WRZEŚNIA ON AN OLD PHOTOGRAPHY

Ulica Sienkiewicza we Wrześni przed wojną

WRZEŚNIA MY WRZEŚNIA

I am born in and raised in Września but I have spent half of my life abroad. Returning to Poland after twenty years allowed me to look at my town from the perspective of … a visitor. Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. It is hard to appreciate what around us. Before I have left Poland I did not think much of the town I come from. Therefore, it is good and healthy to take a break from time to time to gain a different attitude.

Września has revived. Walking through the streets of the town in the evening, I am under an impression I have travelled back in time. The architecture of tenement houses in the old part of the town and the attention put into details creates a very special atmosphere. Bicycle parking and street lamps are kept in the Art Nouveau style, the period of the town greatest prosperity. Looking at the windows when the lights on, I can easily imagine the people living in them also come from the beginning of the century. The smallest details have been skillfully taken care of while refreshing the face of the town.

Września is located in Greater Poland, 50 km from Poznań, at an important road and rail point connecting Poznań with Warsaw. The location of the town has always been beneficial to the development of trade and crafts.

During the Second Partition of Poland, the town found itself in the East Prussia, therefore there is a strong influence of the Prussian presence in the town’s architecture. Those are very solid buildings with strong construction.

Every day at noon, the patriotic song Rota written by Maria Konopnicka is played through the town’s loudspeakers, in memory of the strike of the Września children in 1901. The children were the first to oppose speak in German during religion classes. The teacher punished them with a flog. Students of other schools in the Prussian partition followed in the footsteps of brave children from Września.

Three nations lived here at the beginning of the century; Germans, Jews and Poles who were the majority. It housed Roman Catholic churches, an Evangelical church, and a synagogue that was blown up by the Germans.

After the war, during the communist era, Września continued to develop, both economically and culturally. The loudspeaker factory was established here, in the 1980s every Polish music lover wanted to have one of them. Today, the main economic driver is the factory of Volkswagen AG, which employs 3,000 people. And once again Września is strongly influenced by its western neighbours.

The history of Września is much deeper, but in this series, I want to tell how much it has changed and transformed over time. From the pre-war period to the present day. The face of the town changes the same way as the face of a person depending on the conditions and the time it lives in …

WRZEŚNIA ON AN OLD PHOTOGRAPHY

The source of photography are the following books:
Ziemia i Powiat Wrzesiński na starej pocztówce, Jolanta Śliwczyńska, Waldemar Śliwczyński, Wydawnictwo Kropka, Września 2003

Przedwojenna Września Fotografie Franciszka Włosika, Wydawnictwo Kropka, Września 2005

Poznańska Street - view from St. Stanisław in Września, 1914
Poznańska Street – view from St. Stanisław in Września, 1914
Sąd przy ulicy Poznańskiej
Court at Poznańska Street
Ratusz miejski we Wrześni
Town Hall in Września
The Parish Church on Poznańska Street in 1038-1939
The Parish Church on Poznańska Street in 1038-1939
The market square in Września before the war
The market square in Września before the war
The exit of Poznańska Street to the Market Square in Września
The exit of Poznańska Street to the Market Square in Września
Września Poznańska Street
Września Poznańska Street
Mickiewicza Street in Września with a view of the Parish Church
Mickiewicza Street in Września with a view of the Parish Church
Września delicatessen shop before the war on the corner of Sienkiewicza Street and Rynek
Września delicatessen shop before the war on the corner of Sienkiewicza Street and Rynek
Tobolski's restaurant Kościelna Street in Września, 1915
Tobolski’s restaurant Kościelna Street in Września, 1915
Taxi and horse cabs at Zamkowa Street in Września
Taxi and horse cabs at Zamkowa Street in Września
Zamkowa Street in Września, 1909
Zamkowa Street in Września, 1909
Września ul. Dzieci Wrzesińskich in the early 1950s.
Września ul. Dzieci Wrzesińskich in the early 1950s.
Willa Mycielski on Kościuszki Street
Willa Mycielski on Kościuszki Street
The synagogue on Fabryczna Street in Września
The synagogue on Fabryczna Street in Września was built in 1875. During World War II, the synagogue was closed and turned into a temporary prison. The Nazis planned to convert the synagogue into a cinema and theatre, but eventually, they blew up the building in the fall of 1940. An air-raid shelter was built on the site of the synagogue and a square was arranged.
German plans to convert a synagogue into a cinema and theatre
Water supply tower
Water supply tower put into operation around 1910 Photo. W. Schenke, 1917

Autor: Aleksandra Walkowska

 

BRANDING IN POLAND 1980’s

HOW DID THE BRANDING LOOK LIKE?

