I didn't see a reference to this article, so I thought I'd mention it.
In the Sunday Times magazine, 08/08/04 (a rare date in that it shouldn't confuse the Americans!) there was a seven page article on the American West book, promoting Laura Wilson's book 'Avedon at Work'. Most of the seven pages are photographs, including Avedon at work with his wooden 8x10. While the photography doesn't do much for me, the stats may interest LF users, esp. 8x10 users:
"Avedon photographed 752 people using 17 000 sheets of film and working in 189 towns."
Of the beekeeper (shot covered in bees), Avedon shot 121 sheets over two days. But I suppose as it's B&W, it is pretty cheap!