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Document number: 4198
Date: 24 Feb 1841
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: WHEATSTONE Charles
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA41-8
Last updated: 24th August 2010

20 Conduit St
Febr 24th /41

My dear Sir

I agree to the conditions stated in your memorandum, <1> but it must be understood that all the experiments I shall make, if previously sanctioned by you, shall be at your expence, because I am at the present moment obliged to employ all my funds in another channel.

The workman I have employed has nearly finished the model of the electrolytic engine, it now only requires the electrodes and igniting wire to make it complete. He has just applied to me for some money on account, and if it be convenient to you to send me a cheque for Ten Pounds I think I could get it finished ready for the experiment in about a week. The whole cost will not be much more.

8 inches by 7 will be too large for the Stereoscope pictures; I should prefer the size of those you have already sent me. <2> I have recently seen some miniature portraits taken by the American process <3> which are absolutely perfect; I could not have thought the expression of the features could be so excellently preserved.

You should contrive to be at the President’s first Soirée next Saturday as no doubt all the curiosities of the season will be there

I remain Yours very truly
C. Wheatstone.


1. Letter not located.

2. Wheatstone was exploring the use of photography for his well known invention for three dimensional images, which prior to this had been based on hand-drawn art. WHFT enclosed his first specimens to Wheatstone in December 1840. [See Doc. No: 04172]. In 1841, John Frederick Goddard accompanied him to the studio of Richard Beard to secure a stereo daguerreotype portrait. In August 1841, he commissioned Henry Collen to produce calotype pairs. In 1842, he commissioned Antoine Claudet in London and Louis Armand Hippolyte Fizeau in Paris to make stereo daguerreotypes.

3. The electroplating of commercial daguerreotype plates with a thin coating of silver is here mentioned by the name attributed to Warren Thompson, a daguerreotypist practising in the United States at the time. It is also known as galvanizing.