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8 technology revolutions that are now relics

Nov. 22, 2010, 6:25 p.m.
Original Polaroid Instant Camera

Photo: Arty Smokes (deaf mute)/Flickr

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Original Polaroid instant camera

First introduced in 1948, the Polaroid instant camera, which developed photos within minutes of snapping a picture, was a miraculous invention for its time. By 1978, the product was a widespread novelty and only grew in popularity through the ’90s. But as digital cameras — with their fast, high-quality viewfinders — became the norm, Polaroid cameras stopped seeming so instant. In early February 2008, Polaroid Corporation announced plans to discontinue production of its instant film, the year after it had stopped producing its instant cameras. In the ensuing months there was a surprising backlash. Polaroid took note, and in January 2010, the company rolled out a new line of instant cameras with mini photos for the digital age.