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Document number: 3968
Date: 02 Nov 1839
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: LUBBOCK John William
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA39-71
Last updated: 26th April 2010

29 Eaton Place <1>
2 Novr 1839

My dear Sir,

The letter <2> you forwarded to me was about your plates which I hope you have received, I gave your direction but by a blunder Giroux <3> put my name on the package.

You have perhaps seen the last number of the Phil. Mag. <4> in which Mr Towson <5> speaks of Photogenic paper which gives the light and shade in their right places. I was anxious to see these specimens. No. 1 is very good indeed.

I have examined my Camera furnished by Giroux with one of the same size & a rough lens.

The light seemed to me the same in both, but I think the lenses are so contrived that in Daguerre’s Camera the difference of focus for difference of distance is less in amount. The achromatism I believe to be fudge.

I have done some in the Camera on paper silvered as yet without decided success; but the weather has been very unfavorable.

Donné <6> persists in engraving from Daguerre’s plates, though Daguerre said it was impossible. Daguerre has done a portrait of himself, said to be excellent.

I saw Cooper <7> at the Polytechnic taking a drawing with the Oxy hydrogen Microscope <8> in three minutes.

Malaguti <9> has made some very curious experiments upon the absorption of the chemical rays. It seems water impedes their passage less than air!

Yours very faithfully
JW Lubbock

H. F. Talbot Esq
Lacock Abbey


1. London.

2. Letter not located.

3. François-Simon-Alphonse Giroux, of Alphonse Giroux et cie, stationers in Paris. Giroux was related to Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre's wife and in August 1839 secured the exclusive contract to market daguerreotype cameras and outfits manufactured under Daguerre's supervision. With no optical experience, Giroux turned to Charles Chevalier to make the lenses.

4. Philosophical Magazine.

5. John Thomas Towson (1804–1881), scientific writer.

6. Alfred Donné (1801–1878), microscopist.

7. John Thomas Cooper Jr (1790–1854), chemist.

8. A microscope employing the light produced by the burning of lime under a current of oxyhydrogen gas.

9. Faustino Giovita Mariano Malaguti (1802–1878), chemist.

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