25 January 1845
I have not got the negative of the house building with the Scaffolding on it,<1> nor the negative of the Cloisters <2> at Laycock Abbey, having taken the copies while at Laycock last September, and you kept the negatives, if you refer to the List of negatives you gave me you will find I am correct. I have at last consented to give a Lecture to the members of the Reading Scientific Institution on
the Photography in consequence of a gentlemen expressing his intention of doing so, who I am sure knew nothing of the Subject, but what he had gleaned from newspapers. If you will oblige me with a copy of “Some account of the art of Photogenic Drawing” <3> and any other Papers, also the Literary Gazette containing the first notice <4> of your invention they will be of great use assistance to me; as I intend reading the Lecture, I think I had better make some few extracts from them.
If it meets your approbation I think I shall have an opportunity of getting it noticed in the Times. Do you not think I had better do so? The Secretary of the Institution, who is an intelligent Scientific man, has kindly offered me his assistance on the occasion. I have also asked some information of Mr Keates, <5> on the Daguerrotype to which I shall be obliged to allude, any further information you can favor me with will be very thankfully received.
by Sir Your obdt Servant.
1. 'Houses Under Construction, Sussex Gardens' - buildings being constructed near the new Paddington Station in London; Schaaf 1198. These have now been mostly converted to moderate priced hotels, convenient to the station.
2. Very possibly ‘Cloisters of Lacock Abbey’,WHFT, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, June 1844–April 1846 [issued in six fascicles]), Part 4, 21 June 1845, plate XVI. Schaaf 312.
3. WHFT, Some Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing, or the Process by which Natural Objects may be made to Delineate Themselves without the Aid of the Artist’s pencil. Read before the Royal Society, January 31, 1839 (London: R & J E Taylor, 1839).
4. WHFT, ‘Photogenic Drawing’, The Literary Gazette, and Journal of the Belles Lettres, no. 1150, 2 February 1839, pp. 72–75.
5. Presumably Thomas William Keates (1818-1882), practical chemist, who was reportedly acquainted with Daguerre. He held several patents and later was the scientific chemists for the Joynson paper mill. He was elected a member of the Society of Arts in 1877 and finished his career as the Superintending Gas Examiner for London's Metropolitan Board of Works. For his service as an assistant to Antoine Claudet, see Doc. No: 04700.