Letters of R. Derek Wood, 1990s Part I

Contents of Part I

  • 1. The Diorama in Great Britain (and USA)
  • 2. The Diorama in Paris
  • 3. The Daguerreotype (miscellaneous)
            Claude Niépce at Kew, 3.1, 3.2
            Physautotypie (recreated by J. Marignier), 3.3, 3.4
            Traité définitif of 1837, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7
            Daguerre's daguerreotype views of 1839, 3.8 , 3.9, 3.10
            Société d'Encouragement and Thénard, 3.11
            Daguerre's mirror correcting lateral reversal, 3.12, 3.13
            Reports published in January 1839 in Paris, 3.14
            Claudet's licence 3.15
            Daguerre's Manual 3.16, 3.17
            Daguerreotype apparatus exported 3.18, 3.19
            Daguerre's presents to Royalty 3.20
            Gernsheim's confusion on Claudet showing
                imported daguerreotypes to Queen Victoria, 3.21 to 3.26
            Paul Delaroche, 3.27
            La Caricature, 3.28, 3.29
            William Newton, family of patent agents 3.30, 3.31, 3.32, 3.33
            Voyage of Erebus and Terror, 3.34
            Draper's first daguerreotypes 3.35

    ||   Top of Page  ||  Letters of 1990s:  Contents List  |  Part I  |   Part II  |   Part III ||  
    ||   Home Page  ||  Letters of 1970s:  
    [webpage in preparation]   || 

    1. The Diorama in Great Britain (and USA)

    29 March 1992 RDW to Edward Morris, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
    Daguerre's oil painting of Holyrood Chapel was presented to the gallery in 1864. Do you have any records about the acquisition and its whereabouts before 1864? I am trying to establish facts about people in England who were envolved with Daguerre's Diorama in the 1820s and it is tentatively possible that two men in Lancashire could have had some small connection: Thomas Nabb (about whom I know nothing except the name and the possibility that he lived in Manchester) and Egerton Smith of Liverpool who was obviously a local polymath, being journalist, poet, inventor, and publisher as well as active in several of the Liverpool organisations such as the Mechanics Institute.

    19 April 1992 RDW to Edward Morris, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
    Thank you very much for your letter dated 6 April 1992 and the xerox copy of p.50 of the 1977 Foreign Catalogue. The Arnold Baruchson recorded as having presented Daguerre's painting to the Gallery in 1864 is unlikely to have any connection with the exhibition of Daguerre's dioramas in Liverpool more that 30 years before, so it is unlikely that I would now need to refer to the painting in my article that I am preparing on Daguerre's Diorama. I have not found Arnold Baruchson in any of the standard national biographical dictionaries, but there is an entry in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books as author of Beetroot Sugar published in London and Liverpool in 1868 from which the long full title shows he had studied manufacture in Europe, so even this small item of information fits well with information in your Foreign Catalogue that the Holyrood Chapel picture had been brought on the continent ‘recently’ to June 1864. The information given in the Foreign Catalogue about No.3034 is, it seems to me, to be very good about the figure of the Comtess with the relevant Refs 6 to 12. The comment about Gersheim's unwarranted sentence about the camera obscura is exactly on the ball and is yet another example of the need to accept statements made by Gernsheim in his several books only after close verification. I have a few suggestions about the introductory sentence on p.50 of the Foreign Catalogue, especially as I think it misleading to talk of ‘exhibited dioramas [plural] of this subject’ (and also in the next paragaph ‘This figure appeared in the London and Paris Dioramas [plural]’) as there was only one diorama (about 70 x 45 feet) of Holyrood Chapel by Daguerre, and as it (and dioramas done on other subjects by Daguerre and Bouton) needed complicated lighting system in a specially designed building (also called a Diorama) can hardly have been exhibited in a great number of places and not concurrently!. You will see from my enclosed provisional table of the date and place of exhibition of Daguerre and Bouton's dioramas that Daguerre's diorama of Holyrood Chapel was shown at the Liverpool Diorama from the last week of March or first week of April 1826 until end of March 1827. The reference in the first sentence of your Foreign Catalogue entry to Bristol in September 1825 is extremely interesting but at the same time is misconceived. The diorama exhibited for a short time during the September fair in Bristol in 1825 was NOT Daguerre's, but ‘Ruins of Holyrood Chapel’ by Clarkson Stanfield. It was shown there paired with a picture called ‘Interior of Canterbury Cathedral’ but the artist's name was not stated and you will see from my Table that Daguerre's diorama ‘Trinity Chapel, of Canterbury Cathedral’ was actually being exhibited in Liverpool (!) during the whole of September 1825. The episode in Bristol in September 1825 is very odd and I have to admit that I do not yet have a complete explanation, but although an associate of Daguerre may have been envolved, until more information is discovered, it makes more sense that it was organised by other people falsely copying the Diorama display in London. But whatever the truth about the ‘Diorama’ show in Bristol in Sept 1825 there is still no doubt that the ‘Ruins of Holyrood Chapel’ displayed there was by Stanfield (Bristol Mercury 29 August 1825, p.3) and most interestingly a reviewer in Bristol refers to ‘the figure meditating among the ruins,with a lamp burning before her’ (Bristol Mirror, 10 Sept 1825, p.3).

    2 August 1992 RDW to Mike Weaver, editor of History of Photography.
    Pleased to hear you would publish my study of the Diorama in Great Britain... You mentioned in your letter ‘Is the painting of Holyrood at Liverpool perhaps by Stanfield and not Daguerre?’. I am not sure if it is signed (presumably) but it was presented to the Liverpool Gallery by a local manufacturer in 1864 who had ‘brought it recently on the continent’. Daguerre is likely to have produced his diorama by copying from an engraving of Holyrood but as one of Daguerre's brother–in–laws was an art dealer who purchased in England then original paintings could also have reached Daguerre. The restored French King had been an emigre at Holyrood many years before so it was probably a familar image in France. Bouton seems to have come to England to sketch Trinity Chapel, Canterbury, which was a subject of one of his dioramas, and it is certainly not impossible that Bouton could have also gone up to Edinburgh.

    31 January 1993, RDW to the Earl of Plymouth.
    John Constable's Correspondence edited by R. B. Beckett, published by the Suffolk Record Society in 1966 contains some letters to John Constable written in 1824 by a Parisian art dealer named Arrowsmith. The editor has a brief footnote to the letters stating that the original manuscript letters were at that time ‘in the Plymouth Collection’. I am aware that part of the Collection, consisting of letters to Constable from members of his family have been placed on loan to the Tate Gallery, but the Arrowsmith letters are not amongst them. The printed transcripts published by Beckett of the letters of John Arrowsmith (and of another Art Dealer from Paris named Claude Schrott) to Constable in the 1820s cannot answer a considerable problem concerning the identity of Arrowsmith.
    First, all of Arrowsmith's letters quoted in John Constable's Correspondence, Vol.IV, pp.177–211 are printed in English. It is not entirely clear if the originals were really in French, so examination of the manuscripts would answer that question. But secondly, and indeed the most important fact that needs to be established is the actual autograph signature of the writer. In the published version it appears as 'Jno' Arrowsmith. Consequently all publications on Constable speak of the Parisian art dealer as John Arrowsmith. However, a number of French sources dealing apparently with the same man refer to Charles Arrowsmith born 1798. This Arrowsmith family were Anglo–French. Charles seems to have been resident in Paris, with occasional visits to England and John MAY have left Paris around 1810 to settle in London. Charles Arrowsmith might have been able to write directly from Paris to John Constable in either French or English, but if the original letters really are signed ‘Jno’ and are in English another possible conclusion is that they might have started as letters in French from Charles in Paris, but then translated into English and signed by ‘Jno’ in London. Confusion about the supposed two brothers Charles and John Arrowsmith is also highlighted by the reproduction of a portrait in plate 6 of Beckett's Vol. IV as ‘John Arrowsmith’ while the same image appears in Helmut Gernsheim's book on L. J. M. Daguerre (1955) as ‘Charles Arrowsmith’! (Incidentally, as this daguerreotype portrait cannot be before 1839, I believe that the man shown is too young to be either of the Arrowsmiths and so is probably a French artist named Collignon, husband of Charles Arrowsmith's daughter). I would be most grateful, assuming the letters are still in your possession, if it was possible for you to tell me if Arrowsmith's letters are definitely in English not French, whether or not there is any indication where the letters were posted, and, in particular, the precise forename of the signature? I have already touched a little on the subject of the Arrowsmiths in an article by me on 'The Diorama in Great Britain in the 1820s' appearing in the quarterly journal History of Photography in September.
    [Reply dated 2 Feb said ‘It is a sad story. My grandfather's Constable Papers went to London about 1950 to be studied by Martin Davies, N. Gulby [?] and others – they were probably returned to a little office we had in London which was closed about 5 yrs later – all that can still be found are in Tate. I thought they had all been copied during study around 1950. Yours sincerely, Plymouth’.]

