Hebrew Publishing Company

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  • #617948

    Joseph
    Participant

    What does anyone know about the Hebrew Publishing Company. They started in the 1890s and were based in Manhattan mostly, though in the late 1990s they seemed to have a Far Rockaway address. By the 2000s they seemed to have fallen off the map, being unable to locate then anywhere currently.

    #1158515

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    They made their money reprinting the same volumes for decades. Siddurim such as Shilo, Tikkun Meir. No new works came out since shortly after 1960.

    The advent of modern computer driven printing/publishing made their library of set type obsolete and worthless.

    The baby boom requirements of Hebrew and English texts for non-frum afternoon and Sunday Hebrew schools kept them viable until the late 70s.

    They could not compete with the computer based type setting of newcomers such as Art Scroll.

    Finally, they fell victim to cheap overseas printing and the availability of many resources on the internet.

    #1158516

    Joseph
    Participant

    So they’re completely out-of-business currently? Someone must own the rights to their works and copyrights should someone be interested in copying or reprinting something.

    The most recent printing of one’s of their seforim I saw was dated 1998. It was the only Sefer I ever saw from them that had their address and phone number (which was in Queens and no longer active) and it was a reprint of a decades earlier release.

    About six years ago I tried finding them and ended up locating (via Google and some online directories) some listing in upstate New York of an officer in a Reconstructionist congregation but never got a callback from a message left at that number.

    #1158517

    takahmamash
    Participant

    And don’t forget the ubiquitous blue Birnbaum siddurim. I still have a copy that my dad z”l wore out from years of use. In fact, I found an old one in shule here that someone had left. I have pleasant memories of learning to daven for the amud from those siddurim.

    #1158518

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Joseph…………..

    Many of their publications were not copyrighted by HPC. Some were simply typeset by them copying siddurim from Europe.

    US Copyrights expire.

    All copyrights for things published before 1923 are expired. Things published before 1978 had a 28 year copyright if not renewed. Since 1978 new copyrights generally have 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation (whichever is shorter).

    Sadly, HPC is defunct as a publisher, but some individual may own the name.

    #1158519

    yehudayona
    Participant

    A little googling reveals that the company was bought by Charles Lieber of Spencertown, NY in 1980. He died in April of this year at age 95. Judging from his NY Times obituary, he was involved in the Reconstructionist movement.

    #1158520

    Joseph
    Participant

    YY, he’s the name I somehow found six years ago or so. Where’d you read he bought the publisher in 1980?

    #1158521

    adocs
    Participant

    CTLAWYER-

    The shilo siddur was and still is published by shilo publishing ( they still exist). You can easily find them with a simple search.

    #1692830

    flyfshrgrl
    Participant

    There is an 1 August 1976 New York Times, p. 40 article titled “It’s Onward and Uptown for Hebrew Publishing Company,” which details the now-defunct company’s move. Its bookstore moved to 314 Grant Street, but at the time of publication, the Company did not have a mid-town address, yet. Its original location at 77-79 Delancy Street, corner of Allen & Delancy Streets, was the original Bank of United States building. The HPC moved because a new owner bought the building.

    #1692888

    Yosey
    Participant

    Hebrew Publishing printed the original Torah Temima Chumash.
    I think Shilo is now owned by Judaica press. When I was a child my father gave me a small “pocket size” Shilo siddur that I used for years. When I was a rebbi and needed prizes to motivate the children I gave the same pocket size shilo siddur to my talmiddim. I recently met talmid who told me he used it way after he got married. (And he got it in the 3rd grade) He can no longer use it because he works for Art Scroll 🙂

    #1692935

    midwesterner
    Participant

    Working for Artscroll prohibits one from using a siddur published by another company?

    #1693182

    How about a gemara?

    #1694970

    Joseph
    Participant

    Who owns the company now? Can their seforim legally be reprinted?

    #1695083

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    HPC was mechallel shabbos with their printing. It might be assur altogether to use their books.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that that was the response this thread was trying to solicit all along…

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