A Polaroid instant film camera
In 1947, an inventor named Edwin Land introduced a remarkable innovation to the world -- a film that developed itself in a matter of minutes. This new instant camera technology was a huge success for Land's company, the Polaroid Corporation. In 1949, Polaroid made more than $5 million in camera sales alone! Over the proceeding 50 years, the company carved out its own special niche, selling millions of instant cameras and more than a billion rolls of instant film.

In this article, we'll find out what's actually happening inside instant film while you're waiting for the image to appear. While it may seem like magic, the process is really very simple.