As you take a picture of the kids they say “LEMMESEE” and look at the photo of themselves on your phone, then say ooh! or ugh!
In 1944 a three year old girl apparently said that to her Dad and he had to explain the film would first have to be sent away to the lab when they got back home from their holiday and then the lab would develop it and send it back to them and only THEN could she see the pic he had taken of her. She thought that completely unreasonable and so her Dad set to work and in 1948 the first Land Polaroid cameras went on sale. His name was Edwin Land and his Polaroid Corporation became very famous indeed. Instant pictures in 1948 looked like a miracle, like the fax did forty years later.
Some of you will remember those cameras:
I first got to use a Polaroid camera in 1973 when – in my quest to do as little schoolwork as possible – I was kindly allowed onto the Annual Staff of Apache High School where our job was to be amateur reporters and amateur fund-raisers and to cobble together this school annual under the wonderful friendly guidance of our teacher Virginia Darnell.
We had old cameras with bellows and a newer version.
So why am I not a millionaire? Because everyone knows Polaroid went bust as newer technology came out and nowadays there’s absolutely no need for paper photos when you have all your digital photos instantly viewable and always available on your camera. Everyone KNOWS that.
Except – – – this:
Seems kids still want to hold a paper copy of their image in their hand. Last year Polaroid launched new instant cameras which look very retro-similar to the ‘new’ ones we used in the seventies! My predictions on new stuff that eventually ‘went viral’ has usually been ‘hmph! that’ll never take off!’
Time will tell if paper photos make a comeback.
Thanks to fellow optometrist Ann Elsner, Professor of Optometry at Indiana University for a lovely article on Polaroid’s 70th anniversary 1948 – 2018.