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Document number: 6290
Date: 12 Jan 1850
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA50-5
Last updated: 29th September 2012

122 Regent St <1>

12 Jany 1850

To H F Talbot Esq


Enclosed is a copy of a letter sent me by Mr Harper. <2>

The porcelain-maker cannot "fire" his kiln until Monday I am sorry that for this delay. I have seen gelatine in very beautiful sheets Is it possible to make sheets of Albumen Caseine &c &c for negatives. These sheets to be substituted for paper instead of using the Albumen &c on glass Again, cannot coatings of these substances be applied to paper & the image obtained upon the coating, the paper, serving only as a support. -

I suggest these things for your consideration as I have an idea that they may be mentioned in the new patent.

If some advantage is gained for particular purposes by processes of this nature Is it not fair to claim them advantages resulting. -

The porcelain must be the best medium yet some one may think it worth while to make sheets of Caseine &c for travellers, who might object to the brittleness of the better medium.

May I beg to remind you of the mirror for concentrating the light upon Daguerreotypes &c. -

Mr Owen of Bristol <3> advertises the "Isomadeser" I am told it consists of two pieces of glass placed wedge fashion thus [illustration] Gallo-nitrate is poured in & remains there until the point of the wedge is drawn over a sheet of paper (the negative) The instrument resembles in its action the drawing pen. I do not see, at present, that it is of any use.

I remain Sir most obediently yours
T A Malone.


The ends of the glass strips are of course closed [illustration]

[enclosed copy of letter from Edward Harper to Malone]


8 Jany 50

Since the receipt of your last letter which I sent to my friend Mr Bingham <4> I have endeavoured to ascertain thro him the nature of Mr Talbot's negociations [sic] with Mr Colls <5> the nature of which I was unacquainted with. It appears that the amount of payment to Mr Talbot was not the ground on which the negociations ended, as Mr Colls was, & I understand is still ready to give Mr Talbot a clear profit of 25 per cent on his sales & to exhibit a faithful acct of his proceedings. The insuperable difficulty with Mr Colls (& I fancy it will be so with every one) appeared to be the required prepayment in advance & to give a bond for 1000 with respect to Mr Bingham & myself (for whom alone I have been in negociation) I trust that Mr Talbot will be induced to waive both requirements, as a bond from either of us would not render the payments to Mr Talbot more secure or more important, & in fact would be nothing more than an expensive piece of waste paper & as such things are now unknown in commercial negociations I cannot believe that Mr Talbot will on consideration require it from men whose character for fair dealing has been established by years of respectability.

I sincerely hope that he will yield this point even to Mr Colls who seems very devoted to the Art & so give him some interest in producing something worthy to complete compete with foreigners in the Exhibition of 1851 <6>

The favour of a reply will oblige

yours &c
Edward Harper.

To T A Malone


1. 122 Regent Street, London: base of Nicolaas Hennemans' Talbotype or Sun Picture Rooms, later the firm of Henneman & Malone, photographers to the Queen.

2. Edward Harper.

3. Hugh Owen (1808-1897), FSA and a pioneering calotypist, who was soon to become involved in the project to photograph the exhibits at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

4. Robert Jefferson Bingham (1825-1870), English born author and photographer, mostly active in France, who was the premier reproduction photographer of his day. [See Doc. No: 06468, Doc. No: 06514].

5. Richard Colls, photographer, London. Colls was applyied for a license to practice the Calotype commercially, on behalf of himself, his brother Lebbeus. and Robert Jefferson Bingham (1825-1870), English born author and photographer, mostly active in France, who was the premier reproduction photographer of his day. The negotiations fell through and in January 1852, Talbot obtained an injunction against Richard Colls to prevent him from making and selling photographs on paper. See Rupert Derek Wood, "J.B. Reade, F.R.S., and the Early History of Photography; Part II. Gallic Acid and Talbot's Calotype Patent," Annals of Science, v. 27 n. 1, March 1971, pp. 52-53 and passim.

6. The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London. Richard and Lebbeus Colls submitted "several sun-pictures on paper," which the jury felt were "rather blotty in appearance, but are good in colour. Views of Windsor Castle and Stoke Chruch deserve high commendation."

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