What could be bought for a salary in tsarist Russia
What could be bought for a salary in tsarist Russia
The ruble in tsarist Russia in a modern way

Historical parallels are always interesting. Especially when it comes to everyday life and money. Over the past century, a lot has changed in Russia: the regime, way of life, the manner of dressing, the financial system, approaches to education. And only the ruble as the national currency remained unchanged. In the review, we compared the capabilities of the pre-revolutionary and today's ruble.

100 Russian rubles 1910

True, the ruble of the beginning of the last century and the current ruble differ quite significantly. It's worth starting with the fact that in 1897 the so-called "gold standard" of Witte was introduced in Russia, which was in effect until the beginning of the First World War. In 2014, the free conversion of the Russian ruble into gold stopped, and gold rubles were withdrawn from circulation.

Gold ruble of Nicholas II

Nevertheless, in tsarist Russia, every ruble was backed by gold. Taking into account the dollar exchange rate and the current value of gold, 1 royal ruble was equal to 1,513 rubles 75 kopecks. The reform carried out strengthened both the internal and external exchange rates of the ruble, helped to attract foreign investment and significantly improved the state of affairs in the economy. It is worth noting that workers' incomes in today's terms were quite decent.

Comparison of salaries before the revolution and today

It is impossible not to take into account the fact that at the beginning of the last century the working day was 12 hours, there was only one day off, and vacations, in the current sense, did not exist at all.

Workers in the shop Moscow workers

True, the purchasing power of the ruble at that time was much less, since the prices of goods and products were very high. Here are the prices for some of the products:

Wheat flour 0.08 rubles (8 kopecks) = 1 pound (0.4 kg) Rice pound. 12 p. = 1 pound (0.4 kg) Sponge cake 0.60 p. = 1 lb (0.4 kg) Milk 0.08 p. = 1 bottleTomatoes 0.22 rub. = 1 pound Fish (pike perch) 0.25 p. = 1 pound Grapes (raisins) 0.016 r. = 1 pound Apples 0.03 r. = 1 lb

Pre-revolutionary Moscow. Market

Thus, the very decent, by modern standards, earnings of Russians in 1913 "ate up" the prices of food. And for the poor, food very often turned into a luxury at all. The high prices are explained by the fact that during the time of tsarist Russia there was still no industrialization of the food industry in agriculture.

On the Moscow market

As a result, butter and sour cream were elite products, and all because they were made on manual separators. Chicken at that time cost about 1000 rubles apiece at current prices (many products were sold individually at that time). At such prices, today's Muscovites could indulge themselves with chicken only on holidays.

Fruit department of the Eliseevsky store. 1911 year

Preserved information that a month for a small apartment in Moscow had to pay 15-20 rubles a month, 3-5 rubles cost heating, 1 ruble - lighting. In fairness, it should be noted that not everyone could afford to rent an apartment. Workers, as a rule, huddled in special living quarters from factories. These were small houses or rooms with hammered wooden partitions in the monumental barracks or in the basement floors. Many were accommodated in dorms.

Petersburg workers

The average family spent about 25 rubles more on food. And this is not a lot, not a little - 40 rubles a month. But there were also other expenses: travel, washing, clothes, etc.

Especially for those who are interested in the history of Moscow, we have collected 20 facts about Moscow and Muscovites that Gilyarovsky noticed and rare photos of the capital of the early 20th century.

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