When Polaroid Changed Photography

Edwin Land unveiled the world's first instant camera to the Optical Society of America on 21st February, 1947.

Snapping a quick black-and-white selfie, Land astonished onlookers as the image emerged within 60 seconds. Despite its initial high price and complex development process, Polaroid cameras became a sensation, selling out on their first day of release in 1948. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Land's inspiration came during a family vacation; consider why Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have looked to Land for inspiration ever since; and recall Polaroid’s disastrous pivot into ‘instant movies’, Polavision, in 1977…

Further Reading:

• ‘Inside the company that gave the world instant photography’ (FT, 2017): https://www.ft.com/content/d76d5f44-5088-11e7-bfb8-997009366969

• ‘Instant - The Story of Polaroid, By Christopher Bonanos’ (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Instant/VgyuGmMZ7iIC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Instant:+A+Cultural+History+of+Polaroid+by+Christopher+Bonanos&printsec=frontcover

• ‘Apple & Polaroid's Intertwined Legacy’ (In An Instant, 2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOzdMkMMpR0

Love the show? Join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!

Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.

Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!

We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors

The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Ollie Peart.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2023.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.