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Quote of the Day


“We live in a world changing so rapidly that what we mean frequently by common sense is doing the thing that would have been right last year.”


-Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid Corporation, which would demonstrate its first instant camera on this day in 1947.


February 21st – This Day in Stock Market History

1947 – Polaroid demonstrates its first instant camera.

first polaroid camera



Polaroid was one of the premier tech stock of its day. The company’s founder, Edwin Land, was a prolific inventor who was viewed as the next Thomas Edison, and was a huge inspiration to Apple’s founder Steve Jobs.

life cover with Land


Land would found the company in 1937 after studying chemistry at Harvard for a year and inventing the plastic sheet-light polarizer in 1929. Land would run Polaroid from its founding in 1937 until 1981, seeing his company grow to as many as 28,000 employees and doing $1.4 billion in sales.

However, the company was never able to adapt to the rise in digital photography, and would be bankrupt by 2001.


polaroid_earnings_per_share polaroid_share_price_stock_chart

The charts above come from an article “Who Killed Polaroid?” by Michael E. Gordon

Best  February 21st in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1974 – Up 1.90%, 15.80 points.


Worst February 21st in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1980 – Down 2.07%, 18.34 points.



Read of the Day

What Steve Jobs learned from Edwin Land of Polaroid – Forbes

So Long, Polaroid – Marketwatch – a look into why Polaroid failed.


For those interested in more Edwin Land’s influences on Steve Jobs is discussed in more detail in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs




<– Go To Previous Day: February 20th – 1795: North American Land Co. founded

Go To Next Day: February 22nd – 1967: Berkshire Hathaway purchases National Indemnity, entering Buffett into the insurance industry –>