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Observations On The Worker To Book Production Ratio In An Eighteenth Century Hebrew Printing-House

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Chapter Summary

A detailed study of the worker to book production ratio in a Hebrew printing-press in the first half of the eighteenth century suggests that the primary occupation of the printers of books with Hebrew letters was not the printing of Hebrew (or Yiddish) works. The study, which focuses on the number of workers to the number and size of books issued by the Hebrew print-shop of Israel ben Abraham in Jessnitz over several decades, indicates that staffing levels are excessive if book production was the primary business of the subject press. The worker to book production ratio was analyzed for a second press, that of the Wilhermsdorf printer, Zevi Hirsch ben Hayyim. The findings are presented in this chapter in summary form. The chapter suggests that Israel ben Abraham, Zevi Hirsch ben Hayyim, and the Salonika printer, printed not only books but also what may be described as ephemeral material.

Keywords: eighteenth century; Hebrew printing-press; Israel ben Abraham; Salonika printer; worker to book production ratio; Zevi Hirsch ben Hayyim



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