Edwin Herbert Land
Born May 7 1909 - Died Mar 1 1991
Photographic Product Comprising a Rupturable Container Carrying a Photographic Processing Liquid
Patent Number(s) 2,543,181
Physicist, manufacturing executive, and inventor Edwin Herbert Land developed the first modern polarizers for light, a sequence of subsequent polarizers, and theories and practices for applications of polarized light.
Instant cameras are the most common use for Land’s polarizing filters, but this type of camera has declined with the rise of the digital camera. Originally, polarizing filters had varied military uses during WWII such as dark-developing goggles, target finders, and the Vectrograph. The Vectrograph used a stereoscopic viewing system to view the camoflauged positions of enemy combatants.
Land’s most popular use for polarizing filters was found in instant cameras and film. His Polaroid Land camera, sold between 1948 and 1953 was the first commercially successful self-developing camera. Land continued his breakthroughs in the 1970s with the development of instant color photography which resulted in the SX-70 film and camera.
Land’s polarizing filters also found use outside of cameras. They are used in 3D glasses and to control brightness through a window which is a necessary component of LCD lighting.
In 2008 Polaroid announced that they would cease production of all instant film. Many professional photographers use high-end instant cameras to test the lighting before using more expensive equipment for the real pictures, and police officers and fire investigators often use instant cameras because of the unalterable instant photo produced. This provided incontrovertible evidence.