    7 June 1998, RDW to Stephen Pinson, [Harvard].
    Concerning Daguerre's early painting career and the Arrowsmiths. I can add a little to what appeared in my article ‘The Diorama in Great Britain in the 1820s’, in History of Photography 1993.
    Of course there is the basic problem that Daguerre's wife was named in the marriage register entry not as Arrowsmith but ‘Louisa Georgina* Smith ... fille mineure de William Smith et de Sarah Glaÿsher’. (* In the Register, Georgina was first written with a longer ending ...enne which was deleted and na substituted, ie ‘Louisa Georgienne/na/ Smith’.) Louisa Georgina was the eldest, followed by (probably in this order) Charles, Hélène, and John. I suppose the important thing to remember is that these children of William and Sarah were the children of William's second marrage. In his first marriage there are said to have been 13 children: so all these other half–brothers and sisters (named Arrowsmith or Smith? – in France or England?) must have been born in the late 1770s and the 1780s.
    It was a tragedy that the autograph manuscript letters of ‘Jno’ Arrowsmith to Constable have been lost, for it would have been useful to have seen the actual signature, as well as to be able to confirm that the letters were written in English (as published by the editors of Constable's Collected Correspondence) rather than in French. I enclose a copy of Lord Plymouth's short letter to me about the loss of the letters.
    The Constable Correspondence edited by Beckett is very important for you to consult, especially Vols II, IV, and VI. It mentions for example that John Arrowsmith had contacts with P. & D. Colnaghi, at sometime had a restaurant in Rue St. Marc frequented by artists, and his addresses in 1824 were variously Rue Grange aux belles No. 1 and rue de Vinaigriers No. 13 bis [it is difficult in England to research on Paris addresses in the 1820s and 1830s as the British Library lacks copies of the Didot/ Bottin Paris Directories before 1841] etc etc. Of course, maybe both John and Charles wrote to Constable at different periods, it does not have to be either/or. Although John does seem to be the dealer with Charles the artist/designer?
    The British Library (shelf–mark 562 e61(9) ) have Catalogue D'une belle Collection de Tableaux, Dessins et Estampes Moderne, des écoles francaise, anglais et hollandaise. Provenant du Cabinet de M. A***, par Claude Schroth (Vente '20 Avril' [overwritten in ink 'fevrier'], Paris Février 1826. The first 3 lots in this catalogue are 3 tableaux by 'Charles Arrow–schmith'. However the 'Cabinet de M. A*** ' could still be John Arrowsmith, in which the first 3 lots were by his brother. In the dessins section of the catalogue, lot 82 is a 'Paysage' by Daguerre, and lots 9, 62 and 63 are by Bouton.
    In The Royal Academy of Arts Exhibitors 1769–1904 (London 1905) by Algernon Graves, Vol 1, p. 67, is listed 'Arrowsmith, C. Architect, 44 Greek Street [London] 1830 Interior of a Church at Charon'.
    The London Post Office Directory of1824 and 1825 has a 'Smith John, Carver & Gilder [in 1824 – picture frame maker], ... Dealer in Pictures, 49 Great Marlborough–street', and in the British Library (shelf–mark 10602 ti ) is A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the most eminent Dutch Flemish, and French Painters, by John Smith, 'Dealer in Pictures, late of Great Marlborough Street', London: published by Smith & Son, 137 New Bond Street ... in 9 parts dated 1828 to 1842. The French painters (in Vol. 4, part 8 1837) are Poussin, Lorraine, and Greuze.
    When Augustus C. Pugin (1762–1832) – father of the more famous Architect Augustus Welby N. Pugin (1812–1852) –, who was involved with the design and building of the Diorama in London [by the way, I have formed the habit of writing the building with a capital D and the tableaux with a lower case d] he went to Paris to look at the Diorama in Paris and his rough plans, sketches of structures and mechanisms in Paris exist in a small sketch book at the Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (A. Pugin, ‘Notebook of Notes & Sketches of the Diorama’ (1823), shelf–mark 86MM8).
    On f.1 (recto) is a note ‘To speak to Mr Arrowsmith abt the portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Mr West’. Incidentally, there are also some ‘Pugin Family Papers, 32 items 1831–1981’ at the same library (shelf mark VI RC Box13, 14 & 15)', but which I have never found the time to look at. In the British Library (shelf–mark 10174 k17), is a 2–vol work Paris and its Environs Displayed in a series of Picturesque Views. The drawings made under the direction of Mr. Pugin, published in Paris 1829–1831 which contains many drawings by J. Nash (this is probably Joseph Nash rather than John Nash), A. C. Pugin and 'A. Pugin Jnr' (born 1812) and a few by a handful of other artists, with one drawing by J. Nash of ‘Chateau d'Eau’ in Vol. 1, pp. 13–14, but which concentrates on the fountain without showing the Diorama, and indeed the direction of view may be from that situation.
    The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel is an interesting diorama and painting by Daguerre on which to concentrate attention. One extra reason why I find it of particular interest is that the French version of ‘Holyrood’ [holy cross, with rood being the old word for cross] would be Ste Croix. The ruins of Holyrood Chapel are said to be ‘situated to the east of the ancient monastery of Sainte–Croix’.
    I do not know if you are familiar with my other article published in History of Photography in 1993, on ‘Ste Croix in London’ about the very shadowy Frenchman who was the first to demonstrate the daguerreotype in London in September 1839, but you will see that if Ste Croix or St Croix was not his real name then it would be most intriguing why this pseudonym would have been chosen!
    I cannot seem to put my hands on the notes that I made about the painting in the Liverpool gallery but the entry in the Walker Art Gallery, Foreign Catalogue, Liverpool 1977, p.50 (Cat No. 3034) , provides some predominately correct information and comments. An Arnold Baruchson is recorded as having presented Daguerre's painting to the Gallery in 1864. I have not found him in any of the standard biographical dictionaries, but there is an entry in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books as author of Beetroot Sugar published in London and Liverpool in 1868 from which the long full title shows he had studied manufacture in Europe,which fits well with the information in the Gallery Catalogue that the picture had been brought on the continent ‘recently’ to June 1864. This version does not contain the figure of the Comtess. The catalogue also very pertinently points out that ‘as early as 1818 the view by moonlight of Holyrood Chapel was already famous’.
    Of course the novels, and dramatic versions, of Sir Walter Scott were very popular in France, a subject dealt with by P. ten–Doesschate Chu, ‘Pop Culture in the Making: The Romantic Craze for History’ in The popularization of Images: Visual Culture under the July Monarchy, edited by Chu and Weisberg, Princeton 1994 ( a collection of essays with which you are no doubt familiar). I recommend you to look at a volume in the British Library (Shelf– mark [Tracts] T1264/2), Historical and Descriptive Account of the Palace and Chapel–Royal of Holyroodhouse. With Eight Engravings, published by J. Cunningham and J. Johnstone, Edinburgh 10 Aug 1826. Plate viii is very similar to Daguerre's picture but a viewpoint more to the right, with three figures (2 women and 1 man) looking down at flat surface of a tomb. Also in the same bound Tracts in the BL is another pamphlet also published by J. Johnstone, Edinburgh 12 Sept 1825, Description of Rosslyn Chapel & Castle (T1264/1)
    During your stay in Paris I hope you can find some time to look, as I once promised myself to do, for some documentary material in the Archives de la Seine (D32 U3 (Faillites Registers); D31 U3 (Faillites Actes); and D13 U3 (Liquidations)) on Daguerre's bankruptcy (faillite) declaration of 27 mars 1832 and annulment of 20 fév 1835, and the legal documentations of the Diorama company such as the dissolution of the company on 5 juillet 1839, as recorded from concise published announcements provided in my article on 'Daguerre and his Diorama in the 1830s: some financial announcements'.

    26 May 1992, RDW to Paul Marillier, Mandres les Roses, France.
    [What is] the exact family relationship between Alphonse Giroux and Mme Louise Daguerre, née Arrowsmith, wife of L. J. M. Daguerre? Pierre [Harmant] has recently sent me a transcript of a letter (Archives of the Ville de Paris) dated 06/10/1903 to Mentienne fils from Mme Hugon–Roydor (daughter of John Arrowsmith, brother of Mme Daguerre) which gives some clues to the family relationships, but does not solve the big problem of the correct identities of the two brothers Charles and John Arrowsmith (for example, was the art dealer at rue des Vinaigriers, Paris, in 1824, Charles Arrowsmith or John Arrowsmith?). It seems Mme Daguerre's father William Arrowsmith had married twice and that his first wife had 13 children: so could it be that Alphonse Giroux was related to William Arrowsmith's first family?.

    11 Août 1992, RDW to Paul Marillier, Mandres les Roses, France.
    Many of the statements about Giroux and the Arrowsmith family made by Gernsheim in his Daguerre are not very reliable. For example, Gernsheim says on p.7 'Mme Daguerre's brother John ... is up to November 1823 referred to as Mr.Smith' yet the reference he cites (Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, November 1823, Vol.2, pp.302–5) is without much substance, being only a review of the opening of the Diorama in London which says ‘We trust that Mr. Smith, the proprietor, will reap the profit’, while there is no real evidence that either Charles or John Arrowsmith were that proprietor.
    It is very unfortunate that so many documents concerning Daguerre have been destroyed by fire or lost in some way. I am surprised that no letters from Daguerre to Arago or Biot seem to have survived in the archives of L'Institute (or at least nothing is listed in the catalogues of manuscripts that can be consulted in England). Your note [*] about the unknown M. Bazin is very interesting and it is frustrating not to know what happened to the Daguerre/Giroux letters held by him in 1900. [*Paul Marillier's letter dated 1 July 1992 to RDW drew attention to Le compte–rendu de l'Exposition Universelle de 1900: ‘Musée rétrospectif de la photographie’ page 18, ‘Mr Bazin gendre de Mr Giroux possède dans ses archives les lettres et autres pièces, échangées entre Daguerre [et Giroux], il serait intéressant de les consulter.’]

    10 July 1992 RDW to Maire Kennedy, Gilbert Library, Dublin
    Concerning the Diorama in Great Brunswick Street, Dublin in the 1820s. I notice from the photocopies you kindly sent me of pages from the Dublin Almanac for 1834 that the entry for the gymnasium at No. 59 Brunswick Street, Great, has a French name Mons. Huguenin. It is not a name that I know of in connection with Daguerre, but maybe it does slightly increase the chance that such a building might, as you say in your letter, might have once have been the Diorama. A consideration against that possibility might be that it was presumably at the further end of the street from Trinity College, while the advert of 23 Dec.1826 says ‘near Trinity College’. The dioramas exhibited were very large (upto 70 x 45 feet) with very complicated lighting arrangements from front and back and the audience needed to be in a dark auditorium, so the Diorama buildings were basically large and substantial in construction. Even so, bearing in mind a rather odd and far from fully understood episode in September 1825 when a rival diorama show (imitating Daguerre's) was set up in a temporary building in Bristol, I cannot entirely rule out the possibility you raise that it could have been a ‘somewhat temporary structure’ set up on open ground.

    3 August 1992 to Maire Kennedy, Gilbert Library, Dublin
    The later so–called ‘Dioramas’ such as the one shown in 1854, were generally ‘moving panoramas’ without the true dioramic lighting effects of Daguerre's diorama of the 1820s and 1830s. A nice example of the way the word quickly became debased and popularised can be found in Balzac's novel Le Pere Goriot, written in 1834: see Everyman English edition, Old Goriot, pp. 42–44, 172, 234.

