Dr. Edwin Herbert Land

Dr. Edwin Herbert Land


Inductee Sponsor: Polaroid Corporation


Edwin Herbert Land was an American physicist and inventor credited with introducing the Polaroid Land Camera. Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he entered Harvard University in 1926. While there, he became interested in polarized light (light oriented in a plane with respect to the source). He took a leave of absence from college and developed a new kind of polarizer, which he called Polaroid, by aligning and embedding crystals in a plastic sheet.

Land returned to Harvard at the age of 19 but left again in his senior year to found a laboratory nearby. Joined by other young scientists, he applied the polarizing principle to light filters, optical devices, and motion picture processes.In 1937 the group became the Polaroid Corporation with Land as president and head of research. During World War II the corporation turned to military tasks, inventing infrared filters, dark-adaptation goggles, and target finders. In the late 1940s the Polaroid Corporation introduced the first model of its most successful product, the self-developing Polaroid Land camera; it also put out a microscope for viewing living cells in natural color. For his contributions to the fields of polarized light, photography, and color perception, Land received numerous awards and honorary degrees.


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