Polaroid Land Camera - June 19, 2014

Every week, the American Treasure Tour blog sets out to offer a little bit of the backstory behind the wonderful collection here in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  Technological advances have impacted the novelty of some of the pieces, including the Polaroid Land Camera, which is on display near the Nash-Quad in our Toy Box.

Edwin Land developed the instant camera and put it on the market in 1948.  Within a minute of taking a picture, it developed in the camera and was ready to go.  This was a remarkable invention in an era long before the development of digital technology.  In fact, Land's innovations were also used by a little company named Wurlitzer.  In 1942, they used the polarizers he invented in their 850 Peacock jukebox.  The Polaroid Land camera (named after him) was popular between 1948 and 1983.  The name was retired after Edwin's death in 1982.

QUESTION:  For which United States president was Edwin Land an advisor on photographic renaissance matters during the Cold War?

a)  Harry Truman

b)  Dwight Eisenhower

c)  John Kennedy

d)  Lyndon Johnson

Answer Below


By June 19th, 1865, the American Civil War was over.  The enslaved population was officially freed, first in the rebelling states by the Emancipation Proclamation, then nationally by the 13th Amendment, which prohibited slavery in all the country.  And yet, in isolated parts of the south, the news of their freedom was withheld from many people until today.  Now, celebrated as Juneteenth, today marks the day many in Galveston, Texas learned they were free after so many years of bondage.

Prior to 1910, families had great celebrations for Mother's Day since its establishment two years earlier, but fathers were completely left in the cold, at least as far as official celebrations of them were concerned.  That all changed on this day in Spokane, Washington, when Sonora Smart Dodd organized an event at the local YMCA to honor her own dad, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart.  She initially wanted the occasion to happen on June 5th, but her pastor asked for the extra time so that he could write a nice sermon.  And so history was made....


Few people can say they inspired  royalty to sacrifice their crowns, but birthday celebrant Bessie Wallis Warfield, born today in 1896, has that honor.  She had been married twice before meeting Edward, Prince of Wales and was, in fact, still legally married to her second husband when they began courting.  She divorced him for Edward, and Edward sacrificed the throne of England for love - he abdicated and then married Wallis.  She was known after that as the Dutchess of Windsor.

Another June 19th baby is the actor Kathleen Turner, who came into the world in 1954.  Known in the 1980s and 1990s for her sultry voice, she starred in numerous popular films, starting with a bang in 1981 with Body Heat and continuing with over favorites Romancing the Stone (1984), Prizzi's Honor (1985), Peggy Sue Got Married the next year, and doing celebrated voice work as Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  She continues to perform, mostly on stage, and teach.

QUOTE:  Being a sex symbol has more to do with an attitude, not looks.  Most men think it's looks, most women know otherwise. - Kathleen Turner

ANSWER:  b)  Dwight Eisenhower.  Land consulted with the president on the U2 program, as well as various satellite programs.