Tag Archives: Taxes

Huge Crowd Of Last Minute Shoppers At Macy’s -1942

1942 – Crowds Come To Macy’s At The Last Minute, Not For Christmas Gifts, But Liquor

Macy’s department store in New York City – On October 31, 1942 people flock to the liquor department to stock up on spirits the day before a new liquor tax goes into effect

The government can raise food taxes, gasoline taxes and income taxes and people will get riled up. But when you increase taxes on alcohol, that’s when people go into a panic .

Immediately after the Unites States jumped into World War II on December 8, 1941, the Federal government added taxes on all sorts of things to raise money for the war effort. A tax on distilled liquor was passed: $4.00 per gallon effective November 1, 1942. In addition to that tax, retailers would have to pay a floor tax of $1.00 per gallon on any unsold liquor in their possession after that date.

Here is proof crazed buying scenes did occur in the past, though they were much more civilized. Today we associate buying frenzies with the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday or on Christmas Eve.

In our photo above on October 31,1942 crowds descended upon Macy’s liquor department to stock up on whiskey, gin, vodka and any liquor they could get, before the new liquor tax went into effect the next day.

The increased cost to consumers would be about 50 cents per bottle.

In New York City, Gimbels, Abraham & Strauss, Hearn’s, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and all the large department stores had liquor departments. Continue reading

The Simplicity Of The First Federal Income Tax

The First Income Tax Form Of 1913 And How Much The IRS Collected

1913 tax form pg 1

click to enlarge

It was 100 years ago that the 1040 individual tax form many Americans dread having to fill out was introduced.

One thing is for sure, it was a lot simpler to file taxes in 1914 than today.

Pictured above is the 1913 1040 tax form which was due March 1, 1914.

With only three short pages to complete and one page of instructions, for most people who had to file the average time to complete their taxes would take about an hour.

Had to file is an important term here, because the first $2,500 or $3,333.33 of income in 1913 for single and married couples respectively, was exempt. After 1914 the rate was $3,000 and $4,000 respectively. Considering very few Americans made more than $1,000 per year in income, the vast majority of Americans were exempt from paying any tax.

According to the Department of Labor in 1913, the average family household income was $827. Continue reading

The 1929 World Almanac

Some Vintage Advertisements of the Era and What Americans Paid in Taxes

The World Almanac was called The World Almanac because it was published by The New York World newspaper, not because it contained everything about the world. A version is still published every year even though the New York World has been gone for many years.

This edition was published in early 1929 when America was riding high. The stock market crash that caused the Great Depression in October was still months away.  The almanac covers the past events of 1928 and has data on thousands of items that are no longer covered in modern almanacs.

The first 70+ pages were advertisements. The rest, useful information.

Here are a few interesting things I found looking at my copy. (click on any photo to enlarge and click again for high resolution)

You need a coffin? The Springfield Metallic Casket Company of Springfield Ohio has many to choose from including “old reliable.” My favorite Continue reading