A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Money - Weights and Measures - Prices

by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler

     From the times of Emperor Joseph the Second the conventional coin was introduced in his lands.  The conventional Guilder had 60 Kreuzer in it.  The 1, 2,  and 4 Kreuzer pieces were made of copper and 6, 10, and 20 Kreuzer pieces of silver.  The Maria Theresia dollar was worth 2 Florints and is still "Abbessinien?" in the traffic today. - During Austria's long lasting war with Napolean currency was calculated in Vienna.  The 1, 2, 3, 15, and 30 Kreuzer pieces were made of copper.  There were no silver coins.  To cover wartime expenses bank notes in greater amounts were issued.  For this reason all Viennese currency received the name "Schein" (note).  All prices quickly rose.  The uncovered "Scheins" led to a devaluation of 5 to 1.  After the end of the Napoleonic war the emergency money was withdrawn in 1818 and mainly silver came into use.  In addition they calculated either in conventional coins or in Viennese currency notes where 5 Kreuzer notes were worth 2 Kreuzer coins.  The "Kossuth-Banko" in the years 1848-49 consisted of from 15 amd 30 Kreuzer, 1, 2, 5, 10, and 100 Guilder and lost their entire worth.  The year 1859 brought the so-called Austrian currency.  From then on the Guilder consisted of 100 Kreuzer.  There were ½, 1, and 4 (copper coins), 10, 20, 25, 1 Florint, and 1.5 Florint (silver coins) and bank notes.  In the 1890's money was paid in Hellers and Kronen.  There were 1 and 2 (copper coins), 10 and 20 (nickel) Hellers, 1, 2, and 5 Kronen in silver, 10 and 20 Kronen in gold, and bank notes.  During the World War the Austro-Hungarian money had an exchange rate of 4 Kronen to 1 Dinar.  Besides that, a cancellation followed during which the bank notes were devalued about 20%.  Many did not let their money be cancelled, so it lost all its worth.  Today the following money is in circulation: 25 and 50 Para, 1, 2, 10, 20, and 50 Dinar in coins and 100 and 1000 Dinar in bank notes. 

     The standard of linear measure until the 1870's was the fathom = 1.896 meters.  A fathom has six shoes = 31.6 centimeters.  A shoe has 12 inches = 2.63 centimeters.  1 mile has 4000 fathoms, that is 7.586 kilometers.  The "Elle?" has 78.8 centimeters. 

     The standard of weight was the pound = 56 dekagrams. 

     A bucket had 56.50 liters.  1 bucket had 40 measures.  1 measure = 1.415 liters.  1 measure had two halves.  The grain was measured with measures of capacity (volume).  There was the Pester Metzen = 92¼ liters and Preßburger Metzen = 61½ liters.

     Of all these old measures only the fathom is used anymore as a field measure.  A yoke has 1600 square fathoms, a chain has 2000 square fathoms, a vineyard 1200 square fathoms, a yard 300 square fathoms, and a "Stickelche?" 150 square fathoms. 


* W.W. = Viennese currency

Until the year 1914 they got up to 10-15 Guilders for wheat prices.

During the World War grain prices reached their peak because fruit was needed.
With the Dinar currency the price of wheat fell from 500 (1924) to 80 (1933).  The price of the fields was also set according to the price of grain , so that a chain of field cost about as much as 100 Metzen of grain.

[Published at 2004 by Jody McKim Pharr]