William M. Faris

1852-1854       190 Main St, Wheeling, Virginia.

1855                Address Unknown, Wheeling, Virginia.

1856                Nearly opposite the Suspension Bridge, Wheeling, Virginia.

William M. Faris was recorded in sixteen announcements and three advertisements.  The first announcement appeared on October 14, 1852 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer(Wheeling, Virginia).  Just Opened.—Mr. Faris has opened a new suit of Daguerrean Rooms 190 Main St., adjoining the Monroe House, where will be glad to receive visitors at all business hours.  His aim is to please both in the quality and price of his likenesses.

The second announcement appeared on October 23, 1852 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. Mr. Faris, an experienced and skillful Daguerreotypist, formerly an operator in the celebrated Faris establishment of Cincinnati, has some fine specimens of his work at his rooms on Main St., a few doors below Monroe House.  Wheeling is becoming celebrated for her excellent Daguerrean Artist.

The third announcement appeared on October 28, 1852 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. 

Some Account of the Fair…Miscellaneous—In the Miscellaneous department there was a great variety of curious and beautiful articles…Daguerreotypes from Faris and Partridge,…

The fourth announcement appeared on November 3, 1852 in The Spirit of Democracy.  (Woodsfield, Ohio).  Fair at Wheeling.  We find it almost impossible to enumerate every curious, wonderful, beautiful and praiseworthy article….Miscellaneous.—…Daguerreotypes from Farris and Partridge…

The first announcement ran from December 17, 1852 to February 10, 1854 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  (St. Clairsville, Ohio).  “Let Nature copy that which Nature made.”  Wm. M. Faris who has long engaged as an operator in that deservedly popular Gallery known as the “Melodeon,” Cincinnati, has taken and fitted up for Daguerrean purposes, the house 190 Main street adjoining the “Monroe House,” where he would respectfully invite those persons who are disposed to call to their aid, this beautiful art, in fixing indelibly the liniments where “beauty lingers” and also call the attention of citizens and strangers to his new and beautiful style, “Crayon Portraits,” which, for the first time is now offered in this place.

When called upon, he will be ready to make the various kinds of pictures out of his rooms.  Those wishing to master this art, may have all necessary instructions and be furnished with complete apparatus and materials.  His arrangements are such that he can furnish every article used in the business, as low as the best articles will allow.  By a desire to please the hopes to merit and secure a share of patronage.  Rooms up stairs.  Wheeling, Nov. 12, 1852.

The fifth announcement appeared on December 18, 1852 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. “A Thing Of Beauty is a joy forever.”  Money is only useful in proportion to the amount of happiness it can procure, and in no other way can a greater pleasure be derived from a small outlay than can be done by procuring one of Faris’ unrivalled Daguerreotypes.  Rooms 190 Main street, near the Bridge.

The sixth announcement appeared on December 25, 1852 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. 

The Most Fashionable Present for Christmas or New Years, and one that will be valued after less appropriate ones are forgotten, is a neatly encased Daguerreotype.  At Faris’ you can have them put in lockets, pins, rings, or cases of any size or style.  He is making some that are hard to beat.

The seventh announcement appeared on January 1, 1853 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. 

The permanency of Daguerreotypes makes them the gifts, par excellence, for the present festive season.  They are not only permanent, but “E’er in their fixed and a [ ? ] lineaments, we trace an ebbing and a flowing mind, expression ever varying.”  If you would secure for some friend a prize of this kind, call at Faris’ Rooms, and he will fit you up one that will be entirely satisfactory.  Rooms 190 Main st.

The eighth announcement appeared on January 28, 1853 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  A beautiful view of Niagara Falls may be seen at the Daguerreotype Rooms of Mr. Faris’, Main street.  Also, an excellent likeness of McIlvaine, Van Buren, and others.—Wheeling Gazette.

The ninth announcement appeared on October 14, 1853 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  The following prizes were awarded at the 5th Annual fair, held October 4th, 5th  & 6th, 1853….Artisans List…Best Specimen Dagtypes W. M. Faris Wheeling Diploma.

The tenth announcement appeared on October 15, 1853 in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer.  In the published list of premiums awarded at the Belmont County (Ohio) Fair, we find the following awards to our citizens.

Best Specimen Daguerreotypes, Wm. M. Faris.  Diploma.

The eleventh announcement appeared on October 21, 1853 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  We are informed by Mr. Partridge that there is an error in the published report, in this place, of the premiums at the St. Clairsville fair, so far as Daguerreotypes are concerned.  The premium there was awarded to No. 36, which was his No., and not that of Mr. Faris, as published.

