Today in History: Polaroid introduces the instant camera in 1947

60 years ago today, Polaroid founder Edwin Land first demonstrated the instant camera at a meeting of the Optical Society of America in New York City.The American scientist got his idea while vacationing in Mexico in 1944 when he introduced his daughter Jennifer to the basic principles of photography. Inspired by his daughter’s question why the images taken with the camera could not be seen immediately, Land spent his remaining vacation working on a preliminary design and concept for an instant camera. Although dismissed by most of his peers as a gimmick, the first Polaroid camera hit the market only one year later in  November of 1948. By 1956, Polaroid had sold one million instant cameras. Today, that number has grown to over 165 million.

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