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Login Name Post: Price of powder in 18th century        (Topic#307400)
necchi 
Cannon
Posts: 12329
necchi
05-16-18 12:40 PM - Post#1684963    

    In response to M.D.

  • M.D. Said:
Well, metric donuts would be bigger than regular donuts so you wouldn't have to eat as many to be full!


Not really, manufacturers would just down size from 9cm to 7.5cm instead of 3 1/2" to 3".
I remember being able to buy a quart jug, now you can only get 750ml,,
JohnT
Molon Labe~


 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7378
05-16-18 01:37 PM - Post#1684969    

    In response to Spence10

  • Spence10 Said:
I have lots of prices, but not usually in useful amounts, bushels, hundred weight, etc. The first are from the Bureau of Statistics, some common foodstuffs, modern prices should be available..

Cost of Living 1777
New England Area

Pounds Sterling................Shillings...Pence
fresh beef per pound............3
chicken per pound................5
milk per quart.......................2.........1/2
cheese (local) per pound.......7
butter per pound.................10
coffee per pound...................1..........4


Christiansbrunn, the 9th September, 1773
[Christian’s Spring Moravian settlement, PA, custom rifle]
She costs 8 pounds all together and with the powder @ 3 shillings per pound makes twelve shillings, for a total of L8.12.-. Because it is very good powder I have added two pounds more than you requested.

So, price of powder was the same as fresh beef.


Spence





Let's add in the fact that unskilled laborers in that period made about 6 shillings a week. So a pound of fresh beef or a pound of gun powder was half a week's wages for them.

Semi Skilled Laborers made 6 to 8 shillings a week. Skilled Tradesmen Journeymen made at least 8 shillings to between 10 to 12 shillings per week. Senior Journeymen might have made 16 to 18 shillings a week.

So neither a pound of fresh beef, nor a pound of powder, was by any means inexpensive in the period.

Edited to add: What I am not sure of, was whether or not all Journeymen were fed meals in addition to their wages, so that will further complicate figuring "real costs" in the period, if some Masters provided meals or some meals and in some cases lodging as well.

It is sort of like figuring military wages for single troops. Their wages include housing, health/dental costs and meals - so they aren't paid as much "up front" as some civilians in the same occupations and experience.

Gus

Edited by Artificer on 05-16-18 01:45 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Grenadier1758 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2242
Grenadier1758
05-16-18 04:47 PM - Post#1684991    

    In response to necchi

  • necchi Said:
  • M.D. Said:
Well, metric donuts would be bigger than regular donuts so you wouldn't have to eat as many to be full!


Not really, manufacturers would just down size from 9cm to 7.5cm instead of 3 1/2" to 3".
I remember being able to buy a quart jug, now you can only get 750ml,,



Hm, a liter is 33.8 ounces and my fifth of bourbon is pretty close to 750 ml and my euro-pint beers are 500 ml or 16.7 ounces. Not everything got smaller.

So, while that pound of powder may have had the equivalent price of a pound of beef, that pound of powder with its brother ball could be used to provide quite a few servings of venison and the skins could be used to buy more powder and ball.



 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 7575
tenngun
05-16-18 05:15 PM - Post#1684996    

    In response to Artificer

Looking up wages in the British navy I saw that a petty officers made about £20-£27 per year, on avarage about 1.5s per day+ three square meals, beer and rum per day. Meals came with a pound of meat or cheese per day. Some captains kept the slop chest full and didn’t charge the men. Some would let the men be in rags unless they paid them selfs. I wonder who had the best crews
Even poor house records show meat as an issue to the improvised two or three times per week.

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17487
Stumpkiller
05-16-18 09:14 PM - Post#1685013    

    In response to Zonie

  • Zonie Said:
I think ideally, if Spence10 or someone could find an ad in a newspaper from the 18th century that lists the price of bread or flour and elsewhere in the paper lists the price of gunpowder or lead we could figure out what the going price was in modern days.

