Kensal Green <1>
May 3 / 52
I thank you sincerely for the handsom present you made me on account of my loss of the exhibition contract. <2> I here with send you a few possetives of wish I mentioned the little girl smiling was done in one second the other in two, the gentleman (the father of the apprentice in Regent St and the princepell writer for the Advertizer) in three seconds, the possetives are done in Cansons Freres paper (thick) the proportions are four white of Eggs, 6 oz of water and one oz of Salt the nitra of Silver was 100 grs to the oz but I find it matters not how strong the nitra is provided you have on excess, for the last Sheets I dipped in the Solution turned out failures owing that the Solution was not Strong enough, wish I tried by evaporating one oz of it it did not contain 50 gms of nitra of Silver, it likewise requires the Sheet to be left a sertain time or els you get the Same result as if your nitra was to weak, I am confident you will be pleased to see the arrangement here even without the new shops, when they are ready I would under take to execute such an order like the Exhibition (18000) <3> in one month I will prove thiss to your satisfaction when you come here, I enclose you a letter from Lerebours <4> and Should feel greatly Obliged if you would lett me know wath answer I am to send him I think it worthwhile exepting his offer, please to direct, Monument House Kensall Green, I Should like to give thiss house a other name wath do you think of Calling it Talbotype, photographic Printing Establisment,<5> as soon as the new rooms are ready (whom by the by, they have not yet began ) the Duke of Willengton, the Marquis of Lansdown <6> and a great many of the nobility have seen the Talbotypes for the Stereoscope <7> at Professor Wheatstones <8> room at Kings College and Where highly delighted with them, Sir D Brewster <9> is in town he is going to write an article on the Stereoscope I think Mr Wheatstone will come in for his part <10>,
your Obidient Servant
1. Monument House, Kensal Green, London, where Henneman had a photographic printing business, 1852-1856.
2. To make the prints for Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries. Four volumes, illustrated by original photographic prints from negatives by Hugh Owen and Claude Marie Ferrier. In the copies given to WHFT, a dedicatory sheet was inserted (most likely printed up by him): 'This Work, on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Illustrated with Photographic Plates, being One of Fifteen Copies Given by the Royal Commissioners to H.F. Talbot, Esq. of Lacock Abbey, as The Inventor of this Branch of the Photographic Art, was by him presented to _____'. This publication caused WHFT considerable consternation at the time, for he felt that the Commissioners had stealthily and unfairly taken the job of printing the plates away from Nicolaas Henneman. For a summary of this complex situation, see Nancy B Keeler, 'Illustrating the "Reports by the Juries" of the Great Exhibition of 1851; Talbot, Henneman, and Their Failed Commission,' History of Photography, v. 6 no. 3, July 1982, pp. 257-272.
4. Noel Paymal Lerebours (1807-1873), optician, of Lerebours & Secretan, Paris.
5. The earliest advertisement for this traced thus far was published in the 1 March 1853 issue of The Journal of The Photographic Society, v. 2 n. 1: "Talbotype - Photography - Messrs. Henneman and Co. Photographers to the Queen, 122 Regent Street, beg to inform their patrons and the public, that the have, in order to make their Establishment more complete, erected in the suburbs a manufactory on a large scale for Photographic printing and the preparation of the various papers now used tin Photography; and that they are now in a position to execute Contracts to any extent."
6. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), was in command of the forces which defeated Napoleon, and Henry Petty Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780-1863), MP, WHFT's uncle.
7. Probably a demonstration of Wheatstone's reflecting stereoscope.
8. Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875), scientist.
9. Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), Scottish scientist & journalist.
10. Brewster and Wheatstone were polemicizing on whether Wheatstone's reflecting stereoscope or Brewster lenticular stereoscope was the best. See Nicholas J. Wade, editor, Brewster and Wheatstone on Vision (London: Experimental Psychology Society, 1983).