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A blog of Nineteenth Century history, focusing, but not exclusively, on the American Civil War seen through the prism of personal accounts, newspaper stories, administrative records and global history.
A thousand tales. A miscellany. A maze of historical tangents.

A Capitol View

A Capitol View
Images of 1861 juxtaposed- Union Square, New York vs. Capitol Square, Richmond

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Cost of Doing Business

"On mature reflection it can scarcely be considered extravagant to say that the average cost of operations this year are ten fold what they were before the war when as appears by the annexed table taken from the Report of the General Superintendent that the prices of many leading articles of expense have increased since the year 1860 from thirty to fifty fold and when it appears by the vouchers of the Company that the cost of a single barrel of oil this year exceeds by upwards of $600 the whole cost of Oil Tallow Lard and Grease for the year 1862 .

COMPARISON OF PRICES                 1860               1864
Clothing and Subsistence of a negro     $60.00            1,870.00
Iron castings and wrought iron                   .04             1.00
Brass ditto                                              .34             4.60
Car wheels each                                   15.00           500.00
Oil and tallow per gallon                            .90             50.00
Coal for shops per bushel                          .12              2.60
Lumber per 1000 feet                             12.50          100.00
Shovels per dozen                                  10.00          300.00 t

In 1862
oil used                    1,227 gallons
do tallow used          1,984 pounds
do lard used             4.586 pounds
do grease used         7,488 pounds

Cost of a bbl of oil 42 gallons at present price $100 per gal $4,260 00
 Cost of barrel 10.00
4,200 00
Cost of oil tallow lard and grease used during the year 1862   3,054.48

-Annual Report ...Virginia Central Railroad Company
Publisher    H.K. Ellyson, 1864

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