History of Polaroid
History of polaroid as we know it today began in 1924, when Harvard freshman Edvin H. Land left school to pursue his own research. In 1926 he patented first synthetic polarizer.The original idea behind instant camera was to create a camera that produces images immediately and is easy to use.
Early models of Polaroid roll film cameras required the use of a light meter to set the exposure setting on the lens. It took until integral film cameras arrival in 1970s for the original idea to be indeed fulfilled.
It was in 1948 that Edwin Land presented his first instant Land camera called the Model 95. In the decade that followed, Land cameras reached the wide use and huge commercial success.
The 60s Polaroid Model 20 Swinger became, and to this day remained, one of the best selling cameras in history of photography.
Depending of the type of film they use, Polaroid cameras can be divided into the categories.
First models, before 1963 used the roll film, instead of the separated sheets that will come in years to follow.Roll film consisted of two rolls; one positive and the othercontaining developing agent and negative. It was offered in three sizes, called 40, 30 and 20 series.
Pack film was the later version which needed to be taken out of the camera and needed manual peeling the positive off the negative sheet. Pack film was offered in two series, 100 series (rectangular) and 80 series (square).
Next generation of Polaroid cameras came in 1970s. Polaroid SX – 70 known better as the Time Zero was fully-automatic, motorized folding camera that produced instant prints. Year after it’s release, Polaroid produced five thousand pieces of Time Zero per day!
Time Zero used a square format integral film. Integral film was significant technological improvement that brought Polaroid even wider mass use and popularity. It was based on the ability of the film to integrate all the layers, while being exposed, developed and fixed within the minute time within the body of camera.
1980s brought the 600 series cameras. Using the 600 or Professional 779 films, models as Pronto, Sun 600, and One600 were able to produce photograph four times faster than SX – 70.
1990s models displayed the efforts of their designers to create more compact and less fragile Polaroid cameras. Polaroid Captiva was the ultra compact instant camera, best fitting the purposes of producing quick, yet quality portraits.
In 2009 Polaroid Company announced the withdrawal, and ended the production of all of their instant cameras and films. This event was in the media referred to as an end of an era in photographic history.
Two companies, Fuji and the Impossible Project stepped in and continued to produce films that fitted older Polaroid models, that way enabling Polaroid camera owners around the globe to continue using them.
Fuji even released the FujiInstax Mini camera with film that fitted. Branded asPolaroid, FujiInstax mini is still being produced in 2015. It produces bill-folded size photos.