- de Meij
- de Molijn
- van den Berch
- Hogenhouck family
- Civic career
- Scientific career
- Delft in Holland
What was a guilder worth?
Guilder is the English translation of the Dutch and German gulden, the term that became current in the southern and western parts of the Holy Roman Empire for the florin that was introduced in 1252. Guilder has often been interchangeable with florin (currency sign ƒ. or ƒl.). Learn more at Wikipedia's Dutch Guilder.
Given the differences brought by the Industrial Revolution, it is extremely difficult to make any direct comparisons between the purchasing power of money in Leeuwenhoek's Delft and in our lives today. Clothing for example, was much more expensive in his time, but it lasted so long that people bequeathed it to their heirs.
The Historic Currency Calculator (no longer available) at DutchAncestryCoach.com returned the following results in 2013:
The International Institute of Social History (IISH) has a calculator that returns different results when queried in mid-2014.
The IISH calculator's standard of about 300 guilders as the yearly wages of an unskilled laborer agrees with the income ranges in Delft during Leeuwenhoek's time. Nevertheless, with results an order of magnitude apart and so much time having passed, it seems clear that we can only roughly estimate the purchasing power of Leeuwenhoek's salary.