New chevrolet for sale $659.00 —- what a dream

Can you imagine buying a new Chevrolet car for $659? You could in 1940. Of course, that was still quite a bit of money at the time when you consider minimum wage was only 30 cents per hour.

From Life Magazine December 11, 1939


Here are some other typical prices for common items.

Milk: 34 cents/gal
Eggs: About 45 cents a dozen and $1 for 26 eggs.
Bread: 8 cents/loaf
Postage Stamp: 3 cents
Car: $800
Gasoline: 18 cents/gal
Move Ticket~24 cents
House: $6,550
Average Annual Salary: $1,900
Minimum Wage: 30 cents per hour

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

Compare them to 2012 prices

Gallon of Milk~ $3.53 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
Dozen Eggs~ $2.68 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
Loaf of bread~ $1.95 (American Farm Bureau Federation)
U.S. Postage Stamp~ 45 cents
New Car Price~ $30,748 (
Gallon of Gas~ $3.38 (US Dept. of Energy)
Movie Ticket~ $7.93 (NY Times)
Price of new house~ $234,500 (
Average Annual Salary~$63,091 per year. (according to
Minimum wage: $8.00 – $9.00 (each state is different)

Using beautiful women to advertise new cars was just as common in 1939 as it is today.

Check out all books by Donna R. Causey

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She cohost the Podcast: Alabama Grist Mill and developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and

All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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