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stevierose
08-08-2018, 18:55
I live within a mile of the University of Michigan Art, Architecture, and Engineering library. They have a pretty nice collection of older photography related books and magazines. Tonight I was paging through a Popular Photography magazine volume for July-December of 1955. The ads are very interesting in terms of which cameras were for sale and their prices. A Leica M3 (newly available at the time) with a 50mm f2 Summicron lens was $447 1955 dollars=$4,202 2018 dollars based on an online inflation calculator. An Ansco Super Speedex camera (US version of the Agfa Super Isolette) was $119=$1,118 2018 dollars. For some perspective, the median household income in the US in 1955 was $5,000. An average new house was around $10,000. Average new car price was around $4,000.

raid
08-08-2018, 18:59
1955 was a very good year. A fine year indeed.
Bill Gates was born in 1955. So was I !

stevierose
08-08-2018, 20:19
Well, I was a grand old man of 3 in 1955!


1955 was a very good year. A fine year indeed.
Bill Gates was born in 1955. So was I !

zuiko85
08-08-2018, 20:23
Adverage new car in 1955 $4K? Sounds a bit high. My parents first new car was a 59 Ford Fairlane and I think it was about $3K. But it sounds like Leica’s increased faster than inflation

Spavinaw
08-08-2018, 22:38
Oh you kids. I graduated from high school in 1054.

Spavinaw
08-08-2018, 22:40
Typo--1954.

pyeh
08-08-2018, 23:15
Spavinaw, "1054" must surely be a Freudian slip. "1054 and All That".

Bike Tourist
08-09-2018, 04:00
4K would have bought a pretty nice car in 1955. In 1957 I bought a new Plymouth convertible for $3200. (Tail fins and transmission push-buttons in the steering wheel at no extra cost.)

Roger Hicks
08-09-2018, 06:13
Numbers like this are always interesting: thanks. On the other hand, inflation calculators vary quite a bit in accuracy, not least because some things are a LOT cheaper and others are a LOT more expensive. Add in regional and international variations and inflation rates and things get really interesting. In about 1966 the pound was devalued from $2.80 to $2.40 and is currently standing at $1.29 or so: NOT a credit to British politicians or businessmen.

Cheers,

R.

stevierose
08-09-2018, 06:48
What struck me about it is that an M3 and lens cost close to the median American household income of the time. The average yearly wages was listed elsewhere as closer to $4000. Not that a person with average wages has ever been able to buy a new Leica, but still it would have been a years wages.

ptpdprinter
08-09-2018, 07:00
What struck me about it is that an M3 and lens cost close to the median American household income of the time. The average yearly wages was listed elsewhere as closer to $4000. Not that a person with average wages has ever been able to buy a new Leica, but still it would have been a years wages.
Per the OP, the 1955 price of an M3 with a 50mm Summicron was $447, so more like a months wages.

Ronald M
08-09-2018, 09:30
Adverage new car in 1955 $4K? Sounds a bit high. My parents first new car was a 59 Ford Fairlane and I think it was about $3K. But it sounds like Leica’s increased faster than inflation

My `59 Ford new was $2000. Bottom of line Custom tudoor model with 6 cyl engine and manual transmission. Decent family car with V8, auto, was more money. How much I do not know. I was a high school senior and could barely afford the $2000.

Mine had optional oil filter, radio. I added driver side outside mirror and back up lights.

stevierose
08-09-2018, 15:24
Yes, you are correct about that. I think I was pretty tired when I wrote that!


Per the OP, the 1955 price of an M3 with a 50mm Summicron was $447, so more like a months wages.