Letters of R. Derek Wood, 1990s Part III

Contents of Part III

  • 9. Early Photographers
  • 10 Miscellaneous subjects
  • 11. Early Photography and W. H. F. Talbot
  • 12. Hercule Florence
  • 13. J. M. Cameron (and her son H. H. H. Cameron): Copyrighted Photographs

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    9. Early Photographers

    Rev. J. S. Winter's Album              9.1,  9.2
    J. Merriman's Album                      9.3
    Robert Bingham                             9.4,  9.5
    Frédéric Martens                           9.6,  9.7,  9.8
    G. B. Goodman                              9.9
    D. L. Mundy                                  9.10
    Sir David Salomons                        9.11
    Dagron's microfilm                          9.12
    R. H. Carr                                     9.13,  9.14,  9.15

    12 October 1994, RDW to Bill Main,  Director, New Zealand Centre for Photography, Wellington, NZ

    I enclose my notes and relevant documentation on the persons envolved with the J. S. Winter Album.  Shenley rather than Tottenham is the prime place relating to the Album. The person who now lives in the Shenley Church (his house is erected in some way inside the walls of the church!) was most interested to hear of the existence of the 1854 photographs. He has not otherwise seen photographs before 1900. Perhaps winter time will be a suitable time for me to photograph the present St Botolphs ‘Church’ [now closely surrounded by trees, so in winter will be more open] as well as the separate Chapel of St. Martin (photo No.38) which is still used. And No. 20 ‘New Club house’ also still exists and the photograph being of 1854 is of particular interest to local people as 1854 has always been thought to be the date it was built.  I do not know Shenley but it is very close to the small village of South Mimms (obviously Photos 3 and 19, not South ‘Merris’) which is almost cut into by the M25 Motorway ring–road on the opposite side of  London to Bromley.  I cannot remember well the images in the album when you showed it to me briefly while in London but the title ‘Rectoress of Shenley’ (No.45) intrigues me – it is perhaps just a portrait of Charlotte, [née Winter] wife of Henry Justinian Newcome?  Both from the clear details displayed in the xerox copies of the two photographs from the Album that you sent me, and from the date of the 1850s rather than from the 1840s, I have little doubt that Winter would have used the wet–collodion glass plates not paper calotype negatives.  I am contacting the photographic people at Christies to see if they have anything about the Winter photographs that it seems they had for sale there around 1976. I would hazard a guess that they described them in the usual offhand inaccurate way as ‘calotypes’. Would you please make your own judgment about this factor if you are able to examine the original album.

    14 March 1995, RDW to Bill Main,  Director, New Zealand Centre for Photography, Wellington, NZ

    Here is my article on the Winter album.  With regard to the ‘calotype’ problem, it is so unfortunate that the term has been used so loosely by museum curators etc. It is a situation that has, in my opinion, been disastrous in slanting the early history of photography. Talbot himself is largely responsible for this because he insisted that any non–daguerrean technique should be categorised in this way, even when his associates Hennemann and Malone were actually using collodion glass plates by 1851, the surviving prints from them still commonly described by many people today as calotypes! I think it very unlikely that negatives on paper were still being used to any extent in 1854.  The assumption should be that negatives would at that time have been collodion on glass or albumen on glass (although the latter would be more likely to be in France than England), and not to assume they would be paper calotypes (waxed or not) unless there is good reason to think otherwise.  Even from the rough copies that have been available to me it looks as if the prints in the album have a clarity that could only be obtained with a glass negative. But, even if you have not seen the original salt prints you have seen, I think, the copy prints made the Canterbury Museum: so you are certainly in a better position than I am to judge the situation and so your judgement must have precedence over what might be my own prejudice.  Maybe if it is necessary to speak of calotypes because of the widespread (but so often inaccurate) use of the term then a qualifying phrase such as ‘what are often called “calotypes” ’ should be used, or at the very least ‘quote marks’ put round the term. But then the wider term photograph has quite a lot to recommend it.

    14 and 28 October 1997 RDW to Anne Hammond, co–editor of History of Photography

    [Regarding an enquiry form John Szarkovski about a J. N. Merriman Album of 1852 that had been sold at Christie's in 1984. ]  My first reaction on looking at the list of names in the photocopy of the 1984 Christie's catalogue, was that ‘Mr & Mrs Goodeve’ raised the possibility that there could be some connection with Prof. Thomas M. Goodeve, an early member of the RPS, who had exhibited Portraits of Gentlemen using collodion on glass negatives at the Royal Society of Arts Exhibition of December 1852 (A Catalogue of an Exhibition of Recent Specimens of Photography exhibited at the Society of Arts...December 1852, and J. Soc. Arts, 31 Dec 1852, vol. 1, p.61–3)  and who had photographed statutes exhibited at the Hyde Park exhibition in 1851 (letter from PQ in  J. Soc. Arts, 1852/3, vol. 1, p. 75).  The Library of the Royal Society of Arts is very likely to be a rewarding place to search for information on the Merriman Album and Goodeve.
    With regard to printed sources, it might be difficult to improve on the DNB information about the various Merrimans within the article on Samuel Merriman (vol 37, pp. 293–4).  As to the named portraits listed for the Merriman Album: Rev John Sperling (1825–94) according to Alumni Cantab (see enclosed) was curate of Kensington from 1849 to 1856. Also the  Alumni Cantab  entry on Goodeve shows he was born in Bayswater Terrrace and obviously continued in the area because he died in Ladbroke Grove.  Obviously it will be a shot in the dark but hopefully the ‘Mr and Mrs Price’ could be related to William Lake Price, artist and photographer, and ‘Mr and Mrs Thompson’ might have some connection to Charles Thurston Thompson, active at that time regarding photography at the Hyde Park exhibition and the precursor departments of Science and Art which developed into the South Ken Museum. I notice that the Christie's catalogue entry describes the Merriman Album as containing ‘calotype’ portraits.  Of course I have to groan loudly here. Even from the two illustrations as seen on the photocopy of the Christie's entry it looks as if the resolution of the images are unlikely to have been obtained with paper negatives, but indeed there is no reason to suppose that most photographers in London in 1852 used anything other than Collodion glass negatives. It really is about time curators and collectors grew up in this respect. Even Talbot's sidekicks Henneman and Malone were using Archer's Collodion technique in 1852 (and earlier) and if they (and Talbot) wanted to call these Talbotypes or Calotypes then there is no excuse now to continue that nonsense.
    Kensington Local Studies Library have J. J. Merriman's Notes on Kensington Square (1887) and his photographic album of local scenes (dated by the library as 1860s) as well as an index of names to the 1851 census that would be very useful in checking for the sitters in the J. N. Merriman album sold at Christie's in 1984

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    28 April 1994 RDW to Steven F. Joseph, Bruxelles.

    Thank you for the copy in English of your chapter on ‘Pioneers of Photography in Belgium’. I am interested in what you say about Fierlants being in Paris for a few years until March 1858, where he became particularly interested in the photography of paintings. I suspect he must have had some association with Robert Bingham, the English photographer who had a studio in Paris in the 1850s and 1860, ever since he went to France to produce the photographs for the Reports of the Juries of the 1851 Great Exhibition in London. Bingham specialised in photographing paintings which included the works of Paul De Laroche and Ary Scheffer. Bingham's death was annonced in the Bulletin Sociéte de Photographie of March 1870 at the same time as the death of M. Fierlants, indeed Fierlants was actually mentioned in the notice about Bingham's death saying that Fierlants was involved with ancient art, Bingham with modern art. Bingham, infact, died (cause of death not recorded) in Brussels on 21 February 1870, according to his death certificate ‘à onze heures du soir, rue de l'Ecuyer No. 18, 4 don.’  There is some suggestion that Bingham went very downhill after the death of this wife (who he had married at the British Embassy in Paris in 1853 at a time when he was living in Versailles), and perhaps the address in Brussels was a hostel of some sort. Probably just a coincidence that Fierlants died at the same time in Brussels but if you know exactly the date and place of his death I would be interested to know it. I have long been interested in Bingham who very much deserves more than the very brief and, as is so common, inaccurate attention in the standard histories. [ Steven Joseph replied on 4 May that ‘concerning Edmond Fierlants, there is absolutely no link, apart from the coincidence of place and the fact that they both specialised in photographing works of art. Fierlants died on 21st December 1869 at home, a rented apartment 89 Rue Royale in Brussels’]

    16 September 1994  RDW to Steven F. Joseph, Bruxelles.

    I do not have a photocopy of Bingham's death certificate as the source was a contemporary copy of the original (which you expect to see in Brussels). But here is my transcription done at the PRO very many years ago so I cannot now remember what would have been the (no doubt) few omitted words towards the end (...) but guess they would have been unimportant legal phraseology.

    General Register Office: Miscellaneous Foreign Deaths (Public Record Office, London): RG 35/2, pp 1105–1106 [‘Misc Foreign Deaths, Vol. 2 Belgium, Part 2 (Brussels 1841–1870)’,  pp 1105–1106]:

    ‘Ville de Bruxelles. État Civil Décès d’Étrangers, Extrait de registre. No. 874.  Le Vingt trois fevrier mil huit cent soixante–dix à trois heures de l'après midi a été dressé, après constatation, par noms C H Lemaiyer Officier de l’État de Ville de Bruxelles, l’Acte de Décès de Robert John [sic] Bingham photographie décédé en cette ville, de vingt et un de ce mois, à onze heures du Soir rue de l’Ecuyer No.18, 4 Dom, âgé de quarante ans né à Londres, et y domicile veuf de Emma Jefferson, fils de Robert Bingham

    sous autres renseignements Sur la declaration de Ernest <Kande?> Driessche, Sculpteur, âgé de quarante ans domicile à Saint Gilles et de Charles Haeck, chef Machiniste, âgé de quante quatre ans, domicile à Schiverbeek... le <22?> Mars 1870... ’.           [on reverse is an office stamp with date of ‘23 Mars 1870"]

    [writing transcribed between < > is uncertain reading.  Apart from the place, date and time of death, the other personal information provided for the certificate was obviously not from a source that could be authoritative or reliable to any great extent]

    I enclose a photocopy of Bingham's marriage certificate from the British Embassy in Paris Register. You will note that he was there said to be (born in) ‘of the Parish of Bilston in the county of Leicester’.  Although there is a Bilstone [with final e] in Leicestershire the place where he was born was the phonetically similar Billesdon [2 ls, d not t] a few miles to the east of Leicester. His parents were probably there only for one or two years 1823 to 1824 and there is no evidence that the families had any roots in the area. The Billesdon Parish register has the following entry for his baptism (not birth date): ‘7 March 1824 Robert Jefferson [Bingham] son of John Cowaner and Martha BINGHAM of Billesdon, baptised. Father's occupation exciseman.’

    28 August 1996, RDW to Brian L. Polden, Worthing, Sussex.

    [Although the late] Pierre Harmant did comment in a letter to me [dated 22 September 1992*] that F. Martens was not German and that the widespread use of his name as ‘F. von Martens’ was incorrect...  I cannot tell you more about his sources.  I guess that from his wide familiarity with contemporary published and manuscript sources he realised that the addition of von to Martens name was the work of later historians (and in contrast had not, for example, appeared in this style on the original patent) and he seemed to trace this to the well known Austrian photographic historian Josef Maria Eder. Pierre Harmant did rigorous and disciplined research from primary sources (in contrast the more widely known popular histories of photography are amazingly unreliable in endlessly repeating old myths and stories in a journalistic fashion from similar third–hand sources), so his work is very dependable.  He worked for a considerable part of his professional career in translating European Patents and so one group of his own history of photography articles that he published during 1963 to 1966 in Schweizerische Photorundschau on early photographic patents from the beginning up to 1868 are of special value and which would probably be of interest to you for patents of panoramic cameras.  You will find on a separate sheet enclosed a listing of those articles from Schweizerische Photorundschau. [I do not have the text of those articles on hand but] I suppose that the 1843 panoramic camera patent by Puchberger/ Prokesch and F. Martens patents of 1844 and 1845 are probably listed by Pierre Harmant in Schweizerische Photorundschau 1963, either on pages 302–4, 382–4, or 409–11.

