I have to admit that Steve Jobs and his vision have impacted my life as fundamentally as Louis Dageurr. My world would simply not be the same without his creativity, commitment to quality and dedication to style.
What I didn't know is that one of his role models was another man who had as great an impact on my life - Edwin Land. Land invented the polarizer in the 1950's he even approached the US government with the idea of requiring polarizers be installed on both car windshields and headlight which would eliminate the glare experienced when driving at night. He also invented instant photography - the polaroid around which my professional life revolved for the first 15 years.
|Correct exposure acquired with Polaroid test film|
and post-production processing on a Mac
In the memorials to Steven P. Jobs this week, Apple’s co-founder was compared with the world’s great inventor-entrepreneurs: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell. Yet virtually none of the obituaries mentioned the man Jobs himself considered his hero, the person on whose career he explicitly modeled his own: Edwin H. Land, the genius domus of Polaroid Corporation and inventor of instant photography.I am just as grateful for receiving the benefits of the work Edwin Land as I am of Steve Jobs. My world would be a much different place with them.
Land, in his time, was nearly as visible as Jobs was in his. In 1972, he made the covers of both Time and Life magazines, probably the only chemist ever to do so. (Instant photography was a genuine phenomenon back then, and Land had created the entire medium, once joking that he’d worked out the whole idea in a few hours, then spent nearly 30 years getting those last few details down.) And the more you learn about Land, the more you realize how closely Jobs echoed him.