Polaroid: the brand story
Among our readers there is hardly a person who has not heard about the POLAROID. However, not everyone knows what an interesting and thorny path did the company on the path to success. Today we want to tell you the story of this outstanding brand.
Polaroid Corporation was famous for optics and cameras that instantly print pictures. Polaroid is the brainchild of Edwin land, the native of emigrated to the United States Russian family. He was born in 1909 in Connecticut Bridgeport. As a child, Edwin was captured optical physics, a large portion of his time was occupied with experiments with lenses, viewers and light. In school he was a diligent student, showing particular interest in the natural Sciences. Due to this, in 1926, its doors opened for him Harvard. However, a few months land made the decision to leave the University, reasonably believing that is ready for their own scientific achievements. Three years later, our hero receives a patent for polarizing filters and triumphantly returned to Harvard. At the University the young scientist has been provided by a private laboratory. It was there that the invention was born with the name Polaroid, the first polarizing material for commercial use. In 1935, went on sale first sunglasses was developed by Edwin lenses. The result of the works land is still true is the main material for making sunglasses lenses, fatalis and screens. The inventor has conducted workshops on light polarization, but in the commercial side of the inventions he was interested in more than academic, especially when his work became interested in these «monsters,» as General Electric and Eastman Kodak. Edwin founded the Land-Wheelwright, just to get in the customers of KODAK and sold the production license sunglasses American optical society. In 1937, thanks to the proceeds the company Land-Wheelwright turns to POLAROID CORPORATION. A completely new market of sunglasses, the name POLAROID has become a well-known brand. The company’s profit exceeded 140 thousand dollars.
A powerful impetus to the development of the Corporation in the form of 7 million dollars gave the United States government, which has allocated these funds for the orders of the army. Polaroid produced binoculars, night vision devices, devices for reconnaissance during the Second World war and became the supplier of special optics for the air force.
The key event occurred in 1947, Edwin Land introduced the first camera that does snapshots. Say, the idea of creating such a miracle of technology he owes his daughter, who at a very young age asked: «And why is the camera not immediately appear pictures?» Thanks to the film, rolled between the rollers, and reagents, instantly tanning on paper, this idea was implemented. A year later, the camera appeared in the mass market at a price accessible to the middle class, making it even more attractive. However, the pictures themselves costly because of the magazines with the photo paper, which are integrated into the camera.
The first fully automated camera Polaroid SX-70 Land appeared only in 1972 and gained immense popularity. Shares of POLAROID CORPORATION jumped to 90 times, and she was included in the list most favorable for investment companies.
Just the history of the company, Edwin Land made two mistakes. By the end of the 70’s Polaroid decided to again surprise the world by releasing a device for video recording with instant playback «Polavision». But, unfortunately, to repeat the success of the camera, he was not destined. Rollers was a bit too short and without sound and on the background of already existing systems for video playback to stand out couldn’t. At the same time appeared the main competitor of cameras land camera for snapshots from Kodak, the giant in this industry. Edwin Land decided to take the blow and responded with the claim for patent infringement. After a long 10 years, Polaroid won and Kodak had to pay Polaroid $ 600 million. Later, Kodak went out of the game, its development in the field of instant photo could not catch up with raced off ahead of the locomotive «Polaroid». The failure to «Polavision» too much influenced by Edwin: he decided to leave the post of President of the Polaroid Corporation, sold all he owned shares, and to observe the life of the company.
After the situation with Kodak and other manufacturers of photographic equipment began to produce their own Polaroid-compatible model that works with tapes Polaroid. Except Konica, Minolta, Fuji, illegal Chinese «know-Naumov», production cameras instant the shooting started in the USSR. There were two «clone» of the Polaroid, compatible with original photographs, and later came to light cameras Polaroid 635 CL Polaroid 636 Closeup and joint production enterprises Svetozor and Polaroid.
In the early 90s, the company Edwin land made the second and fatal mistake. It was decided not to engage in the production of digital cameras, although their prototypes in the Polaroid was already in the 80’s. the Story is like the story of Colonel Colt, who rejected the idea of an employee to produce revolvers with a through the reels, because of life and not knowing about the brilliant success of the company Smith & Wesson, at the time he bought this patent.
In the early 2000s in the face of fierce competition in the photographic equipment market began the bankruptcy of the company, and Polaroid started «breaking bad», releasing their TVs and DVD players, passing from one owner to another.
The year 2009 marked the second bankruptcy, but the company managed to stay afloat. After a year, the creative Director and face of the company was appointed by… guess who? I bet you didn’t guess – the Queen of outrageous Lady Gaga, which Polaroid has signed a contract and launched a new line of electronics Grey Label. Under this brand was released cameras, glasses, camera and portable printers with its design. Don’t know that you finished school marketing CEO Jamie Salter, but he reasonably believed that such a move will bring back excitement to the company’s products, and perhaps succeeded. The company now continues to produce and develop new models of pocket photo printer, digital cameras with instant print and action cameras.
It is worth noting that separated in time, the company Polaroid Eyewear previously successfully engaged in sunglasses and corrective vision optics and belongs to the Italian group of companies SAFILO.