    I suppose that the item which you enclosed from a museum catalogue saying F. Martens was ‘D'Origine allemand’ is merely repeating the unverified standard version as commonly given throughout the usual historical works (in this case it looks as if it is repeated in turn from Jean–Claude Gautrand's Paris des photographes), but it is interesting that it goes on to say he was born in Venice (né à Venise).

    [* P.–G. Harmant to RDW, 22 September 1992: Une autre ‘erreur’ très fréquemment recontrée est celle consiste à écrire Fredrich von Martens:  cet erreur vient de l’edition de la Geschichte de Eder.  Et tous les historiens des débuts de la photographie l’ont reprise.  En réalité, j’ai pu vérifier que le brevet concernant l’appareil panoramique porte comme auteur Frédéric Martens: c’est un peintre qui vivait à Paris et peut–être d’origine suisse, mais rien n’est moins sûr.  Il pourrait être tout aussi bien d’origine belge: ma femme porte comme nom de jeune fille Bourdens, et vous connaissez peut–être le poête et chanteur récemment disparu Brassens, qui se prononcent ‘ince’ comme dans province et non ‘ence’ ou ‘anse’.  C’est un détail mais il ne faut pas oublier que Eder écrivait en allemand.  Toutefois je ne vois pas d’où peut venir le ‘von’ qui correspondrait à un ‘de’ en français. ]

    27 October 1996, RDW to Brian L. Polden, Worthing, Sussex.

    G. Cromer, ‘Quelques épreuves et documents relatifs à l’histoire de la photographic panoramique’,  Bulletin de la Société Française de Photographie, Juin 1930, Tome 17 (3e série), 170–182, deals with ‘Fréderic Martens, de Versailles’  and especially on Napoleon Garella and his panoramic design (pp. 170–8), as well as very briefly on others later in the 19th century.

    26 June 1997, RDW to Brian L. Polden, Worthing, Sussex.

    You will see that I have made some comments on your draft typescript concerning Martens. You say on p. 3 of the draft that ‘it would also be logical to legally change his names to identify himself more suitably among his adopted fellow country men..’ and you quite reasonably use a Battenburg/ Mountbatten analogy. Yet I think this is entirely misleading because in such a case you must have evidence that Martens had earlier, or at any time in his lifetime, used the name von Martens. The discrepancy over Martens name does not seem to have been derived from contempory usage, but by historians (beginning, according to P.G. Harmant, with Eder in the 1890s).  Also (your draft p.1) Eder himself did not claim specifically that Martens was German, he just put von in front of Martens name.  The most likely place where there might be evidence of the style of Martens name preceded by von used during his life time is in a book (according to the BL Catalogue of printed books) in which some of his engravings were published: [J. F. ?] Dielmann, Panorames de Francfort, 1837, British Library shelf mark 789 d5. Of course even in this case (if it should be that he was printed as von Martens), it would not be entirely conclusive as the author Dielmann was presumably German and might also, like Eder, use the von by mistake. 

    20 November 1993 to Sandy Barrie, Sydney

    I am sure you are aware of  footnote No.33 on page 174 of Gael Newton's Shades of Light where she writes with regard to G. B. Goodman's death ‘Sydney Morning Herald, 2 June 1851’ (sic. this surely is a mistake for 18 October, with 2 June being the date reported for his death) ‘gives notice of Goodman's death. His “departures” from the colonies were often deliberately mis–stated. Alan Davies, who has researched Goodman extensively, believes the obituary may have been a ruse to escape creditors’. 
    If Alan Davies had looked for confirmation of the date of death of Goodman and thus failed to find it in a place where it could be expected then such later speculation would have been justified as a hypothesis that might explain conflicting evidence. But this is not the case, and thus he appears to be guilty of empty and unwarranted speculation that can do nothing but harm to progress in understanding.  It will be difficult to obtain substantial documentary evidence about Goodman's death because it was reported to be in Paris, while if it had been in England (and I suppose in Australia) a record of a Death Certificate could be easily found. The General Register Office in London (previously at Somerset House but now in the Aldwych just behind the Australian High Commission, Australia House) does have an ‘Index to Consular Deaths 1849–1870’ in which foreign deaths of English people abroad that were notified to the consulate at the time of death are listed. I checked this index but neither Goodman nor Gershon was listed. The Public Record Office also have some records of the Registrar General's Office: unfortunately I forgot to check under Gershon but Goodman was not found in ‘Index to Miscellaneous Registers of Deaths and Burials [abroad], 1717–1917’ (Public Record Office, RG43/3) or in ‘Index to volumes 1–23 of Miscellaneous Registers and Certificates of Deaths ... of British Subjects in Foreign Countries kept and made by various British Foreign and Colonial Authorities since 1801 [–1870]’ (PRO, RG43/4).  Although Goodman is not listed in the above records this certainly does not prove that he did not die in Paris in 1851 for there is every reason to believe that the above records do not record every death. It is very likely that Jewish records could be more productive as you mentioned in your letter of 1 November, or could there even be any official records in Australia of the deaths abroad of Australian residents?

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    26 September 1994, RDW to Bill Main,  Director, New Zealand Centre for Photography, Wellington, NZ

    I have already had a chance to look through the several indexes of names through the 1870s of Copyright records at the Public Record Office for anything that might have been registered by D. L. Mundy. The conclusion is that although Mundy did not otherwise try to legally protect his copyright for his photographs while in England he did so on one occasion.  It was on 25 January 1875 {Copyright Office, Stationers’ Hall: Entry Forms (Public record Office, London: COPY 1): COPY 1/28, ff 151–166} that he registered 16 photographs produced as ‘Autotypes’ in his Rotomahana published with Hochstetter's text that year. These COPY 1 records for the earliest period from 1862 to 1882 are on microfilm so I was not able to judge if these ‘Photographs’ were on photographic silver albumen paper or (as is more probable) were autotype carbon prints. If there was any good reason to verify that the deposited prints were definitely autotypes then no doubt the PRO would allow me to look at the originals. As the sixteen prints are attached to the front of the original Registration Entry Forms the text of each Entry Form is reproduced on the microfilm accompanied by a second frame showing the attached print, thus a total of 32 frames of the microfilm covers ff 252–31. Probably these copyright records are of some use in revealing that in January 1875 Mundy was living at 41 Mayall Road, Brixton, in south London, but the existence of these particular 16 prints amongst the Copyright records is, I suppose, of less value than it would have been for unpublished work by him. I notice from the British Library Catalogue that they have a copy of Mundy and Hochstetter's Rotomahana, but I have not been able to to compare its contents with the prints at the PRO. You will notice that the caption of the photograph on the enclosed f 155 originally had a printed number 100. The other Mundy photos registered had printed captions numbered (I did not make an exact note of them) around the upper 80s and through the 90s, but renumbered to 1 to 16. So I wonder what the printed numbers referred to ?   50 photographs registered on 23 January 1875 (COPY 1/28, ff 96–145) might be of some interest to you in New Zealand, being of people of Melanesian Islands, so I enclose a negative copy of one of them. Biographical information of Ferdinand Hochstetter available here says that when he surveyed in New Zealand in 1859 he was assisted by the artist Charles Heaphy?  As Hochstetter returned from New Zealand in 1860 to Vienna when he was appointed Professor of Minerology and Geology I suppose Mundy could not have had personal contact with him until the Exhibition in Vienna in 1873?  Is it possible that Mundy might have been commissioned by Hochsetter in the 1860s to supply him with photographs of New Zealand?  In 1876 Hochstetter became Superintendant of the Imperial Natural History Museum in Vienna until he died there in 1884.

    31 December 1996, RDW to Bill Main,  Director, New Zealand Centre for Photography, Wellington, NZ

    [Regarding] the man whose glass negatives you have recently acquired from the estate of John Roberts.  As you will see from the entry in Who Was Who, 1916–1928 (A. & C. Black: London 1929), 926, the correct name is Sir David Salomons, or more fully Sir David Lionel Goldsmid–Stern–Salomons (1851–1925), an electrical engineer.  From the point of view of the history of photography you certainly made a good choice in selecting his negatives. An RPS library subject catalogue of 1952  lists two items for ‘Salomons, Sir D.’  in the class of ‘Formula and Pocket Books’, Photographic Notes and Formulae, (Pamphlet), 1890, and The Photographer's Notebook. [1900].  I guess it is very likely that the libraries of several learned societies (especially the Institute of Electrical Engineers) could have information on him, such as obits in their journals, and maybe in the RPS's Photographic Journal of 1925. 

    ‘David Salomons House’... still has quite large grounds, in the Southborough residential district to the north of Tunbridge Wells... is now some sort of business training centre.  The local telephone directory lists ‘Salomons Centre Ltd’, David Salomons House, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The Reference Library at Tunbridge Wells have a good local history collection (I had an occasion to use it many years ago, when researching the early studio photographer, Thomas Sims) and as Salomons was Mayor of Tunbridge Wells they may have something on him and on ‘David Salomons House’.    Thomas Sims (1826–1910), who had been threatened with legal action over the calotype patent by Talbot's lawyers in London during 1853 and 1854 later lived in Tunbridge Wells, where other members of his family were photographers. I have a note that the Tunbridge Wells library had  2 photographs by Edward Sims of an Alderman Lutwidge said to have been Mayor of Tunbridge Wells from 1895–98 and of H. Pink who was Mayor 1891–3, so it would seem Salomons must have been Mayor between those two men?

    I see also from the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition (New York 1910–11), Vol. 15, p. 409 that an earlier Sir David Salomons (presumable a relative, say grandfather?) became Lord Mayor of London in 1855. This is in an article on ‘Jews’ in regard to the Jewish Emancipation Act of 1830 which lifted discrimination against Jews holding public office in England. The article also mentions a Moses Monteflore (same family name as your man's mother) as sheriff of London being knighted in 1837 and a Sir I. L. Goldsmid being made a baronet in 1841, so your man's roots from the previous two generations is likely to have related to influential City of London jewish families

    January 1994, RDW to Frederic Luther,  Deer's Mill,  Indiana

    Recently I happened to be looking through some old papers that have been stored out of sight for some years. It included a letter to me from Edward Herlithy dated 7 February 1972 that I thought you might find of interest regarding Dagron.  Herlithy [even then he was elderly] took a leading part at that time in the affairs in London of the Quekett Microscopical Club. It is a very long established society whose members then were mainly amateur microscopists, natural historians and collectors. At a meeting of the Club in January 1972 that I attended, Herlithy showed a couple of slides of Dagron's microfilm. It looks from his letter written afterwards to me that I had mentioned to him something about your  Microfilm. A History, and as he had not seen your work he was asking the date and place of publication.  We had also both seen from an article by Sir Lawrence Bragg (Proc. Royal Institution, 1959, Vol. 37, pp.259–75) that the Royal Institution in London had one of Dagron's micrographic pellicles, so I though you might like to see what Edward Herlithy wrote to me about this:

    ‘some years ago, after a little search, the RI people found the pellicle and I examined it carefully. It proved to be, as mine is, one of the pellicles that Dagron issued, after the siege, on his own account and for his own profit. The sheets reproduced are not in order as we would expect and one at least is duplicated. I do not think that he was reprobated for this, although he was plainly revealing a lot of domestic information contained in the messages. I suppose that this was because ‘government’ authority was not very strong in civil matters –  too busy hunting down and executing anyone on the left they could lay hands on.  Anyway, I think the pellicles actually carried into Paris by the pigeons would have been the property of the Dept. of Posts & Telegraphs and so were never released. I've never heard of any original. A large number of scraps of these commercial pellicles were issued as microscopical curiosities, some of them, deliberately or in ignorance, purporting to be parts of ‘originals’  I have a couple of them. The French authorities did not hold out any hope when I approached them some years back and I fear that anything really definitive on the methods used either by the Postes et Telegraphie people or Dagron is lost for ever.’  

    23 August 1994 RDW to Thomas R. Kailbourn, Wellsville, NY, USA

    Thanks for your letter of August 13 and the enclosed draft text of the entry on R. H. Carr for the biographical dictionary that you are preparing with Peter Palmquist.

