Twenty dollars was a lot of money in the 1890s, and mail-order catalogs were an easy way for rural farmers to buy some of the things they wanted. A quick look at the 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. catalog (this image shows the cover of the 1969 unabridged facsimile of Catalogue No. 57 by Dover Publications) demonstrates the purchasing power of $20.00. A simple, light-frame, one-seat, horse-drawn "Studebaker Road Cart" cost $17.00 (p. 580) and a youth bicycle with a 28-inch front wheel cost $18.00 (p. 565).
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