    6 May1993 RDW to K. J. Avery, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
    I have enjoyed your article on ‘Dioramas in New York, 1826–1849’ [Panorama newsletter, Spring 1990, pp. 5–11], and if you have published anything else on the subject, especially regarding Sebron, more recently please let me know... I am sure you will be interested to see the advertisment that appeared in Dublin at Christmas 1826 concerning a contract – but obviously not carried out – to send Daguerre's diorama, Valley of Sarnen, to America. The only research I had been able to do on the Diorama in USA was on the shows by Maffey and Lonati in Washington in April 1842. It is impossible in England to do any adequate study of what happened in America in the 1820s and 1830s, because American newpapers are very poorly represented in international stock held in the British Library. The Washington Daily National Intelligencer is almost the only US paper with an adequate run at that period held in the BL. The significant sources in that newpaper for Maffey and Lonati at Carusi's Rooms in Washington in 1842 are adverts in April 13, p.4; April 18, p.4; April 28, p.3;and an interesting editorial review April 25 1842, p.4. Inspite of the use of Daguerre's name by Maffey and Lonati, a careful reading of the phrase used ‘Daguerre's Magical Pictures, From Paris, representing the wonderful effects of day and night: invented by the celebrated Mons. Daguerre six years before his Daguerreotype...’ shows, I think, that they are not saying the pictures were painted by Daguerre, but were a type of painting invented by Daguerre. Inspite of the titles of these dioramas, the way in which they were displayed convinces me that they were not Daguerre's actual dioramas. Maffey & Lonati were showing four during each of their shows which were held at one performance in the evenings starting at 8 pm (so must have had artificial light) accompanied by a commentary and music (‘Madame’ Lonati was said to have been ‘Professor (ie professional) of the piano FROM the Conservatoire at Paris’). For several reasons the dioramas were extremely unlikely to have been as large as the originals,and the contrivances need to control the light onto and through Daguerre's pictures at the real Diorama buildings obiously could not have been used in the short term conditions in which Maffey & Lonati did their shows. The newspaper reviewer (April 25, 1842, p.4) said ‘those who occupy the front seats should not, by standing up,obstruct the view of those who sit behind them’ which also suggests a much smaller size. I have no doubt that they could not have been genuine Daguerre dioramas. Indeed, apart from the most interesting episode in 1849–50 that you deal with in your article concerning Sebron's visit to America, it looks as if all the earlier dioramas in New York were imitating the true dioramas. You clearly show that the transatlantic connection of the 1834 Barclay Street imports were with the ‘British Diorama’ at the Queens Bazaar in London: your article is very valuable in showing this.
    There is one special item in your article that caught my attention: the Thames Tunnel ‘diorama’ by Philip Phillips. You will see from my article [proof] that I refer to Phillips in Reference Note No.28. By the time I received this proof I had regretted that I had relegated the passage about the Royalty Theatre to the footnote rather than dealing with it in more prominence in the text. The appearance of Phillips in your article confirms that regret. If you look at the ‘Bristol 1825’ and scene painter sections (the least satisfactory) of my article I think you will find it has the most relevance to your own work especially with regard to the first half of your own article. Another mistake in my own article with regard to the episode of the imitation Diorama in Bristol is that I should really have mentioned the fact that I do suspect that Clarkson Stanfield's younger brother might have been the Stanfield who painted one of the dioramas displayed at Bristol. Both of the Stanfields, especially the younger William, worked at the Coburg and Royalty theatres in London, as did Phillips. (see Rosenfeld (Georgian Scene Painters, 1981), Merwe (Theatre Notebook, 1976, Vol. 30, pp.9–12). I wish Sybil Rosenfeld had cited her source for her statement about the two dioramas (with same titles as Daguerre's) at the Royalty Theatre, ... but I have been unable to track down anything in the press of the period except for reports of the destruction of the Theatre by fire (The Times, April 11, 12, and 13th, 1826). [No reply received to this letter]

    24 August 1993 RDW to John Wood, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
    Concerning the 'dioramas' shown in America in the 1830s and 40s. It is almost impossible to research adequately on a subject regarding events in another country (and American Newspapers of the 1820s–1840s are almost completely lacking from the British Library Newspaper Library in London) so I have only been able to do a little research on Dioramas in USA. Most of alleged Daguerre dioramas exhibited in America were by other people (his name was used shamelessly) and except for an episode in 1849 when his collaborator Hippolyte Sébron was in New York had no real connection with Daguerre at all, and if dioramas did cross the Atlantic they were rival productions of the ‘British Diorama’ (Oxford Street, London) not from Daguerre's own Diorama in Paris or the true Diorama in Regent's Park, London that had shown his and his partner Bouton's work.

    29 May 1993 RDW to Thomas R. Kailbourn (Associate Editor, Daguerreian Annual), Wellsville, NY, USA
    With regard to so–called dioramas in America. Today the word ‘diorama’ has become extremely debased expecially in Museum design (see such entries, for example, in Art Index. But even by the 1840s the word was very misused particularly amongst the bottom level of popular entertainment. I have not gone into this aspect deeply but I have noticed a few examples in the 1840s as an American Phenomena that Daguerre's name and fame due to the daguerreotype was used to unscrupulously promote such enterprises as ‘Daguerre's Diorama’ that you have noticed in the 1847 advert. I have not come across any of the titles of the 'dioramas' mentioned in your letter. If the views in Mexico were on continual exhibition then they could have been anything from small peepshow cosmoramas with some dioramic effects, or if they were to be presented to an audience during a set time show (like a magic lantern show) in evenings with artificial lighting, could have been better quality but small imitations of Daguerre's technique presented on a stage in sequence by drawing a curtain or shutters (used by a so–called ‘British Diorama’ that ran for a few years in London in the early 1830s and whose associated productions were, as demonstrated by Kevin J. Avery, imported to New York).

    10 January 1993 RDW to Gael Newton, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
    [Regarding] Paul Johnson's pretentious journalese about Daguerre and the Diorama [in his] Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815–30 (1991). If the four pages (pp.155–6, 606–7) on which Daguerre is mentioned are representative of the rest of the book then it is an utterly worthless publication! But to keep just to the point about what is written about public spectacle, panoramas and Daguerre's diorama: I would guess that Johnson saw an exhibition ‘Panoramania’ at the Barbican in the City of London a few years ago ... he cites Hyde's Panoramania! and another well–known book by R. Altick, The Shows of London. He also cites Gernsheim's book on Daguerre ..., but I am sure he does cite some primary sources which he has not actually seen but only read about in the other secondary publications. Mistakes include Johnson writing of Daguerre's associate as ‘Jean’ Bouton (infact Charles–Marie Bouton). I am not surprised he repeats ideas that Daguerre made a fortune from the diorama, for without doing any research himself he is not in a position to know any better, although even Gernsheim is able to provide some evidence that Daguerre had financial problems (indeed I have found that Daguerre was bankrupt for three years in 1830s), but when Paul Johnson comes to carelessly make extra assumptions from those books to write such fiction and nonsense as ‘Daguerre ... who oscillated between London and Paris with visual displays’ and ‘Daguerre's cross–Channel commutings’, I can do nothing but completely despair that publishers seem to be often ready to accept worthless carelessly written journalism instead of substantial work.

    ||  Top of Page  ||  Letters of 1990s:  Contents List  |  Part I  |  Part II  |  Part III || 
    ||   Home Page  ||   Letters of 1970s:  
    [webpage in preparation]   ||

    2. The Diorama in Paris

    17 January 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    From your article [in] Le Photographe of 20 Mars 1962, I can see that the real date of the Agreement between Daguerre and Bouton was 25 avril 1821 ! I wonder if they sought subscriptions to the Diorama in a similar way as Daguerre proposed to do with the Daguerreotype in 1838? The date of 3 janvier 1822 is (according to the dissolution announcement in Gazette des Tribunaux, 19–07–1839) when Daguerre & Bouton made an Agreement with the Shareholders (actionnaires). So, [the first footnote] of my article [‘Daguerre and his Diorama in the 1830s’] will be this:
    “1. A dossier containing Daguerre and Bouton's Agreement of 1821 in the Archives Nationale in Paris is described by Pierre G. Harmant, ‘L'incendie du Diorama de Daguerre’, Le Photographie (Paris), 20 Mars 1962, Tom 52, pp. 141–3.”

    18 February 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    I have decided to send my article on Daguerre's bankruptcy to Photoresearcher. The journal is only published occasionally. The name of the Notary who dealt with the Agreement between Daguerre and Bouton in 1821, with the agreement with the actionnaires de ladite compagne in January 1822 and the dissolution of the Diorama in 1839 was Clairet. I notice that Les Archives nationales:état des Inventaires, Tome IV (Paris 1986) p.88 lists ‘minutier central des notaries de Paris’ which includes registres of J–B–A Clairet. When you did the research for your article in Photographe 1962 on ‘L'Incendie...’ were those Clairet records available then and if so did you ever get the chance to look at them as well as the dossier you mentioned at Archives nationales (12F 6832)?

    28 May 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    In the first draft of my article on Daguerre's bankruptcy and the Paris diorama in the 1830s I wrote the following paragraph about ‘maison Frascati’ but removed it (it was not really relevant to Daguerre's financial situation after the fire at the Diorama):
    On Mardi 9 Juilet 1839 a notice was published in Journal des Débats (back page 4) ‘Le public n'apprenda pas sans plaisir que LE DIORAMA, dont il est privé depuis long–temps, sera ouvert demain mercredi 10 courant dans les vastes locaux de la maison FRASCATI, boulevard Montmartre’. Immediately Daguerre felt obliged to state in Moniteur Universel, 12 Juillet 1839, p.1317, that ‘il est tout–à–fait étranger à une exposition qui s'annonce sous le nom de Diorama... non seulement on a pris le nom de son établissement, mais encore que l'annonce a été faite de manière à faire croire que c'est même établissement qui va cette exposition n'a rien de commun avec le Diorama, quand il saura qu'elle a lieu dans un appartement ’.
    The area of Boulevard Montmartre /Passage des Panoramas, I know, had long been associated with panoramas and similar shows, but except for the notice published 9–7–1839 I have not seen any advertisments for this Frascati ‘diorama’. Do you know of any source of information on the maison Frascati? [A note about ‘L' établissement Frascati’ was sent by PGH to RDW in a letter dated 8 Mai 1993, much of the information obtained from J. Hillairet, Dictionnaire Historique des Rues de Paris. ]

    28 May 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    Potonniée [quotes] from ‘Courrier des Théâtres du Samedi 9 Mars 1839’ regarding fire at the Diorama in his Daguerre, Peintre et Décorateur, 1935, p. 67. The British Library in London does not hold Courrier des Théâtres so I have never seen the original text quoted here by Potonniée. Does it appear in the Courrier des Théâtres, 9 Mars 1839, pp. 79–80?, and has Potonniée quoted all of the text concerning the Diorama? [PGH replied on 15 August 1993: L'article cité par Daguerre que vous joignez figure bien p.4, 2e colonne et non pp.79–80 (No.7832 du Courrier) Il est complet mais je ne puis faire de photocopie (interdite désormais à la Bibl. Nat.). ]

    18 July 1997 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna.
    [In reply to your letter dated 14 July concerning two letters from Daguerre mentioning his dioramas that you are publishing in your forthcoming Die vergessenen Briefe und Schriften]
    After Daguerre had displayed his diorama ‘Ville de Thiers’ in Paris from 11 novembre 1827 to 25 juillet 1828 it went to London. You will see from the enclosed photocopy from The Times (London), 28 May 1829 that ‘Village of Thiers’ was displayed in London for 11 months from the end of May 1829 to April 1830. Eight years later, the ‘Village of Thiers’ was in Edinburgh. It was displayed at the Diorama, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, from May 1838 until that Diorama building in Edinburgh closed finally on 15 June 1839 (Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh), 26 May 1838, p.1 and 3 June 1839, p.1). For information about the dioramas that were displayed in Paris in the 1820s that later went on to London, Liverpool, Manchester, Dublin and Edinburgh see fig. 1 on p. 288 of my article ‘The Diorama in Great Britain in the 1820s’, History of Photography, Autumn 1993, Vol 17 (3), pp.284–95. My other article on ‘Daguerre and his Diorama in the 1830s: some Financial Announcements’ was also meant to be published in an issue of History of Photography after the ‘Great Britain’ article but Mike Weaver decided he had too many articles by other people that needed publication and asked me to submit it to another journal – so in February 1993 I sent it to Roy Green and Margaret Harker for publication in Photoresearcher. It was an article that I wrote very easily and quickly, so it is ironic that publication of that journal was continually delayed until more that 4 Years (!) had passed. When my article appeared recently in Photoresearcher No. 6, an important ‘Timetable’ of the dioramas that had been displayed in Paris during the 1830s was missing. It gives important information and if space in the journal was short then it would have been better if the editor had printed the ‘Timetable’ instead of the less important plan ‘Emplacement du Diorama’ on p. 39. I also mention in the Photoresearcher article on p 35 about Potonniée's claim (G. Potonniée, Daguerre Peintre et Décorateur, (Paris 1935), pp. 67–8) that the Paris Diorama might have had profits in some years of as much as 200,000 francs. Potonniée's research and writing was usually excellent so it is surprising that he should have made that statement, which was probably because he (Potonniée) misread or misunderstood a passage in A. Mentienne, La découvert de la Photographie en 1839 (Paris 1892), pp.137–8, about the same amount of money Daguerre had wanted to obtain for the daguerreotype technique by subscription in 1837–39!