Like say a loaf of bread could be bought for 1/10 of the price for a pound of powder back then, we could see that today a price of a loaf of bread costs $2.00, then a pound of powder would cost $20.

Yah. I know. Finding those colonial newspaper ads would be virtually impossible but I can hope.



When I was a practicing economist we used a loaf of bread, a pair of shoes and a man's suit as a cost equivalent to judge inflation or gauge buying power of a currency.

But I got better.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17487
Stumpkiller
05-16-18 09:26 PM - Post#1685016    

    In response to Stumpkiller

  • Quote:
From the New York Times of 10th August 1861

"In the Revolution the price of gunpowder was as high as $25 per keg, or $1 per pound. At the present time it can probably be bought by the Government at from $4 to $5 per keg, each keg weighing 25 pounds."



That's what I found.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
tac 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2852
05-17-18 03:26 AM - Post#1685023    

    In response to Gene L

Yup, go to Fort Clatsop and you can see a replication of one of the L&C powder containers. A great piece of pure Yankee thinking right there.

I recall that they had miniatures to go on a latch-key fob, but being a tightwad, I forewent the deal.

tac

 
tac 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2852
05-17-18 03:38 AM - Post#1685025    

    In response to Gene L

Correct.

And for interest' sake -

£sd (pronounced ell-ess-dee and occasionally written Lsd) is the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies once common throughout Europe, especially in the British Isles and hence in several countries of the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth. The abbreviation originates from the Latin currency denominations librae, solidi, and denarii. In the United Kingdom, which was one of the last to abandon the system, these were referred to as pounds, shillings, and pence (pence being the plural of penny).

This system originated in the classical Roman Empire. It was re-introduced into Western Europe by Charlemagne, and was the standard for many centuries across the continent. In Britain, it was King Offa of Mercia who adopted the Frankish silver standard of librae, solidi and denarii in the late 8th century,and the system was used in much of the British Commonwealth until the 1960s and 1970s, with Nigeria being the last to abandon it with the introduction of the naira on 1 January 1973.

Under this system, there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. The penny was subdivided into 4 farthings until 31 December 1960, when they ceased to be legal tender in the UK, and until 31 July 1969 there were also halfpennies ("ha'pennies") in circulation. The advantage of such a system was its use in mental arithmetic, as it afforded many factors and hence fractions of a pound such as tenths, eighths, sixths and even sevenths and ninths if the guinea (worth 21 shillings) was used. When dealing with items in dozens, multiplication and division are straightforward; for example, if a dozen eggs cost four shillings, then each egg was priced at fourpence.

As countries of the British Empire became independent, some abandoned the £sd system quickly, while others retained it almost as long as the UK itself. Australia, for example, only changed to using a decimal currency on 14 February 1966. Still others, notably Ireland, decimalised only when the UK did. The UK abandoned the old penny on Decimal Day, 15 February 1971, when one pound sterling became divided into 100 new pence. This was a change from the system used in the earlier wave of decimalisations, in Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa, in which the pound was divided into two of a new major currency called the "dollar" or "rand". The British shilling was replaced by a 5 new pence coin worth one-twentieth of a pound.

For much of the 20th century, £sd was the monetary system of most of the Commonwealth countries, the major exceptions being Canada and India.

tac

 
will5a1 
45 Cal.
Posts: 524
05-17-18 06:13 AM - Post#1685030    

    In response to tac

Thanks Tac, that was helpful, especially defining guinea.

 
Gene L 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1368
05-17-18 09:48 AM - Post#1685053    

    In response to will5a1

As for guineas, there was a class thing going on. You paid your landlord in pounds, your tailor in guineas.

Back to the 12-system. Because consumers were getting ripped off on a dozen bread sales, Edward 1 made it a whipping offense for a baker to short count a consumer. Hence, the baker's dozen became born.

