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- Baseline CPI 1962 – 15.9
- Today’s CPI (November 2016) – 128.6 (down 0.5 from October)
- 1962 prices in today’s dollar – 1962 price X 8.09
Winter means winter sports and the 1962 Eaton’s Christmas Catalogue has seven pages of fun stuff for the sports enthusiast. It’s a Canadian store so of course hockey is well represented.
You’ll note the team sweaters at the head of this article. Count ’em! Yes! Only six teams that year. The National Hockey League would expand to twelve teams for the 1967-68 season. Future super-star Wayne Gretzky was less than a year old when the catalogue came out. The sweaters shown went for $2.97 for boys’ sizes and $3.96 for men’s. In today’s dollar that would be $24.03 and $32.04 respectively. Today sweaters have been replaced by jerseys and are considerably more expensive ranging $44.99 and up at Sears $89.99 and up at The Bay. The Bay actually has a signed Maurice Richard jersey selling for $1999.99. A collector’s item.
Like today, sports gear was endorsed by star players. The previous year’s Stanley Cup winners were the Chicago Black Hawks but the five years before that had been dominated by the Montreal Canadiens. Not surprisingly Montreal marquee players were still popular with Canadian fans. The skates below are endorsed by Jean Beliveau, Maurice Richard and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion.
Prices ranged from $12.19 for boys’ sizes to $22.95 for a top of the line mens’ model. That would be $98.61 and $185.67 in today’s dollar. The big department stores don’t seem to have much in the way of skates and the best best is a specialty shop like SportChek. There you’ll find youths’ Bauer skates for $69.99 with price for mens’ skates ranging up to $999.99. But there are many quality mens’ skates under $185.67.
Another set of skates carried Frank Mahovlich’s name. Mahovlich was the top scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 60-61 setting a team record that would stand for 21 years. Toronto would beat the Hawks for the cup in the 61-62 season.
Montreal and Toronto were the only Canadian teams in the NHL in the six team era. A complete outfit – sweater, toque and socks went for $4.99 or $40.37 in today’s dollar. Shoulder pads, shin guards, gloves and hockey pants were extra, with the priciest item being gloves at $5.98 or $48.38. Hockey gloves start at $29.99 for generic gloves at SportChek. They can go as high as $239.99.
Women’s figure skates were also celebrity endorsed. The ones above carried the Carol Heiss name. She was the ladies singes champion at the 1960 Winter Olympics held at Squaw Valley, California. The adult size at $14.98 would be $121.19 in today’s dollar. Figure skates at SportChek range from $39.99 for tots to $89.99 and up for adults. Most expensive pair is $199.99.
Skiing was as popular in 1962 as now and Eaton’s carried a range of skis from $13.49 to $45.95. That’s $109.13 and $371.74 in today’s dollar. Skis today are a much higher quality – especially as bindings go. Coiled springs and leather straps have given way to high tech bindings. SportChek has 56 different skis on sale ranging from $160.98 for a junior pair to $1399.98 for a top end ski. Bindings are sold separately.
Toboggans were also popular as shown above and of course, the ever popular flying saucer was also a hit.
$3.98 or $32.20 in today’s dollar. Saucers are not as popular today but SportChek has one for $9.99.