New Apple Museum opens in former factory in Warsaw

A new museum opening in a former metal factory in Warsaw brings together 1,600 Apple-related exhibits – the result of years of painstaking efforts by a determined Polish collector.

“It’s the largest and most comprehensive Apple collection in the world,” boasted Jacek Lupina, a 56-year-old architect, who amassed the collection spanning the entire history of the American tech giant.

The museum is housed in Fabryka Norblina, an early 19th-century red brick factory in central Warsaw converted into a retail and entertainment space.

At the entrance is a replica of the Apple 1, released in 1976, which was the first personal computer sold by company founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Two hundred models of the Apple 1 were produced and sold at the time for $666.66 (€620) each.

“My goal is for visitors to be able to see what the beginning was like – how primitive and very simple it was. The Apple 1 case was made of wood! Nothing like what we have today,” Lupina said.

The collector used period components to assemble the model and the motherboard was signed by Wozniak himself during a visit to Poland in 2018.

“He looked at all the welds, the components and really enjoyed the work. He also showed me the parts that he and Steve Jobs had wanted to change but never got to do,” Lupina said.

“Sold the furniture”

The museum includes dozens of computers such as Apple II, Lisa, iMac, Power Mac, Macbook, Mac Pro, as well as iPhones, iPods, iPads, instruction booklets, software and other artifacts from the Apple universe.

The walls are decorated with original advertising posters, including those from the famous 1997 “Think Different” campaign featuring images of Bob Dylan, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.

Lupina said she started collecting “just for the sake of seeing them” and because the products would previously have been “too expensive for a resident of post-Communist Europe”.

After a while, the collection began to invade her home on the outskirts of Warsaw – starting with her study and then the living room.

“I sold the furniture in the living room, the table, the chairs and just left some armchairs,” he said.

In 2017, he transformed his house into a museum. When he ran out of space, he found new premises and the new museum opened last weekend.

Lupina has spent all her free time collecting, sometimes spending entire nights following online auctions taking place in different parts of the world.

It’s an expensive hobby, he said, adding: “I don’t have any savings or a pension, just my collection.”

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Floyd N. Morlan