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Document number: 5208
Date: 16 Mar 1845
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SULLIVANT Joseph
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA45-32
Last updated: 10th August 2012

Columbus Ohio U.S.N.A. March 16th 1845

Henry Fox Talbot Esqr

Dear Sir

Two years ago I was very much interested in reading a newspaper account of your ingenous [sic] researches in photography –the account however I find was not a correct one – I made attempts to procure pictures by the Calotype but did not succeed I know not from what cause – I have likewise attempted the Energiatype but with the like success – in this I also followed a newspaper account

I have just finished reading a very interesting work entitled "Researches upon Light" by Mr Robert Hunt in which he speaks in high terms of the Calotype process – I presume it requires requires [sic] great nicety as well as skill and experience in the manipulations – I have been waiting for some one in this country more skilful than myself to take up this very interesting subject but no one so far as I know having moved in the matter I am desirous of trying again – I therefore though with hesetation [sic] address some enquiries to you and will be much obliged if you conclude to answer them – 1st can I procure in London a plain instrument suitable for taking portraits & Landscapes or must the instruments be had separately? What will be the price of such an instrument? the Camera I used belonged to a friend and was of a short focus having been constructed for Daguerreotypies [sic] – 2d can I get the pre[par]ed paper in London (that is all except the last wash) and [do you] think if it were sealed up tightly in packages it would still be [sen]sitive upon its arrival? it would probably be six weeks [illegible] from London before I would get it – have you simplified or improved upon the Calotype process as described in Hunts work? is that process the one you consider best? if the directions are followed is it a certain one? the paper on which this is written is the same I have used in my attempts is it suitable? The art of taking Daguerreotype likenesses has been brought I am told to very great perfection in this country, indeed I have seen some almost equal to miniature paintings – but the plates are expensive and cumbersome and must yield in many respects to the Calotype if it produces good pictures – I am anxious to make myself acquainted with this new art not for the purpose of making money out of it but to supply an art I do not possess that of delineating scenes and objects that I admire if you answer this letter will you write it upon paper that you consider suitable for these pictures and if it is not presuming too much I would be much obliged if you enclose in your letter a small picture produced in this way – if I knew where to send or whom but you I would not make the request

very respectfully your obedient servant
– Sullivant

[illegible] Columbus
State of Ohio North America

Henry Fox Talbot Esqr