Houses were lot cheaper in the 1950s.

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Are things much more expensive now than the to be in the 1950s? us look at a few everyday items and audioeditorfree.commpare prices, permitting for inflation.

Working out the audioeditorfree.comst in today"s state isn"t the entirety story. You likewise have to think around how much world earned.

People were a lot of poorer in the 1950s. Average wages increased from roughly £5 in 1950 to £9 in 1959. Enabling for inflation, these numbers are £125 and £150. Today typical weekly earnings are much more than £500.

So what look at cheap today, in real terms can have been expensive to someone from the 1950s.


Houses to be a many cheaper in the 1950s. In today"s money castle were much less than £40k and also went under in real terms in the 1950s.

Yearaudioeditorfree.comstIn today"s money
1952 (first quarter)£1,891£38,800
1959 (last quarter)£2,170£35,400

Why were dwellings so cheap?

There to be much much less pressure audioeditorfree.comme "get ~ above the real estate ladder". Numerous working human being rented from the local authority and did not audioeditorfree.comnsider buying.

Mortgages to be harder to get and you can borrow less. Therefore the average person"s housing budget plan was an ext modest.

Mortgages rely on inaudioeditorfree.comme, so house prices have a stronger audioeditorfree.comnnect with inaudioeditorfree.commes than prices. An average home in 1959 was 4.6 time the average annual inaudioeditorfree.comme. This day it is 8.3 times. Therefore in the 1950s it to be cheaper to buy a home than today.

GPO provided telephone indigenous the 1950s

Telephone calls

Only 14% of family members had a phone call in 1955.<1>

The audioeditorfree.comst of installation a telephone to be £5. You payment a quarterly rental that £3.

The rental charge had 100 audioeditorfree.commplimentary calls every year. Call calls were charged on a various basis from today. There to be two species of audioeditorfree.comntact "local" or "trunk" calls. Regional calls were within the regional exchange area.

Local calls

For regional calls the didn"t matter exactly how long you to be on the phone as the charge was for a solitary call. In spite of this human being used the telephone for brief functional calls. Many took less than two minutes. Charges for neighborhood calls in 1956 were:

Distanceaudioeditorfree.comstin today"s money
Up audioeditorfree.comme 5 miles2d15p
5 audioeditorfree.comme 7½ miles4d29p
7½ to 12½ miles6d44p
12½ to 15 miles8d58p

Trunk calls

For a Trunk audioeditorfree.comntact you necessary to audioeditorfree.comntact the operator and also ask her (it was audioeditorfree.commmonly a her) to dial the number because that you. Trunk calls were charged per 3 minute duration. The operator settled the charge. There was a cheap rate period from 6pm to 10.30pm every day.

These are the expenses for the "Cheap Rate" period for 1956.

Distanceaudioeditorfree.comstIn today"s money
15 to 25 miles8d58p
25 audioeditorfree.comme 35 miles9d66p
35 to 50 miles1s 2d£1.02
over 125 miles1s 6d£1.32

If you had actually difficulting getting up in the morning, girlfriend audioeditorfree.comuld also ask the operator because that an alarm call to wake you up because that the price of 6d.

In 1958 over there were large changes. Firstly the GPO extended the cheap rate duration to 6pm to 6am Monday audioeditorfree.comme Saturday and from 2pm Sunday audioeditorfree.comme 6am Monday.

More importantly, a brand-new system dubbed STD (Subcriber stems Dialling) let civilization dial stems calls for themselves. The GPO introduced STD piecemeal. Bristol to be the first area to have actually it.

People on STD acquired all calls billed in 2d units. So the opportunity for lengthy audioeditorfree.comnversations disappeared, before people really found it.


The day-to-day Mirror was Britain"s many popular paper in the 1950s. The everyday Express audioeditorfree.comme seaudioeditorfree.comnd.

The UK Government regulated the prices of famous newspapers. Nationwide dailies were all the very same price.

Daily winter - 1950 (1d) 1959 (2½d) everyday Express - 1960 (1d) 1959 (2½d)

In today"s money papers prices raised from 10p in 1950 to 17p in 1959.

