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Document number: 7385
Date: 11 Apr 1857
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA57-10
Last updated: 14th March 2012

London Institution, Finsbury Circus.
April 11. 1857

To H F Talbot Esqr


I beg you will pardon my delaying to answer your letter sooner. I have had illness & in my family & I have been unwell myself, so I have scarcely had time for my duties here.

I beg to send you the Journal of the Society of Arts & an account of my Lecture <1> which may give you some information on the points you inquire about With regard to “evidence” I would do anything that would assist, in a proper manner, your claims. From what I have seen of Patents I feel a difficulty in stating my views publicly respecting them especially since it seems to me that the law is not in accordance with what is called common sense or common justice. I do not think an improvement on the same materials should entitle the improver to appropriate his predecessors labours. The patent should be for an improvement & the original patentee be applied to for a license or some such power. This is a nice point. How far an alleged improvement is really one? This a special jury might determine. I think in a former case of yours that you should have been applied to for permission to use gallo-nitrate on iodide of silver or pyro-gallo-nitrate on the same. Still I think Archer <2> should have had some reward or share of profit from his labours in finding & practically using the best vehicle for your gallo-nit + Iod Silver. He might I think have patented collodion as an improved vehicle & required your licensees to come to him for his article. [illegible deletion] or you might have found it convenient to arrange with Archer.

If from these remarks hastily written you can gather that my services are of use I shall be glad to place them at your disposal I have not worked much at the gelatine method.

Faithfully your obliged obedient Servant
T. A Malone

I shall be in Paris for a few days next week, till Friday.


1. This was in response to WHFT's 28 February letter - see Doc. No: 07370. On 13 February 1856, Malone delivered a lecture 'On the Application of Light and Electricity to the Production of Engravings - Photogalvanography' to the London Insitution. An announcement of the lecture was carried in the Journal of the Society of Arts, v. 5 no. 220, 6 February 1857, p. 220, but the text of his lecture was not published in the Journal - Malone must have sent it to WHFT in some other form.

1. The wet collodion on glass negative process was given freely to the public in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857), a sculptor and photographer. He disclosed the operational details in an 18 February 1851 letter published in The Chemist, n.s. v. 2 no. 19, March 1851, pp. 257-258.

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