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Author Topic: Anniversary of Penny Blacks...how much would a penny in 1840 be worth now?  (Read 1003 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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I was wondering if paying a Penny in 1840 for a stamp was a vast amount?

The trouble is my Historic Inflation Calculator only goes back as far as 1901.

Even so, with inflation, a penny in 1901 is worth 46p today...which is not so far off the current cost of a stamp today so it seems we aren't being ripped off by the Post Office.

But sixty years earlier, in 1840?

How much would a penny in 1840 be worth today? Is there any way to find out?


PS Looking at the website called http://www.census-helper.co.uk/victorian-life/
it seems that back in the Victorian era a common labourer would earn about 3s 9d a week (about 18p a week) and those with any particular skill, such as brick-layers, could hope to receive double that.

So that meant a penny stamp cost anywhere from 1% to 2% of a weekly wage.

Today, the average wage is 485...and spending 2% of your weekly wage on a stamp would mean that a stamp should set you back a thumping 9.00 or more.

Which means that, at 63p, a first class stamp today looks like a pretty good bargain!

PPS An average condition Penny Black can be picked up for as little as 15 but, if you are lucky enough to have a rare, mint condition Penny Black, you can expect it to be worth anywhere up to 1,800.
« Last Edit: 01 May, 2015, 09:14:45 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline P-Kasso2

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I just figured this out all by myself!  I think.   According to the new free inflation calculator that I just downloaded, 1 in 1840 would now be worth nearly a hundred quid!  93.60 to be exact.

So, with 240 old pennies in an old pound, that means that to send a letter should cost 93.60 divided by 240, which equals 0.39 of a quid - or 39 pence to you and me.

But, with the ropey second-rate service we have today, it actually now costs us over double that for sending a bog standard letter. Tempus fugit, as the accountants gleefully say in the bowels of the GPO.

http://inflation.stephenmorley.org/
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