Land Demonstrates the Polaroid Camera (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: When Edwin Land invented his instant-print camera, he reinvented photography itself, altered a major industry, and astounded the scientific community.
Summary of Event
On February 21, 1947, at the annual meeting of the Optical Society of America in New York City’s Hotel Pennsylvania, Edwin Land held the first public demonstration of his instant-print camera. This first demonstration of instant photography was made with a large Deardorff portrait camera on a tripod, flanked by floodlights. Land sat in front of the camera and, using a cable release, snapped his own picture. Fifty seconds later, he removed two 8-x-10-inch sheets of paper from a metal chamber attached to the back of the camera, peeled them apart, and displayed a large sepia image of himself. The society’s program declared that this demonstration was a new kind of photography, as revolutionary as the transition from wet plates to daylight-loading film. To counter any suggestion that his black-and-white system might be old-fashioned, Land himself proclaimed that the process could be adapted to both color and motion pictures.
Even though Land explained that the new instant camera, to be called the Polaroid Land camera, would not be available for sale for some months, the technical community was astounded by his scientific virtuosity. The public was immediately informed of the new development, which was reported in newspapers...
(The entire section is 2357 words.)
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