Polarizers and Polaroid

A polarizer filter, or pola screen, is a special filter used to eliminate glare, unwanted reflections from glass, water, or likewise reflective surfaces. Everyone knows this, but do you know what material the polarizer is made of?

Polaroid... Sound familiar?

Edwin H. Land, an American scientist and inventor, created the first low-cost material that successfully polarized light and went commercial with the technology in 1932. Five years later, he officially restructured his company and renamed it Polaroid Corp.

The term Polaroid, was the name of Land's trademarked polarizing material in which he manufactured. This film material was applied to sunglasses, photography filters, and many other useful applications.

It wasn't until 1947, a decade later, Edwin Land would debut the 'Land Camera', which was the first instant photography camera. For the next 35 years, many different Polaroid Land Cameras would be produced and sold. During the 1980's the name would simplify and become known as Polaroid Instant cameras.

Thus the term 'polaroid' is in fact a reference to the polarizing material that was pioneered for commercial photography filters and sunglasses among many other scientific purposes and was the original product of the Polaroid Corp. It is only in today's world, the term Polaroid is associated with the instant camera and not the polarizing film it originated from.

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