How much did these back-to-school items cost in 1960?

Flip through this catalog and see if you can guess the prices!


With the end of summer comes a rush to get stocked up on everything you’ll need for the coming school year. That could mean everything from pencils and notebooks to the perfect new outfit for the first day of school.

It seems like students today need a lot more school supplies than kids used in 1960 – they cost a lot more too!

Here are ten items you might buy at your local store or order from the Sears catalog before the start of the 1960 school year. Can you guess the prices for each?

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  1. The most expensive pair of these scissors cost…
  2. The cheapest one of these bags cost…
  3. Plaid skirts are so conventional, why not go for a plaid top and plaid pants? That outfit would set you back…
  4. Go back to school as a cowboy! This leather vest with “exciting western fringe” cost…
  5. This tape cost a whopping…
  6. The big box of Crayola crayons cost…
  7. The “Regular Edition” of Webster’s New International Dictionary (behind the Collegiate Dictionary) weighted 17 pounds and cost...
  8. Before calculators, this machine tallied things up “electrically” but this would be a bit big to take to school. Not to mention expensive! This adding machine cost…
  9. The most expensive version of these hip sneakers cost…

How much did these back-to-school items cost in 1960?

Your Result...

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SheriHeffner 10 months ago
I don't remember 1960 I was born.three years later and knew nothing of the price of clothing and school supplies.
DJDAVE 10 months ago
Got 1 right and it was a lucky guess!!!
PulsarStargrave 22 months ago
3/9 I always bomb on these kind of questions because I still can't believe how cheap basic items were and how expensive technology!
Adanor PulsarStargrave 16 months ago
Well, gas was 32 cents a gallon, a week's worth of groceries was about $20 and there were no lists of required back-to-school items. BUT, instead of lists, they sold required items such as pencils and crayons in a school store. Now the interesting thing about this was that the crayons that they had, -- the only kind that you could get -- were INFERIOR as they yielded very little color and pressing harder only ripped the paper.
Pastorgman 22 months ago
9 Correct - Most were lucky guesses! My parents did most of the shopping back then and I was more interested in what I could find in the Sears Christmas Wish Book Catalog!
Witchywoman 22 months ago
I was born in the 60's. So it was just guessing.
Greg 22 months ago
The best thing my parents did for us was buy a good set of encyclopedias. Even as a 8-10 yo kid I would spend hours, in the winter, looking through them.
JKMallaber 22 months ago
Missed them all! Oh well, I'm an 80's kid.
vinman63 22 months ago
Dictionaries cost a week wages!
JeffPaul76 22 months ago
''Time to check out! You got 2 correct'' Were you right on the money (literally) or do you need to hit the books? --------I got #s 1 and 8 right. The rest I got wrong.
RichLorn 22 months ago
On my allowance all I could afford was the tape dispenser.
AllisonWunderland 22 months ago
Three! That’s all I got correct 🤪
JHP 22 months ago
who remembers (getting back to #9) PF Flyers?
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AllisonWunderland JHP 22 months ago
I don’t recall any type of decoder…but I do remember I had a red pair and and a blue pair 👟
gockionni LoveMETV22 22 months ago
Tried on a pair; made me feel like I was gonna fall backward lol
Sawfingers JHP 21 months ago
On the first day of summer vacation followed by a crew cut
JHP Sawfingers 21 months ago
yeah and that scalper would last until sept:)
JHP 22 months ago
5 right oh well

NOW----#2 are you guys kidding me?! HOW in the name of June Cleaver would any male know that?

And then #9 - HUH? Chuck Taylor's - am I mistaken?

And Mr Art below me - I was in the same boat and all I ever wanted was the big box of crayolas

Art1957 22 months ago
Boy, Did I bomb on this with just 2 correct answers and those were guessed! But in my defense in 1960 I was just two years old and didn't do much shopping!
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