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The Impossible Project, bringing back the Polaroid

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August 20 2009

Photos of Polaroid's Dutch factory

When Polaroid abandoned its namesake instant cameras in 2008, The Impossible Project was formed to save the dying technology. Now The Impossible Project has teamed up with Urban Outfitters to offer the last Polaroid cameras ever produced.

After Polaroid’s production of analog instant film stopped in June 2008, the company’s factories in Mexico and the Netherlands were shut down. In response, a team of some of the world’s most experienced integral film experts came together to create The Impossible Project with a goal of bringing back film for vintage Polaroid cameras by 2010. The team purchased all the machinery and equipment at Polaroid's Dutch factory and signed a 10-year lease on the building (pictured above), but it won’t be as simple as flicking a switch…

Since 1972, integral film production has followed the exact same recipe, based on exactly the same components invented almost 40 years ago by Polaroid. Every single pack of Integral Instant film consists of about 20 components/parts. Some of essential original components used for producing Polaroid Integral film are not available any more and therefore Polaroid-brand film is going away… 

Impossible b.v. has exactly 12 months to research, experiment and develop new and better solutions for replacing/upgrading problematic/expensive components, and to present a NEW Integral Instant film, ready for mass production at the end of 2009.

With an estimated one billion functioning Polaroid cameras in existence today, and no new film available, the clock is ticking (literally, on their website). To the delight of Polaroid fans around the world, the team announced in June their very first “complete and stable” instant picture was successfully created.

While we wait for the 2010 release, The Impossible Project has teamed up with Urban Outfitters to present a limited edition kit featuring the last Polaroid-brand cameras ever produced. The 700 hand-numbered kits will include one pack of Polaroid Type 779 instant film along with the much sought after Polaroid ONE600 Classic camera. The remaining film stock, saved from the last production runs from the Dutch factory, has been hand-selected, tested and stored at low temperatures.

Special edition Polaroid kit, available at Urban Outfitters

The exclusive kits will be available tomorrow (Friday, August 21st) at North American stores as well as the London flagship store.

via Dazed Digital

UPDATE: The impossible has been accomplished. The project’s Polariod film (PX 100) is now available for sale online. (March 26, 2010)

Impossible’s PX 100 film

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By Skylar Challand