World’s First Instant Camera (Polaroid Land Camera) (Apr, 1947)
Camera Coughs Out Finished Prints
YOUR present camera performs only one of many stepsâ€”developing, fixing, printing, and so onâ€”involved in making a photograph. Edwin H. Land, 38-year-old president of the Polaroid Corporation, has invented a one-step process in which the camera does everything. With his camera, you snap the shutter and turn a knob; 60 seconds later you have a finished, dry print. The Land camera takes its pictures in the conventional way, but inside it, in addition to the film roll, there is a roll of positive paper with a pod of developing chemicals at the top of each frame. Turning the knob forces the exposed negative and the paper together through rollers, breaking the pod and spreading the reagents evenly between the two layers as they emerge from the rear of the camera. Clipped off, they can be peeled apart a minute later.
Ordinary chemicals are used, but the negative is not transparent and light is not required for printing. The unexposed portions of silver halide are transferred from the negative to form the positive image.
Land says that ordinary transparent film can be adapted to one-step photography, but he sees no need for it. If additional prints are desired, the easiest way is to make additional exposures. If necessary, the original print can be rephotographed.