A depression era company, Polaroid was founded in 1937. The company became best known for its instant cameras that printed pictures within seconds. In 1985, Polaroid pushed its instant film competitor, Kodak, out of the industry when it successfully won a patent infringement lawsuit.

Still, Polaroid eventually lost ground because it couldn't find a successful digital camera and wound up filing for bankruptcy in 2001, and again in 2008. During its second round in bankruptcy court, the company was liquidated.

Gordon Brothers and Hilco bought Polaroid's brand name for $87.6 million in early 2009 and today it has one of the most famous celebrities in the world as its chief creative director: Lady Gaga. The new company licenses the Polaroid name for instant cameras, printer paper and other consumer electronics.

By Maureen Farrell @CNNMoneyInvest - Last updated January 21 2012: 2:52 PM ET
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