    As you describe in the biography his father as being very mobile I would guess it would be difficult to find any good records of him in local Directories, etc.  Birth Certificates were only statutary in England from 1837, so the only record of birth in 1818 would be from Church records which are difficult to find and not so informative as Birth certificates. But the Marriage certificate would exist as he apparently was married in the 1850s.  Eynsham is a village about 7 miles west of Oxford (half way between Oxford and Witney) and Freeland can be only a very small hamlet of houses about 2 miles from Eynsham. So you could say in the bibliographical entry that Carr ‘...at the beginning of 1855  married her at Eynsham Parish Church, Oxfordshire. Emily had been born at Freeland only two miles away’. Marriage Certificates can be informative about place of birth and and (as long as the registrant tells the truth) of the occupation of parents. Unfortunately the General Registry Office in London will supply only signed offical copies of Certificates for £5.50 (about US$14) each, even if they are only the older ones for historical use.  However, the Marriage entry for Richard Carr and Emily Saunders is in the marriage indexes for the quarter January–March 1855: Witney Registration District Volume 3A, p.571.  So even from the quarterly index it has been possible to date the wedding to within the three months January to March 1855.

    14 October 1994 RDW to Thomas R. Kailbourn, Wellsville, NY, USA

    Thanks for your letter and your updated biographical entry on Richard Carr. From what you added in your letter about the episode between Carr and his young daughter  – she would have been an unbelievably sensitive girl if only an ‘explanation’ had been involved – and apparent young age of his wife when he first met her does as you suggest have some relevance. I suppose in that respect the crucial statement is Tippett's (I will see if I can find a copy of her book in England) that Carr was 32 when he first met his future wife. Presumably her date of birth is already established from some other source, but as persons had to state their age when they were married I thought it would also be worth looking at their marriage Certificate in spite of the fee needed to get one. Unfortunately as you will see in this particular instant the exact age is not given on the Certificate! So we have to make do with the entry of ‘Full adult’ for Richard Carr and ‘Minor’ for Emily Saunders. I do not have on hand any specific weighty legal tomes but the 11th (1911) edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica Vol.1 p.372, a very authoritative edition especially with regard to the 19th century says ‘By English Law there are two great periods into which a life is divided – infancy, which lasts in both sexes until the twenty–first year, and manhood or womanhood. The period of infancy, again, is divided into several stages...at fourteen both sexes are held to have arrived at years of discretion ...and may consent or disagree to a marriage. A female has the last privilege, from the twelth year, but the marriage cannot be celebrated until the majority of the parties without the consent of parents...marriageable age 14 in males and 12 in females’. At least the Certificate does show the date of marriage as January 15, 1855;  Cite it as ‘Marriage Certificate of Richard Carr and Emily Saunders dated January 15, 1855, Whitney Registration District, Vol 3A, p.571 (entry No. 159), at General Registry Office, London, England.’ As you said in the earlier version of your Biographical entry on Carr that his parents lived in Beckley (only two miles to the north of Oxford) both before his birth and afterwards, it may be that his father had his family roots at Beckley.  Here also is the

    text of the Birth certificate of Emily Saunders [born 23 May 1842], Oxford Registration District, Vol.16,p.102 (entry No. 66), at General Registry Office, London. (Registration District Oxford, sub–district of Oxford: father John Saunders shoe maker, Broad Street, St. Michael [Oxford], mother Ann Saunders, formerly Webb).

    7 November 1994 RDW to Thomas R. Kailbourn, Wellsville, NY, USA

    Thanks for your letter of October 29 and the photocopies of chapter 1 of Tippett's biography of Emily Carr. The account of the lives of the Carrs is fascinating.  It is irritating is it not that Birth Certificates were not statutary in England until the summer of 1837, just too late to clarify Emily Saunder's birth, according to the baptism, in 1836. In the circumstances I think it is reasonable for you to rely on the Note 2 on page 283 of Tippett's book in providing the date of 28 August 1836 for Emily's baptism, and to assume that the Emily Carr born on 23 May 1842 in Oxford was a different person. The Long Hanborough mentioned regarding the parish records was the parish in which Freelands (about one mile from Hanborough) was situated. The Victoria History of Oxfordshire says that Freeland reached a peak (and then again declined) of population of 200 peaple in 1869 with 50 houses after a considerable few years of growth (so in the 1830s was probably less than half that number) and did not have its own church until that year. Before that time the people of Freeland used Eynsham church, but obviously the parish records shifted to Hanborough. I doubt very much that the 19th century parish registers would still be with the vicar of Hanborough as they presumably were when Tippett did her research. According to a more recent guide to the whereabouts of Parish records the original parish registers of Oxfordshire are all deposited at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.  It is certainly also odd that Tippett writes on p 4 of Emily's mother as ‘Mary’ by mistake instead of Ann as given in her note 2 on p.283, and that Ann was also name of the mother of the (other) Emily born in Oxford in 1843!  The term ‘minor’ seems also to be the same as ‘the years of discretion’ which in English law in the first half of the 19th century was from 14 to 21 but (not entirely clearly stated) in the case of young women apparently from 12 (at least in relation to marriage). I think the term spinster does correctly mean any unmarried female but the Oxford Dictionary adds a comment ‘especially elderly in popular use’. With regard to your notes about immediate members of Richard Carr's family from his diary, the July 7 1841 entry about visiting ‘uncle Henry  & Daniel at Hedington [sic, Hed]’ refers to Headington [sic Head], which is the east side of Oxford, and is the area one has to pass through when going from central Oxford to Beckley (just to the north–east of Oxford and Headington). As his grandparents were buried in Beckley church, there seems every indication to count north–east Oxford and Beckley as the area in which the family had their roots. If you did feel it worthwhile to have the name of his mother then as she died in 1843 such additional information could be obtained from her Death Certificate.

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    10. Miscellaneous subjects

    Supposed Anglo–French Rivalry                    10.1,  10.2
    Silver–plating patents                                     10.3
    Gallic Acid                                                    10.4,  10.5,  10.6
    H and A. Gernsheim                                      10.7
    Historical Fantasy, first photograph                10.8
    ‘JE’ = J. Ellis?                                                10.9
    Photography in 1859, and George Sala           10.10
    Choice of paper in early photography             10.11
    Edgeworth Daguerreotypes                            10.12,  10.13
    Johnston collection at Bodleian                       10.14
    Illustrations of actors playing Shakespeare      10.15
    Dominique Daguerre: Furniture shop              10.16
    Miscellaneous comments                                10.17 to 10.23

    14 December 1994, RDW to Anne McCauley, University of Massachusetts.

    [With regard to your ‘François Arago and the politics of the French Invention of Photography’ in  Multiple Views (1991), pp. 43–69.] You say on p.57, ‘The award of a state pension naturally implied that the recipient had honored his country’, which does give a nationalistic feel about it: but there is another side of this (which is perhaps more obvious a concept this side of the Atlantic than it might be from an American perspective) that it would also be accepted that ‘the state’ would have a duty to support an inventor, especially in a country like France with a tradition even amongst monarchists of centralised patronage of science and arts, and that such state funding has no implications of patriotism or national honor, and indeed hardly seems to require any special historical attention as it took place in France while it certainly would if it had been in England, and even more in USA. Incidentally there is no evidence that Daguerre and Arago would have been politically sympathetic. If anything Daguerre fits better into being a supporter of the restored monarchy. Indeed there is this one section of your article on Arago about which I do have a different judgement That is the section concerning Nationalism on pp.57–58 and one sentence on page 61 about ‘Franco–British tensions ...national hero’. All politicians in public speeches today might use general phrases in a mild tone such as ‘the good of the country’ or ‘our great nation’ or ‘he does a service to the country’ or (an actual example used by Mary Marien on page 37 of her essay in Multiple Views) ‘great national enterprise’ without being at all nationalist or xenophobic. We easily recognise from specific words and tone any nationalist ranting in the language of some politicians when they are being xenophobic etc and I have to say that I have not recognised such signs in the writings of Arago. Indeed I would go along entirely with J.B. Biot when he responded to a letter from Talbot on 31 August 1839 saying ‘...M Arago, who you know to be a man of too generous instincts to be guided by any prejudices of nationality’. I do not see any particular need to judge that Daguerre's breakthrough was ‘define[d]...in terms of French nationalism’ (your words p. 57). On page 58 you wrote ‘It would be an error to attribute the promotion of the daguerreotype as a French idea to Arago's personal aggressive nationalism.  Arago had to contest Talbot's challenge:..’. I do not think the daguerreotype was promoted to any great extent as a ‘French idea’, certainly not in any aggressive way. Indeed I would go along entirely with the sentence just quoted if you had said ‘any supposed personal aggressive nationalism’,  ie. if one were to rebut a nationalistic flavoured challenge from another person it would be unfair to necessarily characterise the rebuttle as itself nationalistic. Also on page 58 you say ‘Nonetheless, Arago..., may have felt a particular aversion to England. In the absence of explicit statements by him on this subject’ leads me, I am sorry, to place exclamation marks after ‘may!’ and ‘the absence! of explicit! statements’.  And indeed even the statement that you then quote by Louis Blanc (somewhat as guilt by association) does not seem a very good example of a xenophobic remark but a straightforward observation about freemarket capitalism and on a economic system which happened to be practised in England which Blanc believed was harmful rather than an expression of anglophobia or from any nationalistic standpoint or prejudice. The remarks do have a very different tone and structure which would become apparent if compared with the words of any true bigot. Even the words you quote on p 58 from Duchâtel are hardly the type of positive or strong phrases used by nationalists, indeed there is no specific ‘Anglophobia’ in his sentence in that no country is mentioned. If we are going to characterise Duchâtel's sentence as truly Nationalistic rather than a politician's generalities then I think few politicians or any activity would escape being so branded, and the whole excercise becomes meaningless. But in the last analysis I think there are indications that in fact you do not place much weight on any supposed nationalistic promotion of the daguerreotype.  Indeed I would not think it mattered enough to discuss this aspect if it was not that your essay appeared in the same volume as the essay by Mary Marien which does, to my mind, exaggerate a supposed ‘Anglophobia’ of Arago and others in the section of her article on pages 36–37 of Multiple Views. I even wonder if she might be imagining Arago's republicanism (of the left) as equivalent to that of a present day American ‘Republican'! She says ‘Anglophobia also warmed Arago's subsequent arguments’ – but where exactly is the anglophobia in Arago's writings?  The third paragraph on her page 37 contains unsupported supposition which I think lacks respect for the primary sources. ‘Gay–Lussac, too, invoked Anglophobia’ yet this depends solely upon Marien's intepretation of ‘other people’.  I do not know where exactly in Gay–Lussac's report (in Daguerre's Manual) he is being Anglophobic as imagined by Marien. The passage she quotes by Arago from his Report is out of context in which the interpretation provided is helped along by a slanted translation of some words such as the first word ‘misjudged’ (instead of disavow or fail to recognise, where Arago was saying ‘because, had it been possible to not recognise the importance of the daguerreotype...’), and the first part of the Arago paragraph was a qualifying condition. It would be too laborious to discuss every detail of the way in which I think Marien has provided a distorted version of sources she quotes and has then drawn unwarranted interpretations, but it really will not do to use as she does such loaded phrases as (bottom of p. 36) ‘issued a covert warning...’ when the use of covert can only mean that it is the only way for the writer to force their own interpretation onto a reader when any explicit evidence is lacking. In the reading of primary contemporary sources such as the French newspapers of 1839 I have not been struck by any particular nationalistic fervour in relation to the daguerreotype, or indeed of any particular awareness at that time of a rivalry from Talbot, who did not receive any great attention. Arago obviously did expect Daguerre to receive a just acknowledgement for his particular unique invention. There is no reason to suppose that Arago would have had Talbot specifically in mind when he spoke of possible claims of priority for others, because he would have been well aware that the use of silver salts on paper had long been very common knowledge. But I am getting a little away from the subject, so will finish by saying that rivalry in 1839 was, to the extent that it existed, on Talbot's part rather than being both ways; and that Nationalism with regard to the daguerreotype and photography in 1839 would arise for discussion now not because it is evident in primary sources to much extent, but much more because of the subsequent influence of historians who often seem to want to write history of inventions with their own national bias. Nationalistic bias was, I suggest, very far from the minds of scientists like Arago, Biot, or Herschel, and specifically with regard to Arago I would make one little point that he had an active interest in the science internationally and obviously ready to elogise any scientist or engineer he thought significant like, for example, James Watt, even if they were not French !

