Know the history of the Polaroid Land Camera

Polaroid Land Camera is one of the easiest cameras to use and millions of units have been sold worldwide. The two main people responsible for this success are Edwin Land (inventor and founder of Polaroid) and Paul Giambarba (the identity brand designer).

Edwin Land

Polarizing filters

Edwin Land, researches polarizing light filters.

In 1929 at the age of 20 he registered his first patent application. The process of polarization—removing glare from bright light—had until then always required large pieces of crystal rock. Land developed a process to manufacture synthetic material to polarize light, successfully embedding and lining up tiny crystals into a thin plastic sheet.

In 1937 he founded Polaroid Corporation, with the official announcement of the invention of polarizing discs for use in the field of optics. The symbol of these two interlaced polarizing discs will be the Polaroid logo until 1958.

Polaroid produces sun glasses, ski goggles, 3D glasses, and dark-adapter goggles for the Army and Navy. During the Second World War, Polaroid concentrated its efforts and research on products with military applications.

Instant photography

The legend says that his 3-year-old daughter asked him why she couldn't see the picture he had just taken of her.

In 1947, Edwin H. Land announced his invention of the instant picture process, the first one-step dry process for producing finished photographs within one minute of taking the picture at a meeting of the Optical Society of America on February 21.

The next year, on November 26 of 1948, the first camera, the Model 95, was sold for $89.95 at the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston, Massachusetts. It was sold type 40 film, which was sepia monochrome roll film.

In 1950, sales exceeded 23 million dollars with over 4000 dealers across the United States. Polaroid expanded its offices in Cambridge and opened a factory in Waltham.

Automatic Land cameras

Named after their inventor Edwin Land, Land Cameras would go on to be a successful line of cameras.

It was the first fully automatic exposure camera and the first camera to utilize a new format of instant film, known as pack film.

The Model 100 was sold from 1963 to 1966 and retailed for a retail price of $164.95

TThis model would go on to become the basis of other pack film cameras produced by Polaroid. All cameras in the 100, 200, 300, and 400 series had similar functionality, but varied in their feature set to establish different price points. In 1976, sales of Polaroid cameras exceeded 6 million units.

Type 100 Packfilm

Polaroid introduced the first instant color film in 1963 the same time as the Automatic Land cameras

These firsts film type are the Type 107 in black and white and the type 108 color film, each pack of film contained eight exposures but this was later increased to ten.

The type of packfilm produce a 8,5cm x 10,8cm (3 ¼ x 4 ¼ in.) and the image size is 7,3cm x 9,5cm (2.88 x 3.75 in.).

Paul Giambarba


Identity of Polaroid

Paul Giambarba, illustrator, cartoonist and caricaturist became designer and art director for Polaroid.

In 1958 the company decided to hire freelance designer Paul Giambarba with a view to revitalizing the brand. This was the start of a relationship that was to last twenty-five years—Giambarba changed the face of Polaroid. He was responsible for creating packaging for films, cameras and accessories.

Giambarba's first initiative was to transform the logo into an uppercase News Gothic typography, and his second was to give the company's shelf distinction by way of black end panels, which were easily discernible in its TV spots (which were in black and white). This rebranding lent Polaroid some design credibility.

His innovative black packaging successfully subdued the dominance of Kodak yellow at point-of-purchase and spawned a vogue of black packaging within the industry.

Color stripes

The rainbow color stripes, the new brand identity of Polaroid products.

The original color stripes were to differentiate between the new Type 108 Colorpack Film and the gray color stripes that identified Type 107 black and white film.

These stripes along with variations later became the identity of Polaroid over the next several decades. Hundreds of Polaroid packages and marketing materials were designed by Paul Giambarba.

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