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Our history


EDWARD MARCUS     Born 1902.   Died 1981.


One of six children.  The family could afford to educate only the older brother Maurice who became a doctor.    Edward decided to become an ophthalmic optician, and paid for his daytime studies by playing piano in local dance bands in evenings and weekends.  This was in the East End of London in the 20s and he played with bands later to become famous like Harry Leader and Joe Loss.


His first practice was in Hackney Road, in Bethnal Green, moving later to 49 Green Street (now called Roman  Road).  His was a reserved occupation during the war and he did fire warden duties, taking his turn on the roof of 49 Green Street and in the roads in Leytonstone.  At the end of the war he then opened another practice in the City of London at 38 Queen Victoria Street.


 When the Atlee government & Nye Bevan were planning the  National Health Service and the public were promised free eye examinations and spectacles, patients were not forthcoming, awaiting the time when they would be free.  At this time he tried to make the practice pay by selling magnifiers, and then binoculars, bought at auctions of ex-service instruments, and barometers, barographs, etc.  For some while this was the primary London business for binoculars, well-known racing commentators. etc. becoming customers.  He than began to import binoculars (eg. From Beck of Kassel,) and bought magnifiers from German and British companies.


After he died and the lease ran out at Queen Victoria Street, his son Derek opened his optometry practice (Marcus Partners) in Goswell Road.  For a while he opened a shop in Ludgate Circus for the sale of magnifiers etc.under the name of Edward Marcus Ltd. which was staffed by shop assistant Conor Rainsford.   Later when this premises closed this was run from the basement in the  Goswell Road practice.


When that lease ran out in 1998  Derek decided to retire and the magnifier business passed to his son Roger in Tideswell, Derbyshire.


From this point on we have continued to supply magnifiers, lighting and low vision aids, our small team headed up by our Director Simon Auty still work alongside Edward’s grandson Roger.


Now based in our shop and office in Woodlands, Doncaster the opportunity exists for our wholesale and retail customers alike to visit and find out about our products.


During the Coronavirus lockdown in 2020 we decided to extend our shop at Woodlands, Doncaster to utilise the space we had by selling products to help people reduce their single use plastic.​

We have personally been using all the eco friendly products we stock for over a year and thought it would be great to open a shop supplying a range of these products, as we were struggling to find anywhere local where we could buy them from.


Adverts from 1967