The Cost of Living is Jumping Down in Almonte





Photo from Brian Bowrin Collection


The Cost of Living is Jumping Down 45% in Almonte- Almonte Gazette--1921 May 20

Author’s Note-In 1920-1921, there was a fall in the prices of food and groceries in all the capital cities of North America

In Almonte there has been a decided drop In the prices of most staple articles from war time costs and a far greater drop than many seem to realize. For the benefit of its readers the Gazette has secured a list of the watime prices of a number of articles and the prices which prevail today. These show that there has been a drop of about 45 per cent.

Potatoes show the brggest reduction and this is by general consent one of the most important items. The cost has been lowered from $5 per bushel to 60 cents. The consumer was harder hit with potatoes than with any other article, and even as late as last year the price rose to $7.50 per bag or $5 per bushel.



Photo from the Almonte Gazette/The Millstone of J. G Hayes from Almonte


Breakfast bacon, an immense amount of which is consumed, was 70 cents per pound; today it was 50 cents, smoked roll bacon was 45 cents; now it is 32 cents. Short cut salted pork was 35 cents; It can now be got for 24 cents. Another most important reduction price is seen In flour. Whereas it was $16 per barrel it is now $10.50.

Sugar has dropped from 26 cents per pound to 12 cents, bread from 13 to 10 cents per loaf, eggs from 70 cents to 23 cents, and rice from 20 cents to 8 1-4 cents. There is no reference to fresh meats as apparently these is very little change in these prices in Almonte. It is the same with milk. Nor did the Gazette make any effort to compare the costs of canned foods of which there is a very great variety. Dry goods generally are reported to the Gazette as being down 25 per cent, and ready made clothing is also down 25 per cent. From the above figures it would appear that our farmers have been hit hard, by the reduction in prices.



American Prices at that time

Cost of groceries in the 20’s
Bacon 1 lb. 52¢ 1920
Bacon 1 lb. 47¢ 1925
Beef Rib Roast1 lb 39¢ 1926 New York
Bread 1 lb. 12¢ 1920
Bread 1 lb. 1925
Bread 1 lb. 10¢ 1925 New York
Bread 1 lb. 10¢ 1929 Chicago
Butter 1 lb. 70¢ 1920
Butter 1 lb. 55¢ 1925
Butter 1 lb. 56¢ 1929 Chicago
Butter 1 lb. 57¢ 1925 Los Angeles
Cabbage 1 lb. 1920 WI
Carmel Wafers (1lb.) 36¢ 1924 WI
Cheese I lb. 38¢ 1926 New York
Chicken 1 lb. 39¢ 1925 New York
Chicken lb. 42¢ 1929 New York
Codfish 1 lb. 29¢ 1924 WI
Coffee 1 lb. 47¢ 1920
Coffee 1 lb. 52¢ 1925 Washington
Coffee 1 lb. 50¢ 1925
Coffee 1 lb. 45¢ 1929 New York


Chiffon Cake

1 1/8 cups sifted cake flour, plus 2 tbsp.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup salad oil
3/8 cup water (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla and lemon extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4)

Mix and sift first four ingredients. Make a well and add oil, water, egg yolks and flavorings. Beat until smooth. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until egg whites form very stiff peaks. Gently fold first mixture into egg whites until well blended. Fold, do not stir. Turn batter into ungreased 9-inch tube pan. Bake in moderate oven (325˚ F) about 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched lightly with finger. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube pan over neck of bottle. Let hang until cold. To remove from pan, loosen with spatula.

Strawberry Icing: To 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar add 1/8 tsp. salt and 3 1/2 tbsp. juice from crushed berries. Mix until smooth. Spread over the top and sides of cake. 

Orange Icing: Substitute orange juice for berry juice in above recipe. Add 1 tsp. grated orange rind.


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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