Polaroid was founded by Edwin Land in 1937 as an icon of innovation and engineering. The company first produced ski goggles and 3D glasses for the US Army and Navy. It wasn’t until 1943 when Land’s daughter asked why she couldn’t see a photograph of herself immediately that the idea for the instant camera was born. In 1947 it became a reality with the first ever instant camera.
It was the introduction of the breakthrough Polaroid SX-70 camera in 1972 that launched instant photography.
As we know it today, followed by landmark innovations such as the original OneStep, instant color film; and the Polaroid 600 and Spectra cameras and film formats.
Polaroid cameras went on to inspire artists such as Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Maripol, Keith Haring, and Guy Bourdin who raised the brand to the status of a cultural icon.
In the 1990s and 2000s, the swift rise of digital technology eclipsed instant photography and Polaroid announced the end of instant film production in 2008. But that was short-lived; a dedicated group of instant photography fans under the name ‘The Impossible Project’ saved the last Polaroid factory in the Netherlands. Since then, they have been the only people in the world making film for vintage Polaroid cameras.
In 2017, The Impossible Project re-launched as Polaroid Originals: a brand dedicated exclusively to Polaroid’s original analog instant photography products. Bringing analog instant photography back under the Polaroid umbrella was a significant milestone, but it was not the end of the journey. In March 2020, Polaroid took the next step and became one brand, with the one name: Polaroid.
Today, Polaroid has analog instant photography at its core and represents the brand that people all over the world came to know and love for over 80 years. By unifying its entire product portfolio under one name, Polaroid is setting out its new vision as a global brand that will continue to create products that bring people together in human and meaningful ways.