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Document number: 08363
Date: 09 Apr 1861
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PRETSCH Paul
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA61-62
Last updated: 15th July 2010

3, Guildford Place, Russel Square
W.C. London
April 9th 1861.

Henry Fox Talbot Esq.


I have the pleasure of forwarding to you by railway to-night two parcels, one of them containing two blocks, executed by my new invention, <1> and the other one containing six impressions from blocks, executed by the same. All of them are absolutely untouched by the graver, and I do not intend to use the work of the graver at all in this process.

After having examined them at your leisure, I am obliged to request the favour of your returning the two blocks to me again. - Of the impressions I have very few copies left, and would like to have them also returned, - unless they are of some interest to you, in which instance please to keep them.

The block of "Strassburg Cathedral" has been published, printed on ordinary thin paper with ordinary platen printing machine, driven by steam, in the "British Journal of Photography," (Liverpool) of Nov. 15th <2> - A portion of the block of the "Porch of the priory at Hampstead" has also been published, printed with ordinary letterpress by hand, in the " Journal of the photogr. Society, <3>" Nov. 15th (same date).

You have mentioned to Mr. Hogarth <4> that I have declined to do a drawing in lines by my process, from an original which you are going to do likewise. <5> Now pray to observe that this is not quite correct; I do not see any reason whatever, why I should do so just now; - because I have done it several times before, and I have offered to you the evidence of eyesight by sending some specimens of mine to your inspection. You have not accepted my proposal.

I regret exceedingly much that you seem still to entertain no friendly feelings towards me, and my efforts; - I do not think having deserved such adversity, - and if possible I would try every reasonable effort in my power, to remove the same; - be assured, Sir, that I feel profound esteem to your merits, and the sincere will, to acknowledge them to the utmost extent, but it is my irrevocable fate to advance in my unremitting labours. You yourself have seen the beginning of them in 1851.

In the agreable hopes to hear very soon from you again, permit me to remain Sir Your obedient servant
Paul Pretsch


1. Pretsch had been working on a method of producing plates for typographic rather than intaglio printing - see Doc. No: 08374.

2. See Doc. No: 07805 and Doc. No: 07788 for the attempt to publish an example of Pretsch's process in 1859.

3. The Photographic Journal.

4. Joseph Hogarth (b. 1802), London printseller. He had proposed that WHFT and Pretsch should join with him and others in a company to exploit photographic engraving. See Doc. No: 08340.

5. See Doc. No: 08353 and Doc. No: 08359.