Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Century of Inflation

Below is a copy of a postcard mailed in the US back in 1909 -- notice that the cost to mail a postcard that year was a penny. Today, the US postage rate for postcards is 30 cents. Said another way, the price of a US postcard stamp in 1909 was 97% less than today.

Said still another way, the US dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power during the past century (at least when it comes to mailing postcards). Assuming that inflation remains on that same trajectory in the coming century, the cost of a postcard stamp in the year 2109 will be $9.00, up from $0.30 today.

PS: The reverse side of the above postcard appears below.

PPS: Wallace, Idaho has not changed much over the years -- you can visit their website by following the link below.

Historic Wallace, Idaho


Anonymous said...

A hundred years ago, a stamp for a postcard was a cent. And now that the cost of a stamp is .30 cents, how many people actually send postcards? And how many send emails? Or actual photos from their iPhone?

One hundred years before the 1909 cost of a stamp was a penny, did pots cards even exist? If so, how many people even sent postcards?



Dr William J McKibbin said...

Hi Lori, true, not everyone sends postcards these days -- another way to look at inflation is to consider the cost of having a Coca-Cola -- more at:

Thanks for your comments...

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