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Document number: 5738
Date: Oct 1846
Dating: Oct? 46?
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BRIDGES George Wilson
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA46-103
Last updated: 30th March 2010

Oct <1>

My dear Sir,

I said nothing about the seeds <2> in my late letters because I had then no reply to my request addressed to a friend in Sicily to send me some but he now writes that he is collecting for me: & the moment I receive them I will send them to you through my Brother <3> in London. Those enclosed herewith are the "wild Lupin" which grows, alone, in the higher regions of Etna, & in the loose, dusty lava.

Do let me ask you one more question, in addition to the many impertinent ones I have lately ventured

When the sky of the negatives is not sufficiently dark to keep that of the possitives clean & clear, is it allowable to give it a coat of Indian ink <4> or may the negatives be so sharpened, & touched over in faint points?

I have sometimes found that 50 grs of nit. silv. <5> to 1 oz, will give a good possitive copy, one coat only laid on sometimes it takes 2 coats almost always in fact & nothing less than 200 grs to 1 oz. will do certainly with one coat How is that?

I enclose 2 specimens of my possitive: No 1 paper <6> salted minute one coat of nit. silv. 80 grs to oz.

No 2. same, with 2 coats of nit. silv. same strength

Neither of them act only washed in 3 hot waters But perhaps these specimens will lead your judgment in advising me how to proceed.

I am now taking on board the Steamer, which sails tonight, the parcel containing 73 negatives which I direct to you under cover to Mr Nile, the Secty or Agent for the Oriental steamer to Southampton I have begd him to get this through the Custom House, & to forward them to your address but perhaps it would be well to write to him, instructing him how to forward them to you & that he may inform you when sent.

Excuse this, my dear Sir, this hasty & impatient scrawl, & pray believe me gratefully yours
Geo W Bridges

I hope to send the Etna seeds by next steamer


1. Probably October 13th 1846. [See Doc. No: 05759].

2. See Doc. No: 05840.

3. John W. Bridges.

4. Rev Calvert Richard Jones (18021877), Welsh painter & photographer had also had problems with photographing the sky and had applied a similar solution. See Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Five: The Reverend Calvert R. Jones (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr., 1990), p. 31. [See also Doc. No: 05185].

5. Silver nitrate.

6. This was WHFT's original Photogenic Drawing process, a simple print-out process ideal for making prints from calotype negatives.

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