Anniversary Memory: 1950 Service Invoice

Posted by E.V. Thompson on Apr 6, 2018

When you save a receipt or invoice, we'll bet that you aren't expecting to find it 68 years later. Imagine our surprise when an invoice from 1950 showed up tucked among some old business cards, images, and news articles.

This invoice (see image below) for the installation of "temporary wiring as per fire damage" came along with an article about a fire that was set to rid a home of snakes. (We'll get to this article in another post.) The charge for labor and material was just $21.63. According to the 1958 Occupational Handbook (p. 302), the average hourly wage for an electrician in 1958 was between $2.90 and $4.35.

Looking closer at the receipt, we also noticed the telephone numbers were very different, West 3-5800 or West 3-5801. A little research revealed that "West" referred to the nearest central connection office where a live operator would connect the call. The rest of the numbers were specific to the phone. 

Pretty darn interesting!