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William Ferris, II glass plate negatives

1888-1889
 Collection
Accession: 1974-359

Abstract

William Ferris, II (1822-1909) was, along with Philip Garrett (1814-1896), a senior partner in the firm of the Ferris & Garrett company, a supplier of plumbing fixtures for gas, steam, and water service in Wilmington, Delaware. This collection consists of thirty-eight glass plate negatives, mostly of unidentified people and interiors, photographed by William Ferris, II.

Dates

  • 1888-1889

Creator

Extent

39 item(s)

Physical Description

1 photographic print : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 24 negatives : glass, b&w ; 6.5 x 8.5 in. 13 negatives : glass, b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 1 negative : glass, b&w ; 4 x 5 in.

Biographical Note

William Ferris, II (1822-1909) was, along with Philip Garrett (1814-1896), a senior partner in the firm of the Ferris & Garrett company, a supplier of plumbing fixtures for gas, steam, and water service. Ferris and Garrett established the company at 504 Market Street around the year 1854 and gradually expanded the building into a large, four-story office and warehouse whose rear entrace faced King Street, and which housed commercial tenants from other industries.

Ferris and his partner were also inventors. They, in partnership with James Megratten (1823-1894), a furniture dealer in Wilmington, were jointly issued patent number 19,837, dated April 6, 1858, for an improvement to refrigerator design.

William Ferris, II (1822-1909) was the ninth child of historian Benjamin Ferris (1780-1867) and his wife Fanny Canbey (1778-1833). Benjamin Ferris was a member of a prominent Quaker family in the Wilmington, Delaware region. His paternal great-uncle, the Quaker minister David Ferris (1707-1779) was a prominent abolitionist in Wilmington who often worked closely with abolitionist Thomas Garrett, II (1789-1871), a leader in the region's Underground Railroad and director of the director of the Wilmington Gas Company.

William Ferris, II married Mary Wetherald (1825-1907) in 1845 at the Wilmington Friends Meetinghouse, where they were members. The couple had seven children; Frances Fanny Ferris (1846–1909), Benjamin Ferris, II (1847–1928), Joseph W. Ferris (1849–1858), Mary Haworth May Ferris (1854–1932), William Ferris, Jr. (1859– ), Deborah Dora Ferris(1863–1947), and Anna M. Ferris (1864–1952).

Scope and Content

Collection consists of thirty-eight glass plate negatives, mostly of unidentified people and interiors, taken by William Ferris, II of Wilmington, Delaware. Many of the images show domestic scenes: a family eating in a dining room, a couple in a sitting room, a family on the lawn, a woman holding a cat; the individuals pictured are mostly unidentified, and may be the family of William Ferris, II. Other images show the interior of an unidentified saw mill, the exterior of Rockbourne Mills (a textile mill owned by Thomas Kent in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania), and the ship "Brandywine." In addition, there is one undated photographic print of an unidentified factory interior, possibly William Sellers & Co. of Philadelphia.

Contact prints exist for a representative sample of the negatives; many of the negatives are multiple exposures of the same scene, therefore a contact print was made for one exposure only. However, all negatives of the saw mill, Rockbourne Mills, and the ship "Brandywine" have been printed. Contact prints are available for research.

Location

N1-2

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Contact prints are available for research. Glass plates negative DO NOT CIRCULATE.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
William Ferris, II glass plate negatives
Status:
Date:
2014
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400