Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
And what would that be compared to today’s economy?

I was looking at old planes on eBay and saw some Bedrock 605 in pristine condition selling for over $200 or even over $300. It occurred to me that might be a couple of days wages at today’s average pay according to money.usnews.com for a carpenter and I was just wondering if a Carpenter back then would pay that much for a Plane.

When I first started out as an apprentice Carpenter, I believe I paid 4 or maybe 5 days wages for my Old Rockwell Circular Saw in '68, but I was just starting out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
Here is an excerpt from a document on the United Brotherhood of Carpenters web page.

https://www.carpenters.org/todays_ubc_top_nav/History_copy1/1881-1900_copy1.aspx

McGuire recognized the potential effects of a new way of working. His insights and observations about the trade were based on experiences on the job. In January 1881, he wrote a letter to a friend describing his current job, building a self-supporting roof 120 feet in the air in “arctic weather.” Work was hard to come by, and he did not complain: “I keep the job because it will last until summer and is $2.50 per day of nine hours.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Wow that's Incredible and after seeing that, I just remembered that I had an old Sears and Roebuck catalog from the early 40s I think. It would be cool to check that out as well.
Anyway thanks trc65.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Here is an excerpt from a document on the United Brotherhood of Carpenters web page.

https://www.carpenters.org/todays_ubc_top_nav/History_copy1/1881-1900_copy1.aspx

McGuire recognized the potential effects of a new way of working. His insights and observations about the trade were based on experiences on the job. In January 1881, he wrote a letter to a friend describing his current job, building a self-supporting roof 120 feet in the air in “arctic weather.” Work was hard to come by, and he did not complain: “I keep the job because it will last until summer and is $2.50 per day of nine hours.”
So it looks like a No 6 would be a days wages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This is interesting. I used to hear all time my uncles talking about my dad making a lot of money as a Union Carpenter and now I’m curious as to what he actually made. He joined the union around 1948 and everybody talked as if he were a high roller at the time.
I have to look that up
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I just don’t know how you find this stuff. I’ve been searching all this time and haven’t found this. Wow!
Anyway I don’t understand index of hourly wage. It says 594 in 1950, but I have no Idea of what that means.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,874 Posts
I think I used the search term "Bureau of Labor Carpenters Wages 1950" in Google.

If I'm correct (no guarantee of that) the baseline for wages was 1907 and that index is set at 100 or 100%. I think the index of 594 for 1950 means that the wages were 5.94 times the 1907 rate. So if the hourly rate in 1907 was $0.30 per hour then the hourly rate in 1950 was $1.78.

Note: The $0.30 per hour is the rate paid to cabinet makers working for the railroad in 1906-7. Also to paraphrase the Bureau of Labor - these rates are just averages and vary significantly from region to region and also from city to city within region.

I think one thing to look at which tells the story better (about your Dad's Union wages) is the fact that the index for wages was 594 but the consumer price index was only 258. Bottom line is carpenters rate of wage growth was much higher than the increase of prices for consumer goods which means your uncles were right and your Dad was doing pretty well for himself (and his family).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,514 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Tim, I got tired because I just couldn't find anything like you did.

But that makes more sense. I was trying to remember how much I made as an apprentice in ’68. I know it was under $2 per hr and probably around $1.60 or 70, but I was not a union member as an apprentice and actually more like a go-for.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tc65
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top