    [received a reply from Ann McCauley dated January 18, 1995 defending her espousal of nationalism with regard to the daguerreotype in 1839.]

    29 September 1997 to Michel Frizot, Paris

    I very much agree with your paper read at the RPS Historical Group conference of 1989 on ‘The development of the Calotype:France and Great Britain – exchange or rivalry’ as published in Technology and Art, in which you point out that there is a lack of substance in the widespread idea that there was in France in 1839 a sense of rivalry with Talbot.  The idea expressed in English histories of photography that Arago was driven by Nationalist prejudices is, I believe, ridiculous.  Such an idea can only have become incorporated into Histories of Photography written in England and America because of the historiographic influence of Talbot's letters and publications.  For it was Talbot who created the spectre of Nationalism and rivalry with France.  His Photogenic Drawing technique as it existed in 1839 had not greatly increased the public knowledge that was widespread throughout the 1830s that (for example) images of engravings placed in contact with silver nitrate–treated paper could be obtained using light.  When he did not get the attention that he expected his response was often to find fault with other people. So I believe it is basically because of Talbot (along with some additional support from some xenophobic writings of the editor of the Literary Gazette) that a myth of rivalry between France and England came about.  Unfortunately in all countries persons with a patriotic frame of mind seem to be attracted to writing about inventors, and in England (perhaps especially because of the social class and rural provincial situation of Lacock Abbey) Talbot has fitted easily into this ethos.  Arago, as with all politicians, has to use a generalised vocabulary in talking of the good of the country and the State, etc, but Biot was absolutely right to remind Talbot that Arago was ‘of too generous instincts to be guided by any prejudices of nationality’.  I am afraid that Talbot was often mean–minded, and it is amazing how his attitudes have become incorporated into the standard histories of photography.  Talbot's own generalised accounts of the way he tried to obtain photographs in the late 1830s as published in February 1839 and in his Pencil of Nature are often repeated word for word by modern writers not as quotations but as if they were a historical summary derived from objective research.   [No reply received]

    9 June 1991, RDW to  Peter James, Photographic Development Officer,Central Library, Birmingham.

    The silver–plating patents of the early 1840 are extremely interesting and deserve considerable exploration. The best starting point is the long article by R. E. Leader, ‘The early history of Electro–silver plating' in the Journal of the Institute of Metals Vol. 22 / No.2 Series, 1919, pp.305–322.  Unfortunately I do not now have a copy of that article but have recorded that it is at shelf mark Ac 3230c at the British Library. Be careful about this reference because it is a non standard system where ‘No.2’ refers not to a second part published after a first part of volume 22 but to volume 22 of the second of two separate sections or series published by the Institute in parallel(!). Particularly look at page 315 regarding Elkingtons, C[ie Karl].W. Siemens, Moses Poole, and W. H. F. Talbot. After that the Victoria and Albert Museum should be approached (I never got around to it) to examine what I believe is the extensive Elkington archives held in the metal work department. Several licencees are mentioned in Leader's article but my brief extracts do not include the people you mention in your letter. It seems Elkingtons patent was purchased by ‘Brook Evans and J. F. Leedsan [my handwriting leads to uncertainty about that last name] for £3000’ who granted ‘working licences to several persons’. Perhaps there is information in Birmingham about Siemens as he moved to the area from Germany many years after his first contact in 1843 with the Elkingtons. Talbot's involvement in the legal wrangles over the silver–plating patents is really fascinating and is a part of his life that has been entirely unnoticed in the field of photographic history – although it could have been picked up by any one with access to the Talbot collection at Lacock Abbey as at least two relevant letters have survived there. Moses Poole was a patent agent in London (in partnership with W. Carpmael the firm with whom Talbot was envolved with the photographic patents in later years). I am sure that there must be a considerable amount of most interesting and valuable primary material surviving in the Court of Chancery records at the public Record Office regarding the silver–plating patent disputes just as there is regarding the calotype (sources described in my articles in Annals of Science March and September 1971) and daguerreotype patents (see my History of Photography,1979 articles enclosed). Talbot's continuous involvement in patent disputes is much greater than generally realised: if that fact was more widely understood it might be more appreciated that Talbot is an uncongenial subject to research.

    6 July 1993 to Michael Gray, Curator, Fox Talbot Museum

    I notice that M. Nierenstein's articles give his address in the early 1930s as Bristol University. So if his papers are preserved there it must be very handy for you for research on the history of gallic acid. Apart from his article in Isis that I cited in my article of 1980 in Journal of Photographic Science I presume you have seen his indispensable books: Incunabula of Tannin Chemistry, London 1932, and The natural Organic Tannins, London 1934.

    30 January 1993  to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.

    I have now received a copy of Henry Fox Talbot. It is certainly a very nice book that I am glad to be able to have on hand, but not absolutely perfect!  [My own article has one significant error on line 17 of page 70: the passage is wrongly printed as ‘the very words that must be gallic acid have been carefully cut away WITH the relevant page with a sharp blade’ while in the original article I correctly wrote ‘carefully cut away FROM the relevant page’.  The incorrect word ‘with’ will make the reader think the whole page was removed.  The sense of the original passage explained correctly and significantly that the two words were so very carefully cut out in a calculated way.]  I am really so sorry to have to draw attention to [this],  because it is certainly a book with which it is very pleasing to be associated.

    30 January 1993  to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.

    Another criticism [of Henry Fox Talbot: Selected texts and bibliography (1992) ] that I have concerns some aspects of the bibliography.  Even if you had not acknowledged W. S. Johnson's Annotated Bibliography, I would have guessed that source had been of influence, for that work does have an American flavour regarding the citation  of journals that are presumably on hand at George Eastman House, but which are not necessary the most significant.  For example, the best report in a photographic journal of the hearing of Talbot v. Laroche in December 1854 in the Journal of the Photographic Society of London [Phot. J.], vol 2 (December 1854), pp.84–95, is not cited.  Instead the American Photographic and Fine Art Journal is cited, and for an event that happened in England is obviously a second level report derived from sources first published in England. If you look through the bibliography at that period you will see a high concentration of items both from that last Journal and especially from the American Humphrey's Journal at the cost of citation of primary source in an English photographic journal. If events in America were concerned then obviously there would then be very good reason why Johnson's Annotated Bibliography should concentrate on Humphrey's Journal and other American journals. It is not the place to go into it here but for the earlier periods I find Johnson's Book is disappointing and inadequate. [It is somehow distant from its subject, often trivial secondary publication in trivial journals are listed, while significant primary articles are too often missing.]

    30 May 1995 to Roy Flukinger, Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

    I have recently seen your introductory essay to Windows of Light: A bibliography of the Serials Literature at HRHRC in which a remark on page 10 concerning the Gernsheims’ autograph notes in the ‘Gray Folders’ has attracted my attention: ‘peppered throughout and on them all, in the same distinctive hand and in the same pencil or blue ink, are the array of original Gernsheim manuscript notes...’.  I have only rarely corresponded with Dr. Gernsheim, and have usually received a typed letter from him, but I do still have a handwritten postcard from him.  I feel sure that you must also be familiar with his writing, and thus be quite aware if the research notes etc of the late 1940s and 1950s were made predominately by Helmut or Alison?  Therefore, can you kindly tell me if it is possible to further qualify ‘the same distinctive hand’ as of Alison Gernsheim or of Helmut Gernsheim?  ... It may ... go some way to judge what relative proportion of research and writing was done by the couple for the book on Daguerre ... the Diorama and Daguerreotype and on the first two editions of their History of Photography before Alison's death. 
    [No reply received from Flukinger]

    28 October 1997 to George Gilbert, Editor of Photographica, New York.

    I am not surprised that Helmut Gernsheim wrote to you about your ‘Historical Fantasy’ about ‘The First Person to be Photographed’ [Photographica, 33:3 (July 1994), 8–10],  especially as he never displayed the slightest sign of having any sense of humour, and his own writings which were intended to be true history contain quite a lot of  his own fantasy on the subject.  Also he was ridiculously proprietorial about his much touted ‘discovery’ or ‘rediscovery’ of Niepce‘s 1827 camera image so the title of your article would have immediately attracted his attention even though he would not have made much effort to actually read it.  Incidentally, the fact that the Pritchard family owned several items relating to Niepce was well known and the fact that the elderly widow did not immediately know where these items were when Gernsheim  first approached her hardly makes his intrusion of much significance.  The Niepce items appeared in  several exhibitions and indeed Gernsheim is wrong to say that 1898 was the last time Niepce's pewter plate was seen in public, for it (and the other items ‘lent by Mrs H. Baden Pritchard’) was also in the large Loan Exhibition of Process Engraving held at the Victorian and Albert Museum South Kensington in 1905 which was organised by the great, but neglected, historian of photography, James Waterhouse.  One reason, by the way, why Gernsheim should have known about that exhibition was that in 1947 he purchased much of James Waterhouse's library (the first two chapters of Gernsheim's History of Photography on the pre–history of silver salts and the camera obscura are quite obviously derived from Waterhouse's articles even though Gernsheim does not cited them or include Waterhouse in his bibliography).  However the fact that Gernsheim obviously took your article straight without noticing it was a spoof, does have a significance and regretfully a warning.  I think it may be alright to present an amusing ‘fantasy’ in a lecture, but unfortunately in print it is extremely liable to be taken by the less knowledgeable and careless reader (there are many!) as straight history.  I have had to waste far too much time having to explain various confusions embedded in the standard histories, for the subject is bedevilled by historiographically created errors and legends which make it difficult to readjust the subject. So I feel you did embark on a dangerous course with your fantasy in the July 1994 issue of Photographica.  In my own experience of the subject I truly fear that in fifty years time, when language usage and culture have changed, your fantasy could have become part of the public knowledge of the ‘true’ history of photography. Unfortunately humour has its dangers!   [On 15 November RDW received from George Gilbert a copy of two letters that  Helmut Gernsheim had written to him. The first dated 26 July 1994 said ‘I enjoyed your Daguerreian fantasy in Photographica. It sounded quite plausible. In any case the shoeshine was arranged.  No–one would have his shoes polished for twenty to thirty minutes.’  In Gernsheim's second letter to George Gilbert dated 18 Oct 94 he said ‘I never knew Claude Niépce was married to his landlord's daughter and had an illegitimate son by her. What are your sources for this?’.  George Gilbert annotated this sentence on the copy he sent to RDW with the remark ‘He brought into the fantasy!’.]

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    17 October 1995  to Jens Jäger, Hamburg,

    The proceedings of the Oslo symposium have just arrived, so I have now been able to read and indeed enjoy your paper. One small item has caught my attention – your footnote No.7 has attributed the authorship of the paper read by ‘JE’ at the Brighton Literary and Scientific Institute in 1847 as by Jeremiah Egerton. What is the source for it being Egerton instead of Joseph Ellis of Brighton?  Ellis read a lecture on the ‘Progress of Photography’ at the same Institution in 1856 and wrote ‘Claudet – A memoir’ published in the Scientific Review of 1868 (RPS library at Bath have an offprint) and also reprinted in Photographic Journal August 1868, Vol 13, pp.101–8,  but otherwise I know nothing else about him.

    4 January 1996  to Jens Jäger, Hamburg,

    In October when reading your essay in the Proceedings of the Lysebu symposium I had noticed your comments (p.136) about the declining respect at the end of the 1850s for the current trends in the trade of photography at the same time as a decline of the respectable photographic societies. So I enclose a copy of a relevant short item [I  had published] in  Professional Photographer  in Dec 1992 on George Sala's comments about professional photography in 1859.  I hope you find not only that Sala's comments are amusing but also that his  dubious feelings about contemporary trends provide a valuable characterisation of the trade at that period.

