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Document number: 07074
Date: Wed 13 Dec 1854
Dating: 13th from 07092, witnesses waiting until Monday; also 07095
Recipient: STORY-MASKELYNE Nevil
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 13th July 2010

Mr Maskelyne

Wedny night

Dr Sir

As my witnesses may possibly be detained some hours on Monday, <1> I have thought it desirable to engage a room for their accommodation at the Guildhall Coffeehouse corner of Gresham St and King St, close to the Guildhall. <2> If you please to enter there enquire for Mr Talbot’s room –

We have made some pictures by the Calotype process, on compound sheets of paper viz. half iodised paper and half paper coated with iodised Collodion

This shows to everybody that the latter paper is a substitute for the former

Yours Truly
H. F. Talbot


1. WHFT’s patent trial took place from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 December 1854. In 1852 he had thrown open his photographic patents as far as amateur photography was concerned, though he retained them regarding professional portraiture. He won several injunctions against professional portrait-photographers who infringed them, and in 1854 he sought to obtain another against James Henderson, photographer, London, a professional photographer who took portraits using the collodion process. However, in the December of 1854, before the Henderson case was concluded, he failed to obtain an injunction against another portrait-photographer, Martin Laroche, who, he claimed, had infringed two important elements of his patents. [For an account of these significant cases, and the opposition to WHFT’s patents, see H. J. P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London: Hutchinson Benham, 1977), pp. 198–209.] Story-Maskelyne was one of the witnesses for WHFT, who sought to prove that the collodion process was an extension of his Calotype process, not a new invention.

2. The hall of the corporation of the City of London; the trial was to take place in one of the courtrooms.