Oldest U.S. Labor Law Poster?

Oldest US Labor Law PosterWe recently got our hands on this minimum wage poster from 1950 trumpeting the 75-cent minimum wage. We think it may be the oldest U.S. labor law poster, but if you know of an older U.S. labor law poster, we’d love to hear about it!

Our “new” poster reflects the 1950 minimum-wage amendment to the FLSA, which was signed by Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin.

Tobin was the former mayor of Boston (1938-1945) and became governor of Massachusetts (1944-1947). As governor, he oversaw the passage of the Fair Employment Practices Bill that prohibited discrimination, and his administration increased unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits. He was appointed Secretary of Labor by U.S. President Harry Truman and served from 1948 – 1953. He died of a massive heart attack soon after leaving the position.

Cost of Living In 1950
In 1950, a full-time, minimum-wage earner would pull down a be-boppin’ $30 per week. That’s $1,560 per year.

Here’s a fun look at the average prices of things back in 1950. Would you able to make it on $30 per week?

  • Milk, one gallon: 81 cents
  • Bread, one loaf: 12 cents
  • Eggs, one dozen: 49 cents
  • Potatoes, five pounds: 35 cents
  • Hamburger, one pound: 30 cents
  • Chicken, one pound: 43 cents
  • Oranges, one dozen: 35 cents
  • Chino pants, one pair: $2.98
  • Polo shirt: 99 cents
  • Nylon stockings, one pair: 50 cents
  • Philco model 1403 TV: $199
  • Latest Nat King Cole record: $2.85
  • New home (average): $14,500
  • New car (average): $1,510
  • Gasoline, one gallon: 20 cents

Submitted by Chaunce Stanton

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