kitchen/Dining Room Chairs    $00.34 - $03.95     each
Rocking Chairs                $00.85 - $08.95     each
Office Chairs                 $03.75 - $05.10     each
Stools                        $00.38 - $00.93     each
Rattan Chairs/Rockers         $02.05 - $07.50     each
Kitchen/Dining Room Tables    $01.25 - $12.75     each
Sideboards/Buffets/Closets    $08.50 - $25.00     each
Parlor Tables                 $00.95 - $12.00     each
Book Cases                    $04.35 - $23.00     each
Office Desks                  $07.50 - $14.50     each
Bed Room Suits                $10.00 - $65.00     set
Bed (wood)                    $01.65 - $02.10     each
Folding Bed                   $06.75 - $26.45     each
Dresser/Bureau/Chiffonier     $05.25 - $22.00     each
Iron Bed                      $00.90 - $47.50     each
Cots                          $01.05 - $01.20     each
Mattresses (wire)             $00.95 - $04.25     each
Mattresses (filled)           $01.70 - $19.75     each
Pillows                       $00.40 - $08.79     each
Parlor Suits                  $11.35 - $55.00     set
Easy Chairs                   $12.75 - $14.50     each
Couches/Lounges               $05.50 - $16.75     each
Framed Pictures               $01.10 - $02.00     each
Wall Mirrors                  $00.30 - $10.75     each
Dinner Set (124 pieces)       $15.54 - $39.45     set
Toilet Set                    $04.35 - $08.25     set
Tea Cup & Saucer              $00.15 - $00.38     set
Glass Tumblers                $00.30 - $00.70     dozen
Wine Glasses                  $00.38 - $00.98     dozen
Glass Water Jug               $00.28 - $00.55     each
Lamps (oil)                   $00.24 - $13.50     each
Parlor Chandeliers (oil)      $06.90 - $18.25     each
Baby Carriages                $02.45 - $33.00     each
Sewing Machines (desk)        $08.50 - $27.45     each
Horse Buggy/Wagon/Carts       $08.45 - 175.00     each
Horse Buggy Harnesses         $03.87 - $39.90     set
Saddles                       $01.60 - $38.50     each
Bridles                       $00.35 - $03.60     set
Halters                       $00.12 - $01.85     each
Saddle Blankets               $00.38 - $02.00     each
Saddle Bags                   $02.90 - $07.20     pair
Horse Hobbles                 $00.60 - $00.70     pair
Lariats                       $01.50 - $08.10     each
Curry Combs                   $00.04 - $00.30     each
Whips/Quirts/Crops            $00.40 - $08.50     each