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30412RE: [S-R] Cost of ticket to America

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  • Judy Hogel
    Sep 1, 2011
      Thanks Bill, Your information confirms what I have concluded from the
      searching I've been doing today. Through
      various sources I found out that around 1914 the ruble to dollar ratio was
      around 2 to 1. So the quoted price of 82
      rubles would have been about $41 in 1914 dollars (about $923 in 2010 dollars). That was higher than your amounts, but this
      ticket was from Libau, a longer voyage.

      That didn�t sound so bad until I tried to put into
      perspective with income and standard of living.
      The 1910 average wage that I found was 22 cents/hour and average yearly
      income for a U.S. worker was $200-$400. As you commented, I expected the wages
      in poor European countries would have been far less. I am also assuming that as new immigrants in
      the U.S., they made less than the average U.S. worker, even though it was much
      greater than they would have earned in their homelands. So it just amazes me
      that they somehow came up with the money to make the trip. Even if they borrowed the money, they had to
      get it from someone. Their friends and relatives were probably just as poor as they were. If the immigrant borrower wasn�t able to repay
      the debt, it would have made the family financial situation back home worse than
      ever. No wonder so many of the
      immigrants worked so hard once they found jobs here.

      Thanks again for your information,JudyTo: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      From: bill.tarkulich@...
      Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 15:33:39 -0400
      Subject: RE: [S-R] Cost of ticket to America




























      I did this work a in 2003 and here is what I wrote at that time.



      "My recollection is the range of US $20 to $30, which was a "package

      deal", including European ground transportation to the port. Now go

      figure what the present value of that was. I believe at the time people

      were earning 10-20 cents an hour in the US and in Hungary, they might

      have only been earning a couple of pennies an hour."



      Recall that in many cases any earnings they had went to the landowner to pay

      back the cost of lumber to build a house.

      Mostly they collected money from family and other villagers. In some cases

      they antagonistically borrowed money from the priest.



      This is one reason often only one person took the initial trip. US wages

      were relatively enormous comparatively. They saved enough money to pay back

      their loans and paid for other family's passage.



      Bill



      -----Original Message-----

      From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com] On

      Behalf Of Judy Hogel

      Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2011 1:37 PM

      To: slovak-roots@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: RE: [S-R] Cost of ticket to America



      To Frank,

      Peter and Jerry,



      Thank you

      for taking the time to respond to my questions.

      I continue to work on this and your information was helpful.



      For other SR

      members wondering about these kinds of things, SR member, Jerry, privately

      e-mailed

      me information about the Merika

      (http://muzej-rijeka.hr/merika/introduction.html)

      website. It contained lots of valuable

      information.



      I also

      discovered another website that has been very helpful. The Gjenvick-Gj�nvik

      Archives at http://www.gjenvick.com/ has copies of actual

      ship brochures and passenger tickets, including terms of the agreement. I

      was able to view several tickets for

      passage from England to N.Y. around the time of my interest. The tickets

      provided costs for rail and ship

      transport. The web site also provides a computation of the stated cost of

      the

      tickets at the time of purchase to a 2009 U.S. dollar amount. That is part

      of the information I was looking

      for. Even though these costs are

      calculated from England, it gives me a basis for comparison of what I was

      calculating for the 82 rubles from Libau.



      I am still

      working on how these costs fit into the per capita income in the immigrants�

      native

      countries and/or what they might have earned once they arrived in America.

      From what I see now, I wonder how they ever

      managed to pull together enough money to immigrate, let alone go back and

      forth

      several times as many of them did.



      I have most

      of the �facts� for my relatives, but am now trying to put it together with

      historical

      background information so that I don�t just have a list of names and dates.



      Thanks again

      for your suggestions.



      > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com

      > From: htcstech@...

      > Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2011 00:50:41 +1000

      > Subject: Re: [S-R] Cost of ticket to America

      >

      > I did find that a pre Russian revolution (1917) ruble was worth 2.66

      francs.

      > That makes the cost in francs: 82 x 2.66 = 218 for the trip.

      >

      > Peter

      >

      > On 1 September 2011 23:29, Frank R Plichta

      <frank.r.plichta@...>wrote:

      >

      > > **

      > >

      > >

      > > Judy,

      > >

      > > Check out the historical currenty exchange rates online.

      > >

      > > I experienced the same question on my grandfather's journey to America.

      > > Since I have in my possession his ship's ticket, I was able to convert

      his

      > > price paid of 944 French Francs in 1920 to US dollars at the 1920

      exchange

      > > rate which equaled $115.40.

      > >

      > > Check out the site: Historical exchange rate data for 1919-1939, Norges

      > > Bank, Oslo Stock Exchange, Table A2, July 1920 where US$ 6.050 equals

      FRF

      > > 49.50.

      > >

      > > Sorry that I do not have the web site only the reference.

      > >

      > > This will give you a place to start looking.

      > >

      > > Frank

      > >

      > > "Searching the world for PLICHTAs"

      > >

      > > _____

      > >

      > > From: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com]

      > > On

      > > Behalf Of Judy

      > > Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 8:02 PM

      > > To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com

      > > Subject: [S-R] Cost of ticket to America

      > >

      > >

      > > I came across an excerpt from V. K. Rackauskas' 1914 book Lithuanians in

      > > America in which he gave cost figures for steerage tickets from Libau to

      > > New

      > > York, Philadelphia, Boston and Quebec. He states that a Libau to New

      York

      > > ticket would have been 82 rubles at that time.

      > >

      > > I was wondering what that would have translated to in U. S. dollars

      (1914

      > > and current) and how the cost would have related to a common person's

      > > income

      > > (European & U. S.) around 1914.

      > >

      > > How long would it have taken an immigrant to earn enough money over and

      > > above the amount necessary to provide for the family's current living

      > > expenses so that they could purchase a ticket?

      > >

      > > Would children travel free or at a reduced cost?

      > >

      > > Is there a SR member who could provide an explanation?

      > >

      > > Judy

      > >

      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      > >

      > >

      > >

      >

      >

      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

      >

      >

      >

      > ------------------------------------

      >

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      >

      >





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