    7 April 1994, RDW to Larry Schaaf, Baltimore, USA

    I enclose [a typescript draft of] ‘Photocopying in January 1843’ for you to see:  In Taylor's letters to Collen dated 10 April and 25 June 1842 (quoted in S. White 1987) he had mentioned the best paper to use: Superfine Satin Post. It would be interesting to see if the paper on which Collen printed the Chinese pages of the Treaty has any water mark to show if it is this paper or not. (Of course Collen even when using the paper for printing might have avoided sheets with the maker's mark, as he would certainly have done when using it for negatives) However, in this case it is of more significance that the use of this paper was also NOT unique  to Taylor. Again I do not have the article on hand, but Herschel, I think, draws attention to that particular paper in his great article in Philosophical Transactions of 1840, and Robert Hunt provided an extended table on the effect of different paper in which the same Superfine Satin Post was given the most prominence in his Popular Treatise on the Art of Photography (pp.8–9) published in 1841. Yet there is no doubt that Taylor did tell Collen in his letter of 25 July 1845 where he could purchase the Superfine Satin Post. Its a pity, and strange, that Collen did not list any purchase of paper in his Expense Acount now at the Public Record Office.

    28 February 1995 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    I have enjoyed your article concerning the Edgeworth Daguerreotypes. It was well worth doing particularly with regard to the conclusions that you have drawn about methods used for casing daguerreotypes at the Beard studio. The Huntington Library at San Marino, California have a good collection of Francis Beaufort's diaries and letters and what has been catalogued as misc ephemera. I think all the diaries were of a period earlier than the 1840s but if you have not already done so then it is a collection perhaps worth investigating. I think it is only written material but you never know if Beaufort family daguerreotypes might not have ended up there! A short time after his biography was published I had contact (not with regard to photography but connected with research I was doing on Charles Darwin) with Alfred Friendly who wrote the biography Beaufort of the Admiralty: The Life of Sir Francis Beaufort 1774–1857  published by Hutchinson in 1977. .

    29 March 1995 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    Alfred Friendly's book on Beaufort does have an illustration of a daguerreotype portrait of Beaufort, although it is not on p.128 (and nothing about the daguerreotype on that page), but is in the unpaginated four pages of unnumbered plates of portraits bound between pp 112 and 113. I have also copied a couple of the bibliography pages.  You will notice that Alfred Friendly's address in 1980 and 1981 was [... in Chelsea], so maybe he was close to the Craig–Waller family with whom you have made contact in Chelsea and who was acknowledged by Friendly in his book.

    29 March 1995 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    From what you say about the John Johnson collection at the Bodleian it certainly sounds very appetising. Yet I fear I not be able to find the time to look at it. I worked for a year during 1969–70 in the electron microscope laboratory of the University Department of Human Anatomy in South Parks Road, Oxford, just a few minutes walk from the Bodleian and the Museum for the History of Science.  I imagine the librarian at the History of Science Museum who pointed you to the Bodleian with regard to daguerreotypes could have been Tony Simcock who does indeed take a very considerable interest in the early history of photography.  Indeed he is surely the appropriate person to do the necessary research on the John Johnson collection. In fact I did not know about the collection when I was on hand in 1969–70, but anyway was extremely busy with other professional and family affairs at that time and in the odd spare moments leisure time finishing writing up my articles on J. B. Reade. Which I now recall were not proof read by me (they have an unfortunate number of mistakes) before they were finally appeared in print in 1971 because the proofs went to a wrong address at the time I moved back to the London area.

    10 November 1996 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    I found your note on ‘Illustrated Shakespeare’ of interest. No doubt you do not have any opportunity to look at the ‘British Museum’ [British Library] Catalogue of Printed Books, so you might like to have the enclosed copies of the entries  for mid–19th century publications of Collected Works of Shakespeare.  Does your ‘London Printing and Publishing Company’ edition with illustrations actually have a date of publication printed in it, or could it really be the 1875–89 edition as listed in the BM Catalogue? Perhaps it used the text from an earlier publication and added the illustrations?  Also I wonder if the illustrations could have been first published in a periodical of the period Nov 1850 to 1853:  Tallis's Dramatic Magazine. The BM Catalogue lists this periodical (shelf–mark PP5223) as published under that title from Nov 1850 to June 1851 (issues 1–8), continued under a new title of Tallis's Drawing Room Table Book (issue 1–6 last half of 1851), continued as Tallis's Shakespeare Gallery, issues 1–20, 1852–53.   I see from Mike Pritchard's Directory of London Photographers, that William Paine was in Islington c. 1846 or 1849 to 1859.  So presumably his photographs of actors were due to his proximity to Sadlers Wells Theatre.

    25 February 1998, RDW to George Gilbert, Editor of Photographica, New York.

    I can provide you with some information about the ‘shop–owner named Daguerre in Paris in the home decor field’ mentioned, as you say, by Gernsheim.  Dominique Daguerre  sold superior furniture to the upper classes of France and England from his premises of La Couronne d’Or (The Golden Crown) in rue Saint Honoré in the centre of Paris.  He came to England in 1787 to open a similar shop in London.  At first, I think, his shop was in Piccadilly but later in Sloane Street, where he died in 1796.  I have seen his Will, which survives at the Public Record Office.  His estate was left to his ‘sister Clara Daguerre’ who was then in Spain and to ‘the children of my late brother Jean’.  The handwriting of the Will is not easy to read and the names Clara and Jean are of uncertain reading.  A lawyer and Henry Holland were the two executors of his Will.  Indeed Dominique Daguerre was closely associated with the English architect Henry Holland (1745–1806), who built the famous Pavilion at Brighton and Charlton House in London for the Prince Regent (who became King George IV).  Dominique Daguerre's furniture was purchased for Charlton House, and probably also for the Brighton Pavilion.  Information on this can be found in several articles published in Fine Arts journals mainly in the 1960s and 1970s including Dorothy Stroud,  Henry Holland, His Life and Architecture, published by A. S. Barnes: New York 1966. Three articles by Geoffrey de Bellaigue: ‘The furnishing of the Chinese Drawing Room, Carlton House’, Burlington Magazine, Vol.109 (No.774) (September 1967), 518–28; ‘George IV and French Furniture’, The Connoisseur, Vol.195 (No. 784) (June 1977), 116–25; ‘Martin Eloy Lignereux and England’, Gazette des Beaux–Arts, Vol.71 (1968), 283–94.  F. J. B. Watson, ‘[Henry] Holland and [Dominique] Daguerre: French Undercurrents in English Neo–Classic Furniture Design’, Apollo, Vol. 96 (October 1972), 282–7.  Perhaps Dominique could have been related in some way to  L. J. M. Daguerre's paternal grandfather (but then maybe not!), although that Grandfather (Jean–Jacques) did not live in the Paris area and there would need to be evidence (which there is not) that he had a sister or cousin named Clara as did Dominique.  The furniture shop in Paris supplied furniture to the French Royal Palaces and Dominique seems to have had a partner in Paris in the 1780s named Poirer, and later Martin E. Lignereux who was also involved with the business in London as well as Paris.  There is always more significant research to be done but if I did ever get the time to look more at Dominique Daguerre and his furniture then I rather fancy that something might possibly be found amongst the archive material of the extravagant Sir John Sackville (1745–1799), 3rd Duke of Dorset, who was ambassador for Britain in Paris from 1784 until August 1789 (in Paris he became close to Marie Antoinette, some allege her lover), then becoming Lord Steward of the (British) Royal Household until shortly before he died at the family estate of Knole House, Sevenoaks, Kent, in 1799.  Some of his correspondence seems to exist at the Kent County Archives in Maidstone, Kent.

    10 January 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.

    I completely agree and sympathise with what you have to say about the difficulty of having a fair chance of changing the traditional established ideas of the history of photography. I have given up trying to have any effect against the established reputation of Talbot held in England by curators and archivists and others in official positions, who are often the most ignorant people (as well as the most likely people to be allowed to write the books on the subject!) too lazy to do anything but repeat the old stories told the earlier books. They are, of course, often also ready to repeat any new published information available to them, while taking care that the general reader of their own books will think that it is all their own work. Charles Darwin once recalled a remark made by the Geologist Adam Sedgewick that ‘a man who talks about what he does not in the least understand, is invulnerable’. 

    29 November 1994  RDW to Steven F. Joseph, Bruxelles.

    I have just obtained a copy of Photographers: A Sourcebook for Historical Research,. well worth having for Rudishill's World Bibliography and, of course, for your own ‘review of methodology and sources’.  I have marked on my copy your comments at the end on page 41 about worst case scenario of highly abstract conceptual  superstructure, about plurarity of approaches, and (this is where so many  photographic historians have been so bad) the requirement of a ‘broad awareness of developments outside his specific field’.  Indeed too many authors are photographers or collectors pretending to be historians who just repeat the same tired concepts without doing basic ground work which must include a wider historical context. Perhaps because your own essay, like all the others in the book, is written in the first person, I get the impression that these contributions were originally delivered at a symposium in the States?  I can certainly hear your contribution spoken: so why not revive it again to present at the next ESHPh symposium at Charleroi?  The best sound–bite will be, as you say near the beginning on p.34,  ‘that all approaches are equally valid, providing that the fundamental duty of the historian is to respect the primary sources’, and you will hear a cheer from me.

    14  October 1997, RDW to Larry Schaaf, Baltimore, USA

    With regard to your letter of 1 October: I did not think of saying the daguerreotype was a type of photography because I would assume the academic readership of a journal like Annals of Science were far better educated than to need such an explanation.  I suppose that one of the pleasures in writing for such an audience (rather than for the world of photographers, collectors and curators) is that such things can be taken for granted, and indeed anything I can contribute for such an audience is rather small beer compared with the high standards of other contributors  – there is no point in supposing that the history of photography functions at any high level of intellectual activity.

    19 May 1995 RDW to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.

    Whether or not I publish anything in the future, it is up to other people to open up their own eyes. I do enjoy the excitement of research, I do personally like to find out and try to understand what really happened, but the early history of photography is too overburdened by historiographically generated misunderstanding and myth to make writing on the subject other than burdensome.  I have put in my thumb to find some plums that might suitable in some way to publish as source material in History of Photography and come up with the enclosed work I did in the mid 1970s on the photographs for the Reports by the Juries of the Exhibition of 1851. The first page of Bowring's letter concerning the customs, along with the second page of my summary writing about it, does already make a note suitable for publication if you would like to use it in History of Photography.  If my transcripts deciphering Talbot's rough notes are suitable do also use them as they stand. These notes in my file on the Great Exhibition (also have some material on Bingham) were typed, of course, so I do not have them easily accessible like more recent material as word processor files, so please take them as they stand, for it would be a chore to redo them double spaced.  The ‘Two [or 3] documents concerning the Daguerreotype patent in 1839/1840’ has already been put into a form more or less suitable for publication as a single item – use it if you wish.

    23 February 1994 RDW to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.

    Some thoughts about bibliographies and PhotoHistorica:

    Although bibliographic data is technically wonderfully available now on CD–ROM and through on–line services, it is not true that it is widely accessible to many people.  Taking just the situation in England, there are few public libraries who do not make easily available to any member of the public excellent basic information on books entirely up to date on, for example, Whitaker's monthly Bookbank CD–ROM, but the situation for periodical articles is very different. Academic Libraries have hard copies of Art Index, Bibliography of the History of Art (the old RILA), Artbibliographies Modern, etc, available for anyone trying to keep up to date with recent work on the history of photography. The hard copy bibliographies like Isis Critical Bibliography, Applied Science and Technology Index, Bulletin Signalétique, and even Imaging Abstracts, only very poorly list history of photography articles, and a week by week eye on the various Current Contents is laborious and not very rewarding as photographic galleries etc produce rather ‘grey literature’. [As] to the On–line services: BRS is good for all the excellent Wilson Indexes, but I find DIALOG  provides the best range of databases...  Any databases of importance require high subscriptions and on–line and down–load time charges, so the hard printed copies available in academic libraries are still good friends for most researchers.  People need the help of cheaper simple printed bibliographies geared to their particular field.  Even north American English–language journals such as New England Journal of Photographic History, The Photographist, Photographic Canadiana, or elsewhere such as New Zealand Journal of Photography, generally seem to escape attention of the large art or Science bibliographies. But, as you say, it is eastern Europe that needs individual attention. This is where the European Society for the History of Photography could be of special potential, for I feel a good network of people with a Co–ordinating editor is the best way to record articles from countries and periodicals that generally escape inclusion by the widely available bibliographies and this should be the function of a specialist production like Photohistorica. But even with willing volunteers, without the money to print and distribute it can only fall by the wayside.

