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Newspaper Page Text
JUST ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO HOW OUR
ANCESTORS DRESSED, TRAVELED
The short waist was iusr p-ninp nut nf
Su fashion in 1812; skirts were almost as
skimpy as today s. 1 he ultra fashion
able wore them of very soft, sheer,
clinging material. These gowns were
the subject of many a satire, a historian
Fur muffs of a size even as they are
now were liked so well- that many
women carried them in summer. Pictures
of women in muslin dresses, straw hats
and fur muffs are preserved to us.
The stylish man wore tightly fitting
trousers and went in for considerable
color, vieing with the rainbow in that re
spect. Sideburns pointed toward an ap
proaching bearded age.
When he traveled he rode on top of a
. coach. There were no "railroads for din
ing cars to run over, hence the traveler
alighted at taverns along the highway for his food.
Boats plied between New York and Philadelphia upon which!
passengers "ran down" to either city in 96 hours; railway trains
now make it in two hours. Freight "rates were high ; bad roads and
high tolls made the average rate of transportation the country over
cost $10 per ton per 100 miles.
To haul a ton of freight from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, an all
land route, cost $125 ; to move a bushel of salt 300 miles on any road
cost $2.50; $5.00 to move 100 pounds of sugar the same distance.
It cost $1.00 to get a bushel of 50-cent wheat from Ohio to New
York. Canvas covered wagons, drawn by oxen and horses, did the
The cost of freight, together with the war in Europe, -which cut
off most of the American commerce, sent prices to such a height
that poor people lived on the verge of starvation. In Boston, flour
cost $17 a "barrel; salt, $3 a bushel; coffee, 65 cents a pound; sugar,
50c a pound; molasses, $2 a gallon; tea, $4 a pound. Everybody
who had any spare change bought up all the foodstuffs he could and
stored it, awaiting still higher prices. A paper of pins cost $1.
The average New England laborer got $7 a month and board
during the winter, $10 in summer. Along the great lakes wages rose