Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we? We seniors have seen a lot of changes in the world since we were born.
In 1941, gas was 19 cents a gallon, which equates to $2.95 in today’s money. Bread was 8 cents ($1.24 today) and milk was 34 cents ($5.29 today). The very next year the production of autos was halted.
A car cost around $800 ($12,000 today) but after we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, rationing went into effect and car owners were limited to five tires. Other things were quickly added to the rationing list: bicycles, stoves, gas, coffee, butter and sugar. Most homes had “Victory” gardens in the yard.
In 1946, rationing finally ended, and the use of the car increased. The first drive-in bank teller opened. We had punchboards instead of lottery tickets, and Slinkys and Tinkertoys, as well as Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. If we had a phone, it was probably on a party line, and we had a number like SYcamore 4-0160 or 0551-J1.
The first computer (ENIAC) was built. It weighed 30 tons and took up 1,800 square feet. The first Roosevelt dime was issued (worth $1.20 today), and only 6,000 families owned television sets.
By 1952, nearly 17 million families owned televisions and we were introduced to TV dinners. We watched the debuts of “Dragnet” and “The Today Show,” and “The African Queen” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the movies. The Roosevelt dime’s buying power went down to 83 cents.
Have you considered creating a memory book for the future generations of your family?
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ gmail.com.
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.