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Document number: 8340
Date: 15 Mar 1861
Dating: corrected from 12th
Recipient: HOGARTH Joseph
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
Collection number: 1937-5407
Last updated: 9th March 2012

[fragment]

[draft:]

Hogarth
March 13 15/61

I consider it a vy easy thing to reproduce imitate an engraving – a sketch by one of the old masters – a pen & ink drawg or anythg of that sort, by my photoglyphic process invention and I sd rather suspected you shd mention that It seems to me, that you do are not understand aware of this. It is quite easy. To make electrotypes an electrotyped copper plate for this purpose, is a most needless expen diturese of time & trouble.

If you wd like to send me any line engraving or pen and ink sketch together with a copy made from it by Mr Pretsch, by the eltype process I will copy do it try the same by my method & we shall see which is best, tht is to say, most true to the origl in minute detail, & also in the depth of the shadows – If the copies are of equal merit, of course the direct process is the best & cheapest.

In your letter you do not distinguish clearly between engraved plates & blocks similar to woodcuts for printing along with type like woodcuts. It was the latter I meant when I said that my method gave more relief than Pretsch’s.

With respect to terms – your 1st proposl was that I shdtake a share in the Compy, 1 share out of 7 and pay for it 100£ if required. But you thought that not more than ½ that sum would be required wanted. Of course ∴ holding that share I shd receive 1/7th of the net profits, or about 14 pr ct. In lieu of this I proposed 3 pr ct on the gross receipts. – It does not appr to me likely that this wd be more than the other. – On the conty I thnk it wd be less (K) And the first payment of 100£ if a large business were done would not make any great difference in the calcuts. You see it wd be repaid in the 1st year, if the profits amounted to 700£ wch wd be a low estimate

[expanded version:]

13 15 March 1861

Hogarth

I consider it a very easy thing to reproduce imitate an engraving – a sketch by one of the old masters – a pen and ink drawing or anything of that sort, by my photoglyphic process <1> invention and I should rather suspected you should mention that It seems to me, that you do are not understand aware of this. It is quite easy. To make an electrotyped copper plate electrotypes <2> for this purpose, is a most needless expen diture [expen]se of time and trouble.

If you would like to send me any line engraving or pen and ink sketch together with a copy made from it by Mr Pretsch, <3> by the electrotype process I will copy do it try the same by my method and we shall see which is best, that is to say, most true to the original in minute detail, and also in the depth of the shadows. If the copies are of equal merit, of course the direct process is the best and cheapest.

In your letter you do not distinguish clearly between engraved plates and blocks similar to woodcuts for printing along with type like woodcuts. It was the latter I meant when I said that my method gave more relief <4> than Pretsch’s.

With respect to terms – your first proposal was that I should take a share in the Company, one share out of seven and pay for it 100£ if required. But you thought that not more than half that sum would be required wanted. Of course therefore holding that share I should receive one-seventh of the net profits, or about fourteen per cent. In lieu of this I propose three per cent on the gross receipts. <5> It does not appear to me likely that this would be more than the other. On the contrary I think it would be less (K) <6> And the first payment of 100£ if a large business were done would not make any great difference in the calculations. You see it would be repaid in the first year, if the profits amounted to 700£ which would be a low estimate


Notes:

1. Photoglyphic engraving.

2. The first part of Pretsch’s process used gelatine and potassium bichromate [causing a patent-dispute with WHFT]; the second part consisted of electrotyping.

3. Paul Pretsch (1808–1873), Austrian photographer & inventor. A few years earlier, the Patent Photo-Galvanographic Company (commonly, The Photogalvanographic Company), based on the work of Pretsch,was located on Holloway Road in Islington, London, from 1856-1857. Pretsch took over as manager and Roger Fenton (1819-1869), 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 WHFT's 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.

4. See Doc. No: 08334.

5. See Doc. No: 08329.

6. WHFT’s indication of the point for an insertion. The material to be inserted, and the remainder of the text of the draft, have not been traced.

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