|Pierre Rossier. Reception of the British Legation, Yedo, July 1859
November 1855, after visiting the Exposition Universelle, Rossier left France for England on a boat, his first boat trip, aboard l’Alliance, leaving Le Havre for Southanpon. : “My first boat trip, when I was amazed by the splendour of the Paris Universal Exhibition, which I had just left, I went from Le Havre to Southampton on board /’Alliance, a very beautiful steamer with two chimneys, which I kept a vivid memory and an engraving. A ship just out of the hold that was already giving me wings and the desire to go to Asia to discover what I had seen at the Exhibition. Today it’s a new race against time, and the headwinds are making life difficult for us. The stories of English explorers read in London after my first meeting with Negretti come back to me. How excessive, rude and romantic they seemed to me at the time! » (mon premier voyage en bateau, quand tout émerveillé par les fastes de l’Exposition Universelle de Paris, que je venais de quitter, j’allais du Havre à Southampton à bord de /’Alliance, un très beau vapeur à deux cheminées dont j’ai gardé un vif souvenir et une gravure. Un navire à peine sorti de cale qui me donnait déjà des ailes et l’envie d’aller découvrir en Asie ce que j’avais entrevu à l’Exposition. Aujourd’hui c’est une nouvelle course contre la montre, et les vents contraires nous mènent la vie dure. Les récits des explorateurs anglais lus à Londres après ma première rencontre avec Negretti, me reviennent en mémoire. Combien ils me paraissaient alors excessifs, grossiers et romanesques! ).
He has a first meeting with Henry Negretti, who gave him the job and a list of books by English travellers and sailors to read.
Negretti and Zambra was a company that produced scientific (philosophical) and optical instruments and also operated a photographic studio based in London, England. Henry Negretti (1818–1879) and Joseph Zambra (1822–1897) formed a partnership in 1850, thereby founding the firm which would eventually be appointed opticians and scientific instrument makers to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and King Edward VII, the Royal Observatory and the British Admiralty. (Both Negretti and Zambra were born in Italy.)
When the Crystal Palace was re-erected in Sydenham in 1854, Negretti and Zambra became the official photographers of the Crystal Palace Company, which allowed them to photograph the interior and grounds of the new building. The firm made use of this access to produce a number of stereographs.