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Document number: 5915
Date: 04 Apr 1847
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BRIDGES George Wilson
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA47-29a
Last updated: 27th February 2016

Malta –
4th April

My dear Sir/

I have been round Sicily – & 15 days in Pompeii – where I expended all my paper that was available – such a very large proportion of the last sent being full of spots – like that in the negative sent of Cathedral in Palermo – I obtained however some very good at Pompeii – but you see how I fail in copying them – they become so red & indistinct in the first warm water – then so faint in the hyp. sulph. bath -<1> tho’ always looking perfect in copying press till the fixing process commences. – With all your very kind advice, & liberality in presents of paper &c I find the art too expensive for me – & must try to succeed only in the copying those I have. When at Grigenti,<2> Etna &c I had not a single sheet of iodised paper <3> available – tho’ I had my camera – nor could I after many trials prepare a sheet there – tho’ at Pompeii I succeeded with some 10 in a row of my own preparing, a very small proportion of those I attempted to form. but Cowderoy’s <4> old paper, as far as it went, was excellent: – nothing could be better –

I long since wrote to Cowderoy (when I sent to him the amt of his bill) for a bottle of the prepared mixture with which he takes his copies – but I have not heard from him since: nor received any of Mt Etna, or other copies sent to him last Ocbr Your sun however is not so bright as ours. – He could always forward any thing, twice a month, thro’ my brother <5> as I directed him.–

I collected a few seeds <6> for you – of which I hastily enclose a sample – as the sooner they are in the ground the better – more shall follow – I am but just returned – &

[illegible] my dear Sir, [illegible]
Geo W Bridges

Any instructions to improve the copying process, I shall be most grateful for. –Pray pardon the great haste with which I close this – just arrived from sea – & the steamer going on – but the season for seeds is passing –

H. Fox Talbot Esqre
Laycock Abbey
via Southampton


1. Hypo sulphite or hypo.

2. Agrigento, Sicily.

3. Paper prepared for making calotypes.

4. Benjamin Cowderoy (1812–1904), land agent in Reading; business manager for WHFT; later a politician in Australia.

5. John W. Bridges.

6. See Doc. No: 05946.

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