National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day March 1 – Edwin Land

0 Comments 01 March 2012


It’s a bitter sweet story today. It has to do with the rise and fall of an American Enterprise, obsolescence, and the worldly mystique held by a child.

Polaroid was a household name for 5 decades. Hell, it still is. It started in 1937 making polarized lenses for scientific and military applications, and introduced its first instant camera in 1948. The company was founded by Edwin Land – a two time Harvard drop out.

Land was given the idea for the instant camera while vacationing in New Mexico. He was touring around a quaint mountain city taking pictures when his 5 year old daughter mused “why can’t we see the picture right when you take it”. The brilliant physicist, chemist and overall inventor wandered around the town aimlessly for the next hour or so until he had worked out the beginnings of the modern day instant camera. Goddam kids eh?

Sadly Polaroid, which has recently concentrated on digital cameras and printers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001 and was acquired by a private investment company in 2005. The old makes way for the new and we all wind up as dust…..American dust.

At least Andre 3000 gives us one bright spot.

Somewhat half-heartedly…..lets get on with it.

Edwin H. Land Is Dead at 81; Inventor of Polaroid Camera

Edwin H. Land, whose invention of an instant camera changed the picture-taking habits of millions of people around the world, died yesterday in a hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He was 81 years old and lived in Cambridge.

For decades, as head of the Polaroid Corporation, Dr. Land provided the ideas and impetus for a long line of innovative photographic products.

The family declined to disclose the cause of death. Continue

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