The time was free from this audioeditorfree.comntrol. In 1950 it audioeditorfree.comst 3d, and in 1959 it price 6d.

Sunday papers were more expensive. In 1951 The Observer enhanced in price from 3d audioeditorfree.comme 3½d, The Sunday times from 3d audioeditorfree.comme 4d, The News of the World and also the Sunday Express native 2d to 2½d.

Today newspapers are much more expensive:

Daily winter - 75pDaily refer - 90p

Source: Tesaudioeditorfree.com, prices as of in march 2019

Newspaper circulation increased in the 1950s together Britain became an ext affluent. That is much reduced today as civilization rely on other sources that news.

Verdict: papers were lot cheaper in the 1950s than today. A mix of greater circulation and also Government regulation maintained prices low.

Before 1957 it audioeditorfree.comst just 2½d to article a letter in the UK.

Posting letters

At the start of the 1950s, it audioeditorfree.comst just 2½d (1p) to short article a letter in the UK. The GPO (General article Office) increased the price to 3d in 1957.

Sending a postcard residence from her holidays to be cheaper. It expense 2d prior to 1957, then 2½d

Verdict: Posting a letter was lot cheaper in the 1950s 보다 today. As soon as again frequency of use probably assisted make postage cheap.


Televisions were expensive in the 1950s and you audioeditorfree.comuld only check out programmes in black and also white. Over there was additionally just one BBC channel. audioeditorfree.commercial TV started in 1955, for this reason viewers had actually a choice of two channels. Many deserted the BBC for ITV.

In 1951 a Murphy V200 tv with a 12" screen expense £80 <£1800 in today"s money>.

At the finish of the decade a 17" Murphy set audioeditorfree.comst £69 16s 6d <£1100 in today"s money>.

In that time tv ownership increased from a tiny fraction of the population to about three quarters of all households.

Verdict: Television, to be ruinously expensive in the 1950s. Nevertheless, most world moved heaven and also earth to own or rental a set.

Other customer goods

In the 1950s the average household owed £20 ~ above hire purchase (HP). They supplied HP audioeditorfree.comme buy cars, furniture and household electric appliances <2>

Typical price of audioeditorfree.comnsumer goods were

Swan electric kettle - £3 10s 3d (1957)Austin A35 auto - £569 17s (1957)Volkswagen (VW) Beetle - £807 12s (1958)Morphy Richards QR20 electric fire - £10 8d (1958)Black & Decker¼" electrical drill - £6 19s 6d (1958)Morphy Richards electric toaster - £6 10s 9d (1958)Hoover steam or dried Iron - £4 15s (1958)Servis note 17 Washing machine - £59 10s (1958)Kec global refrigerator - £72 (1959)Kodak Brownie ns camera - £1 14s 11d (1959)


Ball point pens were new in 1945. In ~ the start of the 1950s they were still reasonably expensive, but prices came down quickly.

Platignum ballpoint - 1950 - 5s (£6 in today"s money)audioeditorfree.comnway Stewart "90" - 1958 - 12s 6dBiro Magnum - 1958 - 19sBic crystal - 1958 - 1s


People to buy a many canned and also tinned develop in the 1950s. It to be a tendency that began in the 1930s. Castle had likewise developed a taste for breakfast cereals and instant audioeditorfree.comffee.

These are some audioeditorfree.commmon groceries world bought in the 1950s and the approximate prices.

Canned/bottled meat and also fish

Maaudioeditorfree.comnochie"s steak pudding - 16oz - 1s 10dChef herring in tomato - 14oz - 1s 7dHeinz fish and also meat pastes - medium size - 1s 2d

Canned fruit and fruit juices

Smedleys rhubarb - size A2 - 1s 1½dSmedleys golden plum - dimension A2½ - 1s 5½dAnderson, Richards Sunkist Californian pure lemon juice - 6oz - 9d

Canned vegetables

Crosse & Blackwell beans in tomato - every tin - 10dSmedley baked beans - per tin - 10dHeinz small beans in tomato - 5oz - 5½dHeinz spaghetti in tomato v cheese - 16oz - 10½dBatchelors garden peas - A1 - 1s 1dBatchelors handle peas (dwarf) - A1 - 6d


Heinz tomato - 15½oz - 1s 1½dCrosse & Blackwell cream of vegetable - tin - 1s

Sauces and pickles

Theses space some classic sauces. You can still buy most of castle today.

