This paper makes the case for doing research on the history of investment valuation. It adopts a cultural economy approach which suggests that economies and markets are constructed, not given; and that economic practices ñ such as those involving calculations like property investment valuations ñ do not just operate the economy, they constitute the economy. The core of the argument is that, at any given time, certain calculative practices predominate. They embody particular rationales and they legitimate and facilitate certain ways of doing things: in other words, they reflect power relations in society. Changes in calculative practices may provide evidence of wider structural changes. Consequently, their histories are important. The paper considers the evolution, organisation and forms of calculative practices in the UK, in particular the evolution of investment valuation practice during the last century. It is anticipated that this examination will provide a framework within which to analyse and interpret the history of particular practices, including other valuations such as for development situations. The paper concludes with a consideration of some aspects of property valuation and appraisal to show how they relate to the general discussion and how valuation may make a good subject for a critical history.