Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Glimpse of the Past

In clinic yesterday, a patient brought something that I thought was interesting. It was from 1950. I wondered what the world was like in 1950, so I googled a little trivia and found this:
How much things cost in 1950:
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.09%
Average Cost of new house: $8,450.00
Average wages per year: $3,210.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas: 18 cents
Average Cost of a new car: $1,510.00
Stromburg Black and White Television: $249.95
Ball Point Pen: $0.25
Samsonite Case: $25.00
Clock Radio: $59.95
So what did the patient bring? His pediatrician's bill. His mother described him as "the best pediatrician in Evanston" at the time.

Why he had this, I had no idea. Anyway, here's a picture of the bill for an pediatric office visit from 1950 (taken with my iPhone). Sorry about the quality:

Click image to enlarge

No billing service. Cash. It certainly stands in stark contrast to office visits today.



Anonymous said...

It appears that we should be studying the Clock Radio industry as a business model for keeping costs down. You can still get a very good clock radio today for $59.95.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - makes me wonder how much it cost my parents' for a month's stay at Evanston Hospital in 1961, when preemies weren't allowed to go home until they weighed 5 lbs. My mom used to tell me the doctor got fed up after a month and weighed me with a fully-loaded cloth diaper so he could discharge me.