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Grand Conspicuous Consumption

Raccoon Coats.jpgFor anyone turned off by the ostentation of $750 or more Canada Goose parkas (their prominent shoulder patch signals economic virtue), the raccoon coats of yore were even higher up on the if-you’ve-got-it-flaunt-it index. Look at this ad from the 1927 Harvard-Dartmouth football game program, which was given to me by a good friend. With prices starting at $350 upwards, you know that these babies were for show:

Raccoon Coat 1927.jpg

After all, for about the same sum of money in 1927, you could buy a Ford Model T roadster. In that year, $350 had the same buying power as $4,933.38 in 2018.

Addendum: An alumnus writes in:

$350 was a lot of money, as you point out… equivalent to $4,900 or so now. But consider this… as you wrote earlier about TUITION inflation: When I entered the College in the Fall of 1951, TUITION for a YEAR was $600.

I would love to know TUITION in 1927….How much in Raccoon coats do you think it was?

When I was a student in the second half of the 1970’s, tuition was $20,000 — for FOUR years. That sum was considered astronomical at the time.


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