1960s Earnings and Spendings


(photo/image from special Mad Men Ad Age insert)
(oh, and click to enlarge)

We had an interesting discussion about Sterling Cooper salaries here.

1960–Peggy makes $35 a week as a secretary, got a $5 raise when she was doing writing assignments. Raise for Junior Copywriter position was not mentioned.

1960–Pete makes $75 a week/$3,500 a year.

1960–Pete & Trudy’s apartment on 83rd and Park $30,000 (listed for 32) 1500 square feet, 5 rooms, 2 BR, 2 Baths and a terrace.

1962–Ken Cosgrove makes $300 a week before taxes

1962–Harry Crane makes $200 a week, gets a raise to $225


  10 Responses to “1960s Earnings and Spendings”

  1. Also, Don Draper's salary was about $30K — a lot of money in those days — and when he was being wooed by McCann Erickson, they offered him $35K. Later in that show he negotiates a raise from Roger up to, I think, $45K.

    To put it in perspective:

    Pete's making $3,500 per year
    Ken Cosgrove's making $15,600 per year
    Harry Crane's making $11,700 per year, up from $10,400

    I do wonder why Pete is making so much less than Cosgrove, who's also an account executive. Is he that much less experienced?

  2. Don's paystub (opened by Betty during their separation in late Season 2) showed $947.75/week

  3. $947.75/wk is about $49000/yr or $343,000 today.

  4. Another thing to consider is that the 947.75/week was net pay. I have paused the episode to try to glean other details from the paycheck but couldn’t see them clearly.

  5. My thinking about Pete's salary: is it possible it's an honorarium?

  6. Did companies mostly switch to bi-monthly pay when they started outsourcing to ADP and the like? I’ve only been paid weekly when temping and maybe when I was a cashier at CVS back in 1995. My landlord still talks about pay in weekly terms, and I’m like huh?

  7. There's also a two-year gap between when we find out Pete's salary and when we find out Ken's. That might account for some of the difference, but certainly not all.

  8. Interesting how real estate has gone up much more than salaries. Pete and Trudy’s place at $30K would be, what, around $300K in today’s terms, right? If Pete and Trudy’s place in 2009 were $300K, they’d be in a 400 sq ft studio.

  9. In 1962 my husband, a lawyer, was working in the U.S. Attorney’s office and making about 10K a year. I worked as an editorial assistant and was paid about $60 a week. We lived very well, had a 1 bedroom apt. on East End Ave., dined out at least once a week. went to Broadway shows about twice a month, owned a car and a boat and vacationed on Nantucket I. Couldn’t do any of that now.