London 122 Regent St <1>
3 August 1849
To H.F. Talbot Esqr
I shall have much pleasure in showing you the Daguerreotype <2> process. I am fully acquainted with all the methods practised by the best operators.
Being out of practice will make but little difference. I will try a few experiments to test my skill.
I wish it could be so arranged that we might use it in dull weather & then copy upon paper. The Portraits would be better in expression.
I was please to hear that the fixing process will enable you to continue the Pencil of Nature. <3> Many persons have asked for it.
Have you not enough copies made to publish a new number shortly? Or will you republish some of the back numbers –– for which you have letterpress.
I deferred Sir D Brewsters <4> portrait until the new process was perfected. I tried yesterday to make some large specimens for you but could not get sufficient heat to keep my solution boiling.
I must modify the apparatus small pictures I can send tomorrow.
I have been unwell for some time & have had to seek medical advice.
A few days cessation from business is prescribed. I think of going to Paris as I have friends there & I think it is a trip which may be made subservient the business. I can find perhaps some paper or a process for glass used by Niepce <5> or some good Gallic Acid a thing difficult to obtain in England.
I should like to leave London about the 21st or 24th of August by that time the season will be advanced & I can be spared better then.
You perhaps will be kind enough to tell me if you think of coming to Town before this or whether you will defer your visit until after my return from Paris.
I am sorry that my health requires that I should not defer too long, change of air & scene.
I remain Sir Your most Obed’ Servt
T A Malone
1. The London address of the Sun Picture Rooms, proprietor, Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.
2. WHFT fully understood the theory of the Daguerreotype, but was not acquainted with the day to day working methods that had been adopted in commerce.
3. WHFT, The Pencil of Nature (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, June 1844–April 1846 [issued in six fascicles]).
4. Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), Scottish scientist & journalist.
5. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833), photographic inventor.