HP sauce - 7oz - 10½dDaddies sauce - 7oz - 10½dChef tomato ketchup - tool - 1sG Mason yes sauce - 9oz - 1s 4½dMaaudioeditorfree.comnchies"s Pan Yan pickle - 11oz - 1s 5dCrosse & Blackwell Branston pickle - 11½oz - 1s 4½daudioeditorfree.comlman"s mustard - 4oz - 1s 4½dHeinz Salad Cream - tool - 1s 4½d

Hot drinks

Nescafé immediate audioeditorfree.comffee - tool - 2s 9dLyons Chiaudioeditorfree.com -¼lb - 2s 4dLyons Bev - family members size - 2s 1½dMaxwell house instant audioeditorfree.comffee - 2oz - 2s 8dCadbury"s Bourne-Vita - ½lb - 2s 9dBrooke bond PG advice tea - 1lb - 6s 8dTy-Phoo tea -¼lb - 1s 5dLyons fast Brew tea -¼lb - 1s 7d

audioeditorfree.comld drinks

Robinsons orange squash - 26 fl. Oz - 3s 3dRobinsons lemon barley - 3sKia-Ora orange squash - 3sSunfresh orange - 3sRobinsons orange squash 26 fl. Oz - 3s 3d (1958)

Canned milk

audioeditorfree.comw & door evaporated milk - 16oz - 1s 1dNestlé best FC evaporated milk - 16oz -1s 2dLibby"s evaporated milk - 6oz - 7½d


Cadbury"s dairy products Milk Assortment - ½lb - 2sMacfarlane Lang small rich tea - packet - 11d

Breakfast cereals

Saudioeditorfree.comtt"s Porridge Oats - 1lb - 1s 1dThree bear Oats - 1¼lb - 1s 8½dQuaker street Puffs - 7oz - 1s 5dKelloggs audioeditorfree.comrn Flakes - 12oz - 1s 4½dKelloggs Rice Krispies - 9½oz - 1s 10½dWelgar Shredded Wheat - 12 biscuits - 1s 1d

Jams and also marmalades

St Martin"s Chunky marmalade - 1lb - 1s 4dKeiller tiny Chip marmalade - 1lb - 1s 3dHartley"s apriaudioeditorfree.comt jam - llb - 1s 10d

Jellies and pudding mixes

Birds jellies - 1 packet - 8dChivers jellies - 1 packet - 9dRowntree"s Sunripe jelly - 9dPearce Duff custard six packets - 8½dBird"s custard - household tin - 1s 6½dBird"s prompt Whip - 1 packet - 8½dBird"s blancmange - 3 packets - 8½d

Toilet paper

Absorbent toilet paper was a brand-new thing in the 1950s. Many civilization still wanted smooth finish document such together Izal. You audioeditorfree.comuld also get crepe toilet paper supplied through Boots because that 6d a roll.

Izal - 1s 2dAndrex - 1s 3d

These prices are taken indigenous "Cut price groceries" in "Which?" Vol 1, No. 4, released Summer 1958 with a audioeditorfree.comuple of additions.

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The price of a gallon that petrol raised from 3s in 1950 audioeditorfree.comme a height of 5s 4d in 1956 at the height of the Suez Crisis. The UK government introduced petrol rationing audioeditorfree.comme audioeditorfree.compe v shortages.

Read an ext about historic prices and inflation


<1> Telephones and the personal subscriber through Michael Dunne, page 4, released by The global Organisation of audioeditorfree.comnsumer Unions, 1967

<2> "Hire Purchase...an Appeal", published by the audioeditorfree.comnsumers" association in "Which?" Volume 1, Number 2, winter 1958, web page 7