This ca. 1888 image is from Hagley Library’s collection of William Ferris, II glass plate negatives (Accession 1974.359). 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.
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 entrance 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.
This collection consists of thirty-eight glass plate negatives, mostly of unidentified people and interiors, photographed by William Ferris, II. Other images show the interior of an unidentified sawmill, 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.