Polaroid: The agonizing and tragic death of an era?

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image: Polaroid SX-70 Time-Zero Film (expired film: 05/05) by macomaco.

From AdPulp's David Burn:

Polaroid Slides Down Far Side of Bell Curve

Newspapers and record companies are experiencing the awesome power of disruptive technology, but not like Polaroid.

According to The Boston Globe, Polaroid plans to make only enough film to last into next year before shuttering its factories.

Polaroid chief operating officer Tom Beaudoin said the company is interested in licensing its technology to an outside firm that could manufacture film for faithful Polaroid customers. If that doesn't happen, Polaroid users would have to find an alternative photo technology.

Polaroid has already quietly halted production of instant cameras. "We stopped making commercial-type cameras about 18 to 24 months ago, and we stopped making consumer cameras about a year ago," said Beaudoin.

This is so sad. My first camera (before my Pentax K-1000 SLR) was a Polaroid instant camera. I remember the pop-on flash array with its neat line of blueish oval bulbs. I remember the weight of the camera when it was strapped around my neck. I remember the feel of the viewfinder against my eye socket. I remember the smell of the paper when I peeled back the cover paper. Even back then, I spent most of my meager allowance on film and flashes.

I remember how excited I was when I got a brand new polaroid camera to replace my old one when it broke. This one had a little motor that ejected the photograph, and cold little pockets of ink inside the paper tab under each photo. I remember sitting there, saking each photo and watching the opaque little black square turn into an image time after time after time.

My entire childhood was captured on Polaroid cameras and film.
This is a sad, sad announcement. Somehow, it seems that humanity was better off with Polaroid cameras in the world than without them.
Could Polaroid - arguably an extremely strong brand when it comes to embodying a very specific technology, an entire era, an artistic sensibility - still be saved? I think so. Heck, I KNOW so.
As a matter of fact, I just figured out how to save Polaroid outright. Um... Polaroid execs? Please contact me asap and I will impart you with my stroke of genius. Honestly, if you were worth a fraction of the compensation Polaroid pays you, you would ahve come up with this plan too. Years ago. And we wouldn't be talking about this.

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