    10 November 1996 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    I remember you intended to become a member of ESHPh.  If so, you will have received a copy of the last photohistorica issue 56/57 of February 1996 sent out at beginning of March to members of ESHPh along with the ESHPH Newsletter of March 1996.  I had provided Roy Green with a short note to be published in that Newsletter to say that I would regretfully be unable to volunteer to compile any more issues of photohistorica, and added some thoughts about other ways in which abstracts of articles might be continued to be published perhaps in the Newsletter in a much more limited way.  However Margaret Harker decided that it would not be appropriate to put this in the March Newsletter until the ESHPH Executive committee had been informed and had a chance to discuss the matter.  Roy Green has been planning to send out another Newsletter in September, –  not yet appeared – but this means that few people know yet that photohistorica lacks a planned future.  The longer the delay in letting members of ESHPh know the situation the more impossible it will become for any potential new editor catch up with an ever growing back log of abstracts to be produced.  The main problem in compiling the abstracts for photohistorica is that the Society has no assured funds set aside for its publication. Agfa–Gevaert in the last two years have provided a small grant which has almost exactly provided the cost of printing – the printing costs of course are unavoidable high for each copy because the minimum number that printing firms will produce is double the number of copies really needed.  Unfortunately Agfa–Gevaert will not make any decisions about renewing such a grant until February each year, and ESHPH has no money in reserve. Compiling the data and writing the abstracts is a long term on–going project which really requires some assurance in advance that the time spent will be justified by eventual publication.  I had already compiled the last issue so that it was ready for printing immediately the news came through in February that the printing costs would be granted by Agfa–Geveart, but it is too big a personal commitment in time and effort to continue in this way.

    7 October 1997 to Michael  Jacob, Spoleto, Italy

    I am very surprised to hear from you that something of mine has been posted on Gary Ewer's web site.  I imagine this must be taken from a letter I wrote to Gary Ewer.  Immediately after the Daguerreian Annual 1995 appeared I sent (in March 1996) to the editor a short correction and comment with regard to his article on ‘La Daguerréotypomanie’ in which he had mistakenly made a point of saying the name of the periodical in which it had appeared (8 December 1839) as La Caricature Provisoire instead of simply La Caricature. He had never seen the actual periodical for it was only from November 1838 to June 1839 that the name of the periodical had Provisoire added to it. I also sent a photocopy of the front page of the periodical showing the correct title, and discussed the lack of markings of ‘Fantaises’ and ‘1er Livraison No. 6’ on the plate in the periodical (which shows, I think, that the lithograph owned by Matt Isenburg used for the illustration in the Daguerreian Annual 1995, is likely to be a later reproduction, not an 1839 original).  I have never heard from the editor about the note that I sent for publication.  However at the beginning of August 1996 I received a delayed (wrongly addressed) letter from Gary Ewer  from which it appeared my short piece about the caricature had been passed on to him. I replied and sent him photocopies from La Caricature held in the Newspaper Library in Colindale.  He wrote again a pleasant letter in January this year, sending a packet containing photocopies of articles from 19th century periodicals he had collected asking my opinion of them.   I have not heard from him since and never had any response from the editorial board concerning the short item I sent them. Gary Ewer however gave me the impression that my comments about ‘La Daguerréotypomanie’ would be published in the Annual.  I made the assumption because he ask me if I would modify the wording where he was mentioned.   I wonder if he has he put my correction about La Caricature onto his web site, or if it could it be discussion of other matters from either of my two letters to him. There is some excuse for making the information about La caricature available in this way as I had intended it for publication, but I think he should let me know first if he really has broadcast to the world the contents of personally addressed letters in this way , for it is very different from occasionally passing on some remarks to other personal correspondents.

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    11. Early Photography and W. H. F. Talbot

    10 October 1993 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna

    The letter dated ‘Berlin Fevrier 1839’ from Alexandre Humboldt to Arago I find very interesting because of his remark about ‘une brochure allemande imprimée en 1835 sous le titre Le soleil comme graveur.’  I always hold that Talbot's publication at the beginning of 1839 of his simple photogenic drawing technique was not such a great achievement as traditional historians of photography commonly say. Infact the photosensitivity of silver salts and the use of silver nitrate to obtain copies of engravings was extremely well–known in the early 1830s (the problem for everyone, including Talbot was fixing the image) due to, for example in England, W. T. Brande's Manual of Chemistry, 1836, p.184, and in little brochures like the one mentioned by Humboldt. So exactly what particular brochure was the one mentioned by Humboldt?: a German? brochure printed in 1835, but with a French title? Maybe the French editor of this edition (Paris 1908) of Humboldt's correspondence had translated an original title in German into French, or maybe Humboldt himself also translated the title into French because the rest of his letter to Arago was in that language.

    25 April 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.

    You mentioned in your last letter that a Brevet [for the Calotype] was obtained in France by Talbot.  One reason why Talbot gets too much praise in England is that in the early 1850s Talbot would speak of photographs produced by Collodion glass negatives as ‘Calotypes’ and even today curators will list photographs, in for example the Reports of the Juries of the Exhibition of 1851, as calotypes when glass collodion negatives had been used.  Talbot took out a patent for glass negatives using albumen several years (1851) after Niepce de Saint–Victor published such work in Comptes–rendus Academie des Sciences Paris  in 1847 and 1848!

    28 May 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.

    Thank you for the information that Talbot's Calotype Patent was taken out on 31–05–1841 in France. Moses Poole & William Carpmael were a patent agent partnership at 4 Old Square, Lincolns Inn, London, who acted for Talbot in connection with all of his patents. In fact Poole & Carpmael, and Newton & Berry were the two main rival Patent agencies in London at that time.

    28 May 1991 RDW to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.

    Long before the legal wrangles over the calotype Talbot was involved in these disputes over silver plating patents.  The disputes entangled the Elkingtons, Moses Poole (a patent agent with  whom Talbot was involved) who had sealed a patent in England in his own name on behalf of C. W. Siemens, and Talbot.  ‘Improvements in coating or covering metals with other metals'  was Talbot's patent (No.9167 enrolled 7 June 1842) and included the use ‘of adding gallic acid to the metallic solutions ( silver, gold), intended to be precipitated upon other metallic surfaces’.  This part of Talbot's life does not seem to have been noticed in the field of photographic history – although it could have been picked  up by anyone with access to the Talbot collection at Lacock as at least two relevant letters have survived there. I am sure it is a field of research which would release a considerable amount of interesting primary material from, I guess for example, the Court of Chancery records at the Public Record Office. While looking out the material I have on the silver–plating patent I sorted through something about Talbot's attitude to patents and priority of publication that might be of interest to you and may help explain the next–to–last paragraph page 4 of the gallic acid abbreviated article.  It consists of some correspondence I had with Professor Price at Yale (photocopies enclosed) regarding how Talbot sought to obtain ‘priority of publication’ by publishing in two stages.

    27 December 1993, RDW to Larry Schaaf, Baltimore, USA

    Yes, I have seen your Out of the Shadows.  I feel you do sometimes misread the tone of some letters between Herschel and Talbot.... There is also one specific point that I took particular note of because it concerns citation of one of my articles and a subject that came up during our previous correspondence. On page 67 in chapter III which largely reprints the text of your article in History of Photography, July 1980, you mention that Herschel happened to protest about patenting, though not meaning Talbot, who ‘Herschel strongly supported in patent controversies’ and you cite my paper ‘The involvement of Sir John Herschel in ... Talbot v. Henderson’.  I do not know if you still have our previous correspondence, but it was in a letter to you dated 3 October 1979 that I discussed this sentence in your typescript of your article. I was surprised that you could interpret the letters (such as Herschel's draft of May 19 1854) presented in my Talbot v. Henderson article in such an opposite direction, particularly as I had carefully titled the article as ‘The involvement of’” Herschel, because it was an involvement due to Talbot's persistence, it seemed to me that Herschel was trying to avoid the situation, and far from happy with several things that Talbot wanted him to say. You obviously did reconsider, because I later noticed that you had changed the sentence when the article was published to read ‘basically supported in patent controversies’.  I even thought at that time that this rewording, although a a step in the right direction, did still not go far enough towards what seemed obvious as Herschel's reluctance in my 1971 article. So it was a surprise to see in your book that you had taken the trouble retract that revision of July 1980 to go in the opposite direction back to your original stance. No doubt there are other sources that could have been cited for holding that Herschel ‘strongly’ or ‘consistently and vigorously’ support Talbot in patent disputes, and discussion of varying interpretation of sources should provide a necessary vigour to a subject. If you believe that the letters transcribed in my 1971 article show that Herschel was willing to strongly defend Talbot in patent controversy it is entirely right and interesting that you should say so: but it must mislead your readers if you thus cite an article without also saying that you are making an interpretation opposite to that of the author of the article. – Sorry, is difficult to discuss these little things by letter without it sounding over emphatic and heavy!

    16 April 1993 to Michael Gray, Curator, Fox Talbot Museum,

    Concerning W. H. F. Talbot's purchase in October 1839 of Daguerreotype cameras, it seemed to me that three such cameras appeared to have been obtained. Two Cameras costing 300 francs each were obtained from Giroux for Talbot by Andrew Ross, the Regent Street instrument shop (Lacock Abbey, letters LA 39.65 and LA 39.70) and one camera, along with the processing equipment, for £16 from Lerebours, purchased in Paris by W. Pentland and instigated by Talbot's uncle W. Fox Strangways (Lacock Abbey Collection: 2 letters Pentland to Fox Strangways dated 21 Oct and 1 Nov 1839, LA 39.67 and LA 39.69; one letter Fox Strangways to Henry Talbot dated 30 Oct 1839, LA 39.68).  It now appears however that those are not the only letters at Lacock concerning Pentland and Fox Strangways part in this matter. For I notice that Larry Schaaf in his book Out of the Shadows: Herschel, Talbot and the invention of Photography published last year, in footnote 28 on page 178 ( ‘Letter, Fox–Strangways, 18 October 1839, FTM’) quotes extracts from an earlier letter dated 18 October from Fox Strangways to Talbot, and in which WFS also enclosed an earlier letter from Pentland to himself. Larry Schaaf did not cite an LA number for this earlier letter so I guess it must have been kept at Lacock apart from the other 1839 letters? Incidently Larry Schaaf seems to think (see his page 80, although the sentence is ambiguous) that the camera obtained via his uncle was the Giroux production. Would it be possible for you to kindly provide me with the complete text of this Fox Strangways letter dated 18 October 1839, and, if it exists, the earlier letter from Pentland to W. Fox Strangways that was originally enclosed with that letter to Talbot?

    24 April 1993 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna

    In  your article on Ettinghausen in the latest History of Photography (Vol.17, Spring 1993, pp.117–120)  you mentioned some ‘photogenic drawings’ sent to Metternich or to Neumann.  As this was the short  version of your article, the source of your information about this was not provided.   The situation is certainly confusing because of the title of the offprint pamphlet issued by Talbot in 1841 ‘Two letters on Calotype Photogenic Drawing’.  Confusing combination in the title, because the pamphlet was on his ‘Calotype’ or Talbotype (using development of the latent image). Talbot's earlier 1839 method was the simple print–out method called ‘photogenic Drawing’. It is only Talbot's own offprints of his articles on the Calotype that have this confusion as the original publication in the journals from which he took the offprints did not mention the confusing ‘photogenic drawing’ in their titles. This is an unfortunate situation for dating the specimens, especially as there does exist in the Talbot collection at the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey, a letter to Talbot from his mother that certainly does concern sending four ‘photographs’ and a ‘Memoir’ to Neumann for him to send on to Metternich – but unfortunately his mother's letter is NOT fully dated, saying only the day ‘Saturday’. This letter (an extract see below) has been guessed by some person in the past who catalogued the Talbot Collection to be Saturday 2 February 1840, but 2 Feb 1840 was a Sunday! so the Letter has a catalogue number LA40.13. But maybe the letter was really written in 1841 or later [say 1845?].  I made the enclosed extract from the letter many years ago and do not have the complete text so have no other way of judging the possible date of the letter.  Identification of the subject of the prints could show they are 1839 photogenic drawings or 1841 calotypes. If they truly were ‘photogenic drawings’ then the letter to Talbot from his mother could truly be February 1840 and have no connection with the later ‘Memoir'.

