How much was the Hungarian gift to the Norwegian Unitarians?

Norwegian Unitarian minister and blogger Knut Heidelberg wonders the value of a 1909 gift of 10,000 Hungarian crowns to the Norwegian Unitarians.

There are a lot of issues here, not the least being what 10,000 crowns would buy then, what level of sacrifice it took to collect and how it compared to other currencies.

Fortunately, we know the Austro-Hungarian crown then on the gold standard, and 10,000 crowns had the value of 304.878g of gold. Today, that would be about US$11,100. But since we know the 10,000 crowns was equal to 10 work-years for a teacher, that value seems misplaced.

According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve site, a dollar’s worth of goods in 1909 would be worth about $23.63 today. Don’t know how that holds across the Atlantic, but food for thought for this little-known act of generosity.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for interesting comment to my article. Just one thing. It was 1,000 Hungarian Crowns 1909. Not 10,000. But still a considerable amount of money. Bishop Ferencz informs in his ‘A Short Account of the Unitarian Church of Hungary’ in 1907 that 1,000 Crowns then was the minimum annual sallary for a teacher – and this would be a teacher qualified and having his exams etc.

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