Conversion Rate 1912 Brit Pounds Sterling to US Dollars


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mike disch

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Many publications list costs (in U.S. $) back then, and then the equivalent in current Dollars. They all seem to be around 18:1, give or take. Ticket prices on this site are given in pounds (in 1912 of course). Can anyone provide a conversion factor of 1912 Pounds to 1912 Dollars?
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Mike,

The figures I have on file for 1912 are UK£1 = US$4.87.

Unfortunately the site I used to use (http//eh.net/hmit/) is now dead, a great shame as there was lots of useful stuff, including the comparitive value of UK£ and US$ going back several centuries. Perhaps someone has another link or other reference...
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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Mike, I can confirm Fiona's figure. (The one concerning money, that is!)

In 1912 both nations were on the gold standard and the exchange rate was always very close to $4-87 to the £1. There were tiny variations that depended on the cost of shipping gold.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
I thought that, for many years, the pound was worth around 4-5 dollars, which is why the old "crown", which was worth 5 shillings (20 shillings = 1 pound) was known as a "dollar" and the "half Crown" was known as half-a-dollar.
 
Jun 24, 2018
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Does anyone know how to convert British pence to American dollar back in 1912. Im doing a Titanic project where im converting the Ticket prices to American. I know 1 pound = $4.87 and 1s is 12d but what about 1d through 11d. I dont understand. PLEASE HELP
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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There are 240 pence in one pound, so one penny is $4-87/240. That's near enough to 2 cents.

We old blokes are handy sometimes.
 

Rob Lawes

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Jun 13, 2012
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England
1d is the old way of saying 1 penny.

So 2d = 2 pennies = approximately 4 cents.

3d = 3 pennies = approximately 6 cents

And so on....

1 shilling = 12d or 12 pence = 24 cents.
 
Jun 24, 2018
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thank you for that Rob. I now have to go back and redo everything that I have been working on for the past year. I had it all wrong this whole time. hopefully shouldn't take me that long now that i have the correct conversions.
 
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Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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Aboard ship, the exchange rates were a bit simplified, although, of course, it was never in the consumer’s favour. There’s a menu that shows the exchange rates for the a la carte restaurant aboard the Kaiserin Augusta Victoria, in 1909:*

1 Mark = 1 shilling = 25 US cents = 125 centimes (I.e. 1.25 French francs)

Although the menu is dated 1909, the rates were extremely stable due to the use of the gold standard. It wasn’t like today, where prices vary by the hour. I have seen the 1s = 25 cents ratio on Titanic ephemera, although I have not seen marks or francs.

Anyway, for the prices of tickets etc. in 1912 you wouldn’t use those simplified figures. I don’t specifically know what figure was used for USD to GBP conversions in ticket prices, but White Star would have had to offer competitive rates for tickets.

I use measuringworth.com for “today’s money” calculations. Several answers are given, as prices and wages have not increased in a linear fashion. Converting 1912 fares in modern currencies even requires you to use different rates for 1st and 3rd class, as some are based on wages for industrial workers.

I found it interesting to compare answers about fare on Titanic to prices of airplane tickets and cruise ships. That way, you compare the price of a 1912 commodity against prices for a similar commodity in 2018. For example, compare a 3rd class ticket to a coach ticket from Heathrow to JFK on British Airways. Prices today are usually lower, once you convert to 1912 pounds.
 

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