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villa66

San Francisco 1940: prices

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villa66

Some miscellaneous notes on prices pulled from San Francisco, published in 1940 as another of the WPA’s American Guides.

 

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At the time it came out of the San Francisco mint, this 1940s half-dollar would have paid the 50-cent toll for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, one way, in a car with up to five passengers.

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Additional passengers cost a nickel each.

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villa66

In 1940, the toll charged for crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in a (1-5 passenger capacity) automobile was 25-cents. This San Francisco-mint 1940s quarter-dollar would have done the job exactly.

 

Or for an out-of-towner seeing the sights or doing business, this 1940s quarter-dollar would have hired a San Francisco taxicab at its usual rate of 25¢ for the first 1/3 of a mile, with a dime owing for each additional 2/5 of a mile.

 

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villa66

And speaking of dimes, of 10-cent pieces:

 

San Francisco’s Golden Gate has been a magnet for Americans since before there was even a bridge spanning it. But then the Bridge… And in 1940 it was still brand new. It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of it. A 1940d dime like this one, in town from some part of the country served by the Denver mint, would have paid a pedestrian’s toll between the turnstiles on the Golden Gate Bridge. Bicyclists, too, crossed for a dime.

 

But almost from the beginning the Golden Gate Bridge was a suicide magnet. There were ten jumpers in 1940—pedestrians, bicyclists maybe—I wonder if any of them were between the turnstiles, and left dimes like this one behind?

 

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:blink: v.

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apollonia
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San Francisco 2018: prices

Current toll payment options for Golden Gate transit  http://goldengatebridge.org/tolls_traffic/

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apollonia
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1939 Golden Gate Expo, San Francisco, Treasure Islands, Souvenir Token (Brass 32 mm).

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Obv. GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION / 1939 / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Golden Gate Bridge, sunset, fair building
PAT. D110016
Rev. TREASURE ISLAND
Treasure Island, airplane, sunset

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apollonia
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5ad75833a7c73_okTokenSanFrancisco1939.jpg.7275572df388b89e9dd988624b369477.jpg

Golden Gate Exposition - Union Pacific Railroad (Aluminum 32 mm)
Golden Gate Bridge, sunset, fair building
GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION / 1939 / SAN FRANCISCO BAY
Two railroad engines, shield logo of Union Pacific
ROAD OF THE STREAMLINERS AND THE CHALLENGERS / UNION PACIFIC
UNION PACIFIC - THE OVERLAND ROUTE
ALUMINUM IN THESE FAMOUS TRAINS FURNISHED BY
ALUMINUM COMPANY OF AMERICA

 

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apollonia
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@villa66

I wondered if, in addition to the souvenir tokens I posted, there were also valid ones for transit through the Golden Gate Bridge.

Greetings

 

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villa66
Il 4/16/2018 alle 08:46, apollonia dice:

San Francisco 2018: prices

Current toll payment options for Golden Gate transit  http://goldengatebridge.org/tolls_traffic/

ggbhtdlogo_color.jpg.2dda8f6d4a551756b01207ecf3883da9.jpg

5ad4a8fbd6d22_Giovenalefirmaconingleseok.jpg.bcf4d4dce3c76250eb2184d298121576.jpg

 

I’m sorry for the delay, apollonia—I didn’t notice this until a couple of days ago. I laughed when I saw it—I’d been taking a few pictures to add, but had stalled out.  Anyway, building on your kind contributions……

 

With the various discounts and methods of payment, it isn’t easy to come up with a single number that compares with the 50-cent toll of 1940, but looking at the link you provided—and setting aside the various special discounts—the current toll for a regular automobile crossing the Golden Gate Bridge is $7.75.

 

Happily for travelers (but sad, maybe, for coin collectors), the toll-taking has been rendered cashless—on the Bridge, anyway.)

 

;) v.

