Many years ago, I bought a small book entitled “Moral and Religious Tales for the Young of the Hebrew Faith” (illustrated). It is a translation by A. Abraham from a French work. The preface is dated Liverpool, May 1846.
Of course, many works of this type were produced by struggling teachers of Hebrew who hoped to supplement their paltry income by selling a few copies of their books.
Unusually, however, the preface is followed by the statement “Profits…will be appropriated to the cause of education.” Moreover, in another work in my collection by Abraham, entitled “a catechism of religious and moral instruction” (Liverpool 1840), we are told that copies are “to be had of Mr Abraham Lord Street.”
This shows us that far from being an itinerant teacher, our author is identical to Abraham Abraham ‘Optician and mathematical instrument maker of Lord Street Liverpool, who indicates on his trade card (illustrated) that he counted the Duke of Wellington amongst his clients.
The trade card shows individuals using a surveying instrument and a telescope, and I have examples of both types of these instruments made by Abraham in my collection.
Indeed, the trade card, containing a surveying instrument (illustrated) which is also engraved “Abraham Liverpool”. I am especially proud of the telescope I have which is also labelled ‘Abraham and co Liverpool’ and which still works.
So, our author was another example of a committed Jew who made and sold highly complex scientific instruments. He was primarily a successful instrument maker who published his Jewish works to promote Jewish education rather than for monetary profit. As we shall see in my next blog, he was also part of a distinguished Anglo-Jewish family in Liverpool and London.