    ||  Top of Page  ||  Letters of 1990s:  Contents List  |  Part I  |  Part II  |  Part III ||
    ||   Home Page  ||  Letters of 1970s:  
    [webpage in preparation]   ||

    3. The Daguerreotype

    Claude Niépce at Kew, 3.1, 3.2
    Physautotypie (recreated by J. Marignier), 3.3, 3.4
    Traité définitif of 1837, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7
    Daguerre's daguerreotype views of 1839, 3.8 , 3.9, 3.10
    Société d'Encouragement and Thénard, 3.11
    Daguerre's mirror correcting lateral reversal, 3.12, 3.13
    Reports published in January 1839 in Paris, 3.14
    Claudet's licence 3.15
    Daguerre's Manual 3.16, 3.17
    Daguerreotype apparatus exported 3.18, 3.19
    Daguerre's presents to Royalty 3.20
    Gernsheim's confusion on Claudet showing
        imported daguerreotypes to Queen Victoria, 3.21 to 3.26
    Paul Delaroche, 3.27
    La Caricature, 3.28, 3.29
    William Newton, family of patent agents 3.30, 3.31, 3.32, 3.33
    Voyage of Erebus and Terror, 3.34
    Draper's first daguerreotypes 3.35

    10 January 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    The church at Kew [where Claude Niépce was buried] is very close to the Public Record Office where I sometimes go, so I thought you might like to have this small leaflet about the Church. You will see that all the church documents before 1845 no longer exist. The tomb of Francis Bauer exists in the burial ground beside the church, but it is no longer possible to read the words on the stone. However a large and elaborate plaque on the north wall of the church can be read about Bauer. There is now no tomb to be found that can be seen to be Claude Niépce's. This is, of course, a protestant Church of England church, but I think that even if Niépce was of the Catholic Church, he would at that period still have been buried in that burial ground, although there is a Catholic Church in another part of Kew that I have never seen and do not know its age. If Dr. Schultze had a photograph then I do not know if it would be possible to contact any member of his family. His wife moved from Harrow in 1975 or 1976.

    18 February 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    You have quoted a document dated 29–02–1828 saying ‘Enterrement dans la Paroisse Ste Anne le 11, par Henri White M. A., Curé’, but surely the rest of the quotation ‘Le Père O'Reilly ... épisode irlandais’ cannot be from that document of 1828 because the Registers did not disappear until 1845. I have spoken to the present Vicar of the parish Church of St.Anne at Kew and he tells me that there are several hypotheses about what might have happened when the Church Registers were stolen in 1845, one of the favourites being that members of the Royal family were involved because they wanted embarrassing evidence to disappear that illegal Royal marriage had taken place. Some time after the robbery the empty chest (coffre) was found in the river Thames (which is only about 200 metres away), and can now still be seen in the Church.

    17 January 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    With regard to the article by M. Marignier [on the ‘Physautotypie‘ process, in Le Photographe, Novembre 1992]: It is a very well worthwhile article because that section of Daguerre's Manual on his modification of the heliographic technique does not seem to have attracted any attention before. I think it is a great pity that he has only one illustration of an image obtained with the residue of oil of Lavender in a camera (fig 7) but has 3 illustrations (fig 6, 8, 9) ‘obtenue par tirage contact’ from images obtained by short exposures by modern techniques (fig 10). Those pictures of Notre–Dame can therefore give a misleading idea about the speed of the technique to any reader who does not pay enough attention to the caption of figs 6, 8, 9 under the illustrations. It is unnecessary and unfortunate to take the same views as those originally taken by Daguerre because again it can mislead the reader who glances only somewhat quickly at the article. As there is no doubt that some people will have experimented in recent years with the daguerreotype technique because they deliberately wanted to deceive and maybe make money with fake ‘old’ daguerreotypes then it is unfortunate that M. Marignier did choose the same views as Daguerre. He says fig 9 is 'sujet choisu par Daguerre pour son premier daguerreotype réalisé en public', so I am sure you can tell him differently about that!

    31 January 1995 RDW to Dr. J. L. Marignier, Université Paris–Sud.
    Your earlier work that I have seen in Nature, (12 July 1990) on Niépce's Heliography in showing how the bitumen played a role of an intermediate negative to the darkening of silver iodide has provided a much more convincing explanation of the process than the ideas put forward by writers in the past. But your later work (‘Première reconstition du deuxième procédé photographique au monde’ (which, as you pointed out at the ESHPh symposium at Vilanova in June 1993, was named by Niépce as ‘Physautotype’), published in Le Photographe, Novembre 1992, 26–33) on the photosensitive residue obtained by distilling Essence de Lavande and development of the image by the use of the vapour of Petroleum Spirit is more than a satisfying technical description: it is, I think, an important contribution to the pre–history of the daguerreotype by demonstrating the way in which the technique, inspite of not using the photosensitivity of silver salts, represented such a significant conceptual step towards the final achievement of the Daguerreotype. If I interpret you correctly, you say that the Physautotype is the result of a truly combined effort of Daguerre and Niépce in 1832. But also it seems that it was Daguerre's idea to use the residue of the Essence de Lavanda and it was he who advocated the use of vapour rather than liquid to bring–out the image. Do you think it possible to say what was Niepce's main contribution to the technique? [No reply received to the above letter]

    19 Fevrier 1993 to Paul Jay, Musée Nicephore Niépce, Chalon–sur–Saône,
    Concerning the second page of Daguerre's legal copy of the Traité définitif dated 13 juin 1837 between himself and Isidore Niépce. The original document was one of five that Daguerre passed to Arago in 1839, was purchased amongst Arago's books in Frankfort by a Dr. Pedro Arata, and published in facsimile reproduction by Arata in Anales del Museo de La Plata in 1892. The enclosed photocopy is taken from the published facsimiles of 1892. The two lines at the top of the page clearly read ‘La liste sera ouvert le quinze Mars mil huit cents trente huit, et close le quinze avril suivant’. The text of this Traité définitif has been quoted in full (in English translation) in H. and A. Gernsheim's L. J. M. Daguerre: The history of the Diorama and the Daguerreotype, revised edition, New York:Dover Publications 1968, p.75 saying ‘The list shall be ... closed on fifteenth August following’. And in a special footnote the Gernsheims added a comment that ‘Presumably owing to a misreading of handwriting “Aout” was taken to be “Avril” and the subscription date has sometimes been wrongly given as April’. Although I have corresponded with Helmut Gernsheim in the past I have found in recent years that he will say that only his old notes now in the University of Texas might possibly provide an answer to his past writings. It is certainly very difficult to understand how such a strange comment could have been made, for the enclosed photocopy very clearly does read ‘avril’. I would therefore be most grateful if you could tell me if the manuscript of Niepce's legal copy of the Traité définitif dated 13 juin 1837 does also show the word 'avril' clearly, or if the handwriting is obscure? I would also welcome your opinion as to the best interpretation of ‘le quinze avril suivant’:is it most likely to mean avril 1838 or avril 1839?
    [Paul Jay replied on 23 avril 1993 that Avril is certainly the month given in the version of Niepce's copy of the Traité published by Kravets in St Petersburg and that he thinks it refers to avril 1838 not 1839. Furthermore he rightly commented ‘Les commentaires de Helmut Gernsheim sont quelquefois hélas fantaisistes’]

    14 October 1997, RDW to Larry Schaaf, Baltimore, USA
    Thanks very much for the photocopy of Niepce's copy of the Traité définitif that has survived in St Petersburg. It is very nice to see it, and , of course, it agrees with Daguerre's manuscript regarding the date the list should close, although the two manuscripts do differ slightly, not in content but, for example, Niepce's copy says the list shall ‘ouverte le 15 mars 1838, et close le 15 avril suivant’ using arabic numbers while Daguerre's copy spells out the dates in full ‘ouverte le quinze Mars Mil huit Cents trente huit, et close le quinze avril Suivant’. You obviously noticed that I had taken trouble to quoted these dates in my footnote No. 11 [of ‘A State Pension for L. J. M. Daguerre’], although I did not extend the footnote unnecessarily by discussing the particular reason for including the quotation. I suppose you will be almost alone amongst the readers of the article to be aware that another date of August instead of April has been prominently espoused by Helmut Gernsheim in his L. J. M. Daguerre... (2nd edition of 1968), p; 75, where he translated the full text into English with a sentence saying ‘The List shall be ... closed on fifteenth August following.† ’. The symbol † indicates the footnote added by Gernsheim which reads: ‘ †Presumably owing to a misreading of handwriting “Aout” was taken to be “Avril” and the subscription date has sometimes been wrongly given as April.’ There is no rational explanation as to how Gernsheim could arrive at such a statement except that it is typical of some of the rubbish he wrote into the subject, and his later editions often added strange mistakes rather than improving his text ((one reason why I suspect the best part of the Gernsheim History was researched by Alison not Helmut). He did tend to adjust facts to suit what he expected or wanted them to be. Perhaps he thought (not entirely unreasonably) that a subscription period lasting for only one month (15 mars to 15 avril) was rather short and that five months from 15 mars to 15 August was more likely. Certainly the phrase ‘avril suivant’ is not entirely clear, as it might be considered to mean Avril 1839 instead of 1838. After some thought about this point I decided it must mean avril in the same year of 1838. To check that a French person would also (like me) understand ‘suivant’ to mean 1838 not 1839, I wrote to Paul Jay of the Musée Niépce at Chalon to ask for his opinion. He replied on 23 avril 1993 ‘Quand on parle du “15 avril suivant” il s'agit à mon avis du 15 avril 1838 et non pas du mois d'avril 1839.’ And he added a comment regarding the situation of Gernsheim changing April to August, ‘Les commentaires de Helmut Gernsheim sont quelquefois hélas fantaisistes.’