The above paragraph is from the Wheeling Gazette, and as one of those who first published the premium list we beg to explain.  The list is published in the Wheeling papers in so far as the Daguerreotypes was concerned, was exactly as we published it.  The probabilities are that our publication is correct inasmuch as it comes to us in the handwriting of the Secretary, which person has ample opportunity of judging.  The manuscript is now before us and we find written I very legible characters “Best specimen of Daguerreotypes, Wm. M. Faris, Wheeling


Please say as much Mr. Wharton, and oblige the officers at least.

The second advertisement ran from February 3 to November 17, 1854 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  For the best Daguerreotypes, Single or in groups, go to 190 Main street, Wheeling, And our old citizen, Wm. M. Faris is there to furnish all that is excellent in his art, and as low as the same material or quality can be had at any similar establishment in the country.

Recollect his rooms are nearly opposite the Bridge, adjoining the Monroe House.

The twelfth announcement appeared on December 29, 1854 in The Belmont Chronicle, and Farmer, Mechanics and Manufacturers Advocate.  The Holidays.  Time honored is the custom of making the present time a season for the exchange of souvenirs of affection, and the presentation of some remembrancer by which in years to come, the form of the giver may be brought before the mind.  Speaking of remembrancers reminds us that Wm. M. Faris, at his rooms one door south of the Monroe House, Wheeling, is prepared to take those beautiful keepsakes, the “human face divine,” in highest style of the Daguerrean art, and upon the shortest kind of notice.  Pictures taken for all prices, from 50 cents upwards.

The third advertisement ran from March 29, 1855 to January 28, 1858 in the Belmont Chronicle  (St. Clairsville, Ohio).  Unrivalled In Price, And Pictures Faris’ Daguerrean Gallery Nearly opposite the Suspension Bridge, Wheeling.  The Central & Pleasant Location, Together with close personal attention gives him confidence of pleasing his patrons, as the best materials are used and pictures warranted to please.  We would call attention particularly of those wanting Miniatures of children, as this is the most favorable season.

It only takes a second or two on a bright day near noon.

The thirteen announcement appeared on April 5, 1855 in the Belmont Chronicle.  “A penny saved is a penny earned”—said Dr. Franklin, and how applicable is the proverb to every avocation in life.  The mechanic, the speculator, the professional man realize its truth every day of their lives.  We know of no place where it is more forcibly illustrated than in the single item of daguerreotype likenesses taken at Faris’s Gallery in Wheeling.  They are almost as cheap as dirt.  Read his advertisement than give him a call.  

The fourteenth announcement appeared on June 14, 1855 in the Belmont Chronicle.  An Idea.—The Hudson Gazette says that at a marble yard near its office they are preparing gravestones with daguerreotypes of the deceased set in marble.  The idea is poetic, and it generally followed would make living galleries, though which the eye would delight to wander, if the gloomy grave yard.—Wheeling Gazette.

The idea is not new.  Mr. R. H. Evans, the sculptor, of your city, assisted by Mr. Faris, the Daguerrean Artist, has executed at least one job of the kind.

The fifteenth announcement appeared on May 8, 1856 in the Belmont Chronicle.  Ambrotypes.—Among the late improvements in art, none rank higher than the Ambrotype, or the art of transferring the human face to glass.  This process, besides being softer in tone, has several great advantages over the old style.  1st.  They can be taken in from one to five seconds; 2d. They never fade with age, as they are hermetically sealed between the plates of glass; 3d. Accurate pictures of small children, children, so difficult to obtain by the old process, are obtained without difficulty by the new.  Mr. Faris, at his rooms near the Suspension Bridge, Wheeling, is prepared to take Ambrotype pictures in the best style, and at the cheapest rate.  By a new arrangement, entirely his own, he places the boarder, or “mat,” beneath the picture, giving the latter the appearance of greater fullness and roundness.

The sixteenth announcement appeared on March 13, 1858 in the Ohio Farmer (Cleveland, Ohio). 

List of Patents.  The Following Is The List Of Patents Issued From The United States Patent Office, For The Week Ending Feb. 23, 1858—Each Bearing That Date…

William M. Faris, of Wheeling—for improved water meter.

William M. Faris is not recorded in other photographic directories.  The last announcement recorded on March 13, 1858 is speculation on my part.  Further research is needed to verify this information.

1 thought on “William M. Faris

  1. This is indeed Wm M. Faris of Wheeling, Virginia (before it became West Virginia).

    He signed the necessary paperwork on Dec 24, 1857, and the Patent (19,414) issued on Feb 23, 1858.

    He seems to have been multi-talented.


    Liked by 1 person

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