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Document number: 4921
Date: 22 Jan 1844
Recipient: CLAUDET Antoine François Jean
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 6th September 2012

[draft]

22 Jany / 44

Claudet

Not havg heard fm you since I wrote last, I suppose presume that you expected me to write again, before you replied. However this may be, I beg to inform you say that I am ready to perfect ye agreemts ^respectg ye Ctype whenever you wish it & I think it had better be done soon, because ye next season is now coming on

In your last letter you asked me what charge wd be made by my late assist for co g to you ye necessy instruction in Ye art? I am not able to answer that question

I find th In your last lr you asked me abt ye expense of procuring ye necessy insns –

I am now able to inform you that Mr Hennemann (late my assist) has establd himsf at Rg as a Cpst. My late assist. Mr H has now estd himsf at R as a Cpst – He is willing for a moderate reasonable remunern to undertake to give full instructns in ye art

He is very skilful & has now had a vy consble & experced in ye process in all its branches – 3 or 4 days wd suffice to learn the art, or with perhaps an addl lesson or two afterwds at intervals, if any difficulties shd occur in practice.

He would give the instruction at Reading at [sic] not in London for two reasons, in ye 1st place that he wd not like to quit his business there, and secondy because in order to These instrns he wd is ready to give at his residence in R. His He cannot leave his own business wd prevent him coming to come to Town for that purpose nor nor if he could do so wd it be desirable, because he says that he could not cannot explain & teach ^the art in a satisfy manner, except ^when he is working at ^home with his own apparatus & materials

[expanded version:]

22 January 1844

To: Antoine Claudet

Not having heard from you since I wrote last, I suppose presume that you expected me to write again, before you replied. However this may be, I beg to inform you say that I am ready to perfect the agreements respecting the Calotype whenever you wish it and I think it had better be done soon, because the next season is now coming on

In your last letter you asked me what charge would be made by my late assistant for coming to you the necessary instruction in The art? I am not able to answer that question I find that In your last letter you asked me about the expense of procuring the necessary instructions – I am now able to inform you that Mr Hennemann (late my assistant) has established himself at Reading as a Calotypist.- My late assistant Mr Henneman has now established himself at Reading as a Calotypist <1> He is willing for a moderate reasonable remuneration to undertake to give full instructions in the art

He is very skilful and has now had a very considerable and experienced in the process in all its branches – three or four days would suffice to learn the art, or with perhaps an additional lesson or two afterwards at intervals, if any difficulties should occur in practice.

He would give the instruction at Reading at [sic] not in London for two reasons, in the first place that he would not like to quit his business there, and secondly because in order to These instructions he would is ready to give at his residence in Reading. His He cannot leave his own business would prevent him coming to come to Town for that purpose nor nor if he could do so would it be desirable, because he says that he could not cannot explain & teach the art in a satisfactory manner, except when he is working at home with his own apparatus and materials.


Notes:

1. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), born in Holland and trained in Paris, was WHFT’s valet who emerged as his assistant in photography. Henneman set up his Calotype works at 8 Russell Terrace, Reading. Commencing operations at the start of 1844, it functioned both as a photographic studio and as a photographic printing works and continued through late 1846, at which time Henneman transferred his operations to London. Although Talbot supported Henneman through custom, such as printing the plates for The Pencil of Nature, and loans, it was always Henneman's operation. His business cards made no mention of "The Reading Establishment," the designation that it is popularly given today; the only contemporary use of that title seemed to be by Benjamin Cowderoy - see Doc. No: 05690 - and in Henneman's initial correspondence with WHFT.