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Document number: 7075
Date: 01 Dec 1854
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA54-63
Last updated: 26th January 2013

My dear Mr Talbot

I have received your letters & the specifications of your patent, as well as the depositions of Sir J. Herschel & Sir D. Brewster. <1> I had thought you had published a paper in the Phil. Trans. <2> or had at least given a notice of your discovery to the Royal Society in some form, & it was to this which I alluded. <3> I had experimented early on the positive process, <4> but found it so very long that I abandoned it.

I will follow your suggestion and do something with it before I go to Town. My assistant <5> is at work getting all ready for his experiment on your specification, & I doubt not he will be ready for the Camera so soon as the slides arrive. <6> I have not told him a word about the process as conducted in general by myself, so that if he succeeds it will be entirely a success of his own.

I will try to go to Town a few days before the trial & will call on your Solicitor. <7>

Believe me, Yours very truly
Nevil Story-Maskelyne.

Ashmolean Museum. <8> Oxford.
December 1 – 1859.


1. Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792–1871), astronomer & scientist, and Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), Scottish scientist & journalist, swore affidavits on WHFT’s behalf for the case against James Henderson, photographer, London. These were later published in Notes and Queries, 8 July 1854, pp.53–54. See Doc. No: 06994, Doc. No: 06423, Doc. No: 06958.

2. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

3. See Doc. No: 07066 and Doc. No: 07071.

4. That is, the process for making direct positives, see Doc. No: 07068, Doc. No: 07073.

5. Carl Ewald, Ph.D. See Doc. No: 07072 and Doc. No: 07089.

6. See Doc. No: 07072.

7. John Henry Bolton (1795–1873), solicitor, London.

8. Story-Maskelyne lectured on mineralogy and chemistry at the University of Oxford, and had a laboratory in the lower part of the museum building.

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