Where was the Polaroid Camera Invented?

Where was the Polaroid Camera Invented? image by Karen Browning
Where was the Polaroid Camera Invented? image by Karen Browning


Edwin Land invented the instant camera and founded the Polaroid Company in the 1930s in Massachusetts.

Early History

Edwin Land invented the light polarizing process while he was a student at Harvard. He partnered with George Wheelwright III, a physics professor at Harvard, to form the Land-Wheelwright Laboratories in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, where they developed and sold polarized lenses for eyeglasses, cameras and car headlights. Kodak was their first big client, ordering 10,000 polarized lenses from Land-Wheelwright in 1934.

Founding of Polaroid Company

Land founded the Polaroid Company in 1937. During the early 1940s, the company developed 3-D film technology and several devices used in the war effort.

Where was the Polaroid Camera Invented?

Instant Camera

While on Christmas vacation, Land's young daughter asked why she couldn't see the photos they took that morning. The inventor answered by designing the instant camera. By 1948, the camera and instant developing process were complete, and the first Polaroid Land camera was marketed to consumers.

Polaroid Cameras

The instant process that Land developed allowed a photograph to develop in 60 seconds to produce at 3 1/4-by-4 1/4 print within the camera. The company made $5 million on the cameras in 1949 and went on to sell millions of instant cameras in the following decades.

Demise of the Instant Film Camera

Polaroid introduced its first digital camera in 1996 and, as digital cameras took over the popular market, phased out the production of instant film cameras and film in the early 2000s. Polaroid devotees and amateur photographers around the world continue to use the medium though, and Polaroid groups on the web have thousands of members.


  • Polaroid Brand History
  • Polaroid History at Funding Universe
  • Polaroid Instant Film Notification

Who Can Help

  • Polaroid Group on Flickr

About this Author

Karen Browning is a freelancer who provides content writing, grant writing, editing and research services to a variety of clients. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in American Studies. She loves to research and write about history, yoga, education, travel, technology and food. She has been writing for more than 15 years.

Photo by: Karen Browning

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