The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Through the Years

In our sharply divided country, there is one thing that has almost universal appeal: Thanksgiving.  Even if you can find someone who doesn’t like Thanksgiving (an exhaustive survey of the six people that sit near me in this office suggests no such person exists), it’s unlikely that you will find someone who doesn’t like Thanksgiving dinner.

Then we got to thinking: “Hey, what if instead of Thanksgiving dinner, you spent the equivalent amount of money on something else that was popular at the time?  What would have been the better purchase?*”

*This is not actually true.  Assuming we had the money, we would not consider forgoing thanksgiving dinner for any purchase not required to sustain life.  And even in that circumstance, it’s a toss-up at best. But we really wanted to test out our new graphic designer, so we needed a premise for this infographic.    

Luckily, the American Farm Bureau Federation published some research on the cost of Thanksgiving dinner (“turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, for a family of ten”)  throughout the years.  After many hours of exhaustively combing through old catalogs (this Thanksgiving we are especially thankful for the people who appear to spend vast amounts of time scanning old retail catalogs an uploading them to the internet for indiscernible reasons), this is what we’ve found.

Click for full sized-graphic:

About Michael Kraus

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