Monday, May 7, 2012

Wartime Cost of Living - The Great War

A page from Oct 1914 House Accounts, Norman Nicholson of Richmond, Quebec.

I have 50 years of Household Accounts for the Nicholson Family of Richmond, 1883 to 1921 and in those years, not that much changed with respect to what they bought and how much they spent.

I'm assuming there was wartime inflation, so I scanned two pages from October 1914 and two from November 1918.

For the story, Diary of a Confirmed Spinster, about Edith Nicholson in 1910,  the follow up toThreshold Girl about Flora, I am using the Household Accounts to tell the story of her childhood.

This morning I had a bowl of Harvest Crunch. I haven't eaten that for years. My husband found it on sale at Costco. That product was one of the first pseudo health foods. I could look it up, but I'm pretty sure I ate it in the late 70's. I think it is pretty fattening. It has coconut oil.. but I don't think that is as bad for you as previously thought. I mean the Thai's live on it.

I usually eat Bon Matin 14 grain toast for breakfast with multi berry jam. 

The short of it is, we still eat 'by habit' but new products are being introduced every day. Not the case back then, although that era saw the birth of a number of iconic products that became favorites over the century, thanks to heavy advertising. As I wrote in an earlier post, Crisco was invented in 1911, but they tried to get Margaret Nicholson to use it in 1916. Likely because butter had risen in price due to the war.

as opposed to: 1918