Friday, February 8, 2008

The End of an Era: No More Polaroid Film or Cameras

The Globe's Hiawatha Bray reports that Polaroid is closing all its film-manufacturing plants this year, including two in Massachusetts. Hiawatha writes:

    In the years following World War II, Polaroid's instant photography products established the company as one of Massachusetts' leading industrial concerns, and made its brand name famous worldwide. But in the late 1980s the company went deeply into debt to fend off a hostile takeover. It invested heavily in products that failed and was unprepared for the surging popularity of digital cameras. By 2001, Polaroid was forced into bankruptcy; privately held Petters Group Worldwide of Minnetonka, Minn., bought the company's remaining assets in 2005.

    ...The company will retain about 150 executive and administrative employees at its headquarters in Concord and a smaller office in Waltham. "We'll continue to have a strong presence in Massachusetts for the next 30 or 40 years," said [Polaroid COO Tom] Beaudoin. But Polaroid will now focus on flat-panel TVs and digital photography gear.

Here's another Globe piece, from 2006, about Polaroid's history. And FundingUniverse offers more history on the once-great company.

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