Vintage Polaroid Cameras: History and curiosities

Vintage polaroid cameras

For those of you who have only tried digital photography, you may not understand the thrill of taking a picture and holding it in your hands a few seconds later. Who was the first to do it? The daughter of Edwin Herbert Land, inventor of instant photography.

A bit of history

In the 1930s, Edwin Herbert Land became the inventor of the polarizing filter. Already at that time, Kodak and Agfa were leading the photography market and advancing their most innovative models. However, it was unimaginable that anyone could develop the photos at home, so they had to wait a long time to see their work. Later, Kodak launched an alternative to return prints, but the cost was so high that it did not convince others. In fact, many people gave up photography as a hobby for this very reason.

One of these people was the daughter of chemist Edwin Herbert Land. As the story goes, it was she who told her father that she did not like having to wait to see pictures. After several years of research, Edwin’s company, called Polaroid, brought the first instant camera to market in 1948.

The golden centuries of Polaroid

Polaroid’s first model was the Land Camera Model 95. The starting price was $89.75. In addition to being priced through the roof, they only made 60 units. It was very difficult to enter the market when Kodak and Agfa were the only competitors.

However, the invention was much more successful than expected. They sold the 60 units, finished with the stock and, motivated by the success, started to produce more units.

In 1963 they were crowned. The Polaroid company launched its Polacolor model that allowed color snapshots. It was their star product.

We arrived at the time of the 70s and 80s, where the fashion of the moment was to have a Polaroid. People were amazed with a camera that allowed them to see the results of the photograph a few minutes after taking it.

After the advent of digital cameras, the return to polaroid cameras has been seen as a return to the past and has become a vintage icon.

The excitement and magic of taking a photo and seeing it printed on paper is something exceptional. Physical photos allow you to collect, gift and remember special and unique moments.

You may know that the artist Andy Warhol took photos of all his fellow actors, singers and even politicians throughout his career. On the Internet you can find more than 60 photos that were exhibited at the Bastian Gallery in London.

But what happened to Polaroid?

It turns out that Polaroid experienced two bankruptcies in less than 7 years. The first one it was able to overcome, but after coming out ahead, no one could believe that this company was accused of fraud by the U.S. authorities. After Steve Jobs presented his iPhone to the world, the situation couldn’t get any worse.

Just when all was lost, three entrepreneurs decided to invest the necessary capital to save Polaroid and founded their own company called: Impossible Project. To this day, Polaroid is still in business. Some consider the price of the films to be expensive and the quality to be inferior to the old ones. At the same time, it seems that in the world of photography, instant cameras are back and in good health.

The camera company Fuji went for this vintage style of camera several years ago. In fact, you can see that on Amazon, instant film is selling like hotcakes. Despite being a bit smaller than Polaroid, the colors and the result are very similar.

As you can see, Polaroid cameras have had a long history over the years and have marked several generations. And you, have you ever taken a picture with a Polaroid camera?

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