The Inspiration Behind the Polaroid Breakthrough? An Impatient DaughterS

When most kids complain about something taking too long, their father's response isn't usually as generous as pioneering an innovation that spans the next half a century. But Edwin Land, creator of Polaroid, was not your average dad.

The Inspiration Behind the Polaroid Breakthrough? An Impatient DaughterS

Edwin Land was already an accomplished inventor by 1947, having created the first polarized camera filters (the same tech you find in your sunglasses), and founding Polaroid Corporation. But that year, his daughter wasn't satisfied with what he'd accomplished. Cameras were disappointing. Why'd it have to take so for film to develop? Why couldn't she see pictures now?

Edwin took his daughter's whining as motivation, and got to work trying to create an answer to his daughter's frustration—creating a light-sensitive material that acted as both film and photograph. Edwin's first instant film model, the Land Model 95 debuted in 1948, and employed a peel-away film that was (thankfully) replaced by the dry format we know now in 1972. The process skipped the wet mess of a darkroom, and granted almost-instant gratification to an impatient generation.