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Document number: 6638
Date: 08 Jun 1852
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: WHEATSTONE Charles
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA52-35
Last updated: 1st August 2010

Lower Mall
Hammersmith <1>
June 8th 1852

My dear Sir

Sir D. Brewster <2> did not communicate to you Lord Rosse’s <3> opinion, but his own. Lord Rosse did not think it would be unadvisable for you to throw open your patents,<4> to nor that the artistic and scientific world would not consider such a gift from you as a benefit and a boon; he merely doubted the expediency of calling a public meeting for the purpose of requesting you to do so, and on several accounts I fully concur with him on this point.

Yours very truly
C. Wheatstone.


1. London

2. Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), Scottish scientist & journalist

3. William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse (1800–1867), astronomer & MP

4. WHFT was seeking a comprimise on the patent controversy swirling around the calotype. He felt (rightly) that he should be recognised as the true inventor of the calotype and he sought to retain some benefit from commercial applications of it - this was largely in support of his former valet, Nicolass Henneman, whose business he sought to protect. WHFT was willing to grant free licenses for amateurs to practice the art, but even this was seen as too restrictive by many.

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