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Document number: 6019
Date: 21 Oct 1847
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: KREEFT John Christopher Tobias
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA47-83
Last updated: 9th March 2012

Henry Fox Talbot Esquire.

London. Mecklenburg Consulate
21 Oct. 1847

Dear Sir,

I have received a reply from Mr Leonhard Bucher & Mr Hanisch, <1> together with the enclosed very handsome testimonial from his employers the celebrated manufacturers Messrs Escher Wyss & Co at Zurich <2> which I have translated & shall be glad if you should think the matter of sufficient importance, to communicate further with these gentlemen, as I hope your favorable decision.

The Amount of outlay already made they say is about £200 … & they tell me that a similar sum would be sufficient to complete their experiment, & lead to the favorable termination which they anticipate will result, from them, or they are willing to leave it to you to complete them in England should you prefer it. –

I am Dear Sir very truly obtly yours
Christopher Kreeft

[enclosed testimonial:]

Translated from the German


We the Undersigned do hereby certify that Mr Leonhard Bucher of Feldkirch in Vorarlberg has been in our employ for the last 11 years as Engineering Draughtsman and that we assure him of our entire satisfaction, both as regards his moral character as [sic] his technical abilities – We further certify that Mr Bucher has for about a year employed himself during leisure hours with an Invention “for the application of the Power generated by the explosive qualities of Gun Cotton to various technical]<3> purposes” – and judging from the results of such experiments which Mr Bucher has made in our Works here with our per[mission] we believe that his Invention is based on sound pr[inciples?] so that the carrying the same into effect as projected presents a possibility of Mr Bucher’s arriving ultimately at a favorab[le] result. Mr Bucher having however already made considerabl[e] outlays, which he find it now inconvenient to continue, he is prevented making further experiment through the want of funds, – we are of opinion that Mr Bucher on account of his integrity, industry and talent merits entire confidence and we are convinced that he will faithfully devote any pecuniary assistance rendered to him to the intended purposes.

Zurich 29 September 1847. signed Escher Wyss & Co

L. H.[?]

H. Fox Talbot Esq
Lacock Abbey
Athenhum [sic] Club


1. Leonhard Bucher, draughtsman, and Julius Hanisch, Swiss inventor.

2. A Swiss company, founded in Zurich in 1805 as a wool-spinning factory by Johann Kaspar Escher vom Glas (1775–1859), it was converted to a machine and engine factory in 1810.

3. Letter damaged at edge of page.

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