Probably the greatest advertisement and pride of Poland in the 1980s was Zbigniew Boniek, the legend of Polish football, fast, red hair, humble man, striker of goals. At that time the concept of celebrity did not exist. Boniek on several occasions would admit that he did not feel comfortable in the inflated world of luxury.

Zbigniew-Boniek-football-1982
Zbigniew Boniek, 1982
Zbigniew Boniek
Zbigniew Boniek, recently

A world-class player is going to play a year or two and is set for the rest of his life. These exorbitant earnings are stupid. If all footballers earned 50 per cent less, they would play football the same way. Neither worse nor better.

***

An advertisement is said to be a leverage of trade, but back then there were no commercials neither was there anything to trade with. The packaging and the branding of products did not make them very appealing. It made one think that not much of an effort was put into the promotion of the products. Nevertheless, a very small amount of plastic used for packaging allowed for quicker disposal of garbage back then. Unlike today when recycling takes up quite a bit of a conscious effort.

***

POLISH SWEETS

Polish sweets were delicious, there were no preservatives that can be traced in sweets today. In 1995, the Prince Polo package was changed, the bar was no longer wrapped in paper, but in plastic.

Chocolate bar Prince Polo
Chocolate bar Prince Polo 1980’s
Rebranded Prince Polo packaging
Rebranded Prince Polo packaging

WEDEL

The origins of the Wedel sweets factory dates back to 1851. In the tasteful interiors of the confectionery at Miodowa Street in Warsaw, Karol Wedel served his customers with drinking chocolate.

Wedel chocolate packaging 1980s
Wedel chocolate packaging 1980s
Wedel bitter chocolate packaging
Wedel bitter chocolate packaging

ŻYWIEC POLISH BEER

In between 1981-1990, there were 80 breweries in Poland, today there are over 300 breweries. The Polish brewing market is one of the fastest-growing branches of the economy. The technology of beer production is one of the highest in the world. Żywiec is a town in the south of Poland where Żywiec Brewery Museum can be found which tells the story of one of the most popular beers in Poland.

Żywiec beer 1945-1989
Żywiec bottled beer branding 1945-1989
Beer mat 1945-1989
Beer mat 1945-1989
Żywiec labelling before rebranding
Żywiec labelling before rebranding
Moderated Żywiec branding, 2010
Moderated Żywiec branding, 2010

The new can is the only one in Europe equipped with a thermo-active indicator reacting to temperature change. When the symbol of the Habsburg crown visible on the packaging turns blue it is a sign that Żywiec is perfectly chilled. The same indicator appears on the bottle.

POLISH BANKNOTES

The Polish currency also underwent rebranding after the overthrow of communism. Polish banknotes and passports have been designed by Andrzej Heidrich for the last 50 years. In the years 1970-1988 the fifty-zloty banknote captured an image of Karol Świerczewski a communist, serving the Red Army, who was falsely named a hero.

50 złoty banknote from 1980's
50 złoty banknote from the 1980s

After denomination in 1995, Polish banknotes were replaced with banknotes of Polish Kings. Today the fifty-zloty note features Kazimierz The Great, the last ruler of the Piast dynasty on the Polish throne. A thoughtful and ambitious ruler who introduced many reforms in the country. There is a saying that Kazimierz The Great; found Poland built out of wood but left it behind built off stones. The inspiration for the image is an engraving of Jan Matejko.

50 złoty banknote from the 2019
50 złoty banknote from 2019

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

POLISH PLAYTHINGS IN 1970s

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 1970s?

What’s the most significant thing that happened in my life in Poland in the 1970s? … My brother was born. I remember well walking towards the house through the meadow with my father to welcome my newly arrived brother. This is the very first image I have in my collection of memories. People say I shouldn’t remember it as I was too little.

