122 Regent St <1>
5th Feby 1850
To H F Talbot Esqr
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> has dealt with him 30 years & has found him obliging Will you oblige me with your opinion on this subject Shall I continue with Cocker or go to one of the manufacturers I have mentioned. –
I remain Sir Yours most obediently
T. A. Malone
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>
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.