When I think back, much of the test equipment which anybody can afford today was so very expensive in the past
I was looking at some old Electronics Today International magazines and found an advertisement which shows the Trio oscilloscope and pricing from the past. This was in 1977, the trio CS1560A (same as TAFE NSW used until right up to 2013 when we went digital. We still have some old Trios kicking around and even at 40 years old, they still work fine.
In 1977, the average taxable salary in Australia was around $9,000 per year. Take home pay would have been say $7500 per year. So the Trio oscilloscope would have cost about a months take home pay!
I saved for several months to buy my first oscilloscope back then.
In comparison today, the Rigol 50 MHz digital scope with colour LCD and storage function costs about $500 in a time when the average salary in Sydney, New South Wales is AU$67,788 (2018 ABS). After tax yearly the take home pay is around $55,000 which makes the Rigol scope cost about 3 days pay.
But of course it’s more of a difference than shown because the Rigol is a 50 MHz digital storage scope with roots to the Agilent factory (HP). In 1977 a scope like the little most basic Rigol would have cost perhaps $5000. That is just short of a years take home salary in 1977.