Why shouldn’t I?

Wooden clock from the 1970s

WHAT WAS POLAND LIKE IN THOSE DAYS?

It was the early days of the Solidarity movements, with protests and shootings in Gdańsk and Katowice in the north, and much the same in the south of Poland. My parents could only get reports and information from Radio Free Europe broadcasting from America, no mainstream news would ever talk about it. Full control from The Soviet Union was on. And then the Pope of the time visited and gave the Polish people courage and support, then the revolution started and the attempted assassination of the Pope came a couple of years later.

Radio Iza, 1975

Only recently I found out how terrified the whole Eastern Block was of this new Polish Pope. Apparently, Poland was full of spies. Jack Strong is a popular America movie that depicts those times very well and it has some great car chases.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR ME IN POLAND THEN?

From the perspective of a little kid, it was my territory, where I could play and feel safe, well, in my grandparent’s yard in the countryside that is. Those images in my head are like postcards, photographs, short videos; an ocean of memories. Severe winters, ice painted patterns on the windows, my grandmother’s jewellery and a witch coming out of a wardrobe.

Are your memories like mine?

Carpet beater, entertainment centre, Warsaw 1970s
Games at carptet beater, somewehre in Poland 1970s
Games at carpet beater, somewhere in Poland 1970s

Well, it just feels natural now to illustrate this post with examples of toys, from around the same time. Sure, like every kid, or most of them, I also had a teddy bear, a rocking horse, and a doll that was bald from excessive brushing. Oh, here in Poland we had I believe the best cartoons that were ever produced and New Year’s Eve was the day when hours and hours of Walt Disney cartoons were played. That was all such a feast!

Having so little visual communication though, did it mean we were under-privileged? Not at all!

 

Reksio was on TV at 7 pm and lasted 10 minutes, we were glued to the screen

Bolek and Lolek, two brothers and their adventures

FAMOUS POLISH TEDDY BEARS

Originally the Colargol Bear is French but was well adopted here in Poland.

Colargol by Tadeusz Wilkosz, 1974
Teddy Drop Ear by Janusz Galewicz, 1975
Teddy Drop Ear by Janusz Galewicz, 1975
Popular bears in the 1970s

CARS TOYS

Toy inspiration – Polonez. It was a Polish car produced by FSO from 1978-2002

HOME SWEET HOME

Miniature furniture from the 1970s which very much resemble IKEA’s style. I had them too. If I only knew today it is a collector’s item.

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

POLISH DESIGN / 1930’s

Shoe workshop Kielman, Warsaw, Interwar period.

Hello, to all of you who follow my blog. At first, I would like to apologise for not posting for such a long time. My Mac has decided to say goodbye … or it’s hard-drive made the decision. I have tried to replace it with an SSD card but it behaved like a patient who did not recognise the heart transplant. The images I had prepared for my future posts are not available now, consequently, I had to change the flow of topic, from the interior design and architectural festival in Dublin to Polish design and its history. Hope you find it enjoyable!

GRANDPARENTS HOUSE OF THE 1930s STYLE

I am very sentimental when it comes to the interior design of my grandparent’s house, especially the living room. Their house was built and decorated in the late 1930s before the war in a style I deeply admire and respect. The elegant cut in fashion, refined strong lines in furniture design and in the architecture. My grandparent’s cottage in Greater Poland was built firm and compact, therefore, generation after generation will live in it comfortably. Every room had a ceramic oven that would warm up the place till the early morning, this technology must have been brought here by the Germans who were always very present in the West of Poland. In the living room, there was a wooden round table forever decorated with a hand made linen table cloth that was embroidered by my grandmother. Special plates and glasses were kept in a solid dark timber cabinet. Loud tick-tock coming from the clock on the wall, was a great reminder of the time passing by. Every so often the clock had to be manually set by the alfa male of the house, my grandfather. It was an important and responsible job, setting up the time machine. Time had a slightly different value back then. The reproduction of ‘The last supper’ by Leonarda da Vinci covered the wall were all family gatherings took place every Sunday.

