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Document number: 08368
Date: 13 Apr 1861
Dating: 13th?
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HOGARTH Joseph
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA61-068
Last updated: 11th December 2009

April 13th 1861


I have to apologize for not replying to your letter of the 9th Inst. <1> owing to my time being so much occupied

So long as you do not mean us to pay royalty upon Plates produced irrespective of your process I agree to the terms - the expense for drawing out is generally a joint affair

It would have been gratifying to find myself rowing in the same boat with you <2> that we might have had the advantage of your cooperation & at the Eleventh hour I submit whether it may not be worth your reconsideration

Mr Pretsch <3> will of course assent to your receiving due credit for your portion of the discovery<4> which the fact of our having to pay royalty for must enforce

I remain Sir Your obedient Servt
J. Hogarth

The Honble
Fox Talbot


1. Doc. No: 08364, to which this is the reply.

2. WHFT had declined to join the proposed photographic-engraving company [see Doc. No: 08329].

3. The Patent Photo-Galvanographic Company (commonly, The Photogalvanographic Company) was based on the work of Paul Pretsch (1808-1873), Austrian photographer & inventor and former Manager of the Imperial Printing Establishment in Vienna. Located in Holloway Road, Islington, London, from 1856-1857, Pretsch took over as manager and Roger Fenton (1819-1869), photographer & lawyer, was a partner and their chief photographer. Starting in late 1856, they published a serial portfolio, Photographic Art Treasures, or Nature and Art Illustrated by Art and Nature, illustratated with photogalvanographs derived from several photographer's works. Photogalvanography was uncomfortably closely based on elements of WHFT's patented 1852 Photographic Engraving but, unlike Talbot, the plates were heavily retouched by hand. Compounding the legal objections of Talbot, their former manager, Duncan Campbell Dallas, set up a competing company to produce the Dallastype. The company collapsed and near the end of 1860 Pretsch, out of money, allowed his patent to lapse. A public appeal was launched in 1861 to assist him but he returned to Vienna in 1863 in ill health, going back to the Imperial Printing Establishment, but finally succumbing to cholera.

4. WHFT had patented a process of photographic engraving [WHFT, Improvements in Photographic Engraving, No. 565, November 1852]. The first part of Pretsch's process, which the company were proposing to employ, used gelatine and potassium bichromate, i.e. Part 1 of WHFT's process, for which he agreed to grant them a licence; Pretsch's second part consisted in electrotyping.