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Smith & Lovett Invoice · Peters · 1880
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This invoice dated August 3, 1880 is to Mr. E. D. Peters of 36 Federal St
for $11.78 worth of sidewalk repairs ($10.40 in labor, $0.80 for 10# of
cement and $0.33 for 1 quart of paint). Signed by M. Lovett.|
Hmm, 26 hours worth of labor for $10.40 is $0.40/hr billed to the customer, which seems low. How much was the worker actually paid? The National Bureau of Economic Research gives these figures for average 1880 hourly wages (which I rounded to the penny) in their Wages and Earnings in the United States, 1860-1890: blacksmith, $0.27, carpenter $0.32, machinist $0.24, laborers $0.15. So if they're paying a laborer $0.15 it makes sense they might charge the customer $0.40.
UNIVERSAL IRON WORKS, (Formerly 57 Devonshire Street.)
To Smith & Lovett, Dr.
MANUFACTURERS AND DEALERS IN
IRON BEAMS, GIRDERS, BOLTS, TRUSSES, IRON AND STEEL DOORS, BANK VAULTS, &c.
HYATT'S PATENT SIDEWALK AND FLOOR LIGHTS AND SKYLIGHTS, WESTON'S PATENT SKYLIGHT.
Fence Work, Hoisting and other Machines, and all kinds of Blacksmith and Machinsts' Jobbing.
125, 127 and 129 ALBANY STREET