Polaroid Cameras

Written by James Lyons
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Polaroid cameras are the "apple pie" of cameras. Polaroid cameras have been making their way into households all over the world for decades. The ability to take a picture and enjoy it instantly is a metaphor for this country. Polaroid cameras are a symbol of American consumer behavior--great quality right now. Unlike most products, Polaroid cameras have endured the test of time.

Edwin Herbert Land is responsible for this American marvel. When he was a freshman at Harvard University, he developed an interest in polarized light. With this newfound interest, Land decided to take a leave of absence from Harvard University to develop a new type of Polarizer which he eventually named Polaroid. This set off a chain of events that eventually led to one of the most successful companies in business history.

History of Polaroid Cameras

At the age of 19, Edwin Herbert Land returned to Harvard University. Unable to stay away from his passion and creation, Land left Harvard again in his senior year to start a laboratory. Land partnered with other open-minded young scientists, and they collectively applied the polarizing principle to optical devices, light filters, and motion picture processes.

The Polaroid Corporation was subsequently founded in 1937. Land functioned as the president and head of research. The Polaroid Corporation did more than create Polaroid cameras. During World War II, the corporation significantly aided the U.S. military by inventing dark-adaptation goggles, infrared filters, and target finders. In the late 1940s, the Polaroid Corporation introduced the first model of one of history's most successful products, the Polaroid Land camera.


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