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Document number: 5808
Date: 17 Dec 1846
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HENNEMAN Nicolaas
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA46-143
Last updated: 3rd February 2010

Patent Talbotype Establishment,

Decbr 17/46


I am a fraid many people will complain of being obliged to cut one corner of the Iodized sheet of, if it is Stamped with the Stamp wee have at present, as a corner of that size will often be required in some pictures, but if you wish to have it Stamped I think one somting like thiss PATENT = TALBOTYPE but of course much smaller and Stamp quit at the bottom of each sheet like Ackerman <2> did on the Card board, will not injure the picture I had on answer from Birmingham I will enclose it, you can burn it afterwards I do not think the person he speaks of will do, and will answer him to that effect, I do not kno him my self but have heard suficient of him, to judge, beside the Salary is much to high – there are coming two gentleman for instructions in the beginning of nex week, so Mr Cowderoy <3> wrote mee, will you be so kind as to send mee by return of post a little more Sulphate of Iron, as I put rather to much water to it as it is all disolved – I will Send the things you want as soon as possible, but the un wax ones take so long to do at thiss time of the year and most of the best are unwaxed, – I have heard that there is a person in Guernsey who takes splendid Talbotype portraits, I saw two persons who saw them and told mee there the finest things thy had seen –

I have been told that Mr Ackermans from the Strand Traveler had som with him but for wath purpose I do not kno, Supose you call on Ackermans when you go to London and ask to see som, and if thy are realy so wonderful perhaps you could make Som arrangement with thiss person either ingage him or purchase the secret as I am quit confident that if real good portraits can be done you will find plenty buyers for Licences for all the towns in England and that is the thing that will pay you and the quiker you set to work about it the better for you most remember that nearly half the time of your patent is gone – for my own part I am hard at work and will take a portrait with any one only I must have time I have done some Splendid thing but in 5 and 6 minutes –

Your Obidient Servant
N: Henneman


1. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), born in Holland and trained in Paris, was WHFT’s valet who emerged as his assistant in photography. Henneman set up his Calotype works at 8 Russell Terrace, Reading. Commencing operations at the start of 1844, it functioned both as a photographic studio and as a photographic printing works and continued through late 1846, at which time Henneman transferred his operations to London. Although Talbot supported Henneman through custom, such as printing the plates for The Pencil of Nature, and loans, it was always Henneman's operation. His business cards made no mention of "The Reading Establishment," the designation that it is popularly given today; the only contemporary use of that title seemed to be by Benjamin Cowderoy - see Doc. No: 05690.

2. Probably Rudolph Ackermann junior, (d.1868) eldest son of Rudolph Ackermann, publisher and bookseller.

3. Benjamin Cowderoy (1812–1904), land agent in Reading; business manager for WHFT; later a politician in Australia.

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