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Document number: 05950
Date: 20 May 1847
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HARRIS Colonel
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: Acc no 20505 (envelope only)
Last updated: 23rd June 2015

U. S. Club <1>
Pall Mall
20 May 47

Colonel Harris presents his Compliments to Mr Talbot and trusts he will pardon the liberty he takes in addressing him, without being able to claim an acquaintanship [sic] –

A friend of Col. Harris’s has seen, as well as himself several admirable sketches from Mr Talbot’s improvement on the Dagueretype [sic], mostly done at Mount Edgcumbe <2> by Mr Talbot himself. – This friend, having heard that an Instrument to make these pictures, has been invented, and is on sale, has commissioned Col. H. to make a purchase of one, to a limited extent as to price, and Col. Harris applied to the foreigner (he forgets his name) at No 18 King William St, <3> who told him he had the patent, but though the Instrument was made, it would take three months to learn the process. The box Col. H. saw himself at Brookes the Stationer <4> at the head of Bond Street, but the shopman could tell him, nothing satisfactory as to the manner of using it: though he said there were directions in print

Under these circumstances Mr Talbot will very much oblige Col. Harris, if he will tell him, whether the invention has attained that degree of perfection that would warrant his laying out five Guineas for his friend, as in this case he is fearful of running any kind of risk. –

8. Sussex Square <5>
Hyde Park – or U. S. Club.

[added in WHFT's hand: Col. Harris]

Fox Talbot Esqr
at Mr Newman
122 Regent Street

8 Pall Mall
to be forwarded.


1. United Services Club, which was on Pall Mall, London, until 1986, was in 1851 rated the ‘most commodious’ of the London clubs. [Murray, Handbook to London 1851].

2. Mt Edgecumbe, near Plymouth: seat of the Earl of Mt Edgcumbe.

3. The Photographic Portrait Establishment of Antoine Françoise Jean Claudet (1797–1867), London; French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London, was based at this address on the Strand. Claudet had, by this time taken two patents (numbers 9957, and 9193) for photography.

4. Henry Brooks, publisher, stationer and printseller at 87, New Bond St, London.

5. In the 1847 Royal Court Guide, this address was listed for a Capt. Moorsom.