ILFORD Orion Bromide Paper ~ 1941

Leon Bren has e-mailed from Australia to say he'd just (March 2013) purchased a "never-opened" tin of Ilford Orion bromide paper". The cost was $14.50 Australian (about UK £10). The tin contained 6 sheets of "extra hard" 24"x19" bromide paper.
"Occasionally I purchase such things - usually to find they are hopelessly fogged but occasionally they print up nicely. I am not optimistic but one never knows..... From the battered condition of the tin it looks like it has been sitting at the back of some shelf for fifty or more years."

After trying to estimate the date of the Orion paper, Leon reported "Looking at the (paddle steamer) logo, it most closely resembles the last one (1930+)."
"I opened the tin and, amazingly, the paper was very well wrapped in black paper with a wax paper covering that. There was a rather strange odour but the paper printed out beautifully - no sign of fogging and about the same speed as the current Multigrade. The tin is well made with wiped lead solder, so I guess it was a a quality product, probably made for export to India or somewhere like that. It contains a set of multi-language instructions for use (develop in ID-20)."

The 'date' footnote on the instructions read D.41. so Leon was able to declare the date of manufacture as being some time shortly after April 1941, which makes it 72 years old (currently its April 2013).
Leon suggests "Probably the packing was to some sort of military specification. The paper has a rather creamy texture and gives a print with a mild sepia tone. Although it is "extra hard" on the packet it seems about normal or softer (I'm told that papers soften as they age)."

See here for this story, as now featured on the Ilford Photo Community web page.



Original instructions, contained within the sealed tube of Orion Bromide paper.

The old forestry office at Creswick (Victoria, Australia) circa 1960
printed by Leon Bren onto 70-year-old Ilford “Orion” bromide.
Original photograph by the late R.D. Cowley.

This page last updated: 25th April 2013