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Instant: The Story of Polaroid

Instant: The Story of Polaroid [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Bonanos
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £15.99
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Product Description


"Christopher Bonanos tells Polaroid's story with fluid, energetic prose that mirrors the thrilling arc of the company's story, twining together technology, fine art, business, design and pop culture into a 175-page powerhouse. Whether you pick it up because you loved your old Polaroid camera or because you want to find out why Steve Jobs modeled Apple after the Polaroid company, you'll be delighted by this pithy snapshot of a true American icon." --

Product Description

"Pictures in a minute!" In the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, Polaroid was the hottest technology company on Earth. They were an innovation machine that cranked out one irresistible product after another. It was even the company after which Steve Jobs is said to have modeled Apple, and the comparison is true. Jobs's hero, Edwin Land, Polaroid's visionary founder, turned his 1937 garage startup into a billion-dollar pop-culture phenomenon. Instant: The Story of Polaroid, a richly illustrated, behind-the-scenes look at the company, tells the tale of Land's extraordinary and beloved invention. From the introduction of Polaroid's first instant camera in 1948 to its meteoric rise and dramatic collapse into bankruptcy in the 2000s, Instant is both a cautionary tale about tech companies that lose their edge and a remarkable story of American ingenuity. Written in a breezy, accessible tone by New York magazine senior editor Chris Bonanos, this first book-length history of Polaroid also features colorful illustrations from Polaroid's history, including the company's iconic branding and marketing efforts.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 39147 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (10 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0099RLOI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #350,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insite into the world of Polaroid 3 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very easy and enjoyable to read book on the history of Polaroid, not a great level of technical depth with regards to the films but then again, do we really want to understand how the little sheet of magic really works?

If you are interested in Polaroids then this is a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 27 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An easy to read history of the Polaroid company. Sadly It doesn't get very technical with the chemistry or optics, but otherwise it is extremely good read. And the book itself is very attractive and contains some great pictures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a writer -but this a outstanding book. 23 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like taking pictures and I am certainly not a writer, but regarding this book - excellent to outstanding. Published in 2012 this is a detailed and brilliantly illustrated book with a balance of history, design, technology and images. These images range from Ansel Adams to Edward Weston and manages a image of Lady Gaga from 2011.

I confess a Polaroid passion having taken first prize in the magazine Photo Technique way way back and receiving a SX70 Alpha and kit as a prize.. a very soft spot remains for the design and the images I achieved. Now I use the zink for prints - and the grandchildren love them.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Point and Shoot 24 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Engaging account of the pitfalls of Polaroid and technology companies in general. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Had you heard of the Polaroid instant video system released after the video cassette ? I didn't think so !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accurate and well written history of Polaroid 25 Sep 2012
By M. Dionne - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My father was an engineer in the model shops at Polaroid--he started in 1943 and retired in 1980--and worked often with Dr. Land. Much of the story in this book was dinner-table conversation at our house. Christopher Bonanos gets the story of those years right, particularly the personality traits of Edwin Land, and tells it in a very readable way.

In the years after 1980, I paid less attention to the company (except when the corporate takeover goons took away my mother's pension and health benefits) and the book brought me up to date nicely. I think the recent parts of the story are missing from the other books about Polaroid.

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossibly great. 29 Sep 2012
By Bunjamin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an instant film and Polaroid enthusiast, I was pretty pumped about getting this book. I was even more delighted when it showed up though. It's fun to read, I knocked the whole thing down on a long day of travel, and I couldn't have been happier with it. It's a great story of the inner workings of a company and a man who had an impossible idea that he made real through with little more than genius and determination.

The book also offers many full-color photo reproductions and impressive illustrations. Whoever art-directed the book gets a high-five from me. It's beautiful.

Folks who like to read about Steve Jobs and crazy CEO-types need to get on the Edwin Land bus. That guy was the OG super controlling genius boss.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great book, but lackluster Kindle implementation 5 Oct 2012
By Cyrus Beh - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a long-time admirer of Polaroid (the innovative company, not the one that slaps its badges on sub-par consumer electronics). When I came across this book in my local bookstore, I was enthralled, and read the first 4 chapters in one seating. Not wanting to wait to receive the physical copy, I purchased the Kindle version which I read on my various tablet devices. Unfortunately, while the content is excellent, the presentation of the Kindle version is far inferior to the original book. Firstly, the layout was awkward, with footnotes being relocated to the end of each chapter. Secondly, the formatting was highly suspect. When I flip through the pages I frequently found whole pages missing or repeated. This was especially pronounced when one clicked through the footnote links -- attempting to return to the original text from a footnote often landed one in a completely different section of the chapter! Furthermore, each time the font size was changed, multiple paragraphs will disappear into thin air! This is totally unacceptable, and because of this, even though I ostensibly finished the e-book, I can never be sure how much of it was actually unread!

So in conclusion, 5 stars for the content, 1 star for the formatting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very fast read...wishing for more depth on Edwin Land 22 Oct 2012
By Brad Koerner - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read "Instant" in an least it felt that way. The book is a very enjoyable introduction and overview of the history of Polaroid and Edwin Land. However, after recently reading such excellent historical books like "The Idea Factory/Bell Labs" by Jon Gertner or "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, "Instant" feels like it has the depth of an extended magazine article. I was particularly hoping for far more depth regarding Edwin Land himself. And it seems like that information is readily available, if the author had chosen to include it: The book makes several repeated references to older, out-of-print biographical books about Land, which unfortunately makes me feel like I should have just read those, instead.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, but thorough read 25 April 2014
By Rob LaRosa - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a quick read of the history of Polaroid from its founding by Edwin Land to its current owners. Although relatively short, the book goes into enough depth for anyone curious as to how Polaroid rose so quickly and nearly disappeared. It's a fascinating look into the kind of person Edwin Land was and all the great inventions that Polaroid contributed to the world. Please note that if you're strictly interested in Mr. Land, that the last quarter of the book may be of little interest. However, if you're interested in the Polaroid company, this is the book for you.
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