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Document number: 5749
Date: 14 Oct 1846
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: GLIDDON George Robbins
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA46-108
Last updated: 20th October 2013

New York, 14th Octr 1846

My dear Sir,

The present serves to escort a note that will be forwarded to you, on his arrival at Liverpool, by Mr R. K. Haight,<1> who is anxious to express to your honoured self in person the immense gratification he and his friends in America derived from those splendid Sun-Pictures, you were so kind as to present to him last Summer; and as you are already acquainted with each other’s tastes and pursuits, it would be supererogatory on my part to add even the semblance of an Introduction, save for the egotist [sic] satisfaction of acquainting you, through Mr Haight, of my safe arrival here on the 6th instant, and of the favorable auspices under which I shall recommence my professional avocations as a Lecturer on Egyptology; when I shall be able to render public acknowledgements for Mr Talbot’s generous cooperation in the cause of Science.<2>

Referring you, then, to Mr Haight’s abler explanation of my plans, until I have something more agreeable to send you, permit me to tender to you any services that you may think me capable of rendering to your wishes or interests, and to renew, from my adopted home, the expression of my obligations for the manifold favors bestowed, not only upon the Cause in which we are colleagues, but, Dear Sir

Upon Yrs ever respectfully and gratefully
George R. Gliddon

H. Fox Talbot Esq.
&c. &c. &c.
Lacock Abbey – Wiltshire.–


1. Richard Kip Haight (1798-1862), American merchant, poet & traveller.

2. WHFT was keen on applying photography to reproduction of both images and text and freely gave Gliddon his permission to use photography. He had Nicolaas Henneman produce prints for The Talbotype Applied to Hieroglyphics (Reading: 1846), comprising three photographs of hieroglyphs and his text. See Ricardo A. Caminos, "The Talbotype Applied to Hieroglyphics," Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, v. 52, 1966, pp. 65-70 and Plates XIII-XV. The ink ‘originals’ and accompanying loose prints are in the Talbot Collection of the National Media Museum, Bradford, and at the time Camino thought these were unique survivors; the copy in the British Library was lost to the Blitz. However, several other copies have been subsequently discovered. Three are in the Richard Lepsius collection in the State Library of Berlin. Gliddon dedicated one copy to Lepsius on 18 August 1846 and another (undated) to Joseph Bonomi; the third is not inscribed. On 18 August 1846, Gliddon dedicated a copy to the French Egyptologist Émile Prisse d’Avennes (1807-1879); it is bound into v. 219 of his diaries in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. A single plate is preserved in the Library Company of Philadelphia in the collection of Samuel Morton (1819-1850), a craniologist and ethnologist. On 17 June 1846, Gliddon wrote to Morton about Talbot’s new invention, enthusing that “if you introduced the Talbotype at Philadelphia, you need no longer employ an Artist in Skull-drawing, but save great expense and ensure supernatural accuracy in your Plates. Tis worth your consideration; for you can multiply ‘ad infinitum,’ at the mere cost of iodized paper.”

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