Langenheim, William (1816–1874)

By: Beryl V. Bowen

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 21, 2016

William Langenheim, soldier and photographer, was born in Germany in 1816. He immigrated to the United States in 1830 and settled in the region of Aransas Bay, Texas, in 1833. He joined the Texas army, participated in the siege of Bexar, and on February 27, 1836, was captured with Francis W. Johnson's party at San Patricio. Langenheim was imprisoned at Matamoros, Tamaulipas, until January 1837. After his release he returned to the United States by way of New Orleans and joined the quartermaster department of the United States Army for service in the Seminole War. In 1840 he joined his brother in operating a photograph gallery in Philadelphia. He devoted attention to the albumen process, the Talbot and Le Gray processes, and microphotography; he pioneered in the development of stereopticon slides. Langenheim returned to Texas in 1846, but family affairs and epidemics in the German colonies in Texas caused him to go back to Philadelphia. He died in Philadelphia in 1874.

Ferdinand von Roemer, Texas (Bonn: Marcus, 1849; trans., San Antonio: Standard, 1935; rpt., Waco: Texian Press, 1976). Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Texas Collection, July 1941.


  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Visual Arts
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Military
  • Soldiers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Beryl V. Bowen, “Langenheim, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 29, 2021,

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April 21, 2016