The Story of Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land

It’s a shame that Polaroid went out of business and is now just a shell of its former self.  However, 37 Signals take a brief look at the life of company founder Edwin Land.

So just who was Edwin Land? The instant camera made him famous, but he invented much more than that.

I love these two bits:

One of Polaroid’s biggest fans was photographer Ansel Adams. “Many of my most successful photographs from the 1950’s onward have been made on Polaroid film,” he wrote. “One look at the tonal quality of the print I have achieved should convince the uninitiated of the truly superior quality of Polaroid film.” Adams also became a consultant to Land and tested new films and products for Polaroid for over 35 years.

Land wound up second only to Thomas Edison in the number of patents he received (535). As a scientist, he developed a new theory of color vision. During the cold war, he served as a science advisor to Eisenhower and spearheaded the development of the U-2 spy plane and NASA. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom — the highest honor granted to civilians in the U.S.

If I had one complaint, it’s that the story of Edwin Land, as it relates to 37 Signals is through a comparison to Steve Jobs.  But I have a feeling that Jobs himself would say that Land’s vision and accomplishments could stand on his own giant feet.  [via df]

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