 
Cruzatte 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1074
Cruzatte
05-17-18 03:27 PM - Post#1685092    

    In response to Gene L

  • Gene L Said:
As for guineas, there was a class thing going on. You paid your landlord in pounds, your tailor in guineas.



And I think you paid the maker of your fowling piece in guineas, as well.

 
Gene L 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1368
05-17-18 04:21 PM - Post#1685101    

    In response to Cruzatte

Yes, and for horses and things like that. A "gentleman's" way of paying. I think guineas were demoted in the 70s to a Lb, or 20 shillings, but still referred to as guineas. This might be wrong; I'm pulling it from watching "Poirot" on TV.

 
tac 
62 Cal.
Posts: 2852
05-18-18 03:44 AM - Post#1685169    

    In response to Gene L

Since British currency was decimalised on 15th February 1971, the Guinea has no longer been accepted as legal tender. The term is still used in certain circles such as horse racing to describe values equivalent to one pound and one shilling, or £1.05 in modern currency. As it is no longer classed as legal tender, the Guinea differs from other British bullion coins such as Britannias and Sovereigns in that it is not exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

Until recently, many upper-crust London lawyers specified their per diem fees in guineas.

tac

 
19 16 6 
40 Cal.
Posts: 386
05-18-18 06:53 AM - Post#1685173    

    In response to tac

We in Australia now have the guinea thing going on with the dollar.
What should be costing a dollar now costs $1.10 because of GST, ten percent goods & services tax.
O.

 
Brian the Brit 
36 Cal.
Posts: 66
05-18-18 02:43 PM - Post#1685250    

    In response to 19 16 6

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Fort Nelson, one of a string of fortresses built on Portsdown Hill, the high ground overlooking the naval base of Portsmouth on the south coast of England. The fort has been restored and now houses part of the Royal Armouries' collection of artillery through the ages.

These forts built in the 1860s were designed not to concentrate fire onto attacking warships in the harbour below as I had thought, but to guard against a landward invasion by the tricky French who, it was thought, would land down the coast, take the high ground and then lob shells into the naval dockyards below. As they never fired a shot in anger and because to the public their guns were 'pointing the wrong way', these forts have since become known as 'Palmerston's Follies.'

On the tour the young woman guide took us into one of the powder stores and pointed out a stack of powder barrels each of which was marked '100lbs'. When I told her that at the present day price that I have to pay for the cheapest black powder, each full barrel would have cost in the region of £2,000 ($2,700) she was shocked.

No wonder live firings at the fort are few and far between.

 
Raedwald 
40 Cal.
Posts: 226
Raedwald
05-20-18 02:48 AM - Post#1685491    

    In response to tac

It was all quite straight forward.

There were 1,008 farthings to the guinea or 4 crowns to the pound or 10 florins to the pound.

So if I give you one pound and a crown what change will I get if you price the widget you are selling at one guinea, three groats and one penny, three farthings?

What could be simpler?

 
Sunkmanitu Tanka 
45 Cal.
Posts: 589
Sunkmanitu Tanka
05-20-18 05:23 AM - Post#1685493    

    In response to Raedwald

Now you done it ... I got a headache ...

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6908
05-20-18 06:40 AM - Post#1685497    

    In response to Raedwald

I understand that, what's the problem?

"For as what is conceived, is conceived by conception, and what is conceived by conception, as it is conceived, so is in conception; so what is understood is understood by understanding, and what is understood by understanding, as it is understood, so is in the understanding. What can be more clear than this?" St. Anselm, 1033 -1109

Spence

 
Sunkmanitu Tanka 
45 Cal.
Posts: 589
Sunkmanitu Tanka
05-20-18 03:18 PM - Post#1685538    

    In response to Spence10

Ooooh ... and now I have a migraine ... maybe it's because I do not understand the concept???



 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 7575
tenngun
05-20-18 04:39 PM - Post#1685545    

    In response to Raedwald

Who would pay more then a pound and penny for a widget in fact I can get you all the widgets you want 19s 8d

 
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