• Polaroid of Four Men, ca.1990s. Courtesy of The Portal to Texas History

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    Polaroid of Four Men
    • Date
    • [1990..1999]
    • Description
    • Polaroid photograph of four men standing in a room in a house. They are Jim Hawn, Jim Stone, an unidentified man, and Fox. 1 photograph : col. ; 10 x 9 cm.
    • Rights
    • The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms o... more
      The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see https://texashistory.unt.edu/terms-of-use/ less
    • Partner
    • The Portal to Texas History
    • Contributing Institution
    • The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.

  • Polaroid of a couple. Courtesy of the Wilson County Historical Society via The Portal to Texas History.

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    Polaroid of a Couple
    • Description
    • Photograph of a couple, identified as Verna Louise Orr and Bob Butler, posing together in a house. Butler's suit jacket is laid over one arm, and his other arm is around Orr's shoulders. 1 photograph : col. ; 5 x 7 in. on mat 8 x 10 in.
    • Rights
    • The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms o... more
      The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see https://texashistory.unt.edu/terms-of-use/ less
    • Partner
    • The Portal to Texas History
    • Contributing Institution
    • Wilson County Historical Society.

  • Beveridge Center from Polaroid print, 1970-1980. Courtesy of Springfield College Archives and Special Collections via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Beveridge Center from Polaroid Print
    • Date
    • 1970-1980
    • Description
    • A Polaroid photograph of Springfield College's student center, the Beveridge Center. Visible to the right of the Beveridge Center is the walkway connecting the BC to Woods Hall and the corner of Woods Hall. In March 1958, the partial demolition of Wo... more
      A Polaroid photograph of Springfield College's student center, the Beveridge Center. Visible to the right of the Beveridge Center is the walkway connecting the BC to Woods Hall and the corner of Woods Hall. In March 1958, the partial demolition of Woods Hall and groundbreaking for the Beveridge Center, or BC as it was known to the campus community, began. The Beveridge Center, which replaced the old campus student union, was built as a place where students, faculty, and administration could gather in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The estimated total cost of the entire project was $425,000. The cornerstone laying ceremony took place on May 24, 1958 and on January 23, 1959, the official Dedication Ceremony for the building was held. The Beveridge Center was named after Frank Stanley Beveridge of Westfield, Massachusetts. The building, which was adjacent to Woods Hall housed several different facilities for the student’s enjoyment. The BC had a snack bar as well as two informal dining areas called the “Infield” and the “Dugout.” There was an air conditioned game room with billiards, and ping-pong tables. On the main floor of the building was a comfortable furnished lounge and information desk. A room called Moses Hall was located on the second floor, and was used for events like movies, dances, and banquets. Other facilities found in the BC were a faculty lounge, radio station, the newspaper and yearbook offices, meeting and conference rooms, a meditation chapel, and the college post office. In 2008 the Beveridge Center was renovated and included in the design of the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union which was dedicated on February 4, 2010. less
    • Rights
    • Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield Col... more
      Text and images are owned, held, or licensed by Springfield College and are available for personal, non-commercial, and educational use, provided that ownership is properly cited. A credit line is required and should read: Courtesy of Springfield College, Babson Library, Archives and Special Collections. Any commercial use without written permission from Springfield College is strictly prohibited. Other individuals or entities other than, and in addition to, Springfield College may also own copyrights and other propriety rights. The publishing, exhibiting, or broadcasting party assumes all responsibility for clearing reproduction rights and for any infringement of United States copyright law. Contact host institution for more information. less
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Springfield College Archives and Special Collections

  • Children presenting poster during International Trends Activity, 1996. Courtesy of University of Texas at San Antonio via The Portal to Texas History.

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    Children Presenting Poster During International Trends Activity
    • Date
    • 1996
    • Creator
    • Links, Inc. San Antonio Chapter.
    • Description
    • Polaroid photograph of three school-age children presenting a poster for the camera. The poster shows images of African-American men and women, which have been cut out of magazine pages. The children stand in front of a blue and white banner, with bl... more
      Polaroid photograph of three school-age children presenting a poster for the camera. The poster shows images of African-American men and women, which have been cut out of magazine pages. The children stand in front of a blue and white banner, with black text that reads, "Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio Eastside Branch." The club's logo of two grasping hands is above it. In printing the photograph, a decorative border was applied, consisting of party balloons and bold colors and shapes. Accompanying information indicates that the event was part of a International Trends Activity, an unspecified event sponsored by the Links organization for the Boys and Girls Club. 1 photograph : col. ; 11 x 9 cm. less
    • Rights
    • The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms o... more
      The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see https://texashistory.unt.edu/terms-of-use/ less
    • Partner
    • The Portal to Texas History
    • Contributing Institution
    • UT San Antonio Libraries Special Collections.

The invention of instant photography, popularized by the Polaroid camera, marked an exciting new shift in the photography industry. People could take pictures on impulse and then moments later have a developed photo. Unlike other types of film, Polaroid prints did not produce a negative and (before the development of digital scanners) could not be reproduced. Rather, they were solely images “of the moment.”

Polaroid advertisements in the mid twentieth-century wowed buyers with the promise that they could “take and show party pictures while the fun is going on.” They also emphasized the use of their cameras in social settings, with advertisements saying, “You’re the life of the party with a Polaroid Land Camera.” In 1976, Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Photography, Geoffrey Crawley, observed that taking instant photos had morphed picture taking into a communal activity that could be enjoyed amongst groups of friends. Writer Peggy Sealfon also noted that instant cameras could be used as icebreakers, and “[w]ould motivate people to do unexpected things, just to see the immediate record of their behavior.”

Polaroid’s immediately-viewable images were the world’s introduction to the concept of instant images and a precursor to digital photography. Despite the rise of digital photos, Polaroid prints continue to enjoy a worldwide cult status as aesthetically distinctive because of their iconic white borders and particular size.