Every item had its place, there was no room for unnecessary poor quality pieces. Well, back then most of the pieces of furniture were made by hand and once made they did not have to be replaced until the next generation grew up and took the lead. Funny how I find it enchanting when my mother calls it an old junk! Apparently, sixty years have to pass by before something becomes a collector’s piece. At first, it has to go through the journey of being kitsch then junk and so on until well-aged grandchildren will discover it again and call it classic. Those are my memories, unfortunately, I do not have any images to share … well, the war was not the time to take photographs.

Grandparents house in Greater Poland.
Grandparents house in Greater Poland.

POLISH DESIGN 1930s

I went through the few websites and found some well-constructed design pieces from the 1930s. Poland back then when was still a free country.
Chair 1930. XX w. Poland.
Chair 1930. XX w. Poland.
Serwis do kawy 'Płaski' lata 30. XX w proj. Bogdan Wendorf
Coffee service ‘Płaski’ 1930. XX w proj. Bogdan Wendorf
Ring. Interwar period. Poland.
Ring. Interwar period. Poland.
A bottle of beer from the Haberbusch and Schiele brewery.
A bottle of beer from the Haberbusch and Schiele brewery.
Sugar-bowl 'Kula' 1935. Proj. Julia Keilowa.
Sugar-bowl ‘Kula’ 1935. Proj. Julia Keilowa.
Shoe workshop Kielman, Warsaw, Interwar period.
Shoe workshop Kielman, Warsaw, Interwar period.
Polish steam train
Steam train Pm36-1 Beautiful Helen PKP, 1936. Speed 140k/h. Warsaw-Kraków, Warsaw-Łódz routes. Up till 1942 used by the German occupants, rumours say later on used in the Soviet Union.

Polish steam train 1936

All images are linked to the original source.

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

YELP HEADQUARTERS DUBLIN

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

WHAT IS YELP?

In a few words, it is a website that publishes reviews of local businesses. It also trains small businesses on how to respond to reviews and how to hosts social events.

Yelp headquarters office was part of The Open House Festival in Dublin in 2016. The office is located not far from St. Stephen Green Park and it is just beside the Iveagh Gardens at Hatch Street.

The interior of Yelp headquarters is a splash of primary colours. The positive, welcoming yellow at the entry in combination with black is followed by a geometrically shaped desk and wavy hall. Contrasting colours and shapes. As we go along more colours are introduced. The playroom is inspired by the 1970ties style. The colours are muted, relaxed, natural. The working space area and the canteen are brightened up with red. In the same colour are chairs, the counter and other decorative elements. No need for a coffee among those vivid colours!

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

YELP ENTERTAINMENT ROOM

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

OFFICES

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

MEETING ROOM

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

CANTEEN

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

TWITTER & AIRBNB HEADQUARTERS IN DUBLIN

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

TWITTER & AIRBNB

Dublin is the place where many world companies have their headquarters in Europe. Over the years I had a chance to visit a few of them either through The Open House Festival or through friends who invited me for lunch. Friends Lunch Invitation is one of the benefits offered to the employees of those companies. Inside there is always very good interior design which follows the company branding and the philosophy of the business. Canteens and dining rooms are usually the most attractive. Not to mention the food which is de-li-cious, served with a lot of love and care.

 

 

TWITTER

In Twitter dominates wooden texture, black, blue and white colour. I was wondering why the wood is an important element of the interior design? I think I found the answer – birds twit while resting on the trees! That must be the connection to the wood.

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Twitter Headquarter in Dublin, IrelandWooden floor in the dining room

I was lucky to visit Airbnb through The Open House Festival and get a little tour of the place. Airbnb brings the idea of travelling also into their working space. Every day a team of employees will choose to work in a different area and at a different desk. Therefore one does not get attached to their own working space. Keep on moving! Keep on travelling! That’s the idea behind it. There is always a space provided for small personal belongings, but it is kept minimalistic. The main meeting place is built like an old Greek amphitheatre where the sound travels perfectly and the screen presentation is visible to everybody.

The location of Airbnb in Dublin is an attractive one too. Located at The Grand Canal Dock just beside The Marker Hotel and many different coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. It is a spot where the cold Irish Sea meets the apartment blocks providing an interesting space to relax.

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland
Airbnb Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

Airbnb Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland

The Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, Ireland

More on Dublin’s headquarters in my next post.

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska