Doc Holiday, the well known gun slinging buddy of Wyatt Earp got a degree in dentistry from Penn in 1871 and I got to wondering what he paid for that. Anybody have any ideas? He was OOS if that makes a difference.
Thanks for the contribution. I wasn't trying to say that $100 wasn't a large sum for the time, but like your conclusion, it was small by current standards and relatively so in the buying power of their time.Wages, cost of living, and inflation was much lower. $100 back then is like $10,000 now, still peanuts compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt now.
To give you some perspective, let's say the average blue collar worker - a carpenter make $20.24/hr and makes approximately $46,780 a year. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472031.htm Average yearly dental school tuition is around $50-60k a year.
Back in the late 1800s, a carpenter made between $0.18 - $0.41 /hr. Let's split in the middle and optimistically say $0.30/hr. https://outrunchange.com/2012/06/14/typical-wages-in-1860-through-1890/ If they work 60 hrs a week (since Saturdays were not really "weekends" at the time), they'll make $18/wk. Let's say they take 2 weeks off a year and this is before labor laws and people like Eugene Debs had influence in socialistic policies, they'll have made $900/year. $900 average man salary is 9x more than UPenn D-school tuition, but now the average man salary is smaller than UPenn's $70+k/year tuition.
Summary: $100 was a lot of money back then, but it's not as financially insignificant as people may believe.
Not exactly an outlaw, a professional gambler as well as a sometimes shady lawman.
Apparently his TB got so bad he couldn't stay steady as he performed his procedures and that's why he turned to gambling.Maybe he could've done better as a dentist if he would've been certified in Invisalign. That way he wouldn't have to resort to cards, women, and guns.