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villa66

I had taken this photo and was writing merrily along about the Golden Gate Bridge when it suddenly dawned on me that this wasn’t the Golden Gate Bridge at all. (The giveaway is the short tower—it seems like the work of distance and perspective, but isn’t.)

 

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I had been wrong about this medal for some decades—this is actually the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (which is also the subject of the 1936 commemorative half-dollar).

 

:D v.

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villa66

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 (and 1940) celebrated the two new bridges, and more.

 

This west coast World’s Fair was just one of two World’s Fairs—at opposite ends of the country—to open in the U.S. in 1939. But putting aside the east coast’s New York World’s Fair…

 

The 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition was held on the recently-constructed “Treasure Island” in San Francisco Bay, and featured as its architectural centerpiece the 400-foot-tall “Tower of the Sun.”

 

Admission to the Exposition for an adult was 50 cents, so I guess 1939s half-dollars like this one (a product of the San Francisco mint) may well have begun their circulating careers at the Fair on Treasure Island….

 

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villa66

World’s Fairs are a great place to buy and sell souvenirs. and surely among the least expensive reminders of San Francisco’s 1939 Fair would have been this 3-cent postage stamp picturing the Exposition’s “Tower of the Sun.”

 

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Three cents was then the rate for first-class domestic postage in the U.S., so the Golden Gate commemorative above would have sent a letter anywhere in the country. (A postcard cost one cent—hence the common nickname, “penny postcard.”) Three 1939 pennies…

 

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Paulo86
Il 20/5/2018 alle 10:58, villa66 dice:

World’s Fairs are a great place to buy and sell souvenirs. and surely among the least expensive reminders of San Francisco’s 1939 Fair would have been this 3-cent postage stamp picturing the Exposition’s “Tower of the Sun.”

 

100_0234.JPG.48740cf93c4f863026cdb073a95f62ec.JPG

 

Three cents was then the rate for first-class domestic postage in the U.S., so the Golden Gate commemorative above would have sent a letter anywhere in the country. (A postcard cost one cent—hence the common nickname, “penny postcard.”) Three 1939 pennies…

 

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Great shopping!

 

Great shopping!

Modificato da Paulo86
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villa66

More substantial souvenirs than mere postage stamps were available at the Fair, of course, and several of the medals issued in conjunction with the Expo are still very common and easy to find. This brassy medal featuring the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on one side and the Golden Gate Bridge on the other is one of my favorites.

 

There’s the appeal of the color and its interplay with the rays. And there’s the romance of the China Clippers—whose new home was to be “Treasure Island,” site of the Exposition….

 

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villa66

I’d pulled this medal from a junk-box for a dime—I’d never seen or read about it—so I got the fun of a small discovery.

 

I was focused on the reverse and for some reason the compass points struck me as somewhat superfluous. Odd, too, because the China Clipper—and the Exposition itself—was much more an East- West thing than it was a North-South thing.

 

Finally it seemed like the compass points were just an excuse for this pointer, and that’s when the lights began to go on….

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villa66

Back quickly to the obverse, which is of more or less uniformly low relief, with an out-of-the-ordinary interior rim. And a prominent raised dot in the center of the piece.

 

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This raised dot must surely be no accident. Does this thing spin?

 

It does! Turns out this thing is a “spinner,” good for playing kissing games and for deciding who buys the next round of drinks.

 

And this 1939 World’s Fair spinner was equally good at deciding whose turn it was to plug the then-new juke-box….

 

Authors Lois and Alan Gordon put together a fun book in their (1987) American Chronicle: Six decades in American life 1920-1980. One of their entries for 1940: “Nickel jukeboxes appear in taverns, tearooms, variety stores, gas stations, restaurants, and barber shops; 16 records cost 50 cents…”

 

So here’s one of those half-dollars again, good for 16 songs:

 

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But there must have been some resistance to all that jitterbugging, because the entry continues: “three minutes of silence is available for 5 cents.”

 

This 1939d Jeff would have bought an old-timer—or a parent—some three minutes of breathing room.

 

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:) v.

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