    30 September 1997 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna.
    I have noticed what I think are two mistakes in your Die vergessenen Briefe und Schriften [published in Vienna September 1997]: On S.68 you have put the date of J. N. Niépce's letter to the chemist Vauqulinas as 17 November 1818, but looking at the facsimile on S.69 I think it reads ‘le 17.9bre.1818’, which surely means 17 Septembre 1818 ? [However this remark was over hasty and probably wrong as Niépce seems to have generally used the number of the month to represent the name of the month ie 7 = seven = sept = Septbre; 8 = eight = heit= octbr; 9 = nine = neuf = Novbre]
    On S.14 ‘eine Subskriptionsliste in der Zeit vom 15. März bis 15. August 1838...’ should be ‘... bis 15 April ’ not August. Perhaps I should discuss further the last point. I think you must have picked up the date of August (instead of April) from Helmut Gernsheim's L. J. M. Daguerre. The History of the Diorama and the Daguerreotype (2nd edition of 1968, page 75 of the edition in English), or from some other author who was repeating the information derived from Gernsheim's book? I know it cannot have been from Eder's Geschichte. For according to Epstein's translation into English, Eder has ‘and closed on April 15 of the following year’.
     Happily, both Niepce's and Daguerre's copy of the Traité définitif have survived. I enclose a copy of the text of Daguerre's copy as reproduced in Anales del Museo de La Plata (1892), pp. 25 and 27 (page 26 is blank), from which you will see the date is clearly ‘le quinze avril Suivant’ and cannot be mistaken as août.

    10 September 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    The observations you have made in your letter of 29/8/92 on the supposed first daguerreotype made before the public by Daguerre are very perceptive and I agree completely with the positions you suggest for the camera when the two views you discuss were taken. In his Appendix of ‘Daguerreotypes by Daguerre’, Gernsheim in his Daguerre... (Dover edition 1968) pp.192–4, precisely says that the daguerreotype reproduced in his plate 38 is ‘View of the Tuileres and the Seine from the Balcony of the Ministry of the Interior, Quai d'Orsay, 7 September 1839’. I certainly agree with you that it is a view of Pont Royal and the Tuileries taken from near the south end of Pont du Carrousel. The picture of ‘Le pont Royal en 1962‘ in Hillairet's Dictionaire, Vol II, p.369 is an astonishing match for that daguerreotype. Yet again Gernsheim gives his own mistaken interpretation of events!. For the photocopy you sent me from the Catalogue of the Musée des Arts et Métiers (1949) (which Gernsheim must have seen) says ‘faite par Daguerre devant se collègues des Beaux–Arts’. In this Catalogue item 1 is ‘Premiere épreuve’ and item 6 ‘Deuxième épreuve’ (have you seen Daguerreotype 6?), but do you think it possible that the person who wrote the catalogue is not speaking carefully about sequence in which the daguerreotypes were exposed but saying in a careless way merely that the Beaux–Arts had one daguerreotype and another? Strangely it is the other daguerreotype (no name of daguerreotypist, and no date) reproduced by Beaumont Newhall (fig.7, Introduction to ... Daguerre (Winter House, 1971) that fits even better the description given in the Catalogue of 1949 for item 1 of having been taken by Daguerre ‘before his colleagues of the Beaux–Arts’, because it is very likely to have been taken actually from the Académie des Beaux–Arts about 1/3 the distance along Quai Malaquais between Pont des Arts and Pont du Carrousel. Have you noticed the panoramic daguerreotype taken by ‘F.von [sic] Martens’ from the Louvre in 1846 reproduced in Gernsheim's Daguerre plate 53 (also in Gernsheim's History of Photography, 2nd edition, 1969, plate 46)? It is reversed and looks mainly to the east to Notre Dame, but is does also show directly across the Seine to L'Institut and Beaux–Arts. Is there a detailed description along Quai Malaquais in Hillairet's Dictionnaire? I expect you know the notice in Journal des Dêbats, Tuesday, 17 September 1839, p. 3: ‘M. Daguerre, désirant venir, autant qu'il est en son pouvoir, à l'aide des personnes qui s'occupent de la pratique de son procédé, prévient le public qu'il a obtenu de M. Pouillet, administrateur du Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, une salle de cet établissement dans laquelle il se fera un plaisir de donner tous le jeudis, de onze heures à trois heures, des conseils à ceux qui voudront bien lui apporter leurs épreuvres...’. So the first Thursday that Daguerre would have provided advice (not demonstrations?) would have been on 19 September.
    With regard to Daguerre at the Palais d' Orsay: The reports of Daguerre's first demonstration on Wednesday 7 September at the palais d'Orsay all have a very similar description of the daguerreotype view taken by Daguerre from the balcony: ‘le quai, la riviére, la terrasse et le chateau des Tuileries’. (1)
    I have seen only 2 reports of Daguerre's second demonstration at palais d'Orsay held on Wednesday 11 September , both are in the English language and both said that on the second demonstration ( 2 )
    Daguerre produced a reversed picture: The reporter for Galignani's Messenger said that Daguerre ‘omitted to use his second lens the view consequently a reversed one’ and in The Globe [London] of 14 Sept ‘from our own correspondent, Paris Sept 12, M. Daguerre gave another public demonstration of his photographic drawing yesterday at the palace of the Quai d'Orsay. He was more than an hour and a half in operation of taking a view of the Tuileries... through the neglect of not placing a double lens in the camera obscura the objects were reversed... The weather, which for the last few days had been beautiful, is again overclouded and the heat diminished. Yesterday [?] the thermometer stood between three and four o'clock in the afternoon at 841/2 Fahrenheit in the shade, and in the sun the heat was almost insupportable’. I have not seen any report of Daguerre's 3rd demonstration at the palais d'Orsay on Saturday 14 Sept 1839.

    (1) Reports of first demonstration in Journal des Débats, 8 Septembre 1839, p.2; La Quotidienne, 8 Sept. 1839, p.3; Galignani's Messenger, 9 Sept. 1839, p.2; Courrier des Théâtres, 11 Sept. 1839, pp.2–3; Morning Herald (London), 12 Sept. 1839, p.3; The Times [London], 10 Sept. 1839, p.4.
    (2) Reports of second demonstration in Galignani's Messenger (Paris),Thursday, 12 Sept 1839, p.2; The Globe (London), Saturday, 14 Sept 1839, p.3

    Other illustrated articles of relevance to Daguerre's daguerreotypes taken in 1839 are ‘Five Daguerreotypes by Daguerre’ by Beaumont Newhall, Image, March 1955, Vol 4, No. 3, pp.18–21 with 5 illustrations and 1 fig. Also Gernsheim (Daguerre..., 1968, p.192) mentions ‘A similar picture (said to be poor) taken on a rainy day in September 1839, and several others (Society Française de Photography).’

    12 October 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    Many thanks for your letter dated 22.09.92 and the enclosed photocopies concerning le Quai Malaquais and the pages from Hillairet which are very interesting. The book French Daguerreotypes by Janet E. Buerger, published by the University of Chicago Press, 1989 contains a list of the Cromer Collection at George Eastman House in which the same daguerreotype (showing, as you have pointed out, Pont du Carrousel) reproduced by Beaumont Newhall's introduction to ...Daguerre (Winter House, NY,1971) is said to have been taken by Baron Gros in 1846.

    10 October 1993 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna
    A guide to Paris says that Alexandre Humboldt stayed sometime (unfortunately it is not clearly said at what exact period) at No 3 quai Malaquais. This must have been very close to the place from which Daguerre took one of his well–known daguerreotype views of the Louvre and a Seine bridge (although it is usually assumed that this daguerreotype was taken by Daguerre during his September 1839 demonstrations at the Palais d'Orsay, but if that was true then the bridge would be seen differently).

    16 October 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    Le Moniteur Universel, 8 Septembre 1839, pp.1738–9..., reprinted from Le Constitutionel [6 Sept] is a long report of Daguerre answering questions about the daguerreotype technique at a meeting of la Société d'encouragement, rue du Bac, 'Mercredi soir' (= 4 Septembre, 1839) ...'M.Thénard, au nom de las Société d'encouragement qu'il préside' ...'interrogé ensuite par différens membres, par M.Thénard principalement'. I have never before seen any reference to this meeting of 4 September. Thénard, who, of course had been one of the committee who reported on the Daguerreotype for the Chambre des Pairs, and is said to have been influential in the Ministry de l'Instruction publique, seems to me to deserve close research. Has anything been written in France about him with regard to his involvement with Daguerre and the Daguerreotype in 1839?

    15 Novembre 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    Thanks for your letter of 25 October... sending the items concerning Daguerre and his apparatus from Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale. As you mentioned the figure in that Bulletin of Sept 1839 showing the mirror in front of the lens, I [looked at] that Bulletin at the British Museum Reading Room. As the figure showing the camera is on a fold–out plate, the library do not allow photocopies on paper to be made, but they will supply a copy of the fold–out plates onto 35mm microfilm: which I will receive about 11 Decembre – I can then get a paper print from the film, and so will send you a copy. As you say ‘...aucun des journalist présent, ... n'a dit ou écrit que l'appareil de Daguerre n'avait pas son objectif dirigé Vers le sujet (les Tuileries)... mais bien vers le côte’. Certainly La Qotidienne, 8 Sept., 1839, p.3 (and same report in Moniteur Universel, 9 Sept 1839, p.1743) have ‘Placée dans l'appareil de la chambre noir, dirigé du côte de quai, M. Daguerre...’ without mentioning that a mirror at 45º meant that the view taken would be at 90º to the direction aimed. Presumably Daguerre at his first public demonstration on 7 Sept., did not say anything about the mirror or the left/right transposition of the image? For this reason the report (in English) of Daguerre's second demonstration at palais d'Orsay held on Wednesday 11 September in Galignani's Messenger, (12 Sept 1839, p.2) is important in saying that Daguerre ‘omitted to use his second lens the view consequently a reversed one’.

    1 December 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    I enclose a copy of the diagram of the daguerreotype camera with the 45º mirror shown in fig.19, Plate 775 in Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale, [Tom.Annèe 38, Nr. 423], Septembre 1839. The information given in that Bulletin about the 45º mirror in front of the lens is a little less than that given in the original French editions of Daguerre's ‘Manual’. In the Bulletin p.344 in the main text, the word ‘une glace, m’ is used and in the description of the plates on p.348 ‘m, miroir’. In Daguerre's ‘Manual’ the description of Planche IV gives ‘une glace parallèle en avant l'ouverture’ although the diagram does seem to show a mirror. The translation of the ‘Manual’ into English by Memes which is a good translation from the French and does, infact, translate that passage as ‘another mirror outside’, and translates the next sentences about the need to increase the exposures in a longer passage than that actually given in the original French: (Memes, p.xii ‘Plate IV ...This instrument has the disadvantage of reversing the objects. This can be easily obviated by substituting another mirror outside, as K I, fig 2. This arrangement, however, injures the effect on the photographic plate from loss of light. It is therefore not to be employed unless when the operator has time to spare. It increases the time of the operation by one–third of the whole.’

