In 1901, a pound was divided into 20 shillings. There were 12 pennies
in each shilling. The way to write one shilling was 1s, or 1/-.
This was changed in 1971 to a decimal system, with 100 pennies in
a pound. Shillings (then worth 5p) disappeared.
One shilling often called a 'bob' is equivalent to 5p in todays
money. It was worth a lot more in 1901. A clerk in London would
earn 16/- a week. A good breakfast would have cost 1/2 a shilling
(6d called a 'tanner' or 2.5 pence of todays money) and you could
rent a sparsely furnished corner of a partitioned attic for 4/-
a week in central London. In the first part of the century 7/- was
worth about £10 today.