Chicago, My Kind of Town: Part 1

Category: What on Earth!?
Okay, time for the next installment of "WHAT ON EARTH??" Sorry for the delay, we've been cataloguing and moving books off of the 2nd floor in a desperate race to free up that space for construction.

Going through the historical paper and books in this house is like peeling back an onion. Layer by layer, we learn more about the previous owners. And it's just as FUN to share the wacky stuff as it is to share the "finds".

These are things we found from "Chicago". (Remember to click on pictures to make them larger.) If you were doing the bungalow archaeology in this case, what would they tell YOU about the previous occupants? :)

< Adopted
=Adopted < Adopted

And how about these? What do they say about this family?

< Adopted < One adopted =Adopted

Hmm. And then there are these things...

< One Adopted

More layers...

What was the Girl Scout Congress excited about in 1959? New stewardess-like uniforms!!

And what about this coin that I found under the workbench? (It's blurry...I can't focus the camera on something that small.) One side says "Paper Doll Cocktail Lounge 1001 N. Clark Street.

= Adopted

Unfortunately, the Paper Doll is no longer. Now it is a "respectable set" of doctor's offices.

ut the OTHER side of the coin is more cryptic. It says "5 cents, good for free drinks". That's right--plural--more than one. How much did a cocktail cost in the 1930's anyway??

Too many Chicago things for one night! Tomorrow: University of Chicago, spam--30's style, the Medinah Temple, maps, souvenirs, news and books.

Especially the U of C stuff should raise some eyebrows.
Note: University of Chicago Alumni, tune in tomrrow!!

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"[B]ut the OTHER side of the coin is more cryptic. It says "5 cents, good for free drinks". That's right--plural--more than one. How much did a cocktail cost in the 1930's anyway??"

Looks to me like it says "Good for 5 [cents] in drinks," (emphasis added) which wouldn't imply (to me) that it covers more than one. Yes?

Very good point! I was really sleepy when I posted that!

I wonder if "Good for 5 cents towards a DRINK" would imply one, while "5 cents in drinks" implies...well, I don't know still. One, more? What did a drink cost in the 1930's...?

Ah, the researcher in me cannot resist.

Using the relative value calculator at

The 2002 worth of 5 cents in 1930 (it didn't have 2003 yet) can be calculated as a number of ways. Depending on the method, 5 cents in 1930 could equal:

Consumer Price Index = $0.54
GDP Deflator = $0.46
Unskilled Wage = $1.73
GDP Per Capita = $2.51
GDP = $5.72

Not having time to determine the BEST way to price a drink in 1930, let's take a shortcut and choose the median average, $1.73. $2.00 drink specials at the Burwood Tap would make that little coin good TOWARDS the purchase of A drink in the 1930's.

Making everything more complex is the amount of marketing and advertising cost built into the drink sales of the present day. Prohibition was over in 1933, which may have made sales of drinks cheap and plentiful. So, are drink prices today directly comparable to drink prices in the 1930's?

Sounds like one for "The Straight Dope" :)

I think that the term "5 cents IN DRINKS" suggests more than one...I don't know anything about the cost of a drink long ago!

In response to an emailed question, Yes. That is a real CTA sign. It was nailed over a hole in the wall of the basement. It is probably from anytime between the 1950's and the 1970's. PO's dad worked for the CTA, he was the second ovner of the house.


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