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  • Baseline CPI 1962 – 15.9
  • Today’s CPI (June 2016) – 129.1 (up 0.3 from May)
  • 1962 prices in today’s dollar – 1962 price X 8.12

You might guess from the title that I am in Australia right now. Barbecues are very popular here, no doubt due to being able to barbecue year round. It’s such a big thing out here that every park in the greater Perth area seems to have public barbecues available for use. We’ve had family dinners at the local park using the public barbecue to cook up the grub.

Public barbecue at Sorrento Beach near Perth, Australia
Public barbecue at Sorrento Beach near Perth, Australia. All major parks seem to have one or more of them.
The barbecues are run on propane and have flat cooking surfaces. Users are expected to clean up after themselves.

But I digress. Back in 1962, Eaton’s had a limited number of barbecues in their Summer Sale Catalogue. They were pretty basic compared to some of the barbecues available today.

Some barbecues from 1962.                                                         Some barbecues from 1962.

At $18.77 for a basic unit and $24.88 for one with a warming oven, these would cost you $152.41 and $202.03 respectively. You could get them with stainless steel hoods as well. The deluxe model with warming oven in stainless steel went for $39.99 or $324.72 in today’s dollar.

The barbecue has made considerable progress since then. For one, you can get much larger models. Ours has a large cooking surface as well as a stove top on the side for cooking vegetables or whatever. And they aren’t limited to charcoal fuel.

Sears Canada and The Bay both carry barbecues, though you can also get them at Home Depot Canada, Canadian Tire and other outlets. Sears has 38 propane gas grills, 18 natural gas grills, 4 electric grills and 4 charcoal grills.  The charcoal grills run from a basic Kettleman model at $229.99 to a deluxe Broil King model for $999.97.

charbroil3burnergasgrillThis Char-Broil brand 3 burner grill with a side burner is much like the one we own though ours is a different brand and in stainless steel and cost a bit more.

Propane grills run from $219.99 for a portable model to $2699.97 for a top of the line model with six burners and an oven. Crikey! That’s more than most regular stoves! But they do have a model much like the one we own for $224.95 (seasonal clearance price). Less than the deluxe model of 1962 and you get so much more.

The Bay has barbecues running from $279.99 to $2749.99.

A Weber grill much like the one our daughter and her fiancé have.
A Weber grill much like the one our daughter and her fiancé have.

But the place for bargain prices is Home Depot. There you can find barbecues as low as $39.99 for a 14 inch table top charcoal barbecue. One much like the Eaton’s model of 1962 can be had for $109.00 for an 18 inch surface and $149.00 for a 22.5 inch surface. Both are from Weber, considered by many to be the best brand in barbecues today. Our daughter’s fiancé has one and uses it all the time. He swears by charcoal and is not keen on propane barbecues.

Propane barbecues at Home Depot run from $48.98 to $3199.00.

hibachiOther items from 1962 include the basic hibachi at $7.88 or $63.99 in today’s dollar. Don’t know if they sell them any more, although I had one about thirty or forty years ago. I couldn’t find one for sale anywhere.

We certainly have come a long way with barbecues. The simple models of 1962 are still more or less available, but today there is so much more variety to what you can find.

The items in today’s post can be found on pages 166 and 167 of the 1962 Eaton’s Summer Sale Catalogue.

Now excuse me while I go and throw some shrimp on the barbie, mate!

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