Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Civil War and Crude

Today's closing price is high, no doubt about it, but I recently discovered an online chart on Forbes (see link in title) which show the price of crude in constant 2007 dollars from 1861 to 2005. It turns out that oil prices were as high as $107 a barrel in 2007 dollars in 1865 and and just over $90 in 1981. 1865 is particularly important because it was the last year in the Civil War and the nation was in its greatest state of disarray since the American Revolution. Now that's something: the economy's oil price hasn't been so stressed since the Civil War. How about that?

1 comment:

John Losinger said...

As an interesting historical footnote, during the 1860s, the price of the (wooden) oil barrel itself--fluctuating between $2.50 and $3.50--often exceeded the value of its contents. (see Leonardo Maugeri, The Age of Oil: The Mythology, History, and Future of the World's Most Contoversial Resource (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006), p. 6.)