Discover the secrets of The Polaroid Factory!
Who makes film? Where and how is it made? Here’s a little peek behind the scenes at the iconic photography company’s factory.
To reach Enschede, you must drive 150km after Amsterdam. In the heart of the Netherlands, where 156000 souls breathe, the Polaroid Factory had been in operation since 1954 to produce instant photography film.
Today, only a hundred people work in the Polaroid Factory. If Polaroid could produce 50 million boxes of instant film per year, only 4 million boxes are produced nowadays.
On February 8, 2008, Polaroid (under the control of Thomas J. Petters) announced that the company had decided to gradually cease production and withdraw from analog instant film products completely that year. 10 ambitious Polish entrepreneurs bought over the site in the Netherlands in what they named the ‘Impossible Project’ – to carry on producing instant Polaroid film, now known as Polaroid Originals.
How is instant film made? A whooping 35 ingredients are needed to create each sheet of film. Polaroid refused to sell the chemistry rights to the entrepreneurs, and they had to come up with the recipe themselves! Some even cost 10,000 euros per kilo! Six machines are in operation at one time to produce each sheet, which are then assembled by 10 in a dark room.
The white border of the photograph is extremely important: no less 30 active ingredients are present in this area of the photo. Once pressed against the rollers of the Polaroid camera, the ingredients act as the developing agent.
A lot of orders seem to be coming in from France – Our love for Instant photography and Polaroid cameras is as strong as ever!
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