Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ilford and Polaroid: a match made in Heaven

Ilford Photo / Harman Technologies has just issued this press release concerning the making of new Polaroid films.

19th January 2009 : HARMAN technology Limited : Mobberley : CHESHIRE UK


After the decision by Polaroid in 2008 to cease production of its instant films, a much loved method of photography looked set to disappear forever. However, leading photo-imaging company, HARMAN technology Limited can confirm it is now involved in a new venture which could deliver welcome news to millions of Polaroid instant camera fans across the world.

The manufacturer - whose brands include the ILFORD monochrome analogue range, HARMAN PHOTO inkjet papers and KENTMERE PHOTOGRAPHIC products - is supporting 'The Impossible Project' which is being spearheaded by a Dutch business known as Impossible B.V.

Formed by a group of businessmen and a number of ex-Polaroid employees, Impossible B.V. has signed a 10-year lease on part of Polaroid's former factory in Enschede, Netherlands and acquired some of Polaroid's original production machining for producing integral films for SX70 cameras.

As the business aims not to rebuild Polaroid integral film but to develop a new product with new and improved characteristics, it has turned to HARMAN and its 130 years of experience in the production of analogue films for product development guidance and additional insight on manufacturing methods.

HARMAN's product development team has confirmed the manufacturer is able to create the desired instant film but negotiations continue as to the extent of future involvement.

As Howard Hopwood, HARMAN technology's Chairman, points out:

"Recognising the almost cult status and huge following of Polaroid instant cameras, we would love to be involved in any initiative which preserves their future use. To this end, we did try to take on production of Polaroid instant film in the latter half of 2008 but could not reach a commercially viable agreement with the Polaroid Corporation.

The Impossible Project represents a new glimmer of hope but we must also stress that discussions are still in the early stages. We would like nothing more than to reach a satisfactory agreement and should this happen, a prototype could be unveiled by late 2009 with a view to full scale production commencing is 2010".

Very good news in deed. Now, will they be re-introducing Type 55 ?


  1. There's an article about "The Impossible Project" on the NY Times online today.