[Bell Historians] Cost of 1669 Bell Metal

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at t8lxLKp4ipWo3bDvtsm0LWi9rlXqG4AV88QGuRu4uv4vSArRkAjbVXySIUT5WkgY2JeCsO2E6aTs22k7shkfCoudhQgdxA.yahoo.invalid
Wed Feb 16 23:06:19 GMT 2011

I've done a little bit of work on this today as I've always felt it would be useful to have a chronological guide to metal prices. So I've started a table showing examples by date, with the price of new metal, the scrap price, the rate for recasting (i.e. weight for weight), the founder, and the source. I have attached the current version of the file (but if that's not the way to share it, then doubtless someone will say). The figures I've got so far confirm that although prices fluctuated a bit, the general idea that there wasn't any serious inflation until modern times seems to be borne out in the price of bells.

A couple of cautions on prices though:

1. Beware the "short cwt" (100 lbs) when looking at figures per cwt (or per 100) - this can mean adding up weights, or dividing total weights against total cost to see how the figures have been worked out. I'd actually be quite keen to log some examples where the short cwt system was used

2. It's always worth checking the arithmetic for any given set of figures (the John Lott 1686 example given by Anne clearly doesn't work - the rate can't have been 20d per lb, which would be very high indeed before the 1914-18 War in any case)

Working in £.s.d. and C.q.l. isn't easy (has anyone got a natty little spreadsheet or system to ease the drudgery?) - but before we take figures as read, we do need to be sure they work

An interesting thread, though - please keep the examples coming!

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