A database of historical commodity prices and disruptions

This data-file aggregates long-term historical prices of commodities going back to 1800, and running up until 1970, predominantly in the US, using academic records and census data.

Covered commodities include bricks, coal, copper, cotton, nails, rock oil, steel rails, sugar, turpentine, whale oil, wheat and wood. A combined profile of all of these commodities is aggregated in the index above.

In particular, we focus in upon the disruption of whale oil as a lighting fuel and the disruption of wood as a heating fuel, using granular data into pricing and demand. Our conclusions are presented in a research note linked here.