York’s First Photographer–William Wagner, 1845
Daguerreotype of William Wagner
In I recent post on multi-talented Yorker William Wagner, I mentioned that besides being a nationally known engraver and maker of seals, artist, banker, and municipal officer, Wagner was York’s first known resident photographer. In 1845 he advertised his services taking “Daguerreotype Likenesses.” This was only six years after Daguerre introduced the photography process.
Wagner seems to have only stayed in photography business for a year or so–perhaps his other endeavors kept him too busy. Although photographers from other areas, such as Philadelphia, advertised in York newspapers during the next couple of years, some coming to town and setting up for a short time, I have not found any references to any other resident York photographers until Glenalvin Goodridge and J. Thomas Williams in the 1850s.
Wagner’s 1845 ad reads:
THE subscriber, having purchased one of VOIGTLANDER’S CELEBRATED INSTRUMENTS, respectfully announces to the citizens of York and vicinity that he is now prepared to take Daguerreotype Likenesses, in the most perfect style of execution. Persons wishing to have their likenesses COLORED can have them done so without any extra charge. Prices from $1.50 to $2.50.
York, February 21, 1845.
Voigtlander, a German optical company founded in 1756, is still producing quality cameras.
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