You Won’t Believe the Price of Heating Oil in the 1950s That I Found in My Grandmother’s Notebook
With rising inflation in the country, the cost of living just seems to be going up and up and up. The price of heating oil is just one of the many things that has risen in price making winters in New England a difficult one to get through for those who have tight budgets.
I came across a box of things that were packed from my mother's apartment in Norway, Maine when we were cleaning it out after she died. They contained many things that were my grandmother's after my mom packed away her mom's stuff after she died. It all comes full circle, doesn't it?
One of those things I found in that box was very interesting. It's a small notepad that my grandmother would write down what she paid for oil deliveries each month starting in 1950 when my mother was just 3 years old.
Each delivery was between 75 and 92 gallons of heating oil which cost between $11.48 and $14.87 per fill. Crazy huh?
What's even crazier is that the total cost of heating oil for the year was $123.42 in 1950 and @121.79 in 1951. It must have been nice to have that kind of stability in heating oil costs.
Stability aside, this all seems like they had it great in the 1950s, but that's hardly the case. The Great Depression ended in 1941 during World War II after 12 years. The nation was still on the road to recovery. My grandparents didn't use banks and instead had a safe where they stored cash and valuables because they didn't trust the banks.
When you adjust that $123.42 in 1950 for inflation, you get a different picture. Today that price would be equal to $1,497.64. So, in reality, nothing has really changed, but it's still cool to see the prices back then.
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