As you have left me at the Stake <1> without any sympathy or counsel, I must beg you to let me know what you propose to do about the Royal Society affair; <2> as I have taken no steps & made no remonstrance since I learned that you were under the same disability.
If you can make Pictures with the Papers prepared by Major Playfair, <5> we shall then find out where the fault lies.
The failures by Dr Adamson <6> have been injured by exposure to light. He finds the Salt a better Fixer than the Bromide. He says that the immersion in Water washes out the virtue, & he is anxious to have a mark <7> for the proper strength of the Acetic Acid.
I am anxious to receive from you a Negative & the Positive Picture taken from it.
I am Dear Sir Ever Most Truly yrs
July 27th 1841
3. Scattered limbs of Photographs [after disjecta membra, Ovid, Metamorphoses 3, l. 724.
4. The calotype process.
5. Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair (1786–1861), military & provost of St Andrew’s University.
6. Dr John Adamson (1809–1870), physician and pioneer of photography. See A. D. Morrison-Low, ‘Dr John Adamson and Robert Adamson: An Early Partnership in Scottish Photography’, The Photographic Collector, v. 2, 1983, pp. 198–214.
7. The level to be marked on the measuring-vessel for the correct volume.