103 Newgate Street
I am desired by Mr Palmer to inform you that he will put your order for Electrotype <1> Copper plates in progress and when finished which will be in the course of a few days they shall be forwarded to you with as little delay as possible
I am Sir Your Obdt Servt
for E Palmer<2>
W H Thornthwaite
H. F. Talbot Esq
1. Electrotyping was a manufacturing method for producing facsimiles that grew up concurrently with photography, having been announced by Moritz von Jacobi in St Petersburg at the end of 1838. A mould was formed from an original (such as a printing plate) and this mould was made electrically conductive by brushing with graphite; electricity could then be used to deposit copper in this mould, thus duplicating the original. In the printing industry, it eventually supplanted the stereotype process, where a paper maché mould was employed to make duplicate plates. [See Larry J Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Twelve: Talbot and Photogravure (New York: Hans P Kraus, Jr, 2003), pp. 40–41].
2. Edward Palmer, instrument maker. Soon after this, Thornthwaite joined with Fallon Horne to purchase the firm and they soon emerged as major suppliers of photographic supplies, eventually becoming Horne, Thornthwaite & Wood.