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Document number: 07076
Date: 02 Dec 1854
Recipient: STORY-MASKELYNE Nevil
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 12th July 2010

N S Maskelyne Esq

[blind stamp:] The Athenæum Club <1>

Dec 2

Dr Sir

Robt Murray <2> assures me he has sent you the Slides.

In order to show that in the Collodion process, glass only acts as a support, I have made some on paper one of which I enclose.

The Collodion was poured upon the paper – All the process was the same as usual – It was equally sensitive as if it had been on glass – You see how sharp the definition is where it is in focus, I have no doubt it would give good positive copies, but thought it unnecessary to try.

My object was by laying this side by side with a Calotype negative to ask any unprejudiced person if it could be considered more than a modification of the latter? <3> The glass introduces an apparent difference of principle, take away the glass which is only a convenient support and the difference of principle disappears –

believe me Yours vy Truly
H. F. Talbot


1. The Athenæum and (London) Literary Chronicle, London.

2. Robert Murray (1798–1857), Irish instrument maker, based in London at John Newman; from 1855 photographic partner with Vernon Heath

3. Talbot’s case [against professional portrait-photographers who he claimed were infringing his photographic patents] rested upon the contention that the collodion process was merely a development of the Calotype process and was therefore covered by his patents.