This article was first published as “The battle for the SX-70.” It appeared in the May 1989 issue of IEEE Spectrum. A PDF version is available on IEEE Xplore. The diagrams and photographs appeared in the original print version.
Yet this complicated system had to fit in a package the size of Land’s jacket pocket, he decreed—a constraint that meant employing ICs. But as Polaroid could not fabricate ICs, the success of its SX-70 project lay in the hands of outsiders.
The flash control contract was given to General Electric Co. Then in 1971, when GE dropped out of the