Museum Exhibit Musings -- Cost of Christmas Supper 1911

As I promised Vicky in my reply to her comment (27 July post), I will look more into buildings and recreation and get back to you as to what I find.

I did get a chance to look into a few ads to see what things cost in 1906-1913. I haven’t had a chance to compare yet with today’s prices. If you have a sense of what this would cost today, please let me know.

One great advertisement I found was from the Hudson’s Bay in Lethbridge. They were advertising Christmas Hampers in December 1911. They had a wide range of different ones. Some included only alcohol.

Hamper No. 54
Price $3.00
(Weight 30 pounds)
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Niagara Port
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Sherry
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Special Native
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Calawba
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Ginger Wine
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Claret
6 bottles

Hamper No. 55
Price $4.50
(Weight 30 pounds)
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Brandy
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Claret
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay London Dock Port
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Old Rye
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Sherry
1 bottle Hudson’s Bay Scotch
6 bottles

Some were food and assorted items.

Hamper No. 66
Price $7.50
(Approximate weight 45 pounds)
10 lb. Turkey
1 lb. Cranberries
2 lb. Plum Pudding
1 package Mince Meat
1 lb. New Figs
1 can Tomatoes or Corn
1 lb. best Cluster Table Raisins
1 lb. New Season’s Mixed Nuts
1 box Somebody’s Luggage
1 lb. Finest Mocha and Java Coffee
1 lb. Finest Quality Chocolates
1 lb. Huntley & Palmer’s Fancy Mixed Biscuits
1 3 lb. can Bowlby’s Pears
1 bottle C & B Mixed Pickles
Fancy 3 lb. Tin Tetley’s Tea

They will ship to any address. Please prepay if being given as a gift. And each hampers is nicely packed in a painted box with hinged lid and fastener. The most expensive hamper was $15.00 and that was for 12 bottles of assorted alcohol. For $13.25 you could get a turkey, assorted food and 5 bottles of alcohol.

How to use this sort of information in the exhibit? Just for fun? To show how some people lived (and compare with the lives of the poor)? Still working on those questions.