    4 March 1996 RDW to Flemming Berendt, Editor of Objektiv, Denmark
    You will know that I do not understand Danish, but I have been looking at the text you have provided on pp 30–34 of Objektiv Nr. 64 [April 1994] which you say is an early account of the Daguerreotype by Jules Janin originally from ‘Le Commerce, 13 januar 1839, samt Le Moniteur Universel, 14. januar 1839', however it does not seem to be the correct text. I am familar with many French newspapers of 1839 and (although there is no copy of Le Commerce to be found in England) the British Library's Newspaper Library in London does hold Moniteur Universel so I already have a record of a report on the Daguerreotype in Moniteur Universel, 14 Janvier 1839, Vol. 102, page 82. Unfortunately when I looked at it some years ago I only made a note of the first and last sentences of the report of one column in length. The first sentence is ‘Cette découverte de M. Daguerre est depuis quelque tems un sujet de merveilleux rècits...’ And the last sentence is ‘La découvert, de l'imprimerie a fait grand tort aux scribes, mais non pas aux écrivains (J. du Comm).’ No name of the author was given. When I go next to the British Library's Newspaper Library I will look at the complete text, but I am reasonable sure that it is different to the text translated into Danish that you have published in Objektiv. However, the Danish text in Objektiv Nr. 64, pp. 30–34 does instead seem to be a shortened translation from Jules Janin's article on 'Le Daguerotype' published in his own journal L'Artiste, 27 Janvier 1839, Vol. 2 (2nd series), Nr. 11, pp.145–148. The first three sentences are the same, then the section concerning the Diorama is omitted from the text in Danish, so that most of the original French on pp.146 –147 of L'Artiste is translated into Danish, but without the last 4 paragraphs from p. 148.

    24 January 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    It is commonly believed (because it is said to be so by Gernsheim!) that Claudet obtained a licence directly from Daguerre in 1839. However that is not true. Gernsheim did not read his source carefully. The source must have been the British Journal of Photography 21 Feb 1868 where Claudet said ‘Immediately ... under the patent he had taken in England ...went to Paris, saw him [etc]’. Gernsheim did not notice the words about the Patent, so did not realise that a licence could not be granted until after the Patent had not only been sealed on 14 August 1839 but after the specification had been enrolled on 14 February 1840. Infact Claudet's Licence was dated 25 March 1840 (Beard v.Claudet) and see also my article ‘The Daguerreotype Patent, the British Government and the Royal Society’, History of Photography, January 1980.

    12 October 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    I agree with you that 6 days is a very short time for Daguerre's Manual to cross la Manche and to be translated into English by Memes, and that an advertisement in the newspapers on 13 September does not prove the translation was really ready for sale to the public: but the fact that the translation was reviewed in the weekly Athenaeum published on 21 September shows that the book had definitely been printed and sold within a few days of the advertisement of 13 September. There is no reason to compare the Memes translation with the description given in the Daguerreotype patent because Miles Berry only had to seal the Title of the patent on 14 August 1839. The detailed description – the specification – did not need [to be], and was not enrolled until 6 months had passed on 14 February 1840, long after Memes translation of the Manual had been published. So the Daguerreotype patent was ridiculous because the Memes translation giving details of the daguerreotype technique had been available to the British public many months before the patent Specification was enrolled!

    17 January 1993, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne.
    I have seen the reports in Gazette des Tribunaux (17 Oct, pp. 1266–7 and 19 Dec 1839 p. 170) about the tribunal hearings concerning Giraldon versus Giroux that you mentioned in your article in History of Photography in Jan 1977. The Gazette... is at the British Library newspaper library on microfilm and so, as it is easy to get photocopies on paper, send you a copy of p.170 of 19 Dec 1839.

    1 December 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    I was looking recently at your article on ‘Daguerre's Manual: A bibliographic Enigma’ (History of Photography, 1977) in which you quote from Stenger's Die Daguerreotypie in Berlin a letter from Sachse. You comment (p.80) that Sachse's letter makes no comment of an illustrated brochure. So I wonder if you have since seen the enclosed extracts from Sachse documents in Photographische Mittheilungen, Sept 1889 in which it is said ‘Dazu 6 Brochüren mit den Erläuterungen’. I do not understand German and so even after using a German–English Dictionary I am still not certain if it means ‘with commentary’ or ‘with illustrative examples’? Would a German speaker say that Daguerre's Manual could be described as Brochures in this way? I cannot judge this, or if it might be describing, say, Arago's Report?

    16 December 1992, RDW to Pierre Harmant, Charenton Le Pont, Val–de–Marne
    Thank you for your letter dated 6 Decembre. Your comments about the dispatch of the daguerreotype apparatus from Giroux to Sachse I found very interesting, but I lack the background knowledge to understand the comparison mentioned by you with the patent for Plateau's phénakistoscope.
    With regard to the breakage of Giroux's apparatus, I thought you would find of interest a letter written by Sir John Lubbock to Sir John Herschel on 11 October 1839 (Herschel Collection HS 11.360 at Royal Society, London). He is commenting about the plan to acquire a daguerreotype outfit from Paris to send on the Capt Ross expedition to the Antarctic about which Herschel had written to Daguerre on 1 August 1839 (see my article in History of Photography, January 1980, Vol.4, p.53):

    ‘I am very anxious to know whether you have suceeded in getting a Daguerrotype for Capt Ross. It seems to me very desirable that one if not two should if possible be sent after him if he sailed without one. I have got one over [from Giroux] myself, some of the things broke, the object glass of the camera got loose but fortunately was not broken. I think therefore that it should be examined & repaired here and such things as are liable to miscarry be sent in duplicate. My iodine bottle was broken. Have you made any experiments with it? It seems to me that Daguerre has completely solved the Photogenic problem for whatever is distinct in the camera I succeed in getting distinct on the plate. I have not any doubt I could get a Daguerrotype over from Paris in ten days through our correspondents there, if it were thought desirable. I should be very glad to be of any use by writing to them’.

    24 April 1993 RDW to Anna Auer, Vienna
    I have recently found amongst government documents at the Public Record Office in London that in October 1839 Daguerre offered to present one of his daguerreotypes to the British Queen Victoria, but he was told that his gift would not be accepted. You are obviously very familar with the fact that Daguerre presented gifts of Daguerreotypes to many members of Royalty throughout Europe, but it has always been supposed that Queen Victoria was not included, probably because of the patent for the Daguerreotype that was taken out in England. The British Ambassador in Paris in 1839 was Lord Granville, and I have found that it was through the British Embassy that Daguerre did offer to send a daguerreotype to Queen Victoria. In your article you mention that Metternich wrote on 7 February 1839 to the Austrian Ambassador in Paris, Count Apponyi, asking that Apponyi obtain information about Daguerre's invention and that Daguerre promised (and did) later send images both to the Emperor and Metternich. J. M. Eder in the fourth edition of his Geschichte quotes a letter from Emperor Ferdinand to his Lord Chamberlain dated September 2 1839 about Daguerre sending a specimen through the Embassy in Paris. That letter when Eder was writing in 1931 was in the Imperial Archives in Wien. Do you know if the original letter still exists in Wien? Daguerre's gift to Ferdinand and Prince Metternich was also mentioned in a report from Wien dated 27 August 1839 printed in the Paris newspaper Journal des Débats, 8 Septembre 1839, p.2. Although there are several Paris newspapers of the period around 1839 in the British Library in London there are no Wien newspapers of that time in the British Newspaper Library, so I wonder if you know of any newspaper reports in your city?

    12 April 1993, RDW to Helmut Gernsheim, Castagnola, Switzerland
    At the moment I am trying to sort out some of the background to Daguerre sending gifts of his daguerreotypes to Royalty throughout Europe in 1839. I only need to do this because an introduction of some sort is needed with regard to a fact that I have come across (in Government documents in the Public Record Offfice in London) that Daguerre did want to send such a gift to the young Queen Victoria , but was rebuffed. You have provided an excellent summary of such gifts to Royalty in your ‘Daguerre’ (p.108 and 192–3 of the revised Dover edition of 1968) that I will obviously be citing when I get down to the writing. You have also in your History of Photography (p.134 of second edition of 1969) spoken of Queen Victoria purchasing daguerreotypes from Claudet in relationship to his import to London of Lerebours' daguerreotype views. I notice you have amended the same passage by adding more specific dates in your third edition (ie. Origins of Photography, 1982, p.124). I have been surprised by those specific dates that you took the trouble to add, as they seem much earlier than I would have expected.
    In your 1969 edition (History of Photography):
    Early in 1840 Claudet imported from Lerebours daguerreotypes illustrating “views of Paris, Rome and other cities, their public buildings, bridges, fountains, and monuments; also landscapes”. These he submitted to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who brought some of the best, and the remainder were exhibited at soirées of the Royal Society. Afterwards they were put on sale at the business premises of Claudet & Houghton in High Holborn [beginning of April 1840].’ [my emphasis]

    Amended in your third edition ( Origins, p.124) 1982:
    In September 1839 Claudet imported from Lerebours daguerreotypes illustrating “views of Paris, Rome and other cities, their public buildings, bridges, fountains, and monuments; also landscapes”. On 15 October he submitted these first specimens of the new art to be seen in Britain to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who brought some of the best, and the remainder were exhibited at soirées of the Royal Society...’.
    I would have been much less surprised if Claudet had imported a Lerebours Camera in September 1839 rather than the Lerebours daguerreotype views, and I would not have expected Prince Albert to have been so closely associated with any possible purchase by the Queen as early as 15 October because he had only arrived for his first meeting with Victoria on the evening of 10th October. However, to further my research on Daguerre's attempt to present Victoria with one of his daguerreotypes I would need to draw attention in my introduction (at the moment have not reached even the first stage of writing) to your information about the Lerebours daguerreotypes to the Queen via Claudet, and so your date of 15 October is of some relevance. As it is an amendment by you, and you did not cite any source, I wonder if you would like to clarify the situation, as I felt you might also prefer an opportunity to comment.
    [Helmut Gernsheim replied on 21 August 1993: ‘The fact that Claudet submitted some French daguerreotypes to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on 15 October 1839, and their purchase by the Queen emerges from the Queen's unpublished Diary entry at Windsor Castle which I was permitted to consult in 1957 and first used in our biography of Queen Victoria, Longmans,1959. Please consult Chapter V ‘Queen Victoria's Photograph Albums’, p.257, also p.15. Thames & Hudson [?1969] only wanted enlargements to the text of our Oxford History (1955) that seemed essential. So we did not alter the existing text of this passage though we were aware of the exact dates from our research on Queen Victoria’.]

    27 August 1993, RDW to Registrar of the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle.
    [Regarding] Queen Victoria's diary: 15 October 1839. I am researching on the early history of photography, at the moment with particular regard to the diffusion from France to England of the epoch–making discovery by L. J. M. Daguerre. It has been long established that in 1839 Daguerre sent gifts of his daguerreotypes to Royalty throughout Europe in 1839, but it has also been supposed that the British Queen had been excluded. However I have come across documents that show that Daguerre did want to send such a daguerreotype to the young Queen Victoria, but was rebuffed.
    On the more general subject of when Queen Victoria first saw examples of daguerreotype as well as photographs on paper Helmut Gernsheim in his Origins of Photography, 1982, p.124 has spoken of Queen Victoria purchasing daguerreotypes from Antoine Claudet (a Frenchman resident in London, who later established a well known photographic studio in London) with regard to Claudet importing to London daguerreotype views from a company in Paris called Lerebours. Gernsheim (who with his wife Alison also produced a biography Queen Victoria, published in 1959) wrote:
    ‘In September 1839 Claudet imported from Lerebours daguerreotypes illustrating “views of Paris, Rome and other cities, their public buildings, bridges, fountains, and monuments; also landscapes”. On 15 October he submitted these first specimens of the new art to be seen in Britain to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who brought some of the best, and the remainder were exhibited at soirées of the Royal Society. Afterwards they were put on sale at the business premises of Claudet & Houghton in High Holborn [at beginning of April 1840].’

