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What Would $50 Buy You in 1947? Today’s Dollars Will Tell You


apps for teachersOver the weekend, I revisited Jack Kerouac’s novel, On the Road. I’ve read the book several times, but something nagged at me this time.

In several passages, the author mentions money—a pack of cigarettes costs X amount; a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie cost X amount; Sal earns X amount for picking 50 pounds of cotton and so on.

As a contemporary reader, I had had no good way of knowing what this money amounted to in 1947, the year in which much of the novel takes place.

If you’ve ever wanted to convert “old” money into contemporary figures, stop by Today’s Dollars. Just type in the amount of money you want to convert, the year, and out pops the amount in “today’s dollars.”

The results are all based on the Consumer Price Index average for each year compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today’s Dollars is useful for book nerds, but it might also come in handy for history and social studies teachers.

todays dollars

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