Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

More tables

Here are a couple of tables that for various reasons need to come in the order shown. I'm a bit worried that the sudden change in layout between the two looks a little odd. What do people think. Also, is the small text I'm using for most of the tables legible enough?

Adventurers will often want to buy things, and may even want to work for a living if they can't find alternatives. Most of the Forgotten Futures worldbooks include prices for items that might come up the course of play, and construction rules for items such as flying machines, spacecraft, and automata which suggest purchase prices. This section (expanded from material in FF II) explains the complexities of British currency, and gives everyday items and real-world wages and prices from around 1900, a period of relative stability and little inflation; they should be adjusted up for later periods, down for earlier settings. For simplicity add 5% in 1906-10, 10% in 1911-15, 15% in 1916-20, and so forth.

Until 1972 British currency was based on the Pound Sterling, divided into shillings and pence. This form of currency is used in most British scientific romances. Occasional references to "LSD" in period fiction refer to money, not drugs; for obscure reasons these letters signified pounds, shillings, and pence.

    The Pound Sterling
    • One Pound = 20 Shillings = 240 Pence
    • One Shilling = 12 Pence
    Abbreviations for currency:
    • £ (sometimes L) for pound
    • s for shilling
    • d for pence (from the Latin "dinarius")
    Copper coins:
    • ¼d (farthing)
    • ½d (ha'penny)
    • 1d (penny)
    Silver coins:
    • 3d (threepenny bit, "Joey"; a bronze coin after 1937)
    • 6d (sixpence or [slang] "a tanner")
    • 1s ("a bob")
    • 2s ("two bob", "Florin")
    • 2s 6d (Half crown)
    • 5s (Crown - uncommon)
    Gold coins:
    • 10s (Half sovereign, "ten bob" - rare)
    • £1 (Sovereign, "a quid". Purchasing power $5 in 1900)
      Britain went off the gold standard in the 1920s, and gold coins ceased to be legal tender.
    Bank notes:
    • £5 ("a fiver") - very rare.
    • 10s and £1 notes were introduced in the 1920s; larger notes were extremely rare, but did exist.
    The Guinea
      The Guinea (gn), worth 21s, is used for legal and other professional fees, and by the most expensive shops. There are no coins or notes for this amount after 1813, but prices are often given in Guineas, and cheques can be written for Guineas. A half Guinea (10s 6d) is also occasionally used for smaller fees.

    Reading Prices
      There is very little standardisation of the way prices are written; here are a few examples:
    • £2 6s 6½d = Two pounds, six shillings and sixpence-ha'penny
    • 2s 6d or 2/6 = Two shillings and sixpence = half a crown
    • 19/11 = 19s 11d = Nineteen shillings and eleven pence
    • 10'6 = 10s 6d
    • 25s = £1 5s
    • Half a guinea = 10s 6d
    • 5gn = 5 guineas = £5 5s
    • 5½gn = 5½ guineas = £5 15s 6d

Housemaid£12-30 per year
Cook/Housekeeper£80 per year
Page boy£10 per year
ButlerUp to £100 per year
Skilled engineer36s 6d per week
Assistant to above19s per week
Bricklayer38s per week
Assistant to above18s per week
Clerk£1 10s per week
Foreman£2 5s per week
Miner£1 15s per week
Craftsman in London£2 per week
Cabinet minister£2000 or £5000 per year
(£38 or £96 per week)
Income tax4%


Hovel4s per week
4 room rural cottage5s per week, £200 to buy
Small inner London house£200 per year, £1000 to buy
Small suburban house£50 per year, £500 to buy
Boarding house room£1 1s per week

Men's Clothing

Collars for above (12)6s 6d
Detachable cuffs1s
Leather gloves3s 3d
Handkerchiefs (12)8s
Good quality boots11s
Light boots7s
Walking shoes14s
Trousers7s 6d
Bowler hat12s 6d
Top hat25s
Soft felt hat7s 6d
Hat box, leather15s

Women's Clothing

Combinations5s 6d
Stockings6 ½d
Shoes12s-£1 8s
Blouse£1 5s 11d


Railway fare1d / mile
Omnibus5d (long trip)
Family car£200

Food & Drink

1 lb Almonds2d
1/2 lb tea8d
2lb sugar5d
1 lb butter1s
2 oz tobacco6d
1 lb fish1 ½d
1 lb ham9 ½d
1 lb steak11d
Marmite, 2oz7d
Bovril, 4oz1s 10d
1 lb chocolate 1s 2d
1 lb soap 3d
1 lb currants 3d
Pint beer 2d
1 lb Biscuits 2d
Loaf bread 2 ¼d
12 Bottles Cider 14s
12 Bottles Champagne £4 18s
12 Bottles Claret £2 10s
12 Bottles Port £1 14s
12 Bottles Sherry £2 2s
Bottle Whisky 7s
Bottle Brandy 9s 10d
Bottle Gin 4s 6d
Bottle Rum 7s 6d


Electricity 6d per unit (kilowatt-hour) *
* rate held high to protect small generating companies
1 lb Candles 10d
Safety matches, box 1d
"Thermos" Vacuum flask £1 1s pint, £1 15s quart **
** both leather with silver fittings
Chest of drawers 17s
Simple bed £1 15s
Luxury bed £19
Piano, upright £105
Piano, grand £210
Violin £2 10s
Kodak cameras £1 to £8 7s 6d
Flash for camera 12s 6d ***
*** uses explosive magnesium flash powder
Cricket bat 12s 10d
Golf clubs 6s
Golf balls 10s per dozen
Watch, good quality £10
Watch, for schoolboy 12s
Sewing machine £1 10s
Stamp (letter)1d
The Daily Mail1d
The Times2d
Tooth extraction1s
Set false teeth1 gn.
Alarm clock4s 6d


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