    I would not have expected Prince Albert to have been so closely associated with any possible purchase by the Queen as early as 15 October because he had only arrived for his first meeting with Victoria on the evening of 10th October and indeed 15 October was the day Victoria proposed marriage to him. And my own research on the events in 1839 and 1840 relating to photography make Gernsheim's statement about ‘September’ much earlier than I would have conceived possible, and indeed in the earlier 1969 edition of his book (then called History of Photography) Gernsheim had written what seems to me a more reasonable account:
    Early in 1840 Claudet imported from Lerebours daguerreotypes illustrating "views of Paris, Rome and other cities, their public buildings, bridges, fountains, and monuments; also landscapes". These he submitted to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who brought some of the best, and the remainder were exhibited at soirées of the Royal Society.' [my emphasis]

    So I wrote to Helmut Gernsheim (he is now aged 80, living in Switzerland) regarding this date of 15 October 1839 and have recently received the following reply:
    ‘The fact that Claudet submitted some French daguerreotypes to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on 15 October 1839, and their purchase by the Queen emerges from the Queen's unpublished Diary entry at Windsor Castle which I was permitted to consult in 1957 and first used in our biography of Queen Victoria, Longmans,1959. Please consult Chapter V ‘Queen Victoria's Photograph Albums’, p.257, also p.15.’

    I have certainly been very sceptical about Helmut Gernsheim's statement about 15 October 1839 with regard to Claudet and Lerebours Daguerreotypes (although if the Queen had written on that day about correspondence on an offer from Daguerre himself to present her with a daguerreotype it would make complete sense) and with regard to Claudet 15 March/April 1840 would conform more to my own expectation. Therefore I would be most grateful if you could kindly let me know the full entry that the Queen made in her diary on 15 October 1839. I have, of course, looked through the published work on the diaries and correspondence of Queen Victoria, but found nothing specific on this matter. I would therefore very much welcome the opportunity to come to Windsor to examine any material that might have survived at Windsor for the crucial 16 day period October 10th to 25th, 1839.
    [Received a reply from Miss Frances Dimond, the curator of the Photograph Collection, to whom my letter had been passed in September. She wrote on 18th November 1993: ‘I do not understand Helmut Gernsheim's claim that he saw a reference to Claudet's daguerreoypes in Queen Victoria's Journal for October 15th 1839 because there is no trace of this in that particular entry, which, as you can imagine, is concerned mainly with the engagement of the Queen and Prince Albert. We can find absolutely no references to Daguerre in our indexes, or to daguerreotypes during the period of October 10th–25th 1839 in Queen Victoria's Journal or elsewhere. Neither are there any references to Claudet before the 1850s.’ ]

    29 November 1993, RDW to Frances Dimond, Curator, Photograph Collection, The Royal Archives, Windsor Castle.
    Thank you for your letter of 18 November in reply to my inquiry about any supposed reference to daguerreotypes in Queen Victoria's entry in her journal on 15 October 1839.
    It is certainly very difficult to understand how it came about that Helmut Gernsheim came to make the statement on this matter in his Origins of Photography of 1982 and in the biography Queen Victoria that he published with his wife Alison in 1959. Unfortunately I will need to deal in my forthcoming article with this problem caused by Dr. Gernsheim, and therefore propose to write to him again to obtain some type of statement by him to clear up the situation. I am not sure if you did look at Gernsheim's Queen Victoria, but on page 15 he wrote, that on 15 October 1839 ‘the fifth morning’ after Albert arrived at Windsor
    ‘the Queen plucked up her courage to propose... At about half past twelve she received him alone in her sitting room, talking nervously at first about different matters to gain time. Daguerreotypes had only lately been introduced, and she showed Albert the first specimens that had been left with her that morning. Next she spoke of the great tournament which had recently been held at Eglinton Castle and then suddenly, after a pause, came to the point “I think you must be aware why I asked you to come”...’.
    I fear that if I wrote to Dr Gernsheim to quote only from published versions of the Queen's diary and letters of the period (such as the selections by Viscount Esher) he would quite likely write back to say that only the autograph manuscript of the journal (or maybe some letter of that period) could provide the answer, for he did earlier write to me that his supposed source was ‘the Queen's unpublished Diary entry at Windsor’. I am sorry therefore to trouble you again, but could you kindly provide me with a photocopy, or full transcript, of the Queen's entry for 15 October 1839 so that I can then pass a copy onto Helmut Gernsheim for his comment on the situation?

    30 December 1993, RDW to Frances Dimond, Curator, Photograph Collection, Royal Archives, Windsor Castle.
    Thank you for your letter of 23rd December 1993, and the photocopy of the original typed transcript from Queen Victoria's Journal entry for 15 October 1839. I here return the photocopy as requested. I notice that the entry for that date as printed in Esher's The Girlhood of Queen Victoria is not greatly different to the typescript in those first few relevant sentences, but does only contain the first part of the entry giving no indication of the considerable ommissions. Victoria's letter written to her uncle Leopold on 15 October as published in Benson and Esher's Letters of Queen Victoria speaks of nothing except her proposal of marriage. It is possible to waste so much time on unnecessary problems that arise because of confused and muddled writings that can do much disservice to a subject, but unfortunately there are always readers who will wilfully believe such journalese rather than substantial contempory sources. Some attention therefore has to be paid to the situation. Certainly the account given by Helmut and Alison Gernsheim in their Queen Victoria bears no relationship with the entry on the typed transcript – and the later further incorporation of Claudet into the story in Helmut Gernsheim's Origins of Photography (1982) is ridiculous, (this can be considered an example towards my suspicion that Alison Gernsheim who died in 1969 was a more careful and restraining influence). However, as I said in my letter of 27 August, an idea that Daguerre himself might present Victoria with a daguerreotype had been raised in October 1839, so it seems possible that the word daguerreotype could still be preserved elsewhere in her correspondence at this period. It is interesting that the Gernsheims alleged that the Queen had also on 15 October 1839 ‘spoke of the great tournament which had recently been held at Eglinton Castle and then suddenly, after a pause, came to the point “I think you must be aware why I asked you to come”...’. Nothing appears in the typed transcript for October 15 concerning the Eglinton Tournament so maybe this could provide a clue towards finding the real source of Gernsheim's statement. I notice that this Tournament is mentioned very briefly (as if it was to be held later) in Esher's selection from Victoria's diary entries of 21 June, 11 and 29 August 1839 (The Girlhood of Queen Victoria vol II (1912)). So if you ever come across any comment about that Tournament between Victoria and Albert at some other date, I would be most grateful if you could kindly let me know – especially if the entry occured in February or March 1840! (ie after Albert returned on 8 February 1840 for their marriage).

    27 December 1993, RDW to Helmut Gernsheim, Castagnola, Switzerland
    ... Your account in your History of Photography (2nd edition, Thames and Hudson, 1969, p.134) of Claudet importing daguerreotypes to London ‘early in 1840’ still makes more sense to me, while the later [1982] amendment does not. If you can look back to my letter to you of 12 April 1993 you will see that my research has concerned Daguerre wanting to send a daguerreotype to Queen Victoria in October 1839. When I come to write my planned article on this subject, I will thus be forced to mention your amended [1982] paragraph that I quoted at the beginning of this letter. This will be very difficult for me and I wonder if there is any way to re–examine your statements about Claudet in September and the Queen on October 15 with regard to the daguerreotype? I will naturally send you a draft copy and the opportunity if you wish to specifically comment.
    [Helmut Gernsheim replied on 11 January 1994: ‘I am surprised that the photographic detail you are querying does not appear in Princess Beatrice's edited version of Queen Victoria's Journal. When I was working at Windsor in 1957 on our biography the then Librarian, Mr Macworth Young, gave me handwritten volumes ot the Journal to study – I presume in Princess Beatrice hand. However, if this entry is not in the Journal nor in Lord Esher's Girlhood of Q.V. it might be in Martin's Life of Prince Albert or in an article or advertisement by Claudet in The Times or the Morning Post. After 36 years distance and the publication of 26 books I simply do no remember nor do I have any means of checking. Obviously I did not attach such importance to this fact as to warrant a footnote... I regret not being able to assist you in this matter. PS. Frances Dimond and Roger Taylor in their book: Crown and Camera, 1987 omitted any reference to our biography of Queen Victoria presumably to hide that we had done the basic research 20 years earlier!’]

    17 January 1994, RDW to Frances Dimond, Curator, Photograph Collection, Royal Archives, Windsor Castle.
    You will see from the enclosed photocopy that I have now received a reply from Helmut Gernsheim about his strange statement that Claudet had by 15 October 1839 (!) submitted specimens of the daguerreotype to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
    What is said by Dr. Gernsheim in his letter of 11 January is still very unsatisfactory, but I thought you would be interested to see that he says that in 1957 at Windsor the librarian made available ‘handwritten volumes of the Journal to study – I presume in Princess Beatrice hand‘. Is it possible that such a [copy] manuscript has survived in addition to the typescript? It is a nuisance to have to waste so much time checking through this type of material so as to be able to explain the source of such confusions and imaginative reconstructions made by Dr. Gernsheim, but would it therefore be possible for me to come to Windsor for a day to read through the typescript (or any other versions you might have) of Queen Victoria's Journal? I feel it is necessary to cover a wider period of two or three years to see if there is any entry that might have led to Dr. Gernsheim's confusion. His mention in the letter of advertisements by Claudet only supplies support for the fact that he is wrong about October 1839, for such advertisements all appeared in 1840, the earliest being [in The Times] on 10 April 1840.

    27 October 1996 RDW to Professor Stephen Bann, University of Kent, Canterbury
    Regarding Paul Delaroche and photography. G. Cromer had at one time come across the 1839 manuscript of Delaroche's note to Arago about the daguerreotype and art, published by Cromer in the Bulletin de la Société Française de Photographie, avril 1930, tome 17 (No.4), 114–8). Cromer's collection of photographica, including Delaroche's note to Arago, was later acquired by the George Eastman House Museum of Photography. In 1962 the Director and Curator of GEH wrote an article for their journal Image (‘The value of Photography to the Artist, 1839’, by BN and RD [Beaumont Newhall and Robert Doty], Nov/Dec 1962, Vol 11 (Nr 6), pp.25–28) in which the complete text of Delaroche's note was translated in English. Newhall and Doty, like Cromer in 1930, also referred to the 1839 caricatures on the daguerreotype by Maurisset and by Damier. Indeed the Image article was not much more than a plagarism of Cromer's old article, although BN and RD did also end their article with a list of other albums and printed illustrated books at GEH that related to the association of art and photography at the beginning of the photographic era.

