Biography of Charles Taber
Bristol County, MA Biographies





Taber, Charles, who died in New Bedford on the 17th of November, 1887, in the sixty sixth year of his age, was the pioneer founder of the industry of art manufacturing in this country. He was educated at the Friends' School in Providence, R. I., and was graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania when about eighteen, after winning a flattering record for ability and scholarship. His father, William C. Taber, became, early in life, a partner of Abraham Sherman, jr., in the book business in New Bedford, and after the dissolution of the firm in 1835 he continued in trade alone until 1843. when Charles Taber, having in that year reached his majority, was admitted. About 1849, the father having retired, Charles and his brother Augustus formed the firm of Charles Taber & Co. Augustus finally withdrew, and Charles took in as partner Abraham Taber and Asa C. Pierce, and still later, William C. Taber, jr. In 1862 the brothers, Abraham and William C. Taher, Jr., took the two book and stationery stores then conducted by the firm, and Charles Taber, with Asa C. Pierce, started as manufacuring photographers at No. 6 North Water street. In 1871 Mr. Taber assumed the sole management and so continued 'until 1881, when he admitted his brother, William C. Taber, jr., and his sons, Charles M and Frederic, as partners. In 1893 the Taber Art Company was incorporated with William C. Taber, president; W. C. Freeman, vice president; H. G. Stratton, treasurer; Charles M. Taber, clerk; William C. Taber, E. L. Freeman, H. G. Stratton, W. C. Freeman, C. D. Burrage and Frederic Taber, directors. In 1897 the firm was merged into the Taber Prang Art Company. The art business of the firm commenced with the manufacture of ambryotypes, or photographs on glass, the first one ever put on the market being a reproduction of the face of Elizabeth Fry, the English philanthropist. This branch led to the importation and later the manufacture of passepartouts, then to frames, later to photographs and finally to artotype engravings and etchings, which received for them a world wide reputation. Mr. Taber was by birthright a Friend, always a prominent worker in their meetings, and an active unobtrusive, benevolent citizen. By industry and perseverance he built up one of the most successful establishments in this country, and won a national reputation through the large variety of goods he manufactured.

From:
Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

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