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Document number: 8120
Date: 13 Jun 1860
Recipient: JAMES Henry
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Preus Fotomuseum / Norsk Museum for Fotografi
Collection number: 001-HNX-16-C
Collection 2: draft in Royal Photographic Society Collection, National Media Museum, Bradford
Last updated: 1st September 2003

<a virtually verbatim draft is in the collection of the Royal Photographic Society>

Lacock Abbey, Chippenham

June 13th 1860

Dr Sir

Your letter though dated the 8th inst. <1> only reached here Yesterday. With your permission I will defer further consideration of the question of the zincography with reference to my patent, <2> for a couple of months, for the reason that I am going to the Continent next week, or very soon afterwards, being one of the devoted band of astronomers and men of science who intend health permitting – to observe the eclipse of the 18th July in the North of Spain –

From the particulars You mention in your letter of the present mode of engraving the Ordnance maps it results that the actual engraving is wholly done by hand – All that photography does for you is to trace out an outline which the engraver is to follow with his tool as closely as he can. But in a map 3 × 2 feet I think there must be some thousands of names and I do not see how these can be engraved by one man with less than several days labour. Consequently though I cannot estimate exactly the saving wch wd be effected by the photoglyphic process, I perceive that it must be considerable.

I remain
Yours very Truly

H. F. Talbot

Col Sir H James &c Southampton


1. See Doc. No: 08113.

2. WHFT and James were in negotiation over the process of zincography employed by the Ordnance Survey Office, and whether it infringed either of WHFT’s patents for photographic or photoglyphic engraving.

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