    4 August 1996 to Gary W. Ewer, Daguerreian Society, USA
    The entire issue of 8 Decembre 1839 of La Caricature is 4 unnumbered pages + 2 plates with plate 2 being ‘La Daguerréotypomanie’. Page size is 10 x 14.1 inchs (25.3 x 35.8 cm). A quick look through some of the other issues showed that occasionally the plates were fold–out sheets larger than the pages, but the two plates in the 8 Dec 1839 issue were the same size as the pages. The original series 1 of La Caricature from 1830 to 1835 is shelf–marked F29 at the British Library Newspaper Library, while the series 2 which began on 1 Nov 1838 as La Caricature Provisoire and after 35 issues in that style changed back to La Caricature is shelf–mark F91. The BL Newspaper Library do not have a complete run of the series 2, they have (La C. Provisoire) 1 Nov 1838 to 20 June 1839 .and (La C.)..7 July 1839 to 28 Dec 1839, 3 Jan 1841 to 21 August 1842.

    17 January 1997 to Gary W. Ewer, Daguerreian Society, USA
    After writing to you last August about the Maurrisset ‘Daguerréotypomanie’, I realised that the question of the superscription ‘Fantaises’ and ‘1 er Livraison No 6’ needed more discussion. For I did not understand your reasoning on the first page of your article that ‘Examples of the Lithograph with these markings denote inclusion in the 8 December issue of La Caricature Provisoire [sic]. The lithograph was also published with no subtitle, perhaps suggesting that La Daguerréotypomanie was available for individual purchase at the publisher Aubert's open air store front’. When first reading your article it seemed to me that on the contrary the engraving without the superscription and notation would rather indicate it was a printing for separate sale and the lithography in La Caricature would not have had the extra markings. The lack of superscription on the plate in La Caricature in the British Library's Newspaper Library provided confirmation of such an interpretation. In commercial and legal usage the term livraison means ‘delivery’ of goods, and in the publishing world it means ‘instalment’ of a book or periodical, etc., published in parts, particularly when the publication has been paid for in advance by subscription. Even so the situation might be more complicated, because I also have a vague idea that during the last few years I have seen the term 1er Livraison used (either in a catalogue or on the title page of some reprinted book that unfortunately I cannot exactly recall) with regard to a modern facsimile reprinting of a older book. It might appear at first sight that it could be a reprinted publication that would be so marked, but I think it was to provide information about the original publication. It is irritating not to be able to easily reconfirm this uncertain notion, but I thought I must mention it inspite of the vagueness, for if it has any basis it means that a notation such as ‘1er Livraison’ could appear in a reprinting but not on the original! I notice from the Daguerreian Annual 1995 that Matt Isenburg owns a copy of the lithograph without the superscription and the poster sold by the Society is reproduced from a print with the superscription. Obviously you will have already closely compared the paper etc of two originals, but is there any possibility (it sounds crazy I know) that the print with the superscription could be a much later reproduction? [No reply received from Gary Ewer]

    5 February 1992 RDW to Gael Newton, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
    The Daguerreotype patent was obtained in England under the name of Miles Berry, but infact Daguerre's patent agents in England were the firm of Newton & Berry. In the 1830s and 40s William Newton (1786–1861) edited a journal concerning techology and patents called Newton's London Journal of Arts and Sciences. He is well worth researching in many ways in his own right apart from his close association with Miles Berry. He must have had a considerable influence in circles in London involved in Patenting, and his children and grandchildren continued in the same field. One of his grandchildren (William Manfield Newton) went to Australia. First in Sydney, then Hobart and later Melbourne, with his sons still as Patent Attornies.

    14 January 1992 RDW to Institute of Patent Attorneys of Australia.
    I am interested in a London Patent Agent called William Newton who lived from 1786 to 1861 and whose Patent firm in London was continued by his two sons and later by a grandson and great–grandson. Another of his grandsons, William Manfield Newton went to Sydney to set up [a patent] practice, and was (it seems) a foundation member of your Institute of Patent Attorneys in Australia. William M. Newton's son, Perceval M. Newton later established himself as a Patent Attorney [at first in Hobart, then] in Melbourne along with his son, Edward P. Newton, as the firm P. M. Newton & Son. A fifth generation, E. P. Newton died in Australia in 1968. This information about the several generations of the Newton patent attorneys in Australia was obtained from an brief anon report 'The Newton Family of Patent Agents' in CIPA (Journal of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents, London), Vol 1 (No. 9) June 1972, p. 345. I have not been able to trace any surviving members of that Newton family in England, so I wonder if there is any present generation of that family in Australia who might still (!) practise as patent attorneys amongst your present members?
    [Reply from the Institute: Mr. Mark Callinan was the ‘Australian member of the Institute’ who researched the family tree of the Newton family of Patent Agents. Several references are made to the Newton family within A History of the Patent Profession in Colonial Australia, written by a past President of the Institute, Mr. Barton Hack [1984, pp. 4–5, 58, 72, 74, 75, 90].
    [Reply from Keith Callinan of Callinan Lawrie, Patent Attorneys, Kew, Victoria, Australia: My father, Mark Callinan, was the author of the article in CIPA, June 1972... My grandfather A. J. Callinan was a patent attorney in Australia, He was relatively friendly with Mr. Edward Perceval Newton, a bachelor, and the last surviving member of the Newton Family, Patent Agents. My grandfather died in 1946... and my father continued the practice. On 1 July 1953 my father brought the practice of Edward Newton, who was retiring. The firm name became Callinan & Newton. It became Callinan & Associates after the death of Edward Newton in 1968. The agreement with my father was that the Newton name could continue in the firm while he was alive.]

    4 March 1992 RDW to Keith Callinan, Callinan Lawrie, Kew, Victoria, Australia
    I became interested in William Newton due at first to the fact that his partner in the 1830s, Miles Berry, was the Patent representative in England for L. J. M. Daguerre. Because the Daguerreotype Patent of 1839/40 became involved in considerable legal action throughout the 1840s, the ‘Office of Patents’ of Newton and Berry at 66 Chancery Lane, London, has a most interesting part in the early history of photography. The rival patent agency of Moses Poole and William Carpmael had been involved with the other branch of early photography, the calotype (patented by W. H. F. Talbot in 1841), in those early years. In the late 1960s I had been able to make contact with Maurice Carpmael, the existing survivor of Carpmaels and Ransford. In contrast I was able to find little trace of [present day] Newtons. Also I am working at the moment on a comparison of state response and patentee financial success (and failure) to two patents obtained in 1718 (No. 422 of Thomas Lombe and No. 423 of J. C. Le Blon), as well as investigating the Dollond Patent of 1758 that even in recent years has been cited as a precedent in legal rulings regarding unpublished discovery although the original legal citation is, infact, non–existent.

    12 April 1993 RDW to John R. Millburn, Aylesbury.
    I am writing concerning your most interesting article on ‘Patent Agents and the Newtons in 19th–century London’, published in 1989 in the Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society [No. 20 (1989), pp. 3–6], along with the recent two–part article by Brian Gee in the same journal [‘The Newtons of Chancery Lane and Fleet Street Revisited’, ibid., No. 35 (1992), pp. 3–6, No. 36 (1993), pp. 12–14], very impressed by the amount of information you have both been able to assemble... I have been taken aback by your use of Newton archives in the Guildhall library, amazed that I have entirely missed the existence of this materal [deposited by A. R. Martin in 1973: Guildhall MSS 16929, 16930, 16938, 16939] in the Guildhall catalogue. My own interest in the Newton family of patent agents has certainly been due to my general interest in patents before 1852, but also more specifically because of the involvement of the Newton and Berry's ‘Office for Patents’ in Chancery Lane with the patent for the daguerreotype in 1839. With regard to the daguerreotype, Newton's partner, Miles Berry has the most significance. Even so Berry is still a very shadowy and elusive figure for me.

    13 February 1994, RDW to Bill Main, Director, New Zealand Centre for Photography, Wellington, NZ.
    With regard to your remark in your letter of 27 January about the voyage of the Erebus, I enclose my 1980 article where I touched on the subject of Herschel's letter to Daguerre, as well as the text of that letter. McCormack was much more enthusiastic about trying photography while on the voyage than Hooker. This is shown from documents in the archives of the Royal Society in London, but I no longer have the extensive notes that I compiled on the subject. Lubbock also wrote to Herschel after the Erebus and Terror left England to ask Herschel if the equipment had been sent over to England by Daguerre as it could be sent on by another ship to transfer to them at the Canary Islands. But there is no evidence that Daguerre cooperated, and although he was probably told of Herschel's approach (Herschel had seen his Daguerreotypes in Paris that May before the technique was released) there is no real evidence that the actual letter was passed on to Daguerre from the Paris Academy of Sciences. Although McCormack went to see Talbot, the latter obviously did not want to be involved and anyway his primitive photogenic drawing technique of 1839 was really only capable of contact copying. McCormack, by the way, started on the earlier voyage of the Beagle with Darwin but he left the ship after the first stage at South America.

    15 March 1994, RDW to Howard R. McManus, Roanoke, Virginia.
    Many thanks for your thick pack of typescripts of your unpublished articles. You have some interesting things in the extensive study of what you call your ‘Taft’ article, but ... for my tastes the main problem is that it is a study of later disputes about priority. Maybe such sources can be given research attention in an attempt to identify areas in which better contemporary documentary sources can be found. But such later ‘sources’ have always been given too much attention and have badly unbalanced writing on the early history of photography. Almost without exception I have found later reminisences etc to be unreliable and not born out by contemporary sources, especially where ‘priority’ disputes (always tedious) are concerned. In spite of a lot of sloppy writing in the past about Draper's ‘first’ daguerreotype portrait I think it is rather flogging a dead horse to try to analyse it in detail. Better sources are need (it can seem impossible to find anything, but the task of attempting the impossible can be very rewarding in often unexpected ways). Although you say on p.40 that ‘Photographic historians seem never to have considered the possibility’ I think that most people do not find it difficult to understand that any statement made by Draper or others about ‘the’ first is due often to common imprecise easy way of writing about ‘the first portrait he considered successful and practical’. I am also (sorry) not convinced by your arguments (pp.30–34) about the sequence of Draper's use of different types of lenses. I have no difficulty in reading his sentence on p.31 that he took his first portrait in Dec 1839 rather than the first portrait taken when he was specifically using a spectacle glass, after he had used other lenses. Often people use precise words when they are really making imprecise statements, so precise interpretation becomes meaningless. There is no point in analysising for example the sentence in Draper's letter at bottom of p. 30 ‘before the paper of Mr. Towson ... proper focus for the daguerreotype’ as if it was precise, when in my opinion it could easily be read as an imprecise way of saying that before Towson had discussed focusing of chemical rays he (Draper) had determined such focussing of light during his photometric experiments before 1839 which was later of use when he came to focus images of various types of lenses onto daguerreotype plates.
    With regard to ‘An interesting discovery...’. The big problem is basic identification as Morse. Established portraits of Morse show that his hair was parted on the other side but this could be explained by lateral reversal of the Smithsonian daguerreotype and maybe later portraits of Morse show a man with a broader more angular face? Are you certain this daguerreotype has not been illustrated before, as I have a vague feeling I have seen it somewhere before?

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

    ||   Top of Page  ||  Letters of 1990s:  Contents List  |  Part I  |  Part II  |  Part III ||
    ||   Home Page   ||  Letters of 1970s:  
    [webpage in preparation]   ||

    Page prepared 28 Jan 2001