Edwin Herbert Land Facts

Edwin Herbert Land Facts
Edwin Herbert Land, ForMemRS, FRPS, Hon.MRI (May 7, 1909 to March 1, 1991) was an American scientist and inventor and co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation.
Interesting Edwin Herbert Land Facts:
Land was born to parents of Eastern European Jewish descent in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
He graduated from the Norwich Free Academy in 1927 and studied chemistry at Harvard for one year.
He moved to New York City where he invented the first inexpensive polarizing filters by sneaking into Columbia University at night to use their laboratory and equipment.
His breakthrough contribution was realizing that it wasn't necessary to grow a single large polarizing crystal because micron-sized crystals aligned on a film would produce the same effect.
In 1932 he established the Land-Wheelwright Laboratories with the partnership and financial backing of his Harvard physics instructor, George Wheelwright.
The company was renamed the Polaroid Corporation in 1937.
The work was on sheet filters but the scientific and commercial uses for polarizers became readily apparent.
During World War II he worked on many military projects including dark-adaptation goggles, target finders, passively guided smart bombs and the Vectograph which was used in aerial photography.
On February 1947 Land demonstrated an instant camera and film which was in commercial production by 1949.
Land was notorious for his single-minded focus during research projects; once wearing the same clothes for eighteen days while working on problems with the commercial production of polarizing film.
He continues his work on military projects and played a major role in the development of photographic reconnaissance and intelligence.
His projects included the Genetrix balloon borne camera, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory and the camera for the Lockheed U-2 spy plane.
In 1957 Harvard University awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Land made many of his management decisions based on what he felt was the right thing to do and from the earliest days of his career hired and trained women to be researchers.
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr his company was in the forefront of affirmative action.


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