link to Talbot Project home page link to De Montfort University home page link to Glasgow University home page
Project Director: Professor Larry J Schaaf

Back to the letter search >

Document number: 4333
Date: 14 Sep 1841
Recipient: GUTCH John Wheeley Gough
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: Smithsonian Institution Photographic History Collection Washington
Collection number: MS1442A
Last updated: 29th April 2012

Lacock Abbey, Chippenham
14 Sept. 1841


When I was at Falmouth lately, Mr Hunt <1> put your letter into my hands. Your failure may perhaps arise from some of the following causes: not using enough of acetic acid, which should have a pungent odour: using a sponge instead of a brush: using impure iodide of potassium. Mr Hunt assures me that this substance is often sold so far from genuine as to contain ⅔ of its weight of carbonate of potash. Many gentlemen have difficulties, but I have not found it possible to ascertain the cause by letter. All these difficulties disappear by a little practice.

Mr Hunt informed me that he succeeded upon the first trial, from my printed description only. I have the pleasure to enclose a few specimens as requested & am sir

Your most obedt servt
W.H.F. Talbot

P.S. I also enclose a specimen of good iodised paper, if you like to try it.

J.W. Gutch Esq
Somerset Place
36 Portland Place <2>


1. Robert Hunt (18071887), scientist & photographic historian.

2. Readdressed in another hand.