Land, Edwin

Land, Edwin (Herbert)

(1909–91) inventor; born in Bridgeport, Conn. While an undergraduate at Harvard, he made discoveries in the field of polarized light. He organized the Polaroid Corporation in 1937, producing, among other items, sunglasses with polarized lenses. He also developed optical systems for military use during World War II. In 1947 he announced the invention of a photographic process and camera with which a complete photo could be produced within 60 seconds of exposure. Although he did original research on such fields as color vision, and held over 150 patents, he became most widely known for the giant commercial empire he built based on his original instant-photo camera.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.