Splicing in the 80’s was way different than now. Everything in the splicers was manual. Your heat setting, your duration setting and alignment required 3 multiturn knobs to manually align the 3 axis of the fibers looking though a microscope. Then if you set everything correctly you may have a good splice but to find out you had to call the CO tech who would shoot the fiber with a Tectronix OTDR. Many of the splices were rejected and had to be re-done. On the other hand, Today’s splicers do all the above automatically, all the splice tech has to do is, cleave and drop the fiber in. The splicer then auto aligns, auto burn, auto test, even auto sleeve shrink duration with faster shrinking sleeves. So you can’t really compare nearly 40 year old prices without adjusting the workload differential.