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- Baseline CPI 1962 – 15.9
- Today’s CPI (May 2016) – 128.8 (up 0.5 from April)
- 1962 prices in today’s dollar – 1962 price X 8.10
Back in 1962, modern ranges were in basic white. The elements were usually coiled steel burners. And they ranged from $139.95 for a compact 21 inch model to $294.95 for a top of the line 30 inch model. That’s $1133.60 for the small range up to $2389.10 in today’s dollar.
You could also get a mini-range with just two burners for just $69.95 or $566.60 today.
Today we can get kitchen ranges with glass tops. We can get them with stainless steel or black finishing as well as the customary white. And we can get them with self-cleaning ovens. And if you want to get real fancy, you can get induction heating elements. We had one at our last place and it was amazing.
Prices vary. You can get them at department stores like Sears or The Bay, but you can also pick them up at big box specialty stores. Sears has 234 different styles of stoves ranging from $547.91 for a Frigidaire brand basic model in white or black to $8159.99 for a Kitchen Aid brand 36 inch deluxe model with six burners running on both natural gas and electricity. The Bay has them ranging from $539.99 for a 30 inch Amana range to $9599.99 for a Kitchen Aid model. It’s exactly the same model that Sears has for $1440 less so it pays to shop around as prices vary greatly.
And of course, today we have microwave ovens as well. Although the microwave oven was invented in 1946, it wasn’t commercially available until 1955. But those were large cumbersome models and the modern countertop microwave did not come out until 1967, introduced by Amana Corporation.
Now while there are one and a third pages of electric ranges in the 1962 Spring and Summer Eaton’s Catalogue, there were in fact, two full pages of wood burning stoves. Yes! Wood burning stoves!
The wood burning stove in our featured image at the top of the page is top of the line at $271.50 or $2199.15 in today’s dollar. It’s from Acme. The one below from Huron is $151.50 with a warming closet. That’s $1227.15 today. Both could burn coal as well.
My wife’s grandmother lived on a farm in rural Alberta until her 90s when she moved to a care home. She used a wood burning stove from McClary until the day she left the farm.
Some wood burning stoves in the Eaton’s catalogue were convertible to oil burning. And if you had a summer kitchen or an annex, you could get a small wood stove to heat it. At $67.95 and $89.95, they would set you back $550.40 and $728.60 today.
Or you could get the old box type wood stove. We had one in our basement when we lived in Montreal. You can still get these type of box stoves today as an auxiliary heating source.
Times certainly have changed in the last 54 years!
The full catalogue pages for the products featured here are pages 419, 420, and 421. With my next commentary I’ll be switching to the Summer Sale Catalogue, returning to the Spring and Summer catalogue some time next year.