4 Albion Teracce Kings Road Chelsea <1>
21 December 1858
I am sory to state I have been unsuccesful in obtaining employment on account of the Season in fact they discharge some of their men about November and engage them about Aprill. Mr. Bolton <2> told me you had written to a frind [sic] of yours in my favour to give me some temporary employment but you had not heard from him. I am sory to say nesesity compels me to take the present liberty to sugest some plan by which I could earn something to suport my family (a wife & four children) of course I do not know anything of your intensions as to the way in which you intend to carry out your new inventions <3> all I know the beauty & future utility is from the publick press and spesimen <4> I have seen at the photographic society. I of course do not know if you are acquanted through the journals or otherwise of the deferent carbon processes, their merrits etc, etc, but as I have heard that Some have taking out patents and others intend doing so – wether it would be advizabel (to try to prevent to much competition and perhaps Law proceedings) to come to some understanding with some of them as to forming some kind of amalgamation & forming a Limited liabelity company after the manner of Prices candell company for it is well know that whoover invents something likely an possible to interfere whit their patents they come to an understanding among themselves by these means they have been able to cary on their present enormous & profitable trade. I know one of the firm who gets five thousand a year out of the busines as his share if my Idea should meet your aprobation, I think I could perhaps be of use – at any rate in sounding these parties in how far this would meet their needs. I could do so in two ways one as merely to sugest without mentioning your sanction the other whit, or in fact delegated from you, if on the other hand you intend to start an Establishment without a Company I would propose you put me in the way of manipulation, for the spesimens I have as yet seen, I think, the invention is good but to me I think great judgement is required in the kind of Possetive from which the steel negative is to be made and that I take can only be acquired by practice therefore if it should meet your aprobation I would propose for me to go down to Lacock for a few days to enable you to give me the nesesary instructions and after that I could improve myself here you could allow me to get plates and other nesesaries at your account and I could take the plates to your printer & him forward their impressions to you to judge of my work and write to me where I failed, hoping to receve at your earliest convinniance a favourable answer <5>
I remain Your most Obidiant Servant
1. Written in another hand.
2. John Henry Bolton (1795–1873), solicitor, London.
3. Photoglyphic Engraving.
5. These plans were never put into action. See Larry J. Schaaf, “Introductory Volume”, Pencil of Nature: Anniversary Facsimile(New York : Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Inc., 1989), p. 43.