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Document number: 6301
Date: 05 Feb 1850
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA50-10
Last updated: 31st August 2010

122 Regent St <1>
5th Feby 1850

To H F Talbot Esqr

Sir

I send you a very beautiful specimen of Porcelain made by Davenport.<2> It is made for writing upon & is used in pocket books. It is not absorbent & there fore is useless for our purpose

It shows that Porcelain may be obtained in thin flat sheets beautifully regular in texture as seen by transmitted light I send it to show you how beautiful the substance is that we are about to employ.

It is very probable that if this very slab had been less “fired” it would have been just what we require would it not save trouble to apply to Davenport to “short fire” similar slabs for us

It may happen that his material is not adapted In that case he has only to try “Cockers” instead Cocker<3> proposes sending to his nephew to make a few slabs at Etruria<4> as there they have more practice in “batting” the clay i.e in throwing it forcibly upon a plaster of Paris block to incorporate the materials & get rid of the troublesome air bubbles that I mentioned in my last note. –

Will it not be better to go at once to Wedgwood & show him Davenport’s slab or shall I go to Davenport. I prefer Wedgwood because he is said to be the best maker & moreover Mr Newman<5>

I remain Sir Yours most obediently
T. A. Malone

P.S

In Liebigs Annual report on the progress of Chemistry &c The process for taking an Electrotype from a Daguerrotype & making it into a negative is ascribed to a M Poitevin <6>

Mr Macaulay <7> the historian was at Mr Faraday’s lecture on Friday last<8> & admired our Talbotypes exhibited in the library of the Royal Institution <9>


Notes:

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. Established in 1793 by John Davenport (1765-1848), at Longport, Burslem, Stafforshire.

3. George Cocker (1794-1868), of Minton and Derby, Staffordshire.

4. Site of the Wedgwood China Factory, established by Joseph Wedgwood (1769-1843).

5. John Frederick Newman ( fl.1816–1860), instrument maker at 122 Regent Street, London. In early 1846, Nicolaas Henneman transferred his photographic operations from Reading to this address.

6. Alphonse-Louis Poitevin (1819-1882), chemist and printmaker.

7. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859), MP & historian.

8. Prof Michael Faraday (1791–1867), scientist; his Friday evening lectures were a standing feature at the Royal Institution.

9. Royal Institution, London. WHFT's first-ever public exhibition of photographs took place there after the Friday evening lecture on 25 January 1839.

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