The Transylvania Times -

Picturing The Past: What Did Everyday Items Cost In 1968?


August 20, 2018

In 1968 A&P was located on South Broad Street beside the Cardinal Drive-In.

During the last two weeks Picturing the Past has looked back at some feature stories in the Centennial Issue published by The Transylvania Times. This week's focus is on the advertisements from that issue. How much did groceries, clothes, furniture and appliances, cars or a house cost in 1968?

Grocery stores in Brevard included A&P, Community Cash, and Winn-Dixie. Shoppers could get 2 pounds of bacon for 99 cents or chuck roast for 37 cents per pound at A&P. Community Cash had the best price on bread at 21 cents for a pound-and-a-half loaf, a quart of mayonnaise for 29 cents and three cantaloupes for 89 cents.

If canned peaches, 3 for 89 cents or catsup, 4 for $1 were on the list the deals were at Winn-Dixie.

Personal items on sale at Varner's Drug Store included a 12-pack of overnight Pampers for 89 cents and Q.T. Tanning Lotion for 97 cents.

Several downtown clothing and shoe stores were also offering sales. Women's heels were $2.98-8.98 and flats were $2.98-5.98 at Pat's Shoe Mart, Plummer's Department Store had girls' summer dresses for $2.50 to $4.99 and Belk's had men's 100 percent cotton work pants for $1.80 and a matching shirt at just $1.

Anyone looking for appliances or furniture had several options as well. Mims & Lyda Radio, TV & Appliances carried Mobile Maid portable dishwashers for $209.95.

Hotpoint appliances were sold at Rice Furniture, including a permanent press dryer for $99.88 with free delivery and service.

At Abercrombie's Home Furnishings, Sealy posture pillow mattress and box springs sets were only $79.

Families looking for a second car could get a 1961 Chevrolet Parkwood station wagon straight-drive, with radio and a heater for $695 at Lyda-McCrary Motors or a 1963 Volkswagen bus for $895 at McCrary Chevy-Olds.

Realtor Gil Coan had a 3 bed/2 bath 1850-square feet home with a fireplace located on Jordan Road in Brevard for $22,000 and Ray Fisher was selling a 2-bed cottage with a large utility room and attached garage on a large wooded lot near Brevard College for $11,000.

While these prices may seem like a dream today, it is also important to remember that the median household income in America was $7,700 and minimum wage had just been raised from $1.40 to $1.60 per hour in 1968.

McCrary Chevy-Olds on North Broad Street had a large selection of cars for sale.

In Transylvania County the average annual gross income for a farmer was $1,398, the Register of Deeds was paid $5,835 annually and the sheriff made $8,442 a year.

The hiring rate at DuPont was $2.35 per hour, and although no experience was required, they did prefer applicants with a high school education.

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the N.C. Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions, contact [email protected] or (828) 884-1820.)


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