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Polaroids: 'The First Social Network'

1947: Harvard dropout Edwin Land unveils the first Polaroid camera.
Polaroids: 'The First Social Network'
Photograph by Christopher Makos

1947 Harvard dropout Edwin Land unveils the first Polaroid camera.

Polaroids were the first social network. You’d take a picture, and someone would say, “I want one, too,” so you’d give it away and take another. People shared Polaroids the way they now share information on social media. Of course, it was more personal, because you were sharing with just one person, not the entire world.