Photographer Leon Hampartzoum Abdalian was born in Cilician Armenia, Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), circa 1884. He moved with his family to the United States in April of 1896 and eventually settled in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.
Abdalian was largely self-taught. For most of his career as a photographer, which lasted from 1913 into the 1960s, he also worked full-time as a conductor on the Boston Elevated Railroad.
Abdalian was primarily a large-format photographer, specializing in photographing historical sites and the park system. Locally, his photographs were published in the Boston Globe, Boston Traveler and Boston Herald newspapers.
In 1930 during the Massachusetts Tercentenary celebration, the Boston Daily Record hired Abdalian as the “Photographer of Historic Shrines” and published a series of his photographs of historic monuments and buildings. He also had photographs published in the National Geographic magazine in March of 1920 as part of an article on business in Massachusetts.
Abdalian retired as a conductor in 1951 but continued his career as a photographer into the 1960s almost to the year of his death in 1967.
These amazing photos from Boston Public Library are part of his work that Leon Abdalian took street scenes of Massachusetts in the 1920s.
|57–59 Mt. Vernon Street, 57 was home of Charles Francis Adams, 59 was home Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Beacon Hill|
|83 Mt. Vernon Street, home of William Ellery Channing|
|Beach and Atlantic House hotel, Nantasket|
|Charles River Bridge, West Roxbury|
|Church of the Presidents, Quincy|