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Document number: 3847
Date: 27 Mar 1839
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: LUBBOCK John William
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA39-26
Last updated: 1st October 2010

27 March 1839 <1>

My dear Sir,

I see in your Letter to Biot <2> you say that the Chloride of Silver is washed out. I do not think that the hyposulphite of Soda &c dissolves the chloride, or washes it out

I suspect that hyposulphite is added to chloride in water, it forms a soluble precipitate, of hyposulphite of Silver? (query) which is not acted upon light. At all counts it seems to me that if this mixture is put on paper & left to dry it does not discolour by light & it seems to me that if nitrate of silver is added a fresh precipitate of Chloride is formed.

May not Daguerre’s & Niepce’s <3> be done first on paper & then transferred from the paper on a metal plate

Yours very truly,
J W Lubbock

27 March 1839


1. In WHFT’s hand.

2. This letter, Doc. No: 03827, was printed as ‘M. Biot communique l’extrait suivant d’une lettre que M. Talbot vient de lui adresser’ Comptes Rendus hebdomadaires des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences v. 8 no. 9, 1839, p. 341.

3. Substantial details of the process used by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787–1851), French artist, showman & inventor and his former partner Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833) were unknown at this time. The working process of the daguerreotype was not divulged until August 1839.

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