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Edwin Herbert Land was born in a small town in New England to parents who didn’t have a lot of money. Even though neither of his parents went to college, Land started learning about optics and how light is polarized at a young age. After going to a good high school and graduating, he went to a good college for a short time before dropping out to work on a business project. He kept working on his research into how light can be polarized, and in the end, it was so good that his old professors invited him back to continue his research. Edwin worked hard for several years to perfect a way to make polarized sheets in an industrial setting. When big Wall Street businessmen saw how Herbert’s ideas could work, they helped him start one of the most successful companies in American history. He kept working as a scientist for the company and helped make the first ever instant camera. During the war, Edwin also worked with the military to improve ways of spying and taking pictures from far away. Herbert worked for more than 40 years to improve and develop optics. When he retired, he started his own research center. This famous inventor died of natural causes after a long life and a successful career. He was praised by the public as a scientific and business genius.

Early years and childhood

Edwin Herbert Land was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on May 7, 1909. His mother was Martha Land, and his father, Harry Land, ran a scrap metal yard.
Edwin went to Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, Connecticut, when he was a young man. He graduated in 1927.

Edwin Land’s Career

The land got into Harvard University in 1926 and studied chemistry there. After two months, he quit school because he wanted to start a business based on the way polarized light works.
He first learned about optics at the “New York Public Library” and did his own experiments in a Columbia University basement lab.

In 1929, he went back to Harvard, where he had worked to get his own lab from the head of the physics department. Edwin’s job was to improve a sheet polarizer that is used in industrial production.

George Wheelright, who had taught Land physics at Harvard, became his business partner in 1932. When the company started making polarizing filters for sunglasses, investors on Wall Street agreed to help the company get money.

The company, which used to be called “Land-Wheelwright Laboratories,” changed its name to “Polaroid Corporation” in 1937. Herbert kept making sheet polarizers for the business.
By 1942, Polaroid had made color animation for jukeboxes, 3-D glasses for movies, and a way to the dim light coming through a window.

During World War II, Land worked with the American military to develop and improve optics for reconnaissance. He worked on both the U-2 spy plane and later space satellites. His methods helped the government take pictures from far away.

After five years of testing and research, this famous scientist’s new “instant” photography set for Polaroid went on sale in 1948. It was only available in sepia tones. It was named the “Land Camera” after the person who made it.

The first “instant” camera with the black-and-white film was made by Polaroid in 1950. It became popular for photography in both the military and the general public.

In 1957, “Harvard University” gave Edwin an honorary doctorate. This was the same person who had left the school more than 25 years before. In the same year, he was named to the “Science Advisory Committee” of the President, a job he would keep for three years.

In 1961, the President put him on the “Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board,” which he served on for the next 16 years. Part of his job was to tell the president what the enemies of the United States could do in the military.
Polaroid made the first “instant” camera that used color film. It came out in 1963.

In 1968, Land tried to get Polaroid to support the civil rights movement. To do this, he hired people from minority groups to work at his company.
After more than 40 years with the company, this scientist with big ideas quit as Chairman in 1980.

After he retired, he started the Rowland Institute for Science so that he could keep doing research on optics. In the end, his lab figured out how the human brain sees colors.

Works of note

Edwin Herbert Land was a good scientist, but he is best known as one of the people who started the Polaroid Corporation. His idea for instant cameras paved the way for photography as we know it today.

Awards & Achievements

In 1963, this well-known inventor was given the “Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

In 1965, Land was given the “IRI Medal” for outstanding technological innovation. He also won more than a dozen other major scientific and technological awards and was made a “Fellow of the Royal Society.”

Personal History and Legacies

Edwin married Helen Terre Maislen in 1929. They had two children together.
He died of natural causes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on March 1, 1991, when he was 81 years old.

Herbert was the perfect example of an “absent-minded professor.” He was so focused on his work that he sometimes forgot to eat for hours. He once worked on the same problem for 18 days straight while wearing the same clothes.

Even though Land didn’t have any official degrees, he was a very good scientist. Everyone called him “Dr. Land” out of respect for what he had done, but the Wall Street Journal wouldn’t. When he died, Land was the owner of 535 patents.

Estimated Net worth

Edwin is one of the wealthiest inventors and is on the list of the most famous inventors. Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider all say that Edwin H. Land has a net worth of about $1.5 million.