    Extract from letter to W. H. F. Talbot from his mother.

    Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock , Reference No. LA40.13  dated “Saturday” [1st Feb 1840?].

    [The writer had recently been to a soiree, presumably where Neumann was present, at the house of the scientist Charles Babbage, which maybe the reason why this letter has been provisional dated February 1840, but Babbage did often hold such parties. The William mentioned in the letter was W. Fox Strangways, Talbot's uncle who in 1839 and 1840 was Undersecretary at the Foreign Office in London, and then (last half of 1840?) was ‘Minister Plenipotentiary’ of the British Embassy of the Germanic Federation at Frankfurt]

    ‘The Baron de Neumann made me promise to ask you for four Photographs for him to send to Metternich, who already possesses some that William gave, but the Baron thinks these much superior. The 4 he wants are a print of the broad lace, a statue, a leaf from the black letter book, and a view of Laycock Abbey. The leaf of the old book particularly enchanted him, & he could not at first believe it was not itself actually laid under the glass.  He wants to know by what title he is to ask for the Memoir you published on the subject, and who the publisher is. He wants to buy several to send to Vienna.  It seems they take a very great interest in it there...’.

    6 July 1993 to Michael Gray, Curator, Fox Talbot Museum

    I can provide you with something on Malone. He was born in England – although if you do have some evidence of an Italian connection, his place of birth does not necessarily mean his parents were English. The census held on 30 March 1851 listed two people only at 122 Regent Street, London:  ‘Thos A Malone, [age] 28, Talbotype artist, [born in] Paddington Middlesex. Nicolass Hinneman [sic], Widower, 37, Talbotype artist, [born in] Hollands’. (1851 Census Returns (Public Record Office: HO 107): HO 107/1485, f 380).   I notice that no married /single information is given for Malone so I am sorry that I cannot be absolutely certain that this is a result of a blank entry in the enumerator's book, or if it could be a lapse in my own transcription.  I think maybe the enumerators often made a positive entry only for married people.

    17 January 1997 to Gary W. Ewer

    [Gary Ewer had sent for comment some photocopies of articles from 19th century journals, mainly American]

    I am familar with the two items from Household Words. In a small pamphlet I did in 1975 on The calotype patent lawsuit of Talbot v. Laroche I found the Household Words, March 19, 1853 account by the journalists Henry Morley (1822–1894) and W. H. Wills (who bore the day to day running of Household Words) of their visit to Henneman and Malone's studio in London of value because they described on pp. 60–61 Henneman (Talbot's man, who supposedly should have been using the calotype technique, with paper negatives and gallic acid) using pyrogallic acid on collodion–coated glass plates! exactly the issue at stake with regard to Talbot's case against Laroche and other professional photographers such as Henderson in London.  After the publication of my pamphlet, Beaumont Newhall wrote to me to ask the source of my knowledge that Morley and Wills were the authors of the Household Words article.  The manuscript ‘Office Book’ of Household Words which lists contributors of articles etc is in the Parrish Collection at Princeton University Library and has been published as Household Words. A Weekly Journal 1850–1859. Conducted by Charles Dickens, Compiled by Anne Lohrll, University of Toronto Press 1973.  The Household Words article was reprinted later in History of Photography in January 1981 under the title of ‘Photography 1853 by Charles Dickens’[!].  Heinz Henisch seems to have borne responsibility for putting the item in with the suggestion that it could have been by Dickens himself, and I have a letter from him in which he says that a Dr. Cohn had also pointed out that the article was really by Morley and that Cohn's letter to the editor would appear in the October 1981 issue of the journal.  Another reference that I have, but of which I cannot recall the exact contents is ‘Dickens and Photography in Household Words’, by Arlene M. Jackson [Philadelphia], History of Photography, April 1983, Vol 7, pp. 147–9.  You may be find of interest the item enclosed of the text relating to photography extracted from an unsigned article (in fact by George Sala) in All The Year Round (the continuation under a different name of Household Words) of 1859 which I had published in the English journal Professional Photographer in December 1992.
    I was interested to see that a report of St. Croix's first demonstration of the daguerreotype in London had been reprinted in The New Yorker of 2 November 1839.  At least 5 Newspapers in London had reported St Croix's demonstration of 13 September. Except for the first sentence (‘The first exhibition of this machine in London took place Sept. 13.’), the report is the one from The Sun, Evening edition, Friday 13 September 1839, p. 2 .   The reprinting in The New Yorker of September 28, 1839, ‘From the London Athenaeum’ of ‘Principle of the Daguerreotype’ was from The Athenaeum, August 24, 1839, No. 617, pp. 636–7. The first and last paragraphs are the only part of the text written by the Athenaeum contributor, the rest is a translation into English from the first half of A. Donné's original report in Journal des Débats (Paris), 20 Août 1839, pp. 1–3.  It is the most significant report of Arago's lecture that appeared during August 1839.

    20 June 1996, RDW to  Peter James, Photographic Development Officer, Central Library, Birmingham.

    Thank you so much for your detailed letter received today of your research from the local directories on Laroche's addresses between 1866 and 1872 and your comments about the Islington district and Islington street being changed to Broad Street in 1874, and indeed I notice that Laroche's address in the 1871 Post Office Directory was already listed as 132 “Broad Street”, rather than Islington, as it appeared in the census of 1871.  I do rather owe you an apology for putting you to this considerable effort. For immediately after I posted to you the Birmingham part of the draft in progress on Martin Laroche I was contacted by Mike Weaver to say that he would indeed be able to find room to put my note in the December issue of History of Photography, but  would have to have the final version within a few of days rather than the previous deadline of 30 June. So yesterday, before receiving your letter, I had to post to him that final draft, a copy of which is enclosed for you.  [At] the Public Record Office...  I looked laboriously more widely through the census enumeration districts of Birmingham both for 1871 and 1881 (the latter year had not been open for inspection under the 100 year rule when I last did the work on Laroche) to get some understanding of the naming of the streets, and could see that part of “Islington” (not Islington Row) in 1871 was indeed Broad Street. You will see that I put the address in my History of Photography note on Martin Laroche in the form of “When the next census came along on 2 April 1871 they were living at 132 Broad Street (Islington), Birmingham...” and in the footnote No. 8 added ‘In the census of 1871, this part of Broad Street was listed as Islington’.  I think that covered the issue adequately enough within the restraints of a short note, even though it would have been nice to have clarified the situation further as you have done.. So I hope you will at least be able to deposit the text of your letter in some form in the archives at your library so if problems about the identity of Broad Street and Islington bother anyone in the future could be set at rest by your investigation.

    As to Napoleon Sarony, you may like to have some information that provides some indication of the period that he was in Birmingham. He registered some of his photographs for copyright (records at Public Record Office, Copyright Office Entry Forms in class COPY 1) in which dated application entry forms gave his name and address: “Napoleon Sarony, 66 New Street, Birmingham” on 20 October 1864, 28 Oct 1864, 10 June1865, 4 Sep 1865 and as “N. Sarony & Co., 66 New Street” on 23 February 1866.  All these forms are accompanied by a specimen photograph which are all photos of actors or actresses.  I have not done any specific work on Sarony and only noticed these copyright applications made by him during the course of research on another subject, so he may indeed have made applications both earlier and later, but this limited range of definite information does show he was in Birmingham at least from 20 October 1864 until at least 23 February 1866.

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    12. Hercule Florence

    25 April 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.

    I enclose the article you were interested in ‘The naming of Photography’ [by G.. Batchen, History of Photography, Spring 1993]. You will notice that the author does refer to your 1977 article in  Camera . You will see from my pencil marks I do not believe in any alleged use of the word photography before 1839 by Florence.  Kossoy has not to my mind produced any convincing evidence that Florence did any useful photography before 1839. Apart from my belief that ideas of producing images using silver salts were very common knowledge in the 1830s before 1839, with regard to Florence the evidence is far too confused, and ambiguous.  Kossoy's description of Florence's manuscripts I find very evasive and suspect (the dating in his manuscript notebooks often seem to have been written at a later date). Examination of Florence's letters written to the newpapers in late 1839 and 1840 does not suggest that he had even then any real idea of photography. When it is possible to get any reliable contemporary evidence regarding Florence then it does not support the allegation that he succeeded in photography in the 1830s. For example, with particular regard to the word ‘Photographia’ alleged to be suggested to him in 1832 by the botanist and pharmacist J. Correa de Mello, then it should be noted that on 10 April 1832 Mello (1816–1877) only reached his 16th birthday! (a little information on his life is in an article on the work of  ‘Joaquim Correia de Mello’ by J. de Campos Novaes, Revista do Museu Paulista (Sao Paulo), Vol.4 (1900), pp.165–190).

    [P.–G. Harmant to RDW, 8 May 1993: A ce propos, la convergence de l’origine du mot et le procédé de H. Florence (qui s’écrit Hercule: il était Français, et j’ai retrouvé son passe–port établi à Monaco), j’ai eu de longues discussions avec Boris Kossoy et il m’avais fait parvenir un exemplaire el la brochure qu’il publiée de facon privée, avec des reproduction de passages intéressante des carnets de “l’inventeur”.  J’ai réussi à le convaincre que Florence, ou une autre main, avait utilisé le bas d’une page restée vierge, mais dans la portion antérieurs à 1839, pour y insérer, le mot, ce qui le ferait (faussement) dater de 1834.  Je pense avoir convaincu M. Kossoy qu’il avait été abusé par le dexcendants de Florence, car jamais plus nous n’avons échangé de lettres, et je n’ai rien vu depuis publié sur ce sujet. ]

    28 May 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.

    You have much of value to say on the history of our subject and it is a pity to use your energy on correspondence rather than for publication.  I have long thought that some criticism of Kossoy's writing about Florence needs to be published to stop the continual growth of the reputation of Florence as an independent inventor of Photography before 1839.  Kossoy's research and writing is obviously not reliable because it is muddled: indeed this confusion itself makes it difficult to make specific detailed criticism that is easy to read. Any article of criticism becomes not only difficult to write, but would be difficult to read and get published!  [However] I wonder if you would like to try to write with me a combined short article or letter by PGH & RDW for publication stating that photography by Florence before 1839 has not been reliably proved?

    [P.–G. Harmant to RDW, 15 August 1993: En ce qui concerne Florence (Hercule) et l’invention prétendue en 1833, je vous ai dit déjà ce que j’en pensais.  Je crois aussi l’avoir écrite à d’autres et depuis que mes remarques sont connues je n’ai plus reçu un seul message de M. Kossoy.  Il n’y a guère que le petit–fils de Florence pour y croire encore car, des documents photographiques de la page sur laquelle figure la soi–disant découverte m’ont été transmis, et l’on constate nettement que l’encre n’est pas la même en bas qu’en haut de la page!  On a utilisé en 1839 la place laissée libre en 1833 sur la page du carnet, tout simplement, d’où l’on en a hâtivement déduit que l’idée remontait, à cette époque. ]

    29 November 1994, RDW to António Sena, Lajes do Pico, Azores.

    Concerning Hercule Florence in Brazil.

