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Marlow, E | Tailboard Camera | Tailboard | Half Plate

1889 Edward Marlow, named on this camera as E. Marlow, Birmingham, was established in 1866, at 28-30, Constitution Hill, as a photographic glass merchant, but began to manufacture unlabelled cameras, wholesale to the trade, in 1881. Brian Coe (in "Cameras" p.42), mentions a "Marlow's Detective Camera" of 1887, but it was not until 1889 that Edward Marlow was advertising as a camera maker with his own nameplate and a catalogue of three tailboard models, the "Special", the "Model" and the "Instanto". The example here has no model name marked, but is presumably one of those three. From about 1886, the general business had begun to have problems and by June 1893, Edward Marlow was declared bankrupt. After Edward's bankruptcy, the business was carried on by his sons, Edward Marlow Jnr. & Thomas Marlow, trading as Marlow Brothers, (MB, Marlbro), later (1901) taken over by Hurman Ltd. and ultimately (1904) by Kodak (London). With such a short production span, effectively 1889-1893, this camera must be very rare and I have never seen another with the E. Marlow label. It is now in "display only" condition, and although it had been dropped and damaged and was in pieces and missing its bellows when it came to me, I had to pay a high price at auction, as other bidders evidently recognised its rarity.

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