In 1976, to show off the capabilities of his film,
[Edward] Land ordered construction of a camera
capable of making Polaroid photos that were
20 inches wide by 24 inches high. Fewer than a
dozen of these behemoths were built; five still exist.
Andy Warhol (another big Polaroid fan) tried it out
with dramatic results, posing for this double
portrait by Bill Ray in 1980.
“Who can predict the direction of technological development?
Some things happen so quickly that they overwhelm contemporary innovators. Back in the 80s, I worked with a bunch of brilliant engineers on a new product – sheet feeders for daisy wheel printers. These guys had 100 collective years of paper handling experience and an idea to solve a major problem at the time – the need to get away from microperf paper. Well, they left their jobs, created a start-up, designed the products, built the assembly line, created the marketing, and started selling the product everywhere.”
“And then one day not too soon thereafter, the HP LaserJet showed up. Poof. Millions of dollars gone, careers ruined, and a shuttered factory. I mean, POOF.”
“And that’s the way it happens all over. Even the best stumble.
And Edward Land was one of the best.”
– davej, an online commenter about a Slate story entitled
The Rise and Fall of Polaroid
The image of Warhol and the comment beneath it were also
part of that same story, told in a series of slides. Very cool.