Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices

Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices title=
Image: Santa Barbara Morning Press, November 25, 1920
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By Betsy J. Green

Here's what $1.25 would get you 100 years ago in Santa Barbara: relishes, celery, ripe olives, turkey gumbo soup, shrimp salad, roast turkey with celery dressing, cranberry sauce, hot mince pie, plum pudding with hard sauce, and your choice of coffee, milk, and/or tea.

The Splendid Cafe was a new restaurant back in 1920. The cafe was only here during the 1920s. Its location at 623 State Street is now a Vans clothing store.

Have a safe Thanksgiving, everyone!


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​.
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Jamespoe Nov 22, 2020 08:07 AM
Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices

An on-line inflation calculator shows that $1.25 is about $17.00 in today's dollars - still not a bad price for a turkey dinner.

Luvaduck Nov 22, 2020 07:14 AM
Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices

This is a good example of what currency devaluation (sugar-coated as inflation) does. It makes any money you have have less buying power--including any due you in the future such as a pension or retirement fund. In order to 'goose up' consumer purchases, our currency has been disconnected with asset of stable value, first gold, then silver. It is now only based by the "good faith" of the government: Translation; it's worth what politicians and Federal Reserve bankers say it's worth. (BTW: the Federal Reserve is a consortium of bankers and not the government.)

Curmudgeon Nov 21, 2020 10:20 AM
Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices

Ahhhh.... those halcyon days! In its scrapbook/archives at San Ysidro Ranch I once saw a small "tent card" dating to the 1930s that sat on the dining room tables and began with the headline, "Maid's Night Off?" "Dine in with us." and it proceeded to show similar prices for full dinner selections from soup to nuts such as Prime Roast Rib of Beef, etc. for $1.50, Rack of Australian Lamb $1.75 and so on. What struck me was the appeal to the well-heeled who couldn't (or wouldn't) forage in the kitchen without their maids. A rough life, indeed!

NostraChumash Nov 21, 2020 10:04 AM
Way Back When: Thanksgiving Prices

When I was a teen, "Walters" was on State st..
And for $1.50, I could get a huge plate of taters & eggs + bottomless coffee, prepared in front of me, ala Benny Hana.

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