Instant photography already existed long before Edwin Land, the ingenious inventor and founder of Polaroid, went for a walk with his daughter in Santa Fe in 1943. ‘Why can’t I see the pictures now?’ she asked her father on the way home. But the photographic systems available at that time were really just ‘experimental portable darkrooms’ rather than truly ‘instant cameras’.
Only a few hours after his daughter’s question, Land got hold of a patent lawyer and by Christmas the first test versions of ‘Polaroids’ had been developed in the lab.
Land was an incredible visionary. He was not just researching an innovative film system. He was on the hunt for a completely new tool for life. The best comparison is with Steve Jobs, who often mentioned Land as one of his most important role models.