The Polaroid Corporation was founded in Cambridge in 1937 by Harvard drop out, Edwin Land. In 1947, Land presented the first instant camera, Model 95, after his daughter asked why she couldn't see a picture he took of her on vacation. In 1948, the first Model 95 was sold for &89.95 at the Jordan Marsh Department Store in Boston. In 1963, the first color film was introduced.
Although best known for instant cameras, Polaroid was also responsible for creating ski goggles, glasses (including 3D glasses), stereoscopic motion picture viewers, fog-free and dark-adapter goggles for the Army and Navy, and helped design optics for spy planes in the 50's. Edwin Land even advised President Dwight D. Eisenhower on photographic reconnaissance matters.
At one point Polaroid was making 1.3 billion dollars in sales but in 2001, Polaroid Corporation filed for bankruptcy.
Take a look at Edwin Land's prototype drawing for his first instant camera.
Comparing Edwin Land to Steve Jobs, BBC created a short video about the Polaroid Corporation and its charismatic leader.