Remember the moment in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” when Scrooge’s clerk Bob Cratchit is about to leave the office on Christmas Eve? Scrooge snaps, “You’ll want all day tomorrow, I suppose?”
“If quite convenient, sir”
“It’s not convenient, and it’s not fair. If I was to stop half a crown for it, you’d think yourself mightily ill-used, I’ll be bound.”
“And yet you don’t think me ill used for paying a day’s wages for no work.”
“It’s only once year, sir.”
“A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December.”
So, just how much is a half crown, I wonder every Christmas? And now I know how to find the answer to this and many similar questions: a web site called historical currency conversions. It turns out Scrooge was threatening poor Bob Cratchit over $16.06 in today’s money.
But is it accurate? Of course it is: I found it on the Internet!