Temple Row West
Jany 19th /44
W. H. F. Talbot Esqre
In a course of lectures on photography which I am about to deliver at the Philosophical Institution in this town (of the syllabus of which I enclose a proof)<1> I am desirous of illustrating your interesting calotype process by taking the picture of a bust in the lecture room; the object for which I address you is to ask your permission to do or should you not think it incompatible with your interest. Soon after the publication of your process I experimented thereon and produced some tolerable specimens (which however I destroyed) and I flatter myself that your process would not suffer in my hands. I shall also be particularly obliged if you will give me the name and address of some party licensed to practice your invention from whom I can procure specimens. The whole of the specimens I made are destroyed and even with your permission to practice your invention I should be unable to procure good ones (views of course I mean) owing to the season of the year. A friend of mine in London called some time ago on Mr Collen <2> from whom I expect to be able to procure some portraits but I believe his specimens are confined to portraits.
I remain Sir, Your obedient Servt
1. This syllabus is preserved in the Talbot Collection of the NMeM, Bradford: Birmingham Philosophical Institution, lectures given on 5, 12 and 19 February, 1844. The second one was to deal with photography on paper.
2. Henry Collen (1800–1879), miniature painter, calotypist & spiritualist, London.