    In your book [Une Histoire de la Photographie: Portugal 1839 à 1991 (Lisbon 1991)] you provide the text of the re–publication in 1841 in O Receio of the letter from Hercule Florence about his ‘Polygraphie’, as originally published in Phenix (Såo Paulo) on 26 October 1839 and in Jornal do Commercio (Rio de Janeiro) on 29 December 1839. It is good that in your book you mention Florence with regard to only this letter of 1839.  Boris Kossoy's insubstantial claims for Florence have been regretably taken up uncritically (for example by Gernsheim in his 3rd edition of his History – i.e. Origins of Photography (1982) pp.81–2). Kossoy has not to my mind produced any convincing evidence that Florence did any useful photography before 1839.  Florence's letters written to the newspapers in late 1839 and 1840 do not suggest that even at that time he had any real idea of photography. I wonder if O Receio also reprinted Florence's follow–up letter dated 18 January 1840 published (according to Boris Kossoy in ‘Hercules Florence, Pioneer of Photography in Brazil’, Image (George Eastman House, Rochester, USA) March 1977,Vol.20, No. 1, pp.12–21) in Jornal do Commercio (Rio de Janeiro) on 10 February 1840 when he commented about the earlier letter saying ‘I don't know if someone gathered from it that I was confusing polygraphy, a discovery that is entirely mine, with photography, to which I have no pretensions...’. Yet in the same letter other ambiguous claims are also made!  Gilberto Ferrez in his book Photography in Brazil 1840–1900, English edition, University of New Mexico Press 1984, p.9, quotes the same letter in Jornal do Commercio on 10 February 1840 as saying ‘I do not know if anyone might have concluded from this recent news that I was confusing polygraphy, an invention entirely my own, with photography...’. The ‘recent news’ Ferrez suggests might have been ‘the impact of the news of father Compte's daguerreotypes’. If Florence's letter does really say ‘this recent news’ then that would perhaps not be too wild a suggestion by Ferrez, but he would be very wrong if the Florence's letter actually spoke about ‘it’, ie. if it referred to his earlier letter published in the same newspaper.

    Florence's mention in his first letter of October 1839 quoted on p.15 of your book about the Prince de Joinville (1818–1900) is far from straightforward as Joinville was still only aged 21 in 1839 and there is some evidence that he did not arrive in Brazil until late 1838 which makes Florence's statement about having presented a photograph to Joinville, apparently before 1839?, typically confused and meaningless. Unfortunately I have only seen those letters of Florence as quoted in English in Kossoy's article, not from the original South American newspapers presumably in Portugese? I am confused about the original language of these published letters because Kossoy does not make it clear that they were translated by him into English from the original newspapers or were from versions prepared in French by Florence's great grandchildren in the same way as the manuscript of his diaries: ‘transcriptions of his manuscript diaries in French, done by one of Florence's great grandchildren, Mr Francisco Alvares Machado e Vasconcellos Florence’ (Image, March 1977, p.18). Indeed from the information in Kossoy's writings available in English it is even not clear if Florence's original manuscripts in Portuguese do still actually exist?  I have seen listed a more recent article by Kossoy about Florence in Les Multiple Inventions de la Photogaphie, edited by Pierre Bonhomme, published by Bonhomme's Mission Patrimoine Photographique in Paris in 1989, pp.73–8.  No doubt you have read Kossoy's book and articles published in Portuguese (and maybe have met Kossoy in person?) so if you have any more certain information Florence's manuscripts I would be grateful if you could kindly let me know. By the way, I am also unfortunately uncertain about the original language of Florence's first letter (of October 1839) on pp. 14–15 of your book – it has, I suppose, been translated from Portuguese (not French?) text in O Recreio when published in avril 1841?
    When it has been possible to get any reliable contemporary evidence regarding Florence it does not support the allegation that he succeeded in photography in the 1830s. For example, with regard to the word ‘Photographia’ alleged to be suggested to Florence, as well as the idea to use silver nitrate, in ‘1832’ by the botanist and pharmacist J. Correa de Mello, then it should be noted that on 10 April 1832 Mello (1816–1877) only reached his 16th birthday! (‘Joaquim Correia de Mello’ by J. de Campos Novaes, Revista do Museu Paulista (Sao Paulo), Vol.4 (1900), pp.165–190).  I am certainly not alone in being critical of Kossoy's writings on Florence, and in having great doubts about the unsatisfactory nature of evidence put forward about alleged photography by Florence before 1839.  Pierre Harmant (who seemed to have seen photocopies or reproductions of Florence manuscripts) thought that parts of pages of the manuscript had been used at different periods, and that dates in a different ink could have been added later. Pierre Harmant wrote to me that many years ago he had critical discussion by correspondence with Boris Kossoy, but had not obtained satisfactory answers.

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    13. J. M. Cameron (and her son H. H. H. Cameron)

    15 October 1997 RDW to Steven F. Joseph, Bruxelles.

    I am intrigued to hear (your letter of 4 October) that you have read somewhere that I have researched on Julia Margaret Cameron's copyright photos.  But yes I have, not because I am a fan of Mrs Cameron's work, on the contrary, for I think it is very overrated, but rather as a sort of excercise.  Indeed I have felt, just as you put it in your letter that there has been a great deal of hype regarding her, and it was about time some reliable data was obtained before judgements were made (now that is surely a subversive suggestion!).  It amazes me, for example, that the auction houses put Julia Margaret Cameron photographs into their catalogues only vaguely dated. What else does that show but that those who make money by selling the photos can do it easily without any pressure to get more accurate dates. Can it be that mere curiosity provides a greater incentive to action than does market forces?  Searching the copyright records at the PRO, I found that between 1864 and 1875 Mrs Cameron had registered 508 photographs. I approached Michael Pritchard in the summer of 1996 with a copy of a little dummy booklet I had produced (24pp. consisting of the list, a brief Introduction, summary graph, and two indexes) hoping that he would publish it as a supplement to Photographica World.  At first he said he would do this, but later he, or a committee, decided it was not possible.  Therefore I decided not to bother to try any more for publication but simply deposited one copy at the PRO, one copy at the RPS and (because of his special interest in Mrs Cameron) gave the third copy to Mike Weaver.  Michael Pritchard no doubt has photocopied the fourth copy that I had sent him before he returned it, so I suppose Christie's hold a copy.  I enclose for you the text of the short Introduction and the summary Table and graph of Mrs Cameron's copyrighting activity.  I deliberately kept the Introduction short without discussing one aspect that which particularly interests me.  Some of Mrs Cameron's photographs have been published or listed in auction catalogues as being copyrighted but which I have not found in the Stationers’ Hall records at the PRO of photographs registered for Copyright by her between 1864 and 1875.  There is no immediate answer to this problem. Indeed the value of compiling this data is demonstrated by the fact that this problem has thus been recognised, opening up a new avenue of necessary research.  I suppose that the photographs Mrs Cameron did not register are likely to be those considered by her as the more personal family photographs, or private for her friends.  Curators or auction house experts ought to be able to estimate what proportion of Mrs Cameron's photographs in private or institutional collections are prints produced during her life time or printed in later years and sold by her son H. H. H. Cameron in the late 1880s and earlier 1890s.  It is conceivable that he could have wrongly designated some of these prints as having been copyrighted even if his mother had not in fact registered them. ... I have not found any Julia Margaret Cameron photographs registered by herself after 18 October 1875, and not found any of her photographs registered by others in later years, not by her son H. H. H. Cameron, or (although my searching was a little less systematic, it gets very boring!) by Colnaghi, or by the Autotype Co.  Not only do I consider such problems to be of significance, but expect curators and collectors to feel the same.  Collectors are obviously prepared to pay high prices not only for prints done by Mrs Cameron herself but also for those done after her death. Yet it is less obvious that they have much interest in what they are buying apart from what they can sell it for.  Curators are even a greater mystery to me, although it does just occur to me that perhaps bureaucracy, inefficiency and lazyness are characteristic!

    8 September 1997 RDW to Ron Smith, Julia Margaret Cameron Trust,  Isle of Wight.

    I do not have easily on hand the material to be able to say what proportion of Mrs Cameron's photographs in private or institutional collections are prints produced during her life time or printed later from the original negatives (or copy negs from old prints where orginal negs had not survived?) and sold by her son H. H. H. Cameron in the late 1880s and earlier 1890s. I searched the Stationers’ Hall Copyright records at the Public Record Office for a range of 30 years after the last registration by Mrs Cameron in 1875, reaching up to 1905, but not later (the complete Copyright records reach up to 1911). Therefore all of H. H. H. Cameron's career as a photographer were covered by my search.  So I can say definitely that he did not try himself to register any of his mother's old photographs, although between 1884 and 1893 he did register at Stationers's Hall a very small number of his own photographs (attaching a sample photograph to each of the registration forms), see list following of these HHHC photographs.

    Photographs by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron, registered as copyright by him as Proprietor and Author of Work:

    COPY 1/368, ff 158–9 (and in Register, COPY 3/164, f162), two photographs of Lord Tennyson taken on 30 April 1884 at Farringford (I of W), each  Entry Form dated 20 May, registered on 21 May 1884, with Henry H. Hay Cameron as ‘Proprietor of Copyright’ and ‘Author of Work’ of 80 Newman Street, Oxford St [London]. A copy of the photographs is attached to the Entry Forms in COPY 1.

    COPY 1/374, ff     (and Register, COPY 3/165, f71) Four photographs registered by Henry Herschel Hay Cameron (Proprietor of Copyright and Author of Work) of 70 Mortimer St. W [London] on 22 October 1885, being one photograph of a painting by G. F. Watts of Mrs Langtrey, two photographs of G. F. Watts, and one photograph of Ellen Terry.

    COPY 1/376, f   (and Register, COPY 3/165, f165) registered on 12 April 1886, a ‘Photograph from painting by G. F. Watts, RA, called “Hope”, a female figure... seated on the globe’, H. H. H. Cameron, 70 Mortimer St.

    COPY 1/ 382, ff    , and 391, ff    (and Register COPY 3/166, ff 188–9, 195, 215) nine photographs of Mary Anderson as ‘Hermione’ and eight photographs of her as ‘Perdita’, registered on 29 November, 2 December 1887, 10 January, 29 February 1888, by H. H. H. Cameron of 70 Mortimer St. [London].

    COPY 1/411, ff     (and Register COPY 3/169, ff206–7) Six Photographs of Henry Irving as ‘Becket’ by H. H. H. Cameron of 70 Mortimer St. W. [London], registered on 9 March 1893.

    9 December 1997 RDW to Panthea Reid, English Department, Louisiana State University.

    Photographs of the young Abyssinian Alamayou and Captain Tristam Speedy were taken by Julia Margaret Cameron one week after they arrived in England on 14 July 1868.  Plymouth where Alamayou arrived, by the way, is about 150 miles west of the Isle of Wight and Alamayou and Speedy might conveniently have continued by boat to either the port of Southampton or Portsmouth, both opposite the I of W, rather than by road.  You will see that the Mrs Cameron applied to copyright the photographs of Alamayou and Speedy on 23, 27, and 29 July [1868] as well as three portraits of Longfellow.  I have seen Longfellow's visit during that July mentioned in a biography of Tennyson (I think the source was Tennyson's diary) and Tennyson took him along to Mrs Cameron to sit for her, but there seems to be nothing regarding Alamayou and Speedy.  I have not looked at autobiography or biographies of Longfellow but it might be worth your while to see if he wrote anything about meeting Tennyson and Mrs Cameron, and maybe the two visitors from Abyssinian?  With regard to the likelihood of Virginia Woolf having seen Mrs Cameron's photographs of Alamayou or Speedy:  I wonder if your interest might relate in some way to the silly prank in which Virginia Steven became involved in 1910 dressed as a bearded Abyssinian on a hoax Abyssinian Emperor's visit to HMS Dreadnought at Weymouth (about 60 miles west of the Isle of Wight).  In Quentin Bell's account (Quentin Bell, Virginia Woolf A Biography: Vol 1, Virginia Stephen 1882–1912, pp.157–61, and Appendix E) he says ‘No one [of the hoaxers] had the vaguest idea of what an Abyssinian, let alone an Abyssinian Emperor looked like’.  This is far too light a sentence on which to conclude that Virginia had never seen Mrs Cameron's photographs of Alamayou and Speedy.
    You will also see that Mrs Cameron applied to copyright her photographs of ‘Julia Jackson’ on 12 April 1867, and that they are usually now reproduced under the married name of ‘Mrs Duckworth’.  The marriage took place at Ticehurst in Kent, I am not sure the exact date [Panthea Reid in reply supplied the date of 4 March 1867] but according to the contemporary marriage certificate quarterly indexes was registered during the early summer quarter of April to June 1867 so presumably Julia Jackson sat for Mrs Cameron a few weeks before her marriage.  Herbert Duckworth died aged 37 in the July–September quarter of 1870 at Pembroke in south west Wales.
    If you wanted to find more about the background in New Zealand of Captain Tristam Speedy then instead of the writer of the enclosed article I think it would be better to contact Bill Main, the editor of the NZ Journal of Photography.

    Letters in the 1990s of R. D. Wood on the early history of Photography

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    Last updated on 28 January 2001