William Langenheim (American, born Germany, Schöningen 1807–1874)
Image: 7.3 x 6 cm (2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Case: 1.4 x 9 x 7.9 cm (9/16 x 3 9/16 x 3 1/8 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Inscription: Blind stamp on velvet pillow in lid interior: "W & F Langenheim//Philada."
Langenheim Family; [Rinhart Galleries, Inc., Colebrook, Connecticut]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, August 4, 1983
Johann Schneider sent the Langenheims their first camera. Schneider was a classmate of Peter Voigtlander, who designed the first camera using the "portrait lens" created by Professor Josef Petzal of Vienna. Voigtlander continued to perfect his design and by 1850 his camera was consider by many American daguereotypists to be the best on the market. The Langenheims were the sole agents for Voigtlander in the U.S. In 1842 William returned to Europe to negotiate an agreement with Voigtlander for the brothers to be the agents for his lens in the U.S. It is possible this image was taken at that time. Schneider, Voigtlander, and the Langenheims are related through marriage. Schneider married Louisa Langenheim and Voigtlander married the other sister, Nancy. References: Beaumont Newhall, The Daguerreotype in America (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1961), p.49. Floyd Rinhart and Marion Rinhart. American Daguerreian Art (New York: C.N. Potter, 1967), 55-56. Advertisement for Voigtander’s Camera. The New York Herald. Vol. IX, No. 234 *August 27, 1843). “Splendid Achromatic Lenses.” Scientific American, Vol. 4, No. 30 (Apr. 14,1849), 236. Simons, M.P. “The Early Days of Daguerreotyping.” Scientific American, Vol. 31, No.
20 (Nov. 14, 1874), 311-312.