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Document number: 07396
Date: 24 Apr 1857
Recipient: BOLTON John Henry
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA57-13
Last updated: 14th March 2012

[draft:]

Bolt.
Apr. 24. 57 每

Dr Sir,

I do not approve of ye terms suggd by y. One pCt is not wrth my acceptce You are perhaps not aware yt ye printsellrs will take 25 pCt fm ye Compy as commissnon the sale of the engravgs And this tax is levied on ye gross amt of the sales. Mr Carpmael gave me his suggd 5 prCt & tho* as a first offer to be made to the Cpy on my part I thk ﹤ tht you shd [illegible deletion] propose to Mr Loxley to take a prCtage on ye gross amt of sales, as a royalty, leavg ye amt of the prCtage in ye 1st instce in blank, but if pressed by him to name a sum that you shd then name 5 pr Ct.

You seem / have entirely misunderstd what I said abt Mr Pretsch's patt. I do not wish for ye privilege of usg his patt in any way What I said was that I shd require fm Mr Pretsch a formal admissn or acknt that h he wd not consider it any infgmt of his patt, if I applied to my own engravgs any process of electrotyping wch was known & publd before the date of his patent 每

The follg addl article apprs to me be quite essentl 每 The Compy to engage not to sell or part with the chrome Gelatine photographs, make any but without my consent written license or permssnbut only to sellfinished engraved plates, or impressnsfrom therefrom 每 nor the engraved metal plates, without my consent. If this is objected to, I shd be willing to discuss hear what ye Cy have to say on the subject 每 Your condns No 1 and No 4 I approve.

[expanded version:]

Bolton
April 24 1857 每

Dear Sir,

I do not approve of the terms suggested by you. One per Cent is not worth my acceptance. You are perhaps not aware that the printsellers will take 25 per Cent from the Company as commissionon the sale of the engravings. And this tax is levied on the gross amount of the sales. Mr Carpmael <1> gave me his suggested 5 per Cent & tho* as a first offer to be made to the Company <2> on my part I think ﹤ that you should [illegible deletion] propose to Mr Loxley <3> to take a per Centage on the gross amount of sales, as a royalty, leaving the amount of the per Centage in the first instance in blank, but if pressed by him to name a sum that you should then name 5 per Cent.

You seem to have entirely misunderstood what I said about Mr Pretsch's patent. <4> I do not wish for the privilege of using his patent in any way. What I said was that I should require from Mr Pretsch a formal admission or acknowledgement that h he would not consider it any infringement of his patent, if I applied to my own engravings <5> any process of electrotyping which was known & published before the date of his patent 每

The following additional article appears to me be quite essential "The Company to engage not to sell or part with the chrome Gelatine photographs, make any but without my consent written license or permssnbut only to sellfinishedengraved plates, or impressnsfrom therefrom " nor the engraved metal plates, without my consent. If this is objected to, I should be willing to discuss hear what the Company have to say on the subject 每 Your conditions Number 1 and Number 4 I approve.


Notes:

1. William Carpmael (1804-1867), patent agent & engineer, London.

2. The Patent Photo-Galvanographic Company (commonly, The Photogalvanographic Company) was based on the work of Paul Pretsch (18081873), Austrian photographer & inventor and former Manager of the Imperial Printing Establishment in Vienna. Located in Holloway Road, Islington, London, from 1856-1857, Pretsch took over as manager and Roger Fenton (18191869), photographer & lawyer, was a partner and their chief photographer. Starting in late 1856, they published a serial portfolio, Photographic Art Treasures, or Nature and Art Illustrated by Art and Nature, illustratated with photogalvanographs derived from several photographer's works. Photogalvanography was uncomfortably closely based on elements of WHFTs patented 1852 Photographic Engraving but, unlike Talbot, the plates were heavily retouched by hand. Compounding the legal objections of Talbot, their former manager, Duncan Campbell Dallas, set up a competing company to produce the Dallastype. The company collapsed and near the end of 1860 Pretsch, out of money, allowed his patent to lapse. A public appeal was launched in 1861 to assist him but he returned to Vienna in 1863 in ill health, going back to the Imperial Printing Establishment, but finally succumbing to cholera.

3. Of Fry and Loxley, solicitors for the company. The other partner, Peter Wickens Fry, had been a prominent opponent of WHFT's photographic patents.

4. In 1855, Pretsch took a British patent [No.1824, 11 August] entitled Application of Certain Designs obtained on Metallic Surfaces by Photographic and other Agency.

5. WHFT had patented a method of transferring a photographic image on to an engraving plate: Improvements in the Art of Engraving, Patent No. 565 of 29 October 1852. For a description of theH. J. P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London: Hutchinson Benham, 1977), process, see Arnold, pp. 273-274. The first part of Pretsch*s process was broadly similar to that of Talbot in that it used gelatine and potassium bichromate, but the second part used the electrotype process. For clarification of Talbot's position regarding his use of electrotype, see Doc. No: 07401.