About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inventor/Innovator Edwin Land

The truly remarkable Edwin Land held more patents than any other American with the one exception of Thomas Edison: 500+. Yet he will be forever remembered for just one: the Polaroid instant-developing camera.

Land was a Harvard "dropout" who went into research as a business with his physics professor in 1932. In 1937, Land founded his own firm, the Polaroid Corporation, using his breakthroughs for sunglasses and for filters, goggles and target devices for military use.

Soon after the end of World War II, Land introduced his most popular invention, the Polaroid camera. Kids today, whose digital photos are, of course, instantly available, cannot picture (no pun intended) the fun people my age had being able to instantly develop the shots we took and share them with friends.

The Polaroid Land Camera began being sold in 1948 and was immensely popular in the 1950s.

Land received many, many awards and recognitions before his death in 1991 at age 82.

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