Thoughtful Thursday History of the Polaroid Camera


Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Today pretty much every cell phone has a built in camera to snap a quick picture, freezing that special moment in time to cherish forever. I remember as a kid the long process of taking pictures, dropping the film off at the store and then having to wait that long, excruciating week to see how they turned out.

Then I remember the day dad brought home a Polaroid camera. It was the coolest thing ever! You could take a picture and the photo was ready in minutes, right in your hand. No long wait to get your photos developed, you knew instantly if you took a good shot. It was amazing!

The Polaroid camera was invented by Edwin H Land, an American scientist. The story goes while on vacation in 1944, Edwin had taken a picture of his 3 year old daughter. She asked him why she couldn’t see the picture he had just taken of her with his camera. So this amazing inventor came up with the camera design, film and chemistry in a single day! It did however, take three years before he was able to present his instant camera to the public for the first time.

In 1948, the Polaroid Land Model 95 camera (shown below) made it’s way to the American consumer. It was a monumental breakthrough in the history of photography. The original camera combined two rolls of film, a negative and positive plus some chemicals to create the images. Polaroid only manufactured 60 of these cameras at first and they sold out in a single day! The company completely underestimated the consumer’s demand for this new invention.

Polaroid Instant Cameras are still being made today and have improved a lot from the original 1948 version. There are 3 models including a smaller “Go Camera” which is compact and perfect for traveling.

I love photography and use my digital camera all the time but there’s something nostalgic about the Polaroid Instant Camera. So I think this year, I’ll have to put one of those on my wish list 😊

Hope you enjoyed this snippet of photography history today. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Photography is the beauty of life captured.” ~Tara Chisolm

Photo by Dagmara Dombrovska on