The 1960s wood prototype. The 1960s wood prototype. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff)
May 20, 2010

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1926 Harvard freshman Edwin H. Land leaves school to pursue work on light polarization, and two years later he creates the first synthetic sheet polarizer.

1932-1933 Land and Harvard physics professor George Wheelwright III create Land-Wheelwright Laboratories in Boston.

1937 The Polaroid Corp. is formed; products soon include glasses, ski goggles, and desk lamps.

1944 While vacationing with his family, Land has an idea for a one-step photographic system.

1947 Land demonstrates the one-step process at the Optical Society of America meeting.

1948 Land’s Model 95 is sold at Jordan Marsh in Boston on Nov. 26 for $89.75.

1950-54 Polaroid sales exceed $23 million.

1963 Mary Moorman snaps perhaps the most famous Polaroid picture when she captures President Kennedy’s limousine a fraction of a second after he was shot.

1983 Polaroid peaks with 13,402 employees, $1.3 billion in sales, and more than 1,000 patents.

1986 The courts rule that Eastman Kodak violated Polaroid patent rights in the manufacture of its instant cameras and film.

1991 Edwin Land dies at the age of 81.

1999 Digital camera sales make Polaroid the number one digital camera seller in the United States.

2001 Polaroid files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring.

2002 Polaroid Corporation is purchased by One Equity Partners.

2003 The hit song “Hey Ya!’’ by hip-hop duo Outkast (Andre 3000, inset) popularizes the line, “Shake it like a Polaroid picture.’’

2008 Austrian photographer Florian Kaps and a team of Dutch scientists team up to introduce a new instant Polaroid film, calling their endeavor the “Impossible Project.’’

2010 The Impossible Project’s monochrome film came out in February. A color version is due out this summer.

SOURCES: Photographic Resource Center at Boston University,