Norwich, CT 06360
A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War
The Slater Memorial Museum will present author Ron Fierstein who will speak and sign copies of his recently released book, A Triumph of Genius about NFA alumnus and inventor Edwin H. Land. Books will be available to purchase at the event.
Ron Fierstein was a young lawyer on the team of litigators from the prestigious patent law firm of Fish & Neave representing Polaroid in its epic patent battle with Eastman Kodak over instant photography technology. He had the unique experience of working closely with Polaroid’s two main witnesses, Dr. Edwin Land and Howard Rogers, during the discovery phase of the litigation and then throughout the dramatic federal court trial in Boston. After leaving the practice of law in the early 1980s, he has enjoyed a long and successful career in the entertainment industry, managing artists in the recording industry including Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Ron also works in the theater, film and TV fields with his brother, Harvey, representing his business and legal interests. He is currently a co-producer of Harvey’s hit Broadway musical, Kinky Boots. Ron lives with his wife in Chappaqua, NY, and spends as much time as he can at their second home on the beautiful island of North Hero, VT. They have two grown sons.
Edwin H. Land (1909-1991), a 1926 graduate of NFA, attended Harvard and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. He held hundreds of patents, including designs for an optics system for the U-2 spy plane. In 1991 Helen M. Land provided funding to NFA for the academy’s Edwin H. Land Library. From NFA, Edwin H. Land went to Harvard studying chemistry and, while still a teenager, inventing the first inexpensive filters capable of polarizing light. He named the product Polaroid. Later, he used laboratories at Columbia University late night because he was not employed or enrolled in the institution. He also used the New York Public Library studying scientific literature on polarizing substances.
An unusually gifted scientist, Land was an unusual student, most often following his own path. Learn more about this fascinating local genius.