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Document number: 6303
Date: 15 Feb 1850
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA50-12
Last updated: 29th September 2012

122 Regent St <1>
15 Feby 1850

To H F Talbot Esqr


Mr Harper <2> says "So far as I am concerned it would not suit me at all to pay down any thing like that sum (£500) unless therefore I can have a license on the principle of paying a per centage of the profit I could not enter upon the matter at all".

For Mr Colls and Mr Bingham <3> he asks "Some diminution & modification" of your proposal He adds "From all that is published respecting the glass process I find that ours is the best" and wishes "Mr Talbot to have a knowledge of it before his specification is filed"

Since the receipt of the letter from which the above extracts are taken I have a note containing a direct proposal Mr Colls "on being allowed an assistant is willing to give £300 & take all risks"

Mr Harper "knowing the difficulties attendant on substantiating & protecting a patent" considers it an offer not to be refused Mr Harper thinks "that if Mr Talbot asked only £50 for a license he would get a £1,000 where he now gets £100" as many gentlemen who now use the Talbotype for mere amusement would pay £50 for the additional privilege of selling their productions". -

I cannot agree with Mr Harper. Cheap licenses will not add to the dignity of the Art. Mr Beard <4> regrets giving a license to a Miss Wigley The badness of her pictures & the absurdity of her advertisements tends to bring the Daguerreotype into disrepute Such is the opinion of Mr Claudet Kilburn <5> & Beard himself

I have employed myself in grinding away the glaze of the Porcelain slabs but unfortunately I worked upon hard baked specimens impervious to moisture even when reduced to half the original thickness.

I think it advisable to go immediately to Wedgwood or Davenport's manufactory to make enquiries upon one or two points of difficulty The Air bubbles & want of flatness.

The slabs we have are too much vitrified I cannot get them in London unglazed or less burnt.

I send you the Art Journal It contains an Article written by Hunt <6> on Photography on glass plates. Allusion is made to the new patent just now the subject of conversation among those interested in art-science. Hunt promised that I should see the Article before its insertion but has not kept his word He is now out of Town. The Article has made it appear that we have robbed the public of the benefit of the Albumen process by the Patent taken out & this is the general impression Do you think it advisable to reply that the new improvements are perfectly original in their nature & perfectly independent of glass plates.

The Sulphate of Iron paragraph demands your attention.

Willatt has been showing pictures from paper negatives (by Martens) <7> for glass productions.

The Ĉrial perspective is as good in the paper negatives as it is in those of glass. I think better I think Hunt has been misled in this part of his subject

yours obediently
T A Malone

There is not much time to spare If you wish to reply to the Art Journal. What step shall I take respecting the Porcelain?


1. 122 Regent Street, London: base of Nicolaas Hennemans' Talbotype or Sun Picture Rooms, later the firm of Henneman & Malone, photographers to the Queen.

2. Edward Harper. [See Doc. No: 06290].

3. Richard Colls, photographer, London and Robert Jefferson Bingham (1825-1870), English born author and photographer, mostly active in France, who was the premier reproduction photographer of his day. At issue was Colls application for a license to practise the Calotype process commercially. Colls was applying on behalf of himself, his brother Lebbeus and Bingham. The negotiations fell through and in January 1852, Talbot obtained an injunction against Richard Colls to prevent him from making and selling photographs on paper. See Rupert Derek Wood, "J.B. Reade, F.R.S., and the Early History of Photography; Part II. Gallic Acid and Talbot's Calotype Patent," Annals of Science, v. 27 n. 1, March 1971, pp. 52-53 and passim.

4. Richard Beard (1801-1885), coal merchant & daguerreotypist, London.

5. Antoine Françoise Jean Claudet (1797-1867), London; French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London and William Edward Kilburn (1818-1891), photographer, London.

6. Robert Hunt (1807-1887), scientist & photographic historian.

7. Friedrich von Martens (1809-1875), German inventor & photographer, active in Paris.