Edwin Herbert Land

(1909 – 1991)

Portrait of Edwin Land by Jack Kamen

Jack Kamen Artwork

Edwin Herbert Land was an American inventor and physicist who held over 500 patents for his innovations in light and plastics. His patented polarized filters helped eliminate glare and reflections in automobile headlights, sunglasses, and cameras. He is best known for creating the Polaroid instant camera and co-founding the Polaroid Corporation.

Curiosity Inspires Invention

On a family trip, Land’s young daughter asked why the family camera couldn’t create a picture that she could see immediately. At that time, camera film took up to three weeks to develop in a lab that could conduct complex chemical reactions. Her question inspired Land to create an instant camera. After several years of work his camera debuted in 1948 and revolutionized photography.

Explore Additional Portraits in the Collection

Rowland W. Redington
Mary Nicol Leakey
James Clerk Maxwell

These portraits were commissioned by Dean Kamen for the SEE Science Center.  The artist is Jack Kamen (1920-2008), an American graphic artist and Dean’s father. The series was created to inspire children through the stories of scientists and engineers whose work changed the world.  While many of the pieces represent men, the duo worked hard to identify female scientists.  Had Jack not passed, their goal was to continue to increase representation within the collection.  The original artwork is on display at the SEE Science Center in the Jack Kamen Portrait Gallery.