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Document number: 5537
Date: Tue 27 Jan 1846
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: COWDEROY Benjamin Thomas
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA46-18
Last updated: 13th March 2012

Reading Tuesday Evening
Jany 27. / 46

Dear Sir /

Annexed is a copy of the Statement I had prepared of the probable expense of our proposed years operations. If any new idea occurs to you perhaps you will favor me with a line.

I sent the Advertisement to the Times<1> and begged the insertion of it this Wednesday morning if possible They are however exceedingly independant [sic] and it may not appear for a day or two. If it is in on Thursday Morning it will enable me to run up to Town at all events on Saturday in which case I shall see you before you leave.

I find Goddard has a Photographic Establishment at Ryde, Isle of Wight.<2> Is it worth while applying to him under these circumstances? I think it would be worth while to sound him with a letter which I will write if you think proper. As it will be well to lose no time you will perhaps instruct me as to this at once

In the mean time I am Dear Sir Mot obedly Yrs
B. Cowderoy

Hy Fox Talbot Esq

Photographic Establishment

Estimated Outlay for the first year

[2 cols; col. 1:]

Rent, furniture, Fittings & Apparatus for an Establishment in London with fixed salary of Assistant exclusive of his per centage

Advertising in the "Times"

Do in other periodicals

Printing Advertisements

Handbook of Photography

Salaries (fixed)

Travelling expenses, Apparatus & sundries

[col. 2 - aligned with each item in col.1 ]










[double rule]

Of this I estimate one third ( 400) as the actual amount required as a new Investment, as a large portion of the above Items would not be called for until returns were obtained to meet them.

If the project is but moderately successful the above sum must be realised by the end of a year in addition to which there would be in hand Stock and Materials for future operations without the necessity for a further outlay. If the Establishment but pays its expenses the first year it must yield a good profit in future years.


1. This advertisement has not been located under keywords such as Cowderoy, Reading, photography and Henneman. The wording is vague here and it is possible that the published advertisement had little apparent link with Henneman's establishment in Reading.

2. John Frederick Goddard (1797-1866) shared many interests with WHFT, including polarised light before the introduction of photography. Goddard went to work for the London Daguerreotypist, Richard Beard, and in 1840 discovered the applicability of bromine in sensitising Daguerreotype plates; this immediately made portraiture practical. In 1842, Goddard visited Lacock Abbey and photographed with Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman. Goddard returned to London brimming with enthusiasm for the paper negative process, fitting out a special room at the Western Establishment to conduct further experiments. Although few details of this period are known, something did not work out, and Goddard wound up being a Daguerreotypist in the provincial town of Ryde. His contributions to the early success of the Daguerreotype were recognised by the photographic community with a subscription to provide him with an annuity in his old age. See Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue 9: William Henry Fox Talbot, Friends & Relations (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc., 1999), pp. 22-29.

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