Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Voting to Buy a Notebook

Recently, I have been working on a small publishing project. The book is the History of the Cane Creek District Association by D. F. Magruder. As I perused the manuscript, I noticed in the minutes of one of the meetings that they collected about $20 for associational expenses. As I read further I noticed that the messengers voted to spend $1.50 to buy a record book in which they could keep the minutes of their meetings. I assume that it was one of those hardback record books with lines on the pages.

In relative terms, a $1.50 notebook would have been a fairly significant purchase for that time period. It was about 8% of the total budget. Even so, the total cost of a notebook appears to have been about the same as it is today.

The person the association authorized to purchase the book also served as the clerk. He was also authorized to print the minutes. By all indications, they expected him to be able to do it with less than $20. Today, that same association spends hundreds of dollars to print the minute books. Things are both different and vary much the same, over one hundred years later.