Thursday, April 16, 2009

Christchurch Cycling Craze #4 - Pricing Cycles 1905

Click image for enlarged view Advertising poster for J B Clarkson, Palmerston North, Feilding, Levin, & Dannevirke - all the main population centres of the lower North Island - listing prices of various models of bicycle and the Centaur motorcycle in 1905. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Ok, it's not Christchurch prices and it's not 1890 prices but 1905's, but you can get the idea of prevailing prices and what a king's ransom it was to buy one of these machines a century ago. A £20.00 Centaur cycle in 1905 is the equivalent of NZ$3034.58 in 2009 prices.

Imagine the shiver of dread down the spine, the cold sweat of fear, & the feeling of being swept away by the winds of change if you had recently purchased a bicycle and the new-fangled motorcycle arrived on the scene deep-sixing your previously cutting edge, oh, so fashionable, plain bicycle into the dustbin of the previous century...

Or if you couldn't afford a bicycle perhaps you could afford the price of a ticket - at 1 shilling - in the first combined Auckland annual charity fete & art union in September 1905 with the possibility of winning the fourth prize, a lady or gent's bicycle valued at 25 guineas:

1 comment:

Jayne said...

Oh dear! One must always stay ahead of the fashion field on one's cycle!