1852 Address Unknown, Princeton, New Jersey.
Helia was record in one article in The Photographic Art Journal (New York, New York) and an advertisement in The New York Herald (New York, New York). The article appeared in Vol. III, No. 3, March 1852, P. 194. A Daguerreotype artists, who is one of our subscribers, wishes to construct a traveling saloon, in such a manner that he may be folded within itself when not in use, Ie sufficiently light to be drawn by one horse, and yet large enough for all the purposes of his art, when unfolded and extended. He desires us to request the publication of the views of such of our subscribers as feel disposed to favor him with their assistance. His willing to remunerate the inventor of the most approved plan in a suitable manner.
—Since writing the above we have received the following letter from the gentleman alluded to.
Traveling Daguerreotype Wagon. To The Editor of the Pho. Art-Journal. Dear Sir,—Though the Photographic Art-Journal is devoted to improvements of general utility in the art, perhaps the present subject from its connection may be worthy of consideration to many Daguerreotypist.
I am and I have been for some time, as you are aware, traveling about with a large Daguerreotype saloon. I find it inconvenient, expensive, and in some respects, ill-adapted to its purpose. It is large, heavy and cumbersome, requiring four strong horses to move it. I hire these horses from place to place, sometimes with more or less difficulty or expense. I have thought it practicable and desirable to build a Daguerreotype Saloon of such materials and dimensions that one strong horse could draw it over all tolerably good roads. And I am now willing to do so. But as in union there is strength, so I so I may be greatly benefitted and aided, if, instead of building upon my own plans I first obtain the collective wisdom of those who have already had experience, or thought upon the subject.
I therefore request from all those Daguerreotypist who may be willing to give the subject some little consideration, some plan or idea of how they would build the wagon I desire. By their united assistance I could build one every way well adapted to its purpose.
To each individual who shall so favor me, I offer a drawing, lithographic or otherwise, fully explanatory of my wagon when completed.
It must be large enough when opened and stationary to operate in, with seats for customers, work-bench, dark-room, stove, sink, sky-light, &c. &c. It must of course be waterproof, and secured as much as possible from changes of temperature or gales of wind.
If it be asked what advantages I propose by such a wagon, I answer, that by keeping my own horse I can move about more independently and with greater activity than with a large one requiring four hired horses. I can reap harvests at places too small to be visited by my present saloon. These harvests are rich and rapidly gathered,—few or no reapers have visited their localities.
Any plan, or combination of plans, then that would offer most advantages and give a wagon that could be moved with one horse on common roads, while the publicity it increased the demand for Daguerreotypes in general, would be a desideratum to me and others who may wish to cary the art where it is yet but little known—Yours, Respectfully, Helia.
Gentlemen desirous of favoring me with their communications on the subject will please address, Helia, care of Mr. H. H. Snelling, 308 Broadway, New York.
The advertisement appeared on March 2, 1852. To Daguerreotypist—Wanted, By A Travelling Artist, an operator of some experience. He must be of good address, of steady habits, have respectable references, and be contented with a moderate salary. Address with full particulars, stating age, experience, and salary required, to Helia, Princeton, N. J. Helia is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry with no activity dates or location. John does reference the article in The Photographic Art Journal.