## TWAIN-L@YORKU.CA

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```Larry Howe wrote:
> The inflation calculator at http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ shows \$500
in
> 1861 to be equal to \$10, 271.33 -- not a CEO's salary by any means but
> rather fitting the lofty status Twain claimed pilots deserved.  Whether
that
> was what he earned is not entirely clear.  Perhaps someone who has
> researched his piloting career can confirm if his earnings matched the
> figures he cites in LOM.

My inflation calculator gives something in the same ballpark.  I
estimate \$500 in 1861 to be equal to about \$11,500 dollars today.  Keep
in mind that's per month.  If he was paid at the \$250/month rate, that's
equal to about \$69,000 dollars per year now.  At a \$500/month rate, it's
equal to about \$138,000 per year.  Keep in mind that any inflation
figures before 1913 are somewhat suspect, as 1913 was the first year
that the Consumer Price Index was tracked somewhat scientifically.

Some more reference tools and links from my site:

Currency converter:
http://futureboy.us/fsp/dollar.fsp

Note that you can also calculate the whole conversion in one fell swoop
by entering:

500 dollars_1861 / month  -> dollars/year

in my form here:  http://futureboy.us/frink/

"The Pilot's Monopoly" chapter in Life on the Mississippi:
http://futureboy.us/twain/miss/miss15.html

The surrounding chapters have more on the pay for pilots.

For those interested in other historical calculations from the time,
I have some discussion of the cost of his passage for the _Innocents