Edwin Herbert Land: The Inventor Who Co-Founded Polaroid Corporation and Developed Instant Photography

In 1946, Edwin Herbert Land co-founded the Polaroid Corporation and developed instant photography, revolutionizing the industry. An inventor, scientist and businessman, Edwin Herbert Land is best known for his inventions, which included polarizers, polarizing sunglasses, and the Easy Battery. He was honored several times in his lifetime, including receiving the 1991 National Medal of Science and being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This article will explore Land’s life and accomplishments, including his groundbreaking inventions and his role in founding Polaroid Corporation.

Early Life and Education of Edwin Herbert Land

Edwin Herbert Land was born on May 7, 1909 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was the eldest of three children and was raised by his mother, Mary Ann, who worked full-time as a librarian to support her family. As a child, Edwin had a deep interest in science, a passion which was encouraged by his mother and mentor.

Land received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1927, graduating with honors. He then spent two years at Harvard studying organic chemistry before transferring to New York University and earning his first advanced degree. After graduating, Land went on to pursue his PhD at Harvard in organic chemistry and became the youngest person to hold the title at the time.

Inventions of Edwin Herbert Land

Throughout his lifetime, Edwin Herbert Land was responsible for a number of groundbreaking inventions. One of his earliest inventions, the Land Polarizer, was developed in 1929 while Land was working at the Harvard Physical Laboratories. The Land Polarizer revolutionized and improved telescopes, binoculars and medical instruments. This invention is still used today in scientific research and everyday applications like sunglasses, colored filters and LCD screens.

In 1932, Land and his colleague George Wheelwright founded the Land-Wheelwright Laboratories, which later became the Polaroid Corporation. Land made his next invention, the Land Polaroid filters, that same year. The filters were designed to reduce glare from bright sunrays and improve the clarity of photographs.

In addition to his inventions, Land also developed several scientific technologies, including a process for polarized light, sensitive color photography and the first successful production of instant color prints. He also created and developed the One Instant camera, which used the Polaroid film and was a precursor for digital cameras.

Legacy of Edwin Herbert Land

Despite his untimely death in 1991, Edwin Herbert Land left behind a lasting legacy. During his lifetime, he was often recognized for his contributions and achievements, including receiving the National Medal of Science in 1991 and being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997. His inventions are still widely used in everyday technology, and the Polaroid Corporation has gone on to become a globally recognized brand.

 Edwin Herbert Land was a brilliant inventor and scientist who made major contributions to the world of photography. His inventions revolutionized the photography industry and provided the foundation for the development of digital cameras. Through his efforts, Land changed the way we capture memories and created products which are still widely used today.