21 Feb 1947. Have you ever used a Polaroid camera? The portable device allows you to snap a photo, which is then printed straight out of the camera itself in seconds. This is all thanks to the work of Edwin Herbert Land. It was 1943 when his three-year-old daughter had asked him why she couldn’t see a photo he had taken of her right away. Inspired, Land ended up creating a system of one-step photography: A camera that instantly printed photographs the moment they were captured.
Land was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on May 7, 1909, and attended the Norwich Free Academy, graduating in 1927. Following high school, he attended Harvard University where he conceived and produced the first modern filters to polarize light, patented in 1929. But it was through his Polaroid Corporation (founded in 1937) that Land was immortalized, for his invention and marketing of instant photography.