Back to all articles

The History of Polaroids

When scientist and inventor Edwin Land took a vacation photo of his 3-year-old, she asked why she couldn’t see it right away. Inspired by his daughter’s question, Edwin Land worked with Polaroid to create the Polaroid Land Model 95 camera in 1948. The original model used two separate positive and negative rolls to enable the photo to be developed inside the camera. When the first run of 60 cameras sold out the first day, it was clear that a phenomenon had been born! Further innovations by Land and Polaroid led to the integral film model, which featured a film envelope with different layers to expose, develop, and fix the photograph. Polaroid instant cameras continued to be popular in the following decades, but in 2001, the company filed for bankruptcy after failing to adapt to the digital age. However, film for old Polaroid cameras is now manufactured by a company called The Impossible Project. Additionally, Fujifilm’s instant cameras, the Instax Wide and Instax Mini, continue to be manufactured and have carried the tradition of instant photography into the 21st century.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.