Strictly analogue: Polaroid’s past, present & future – a photo essay

Strictly analogue: Polaroid’s past, present & future – a photo essay

Guardian photographer Christian Sinibaldi tours the world’s last Polaroid film factory, in the Netherlands, the only remaining factory still making film for the much-loved instant cameras.’

The Polaroid Corporation was launched in 1937 becoming a touchstone for American innovation and engineering prowess. It was the brainchild of scientist and inventor Edwin Land and his Harvard tutor George Wheelwright and at first made the plastic for polarising sunglasses. In time, it was to create and popularise instant photography, launching a seriesof pioneering cameras and film formats. These inspired generations of artists, including Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Robert MapplethorpeMaripol, Keith Haring and Guy Bourdin. They helped to raise Polaroid to the status of cultural icon.

In 1943, Land’s three-year-old daughter asked her father why she couldn’t immediately see the photograph he had just taken of her. His first instant camera went on sale for $89.95 in 1948, and became the the template for Polaroidcameras for the next 15 years.

Photo essay can be seen here.


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David Tatnall is an Australian fine art photographer & editor of View Camera Australia.

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