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Document number: 7041
Date: 16 Sep 1854
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BREWSTER David
Collection: National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
Collection number: 1937-5387
Last updated: 13th July 2010

Dear Mr Talbot,

I have not been able to let you know sooner that it will be out of my power to go to Liverpool. I regret this principally because it deprives me of the pleasure of seeing you at Greta Bank <1> and accompanying you to the meeting of the Association. <2>

I agree with you in holding in contempt, such articles <3> as the one in the Art Journal. It is of course the production of an interested party not seeking truth, but under the influence of self interest. I think it will be best to wait the result of the trial of your Patent, <4> before taking any steps in the matter. If your Patent is sustained, which I consider certain, there would be no excuse for an appeal to the R. Society. <5> If it shd be reduced on some ground purely technical your merits as an Inventor would not be affected, & even in this case it might be unnecessary to take any steps in the matter.

But whatever be the result you may count on my most energetic assistance in establishing your claims.

I am, Ever Most Truly yrs
D Brewster

St Leonard's College
St Andrews
Septr 16th 1854


1. Near Keswick, Cumberland [now Cumbria]. The Talbot family had rented the house during 1853/4.

2. The British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Liverpool in 1854.

3. Robert Hunt, ‘The Photographic Patents’, The Art-Journal, n.s., v. 6, 1 August 1854, pp. 236–38. See Doc. No: 07037.

4. Talbot had won several injunctions against infringers of his photographic patents, and in 1854 he pursued a case against a portrait-photographer, Martin Laroche, who, he claimed, had infringed two important elements of his patents. The trial took place in December 1854 and Talbot lost. [For an account of this significant case, see H. J. P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London: Hutchinson Benham, 1977), pp. 199–209; see also Doc. No: 06994.]

5. Royal Society of London.

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