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Document number: 7085
Date: Thu 07 Dec 1854
Recipient: STORY-MASKELYNE Nevil
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 18th February 2012

Mr Maskelyne

The Athenæum Club <1>
Thursday Decr 7

Dr Sir

The positive photograph <2> of a printed paper which you sent me is quite satisfactory as to the principle –

Your assistant <3> seems to get on very well, but I am afraid he cannot speak English well enough to allow of our asking for his testimony before a jury of British John Bulls. <4>

An “ artful dodge" <5> of the defendants attorney <6> has given us some trouble today. He has applied to the judge <7> for leave to add a number of new objections to my patent, to the list he formerly delivered. This if conceded, nullifies the salutory provisions of the Patent Law Reform Act <8> which provides that the objections shall be delivered once for all, in order that the Patentee may know what he is expected to answer.

In these new objections it is stated that Mr Hunt <9> was the author of the discovery of the existence of the invisible image on paper and the mode of developing it. &c &c.

I remain Yours vy Truly
H. F. Talbot


1. The Athenæum and (London) Literary Chronicle, London.

2. See Doc. No: 07083.

3. Carl [Karl] Ewald, Ph.D. See Doc. No: 07072 and Doc. No: 07089.

4. The typical man-in-the-street Englishman, ‘an honest, plain-dealing fellow ...’; from John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull, (London, 1712), a collection of pamphlets.

5. See the ‘Artful Dodger’ in Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (London: 1837–1838).

6. Peter Wickens Fry [see Doc. No: 07013]. He was a lawyer and a founder of the Photographic Club. (See H. J. P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London: Hutchinson Benham, 1977), p. 200).

7. Sir John Jervis (1802–56). See Arnold, p. 205.

8. The Patent Law Amendment Act 1852.

9. Robert Hunt (1807–1887), scientist & photographic historian. See Story-Maskelyne’s observations in Doc. No: 07086.

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