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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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B. L. H. DABBS, whose name now has such a familiar sound in Pennsylvania, was born in London in 1839, and while he was still a child his parents came to this country. His father, George Dabbs, was one of the pioneers of the trade in photographic materials in America, being first a member of the firm of L. Chapman & Co., of New York city, and in 1856 moved to Philadelphia, where he manufactured photographic goods under firm name of George Dabbs & Co. Thus young B. L. H. Dabbs early became conversant with the details of the business in which he has since taken such a high place. Mr. Dabbs came to Pittsburgh in April, 1861, and opened a store for the sale of ambrotype and photographic supplies. It did not take long for Mr. Dabbs to build up a larger establishment in this line than Pittsburgh had ever seen before. In the same year, 1861, he became interested in the taking of photographs, by the purchase of the gallery of a Mr. Rorah, Nos. 90 and 92 Federal street, Allegheny City. From this day Mr. Dabbs gradually abandoned the purely mercantile, and attached himself to the artistic side of the photographic business. His work was a revelation to Pittsburgh and the adjoining country, and from the very first it was heartily appreciated. In 1864 Mr. Dabbs found that his standing as an artistic photographer necessitated his removal to Pittsburgh, and accordingly, in 1864, he established the largest photograph gallery in the state, at 46 and 48 Sixth street. So rapidly did the demand for his photographs increase that in 1869 he sold out his business as a dealer in photographic materials. Since then he has devoted all his time and talents to the taking of portraits, and the development of the science of photography.

In 1876 he removed to his present quarters, 602 Liberty street, and around him he has gathered a corps of operators and auxiliary artists which has no superior in the country today, and has always enabled Mr. Dabbs to turn out more striking, truthful and singularly artistic pictures than can be made elsewhere in the two cities. His reputation has had a steady and substantial growth from the first. Mr. Dabbs has always been eager to adopt the latest inventions, and experimental study has always received his closest attention. Among photographers, as with the public, Mr. Dabbs stands in excellent repute, and as his energy is unabated, even better results may be expected from his studio; and his business, already large, is steadily increasing.

Mr. Dabbs resides with his family in a handsome residence on Hiland avenue, East Side, where he has one of the finest art libraries in the city.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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