Raising watermelons as cash crop.

Watermelon by Karen and Brad Emerson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One source of cash on my grandparent’s farm was raising watermelons, going to town, then selling them for cash. That provided a bit of money for groceries.

Many years ago my dad and his siblings wrote down many of their recollections of growing up on the farm. Hopefully very soon I will republish their remembrances.

Following comments are used with permission.

My Aunt Louise recalled:

Continue reading “Raising watermelons as cash crop.”

More thoughts about life on a farm in 1946

1916: Ranghild Gunderson, Randi Gunderson Venn, Lydia Venn Ulvog, Gilbert Ulvog. Copyright has long since expired. Photo courtesy of Sonia Strand Pooch.

Been thinking more on what life was like on the farm after my grandfather passed away.

Consider the cash expenses again – notice there are no bills for electricity, telephone, water, or sewer. Such things weren’t in place.

I’ll guess seed and other critical farm supplies were purchased on credit from Yankton Production Credit. The payment of $2,104 on 9/1/45 would have cleared the loan balance for the year, and perhaps any carryover balance from prior years.

Speculation on non-cash transactions

A few thoughts come to mind on non-cash transactions outside the probate document.

Continue reading “More thoughts about life on a farm in 1946”

A wild guess on the parts of King Solomon’s wealth that can be quantified – part 4

What would that stack of gold have been worth 1,000 or 3,000 years ago? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s try bringing together the previous guesses (can’t even call them estimates) of the value of those portions of King Solomon’s wealth that are mentioned in scriptures which we can make a feeble attempt to quantify.

An estimate of the value of chariots, horses, 200 large gold shields, 300 small gold shields, and place settings made of gold:

Continue reading “A wild guess on the parts of King Solomon’s wealth that can be quantified – part 4”

Observations of life on a farm in 1946

1895: Rachel Josephine (left) and Lydia Johanna Venn – daughters of Jens & Randi Venn. Copyright has long since expired. Photo courtesy of Sonia Strand Pooch.

Life was hard after my grandfather passed from this vale of tears. Any way you look at the income and expenses it is obvious life was hard. Must have been really difficult for my dear paternal grandmother to raise the four kids still at home.

The narratives from my aunts and uncles make that very obvious and the dollar transactions prove it.

Farm was essentially self-contained

It is amazing how self-contained the farm was.

Continue reading “Observations of life on a farm in 1946”

Guess at value of 1946 estate expressed in 2019 dollars

 

The values assigned to my grandfather’s estate when it was probated are listed here.

My determination of a adjustment factor of 13 to bring 1946 prices forward to today is shown here.

The extended string of assumptions I’ve made shows a rough guess of the estate:

  • 1946-  worth $8,085 gross, with $7,785 after the administratrix fee due to my grandmother.
  • 2019 – worth about $105,000 gross and about $100,000 after the only listed liability.

Detail of the assets are:

Continue reading “Guess at value of 1946 estate expressed in 2019 dollars”

Consumer price index from 1940 through 2019

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For an indicator of the changes in prices from the World War 2 era through today I pulled CPI information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This info will roll into my comments on the probate document for my grandfather’s estate.

It is also useful for general information.

The furthest into the table I can link is here: https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?cu

The data is the CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) from 1940 through 2019 from Series Id: CUUR0000SA0.

Select data:

Continue reading “Consumer price index from 1940 through 2019”

Military pay rates during World War Two compared to 2019

WWII reenactors at 2012 Chino Air Show (plus one participant from the audience). Photo by James Ulvog.

What were the pay rates during World War Two in contrast to pay rates in the U.S. military today? What is the ratio of today’s pay compared to WWII?

The Navy CyberSpace website provides 2019 U.S. Military Basic Pay Charts.

That same web site also helpfully provides 1942-1946 U.S. Military Pay Charts.

Both pay scales list the rate of pay for all officer and enlisted ranks, ranging from starting to over 30 years experience.

Continue reading “Military pay rates during World War Two compared to 2019”

Pay rate for privates in each of America’s wars

Portrait of a squad of uniformed World War 2 American combat soldiers. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Pay for American soldiers during each major war is provided by We Are the Mighty.

Their article, This is how much troops were paid in every major American war, provides the pay for a private in the major wars fought by the U.S. The then-current pay is also adjusted to an equivalent amount of money in 2016. Don’t know how they made the conversion to 2016 dollars. I usually want to look at the conversion rates, but won’t dive deeper for this post.

This info does provide some way of comparing pay rates across time.

Here is the great info they provide:

Continue reading “Pay rate for privates in each of America’s wars”

Economic life on a farm in 1945: family size

Ulvog children, circa 1940. Front row: Carl, Clarice, Gilbert, James. Back row: Olaf, Louise, Alice, Lloyd. Photo provided by Sonia Strand.

This is the seventh in a series of posts exploring the economic life of a 1940s era farm in South Dakota.

My grandmother, Lydia (nee Ven) Ulvog was 52 years old when the probate document for my grandfather’s estate was filed.

Children of Lydia and Daniel were:

Continue reading “Economic life on a farm in 1945: family size”