Marion & Co. Ltd 12×10 View Camera

Last year, after a patient search, I bought a 12×10 view camera. It needed a bit of a fix up before it could be used – it was rather stiff, needed a ground glass, and some other repairs to the woodwork including attention to the large crack on the base board.

Marion & Co. Ltd 12x10 View Camera

And here it is with Abi next to it for scale.
Marion and Abi

It’s a lovely camera made by Marion & Co. Ltd sometime between 1901 to 1913.

Thanks to the great resource at Early Photography I was able to narrow down the manufactured date from the name plate using a combination of the name and address at the time of the build.

Marion Name Plate

Changing the company name and moving addresses was very helpful 🙂

Company Name
Marion & Co. Ltd 1901 – 1921
Marion & Co. 1867 – 1901
Auguste Marion Son & Co. 1863 – 1867 Sometimes shown as A. Marion Son & Co.
Marion & Co. 1848 – 1863 Sometimes shown as A. Marion & Co. and Auguste Marion & Co.
Augustin Marion & Co. c.1846
Augustin Marion c.1842 – c.1846
Company Address
3 Soho Sq., London W 1913 – 1921 South east corner of square
22 & 23 Soho Sq., London W c.1866 – 1913
23 Soho Sq., London W 1863 – c.1866
32 Bread St., London c.1848
152 Regent St., London c.1846 – c.1866 W postal district from 1857
19 Mortimer St., London 1842 – c.1846

The crack in the base plate looks severe but it still feels fairly solid. I’ll have a blog post soon about how I made a modern tripod mount for Marion that prevented the crack from getting worse.

Crack in Base of Marion

I checked the bellows carefully in a dark room with a bright light source and it appears to be perfectly light tight!


To get Marion moving more freely and to help the plate holders slide in and out I used some fantastic Renaissance Wax – highly recommended for many purposes!


Lots more to do before it’s in full working order. More posts on that soon…

5 Responses

  1. Dora Capsalis

    I have several plates and lenses made by Marion & Co 22 & 23 Soho Square London similar to the above. I can supply photos if you are interested.

    Your kind reply would be appreciated.

    Dora Capsalis

  2. Patrick

    I just picked up a Marion and company camera at the dump..the wood seems in fantastic shape. It was in a box full of cameras…old cameras. I don’t quite know what to do with it now but I sure as hell wasn’t gonna let it die in the dump. If you have any thoughts or ideas please let me know. My email is my name is Patrick Stiff…in case the email seems weird. Lol. I also got a polaroid J66 land camera which is also super neat. I may look into donating it to a local museum or ask around to my photographer friends and see what they say.

    • James

      Hi Patrick, that’s brilliant that you were able to save the Marion & Co camera, I’m so glad you did. It certainly deserves much better than the dump. I hope you find a good home for it and the other cameras, I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding photographers who would be interested in giving these a new lease of life.

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