History told by plated goods from the Norblin Factory

6 May 2020

Norblin Factory Foundation together with Capital Park Group, the originator and investor of the project to revitalize the Norblin Factory in Warsaw’s Wola district, is launching ‘History Enchanted in Plated Goods’ campaign. Its purpose is to learn interesting stories of goods manufactured at the former Norblin factory and to promote them as part of the new museum that will commemorate the history of one of the largest enterprises of the Congress Kingdom of Poland. Authors of the most interesting stories will receive a set the Norblin Factory-related gifts and personalized invitations to the official opening of the revitalized complex combined with a tour.

Sugar bowls, jugs, teapots, cutlery, trays, saucepans, vases and dishes—these are just some of products from the former Norblin, Buch Brothers and T. Werner Factory. Among the popular plated goods manufactured at the Norblin Factory one could also find real works of art, such as étagère (shelves), coffee or tea brewers, caviar servers and shakers. The company operating at Żelazna Street in Warsaw’s Wola district was one of the most important pillars of plating in Poland together with Józef Fraget’s company, its main competitor throughout its entire time in business. The Norblin Factory contributed not only to the popularization of metal accessories among the society, but also to the popularization of social norms and the culture of consuming meals on special tableware. The company cooperated with outstanding designers and artists, such as Jan Kryński, Wojciech Jastrzębowski and Julia Kejlowa, a designer of industrial forms characterized by an unusual, timeless design, geometricity, simplicity and diversity of textures, who died tragically in Warsaw during World War II.

Capital Park Group has acquired a private collection of 600 items—valuable artefacts telling the history of plating—to be displayed in the complex. In addition, as part of the Open Museum of the Former Norblin Factory, one of the sightseeing paths will be devoted to plated goods that were manufactured in the former factories at Żelazna Street since the 19th century, and their reputation beyond the borders of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, reaching the Russian Empire and the Middle East.

The campaing is about passing on interesting, family stories related to the goods from the former Norblin factory. We want all owners of ‘norblins’ to learn the stories of these goods in their families, learn about them as much as possible from their parents and grandparents—how these plated goods were obtained by their families, whether there are any curiosities, interesting facts connected with them, or whether they were passed down from generation to generation, or maybe they were a gift on some important occasion—explains Artur Setniewski from the Norblin Factory Foundation. We were inspired by the story of “bażurek”, that is a candlestick, that we got from a charming lady living in Germany and who was sent there to a labour camp during the war. When she heard a museum commemorating the history of the Norblin Factory was planned to be set up, she decided to share with us her interesting story and donate a valuable family souvenir, thing of great sentimental significance to her. We want to learn such stories, collect and share them—he adds.

Photos of and stories about plated goods can be sent using a form on our website: https://fabrykanorblina.pl/historia-platerow/ The most interesting stories will become the core of artistic activities planned in the coming months as part of the Norblin Factory Foundation, and after opening the complex and museum commemorating the factory’s history will also become part of its permanent exihbition. Authors of the most interesting stories will receive a set of the Norblin Factory-related gifts and personalized invitations to the official opening of the revitalized complex combined with a tour of the museum of the former factory.

The revitalized Norblin Factory will become a part of the dynamically developing Wola district, a new heart of Warsaw, vibrant with culture, entertainment and sports. Over two hectares of land at the intersection of Żelazna and Prosta streets will be transformed into a natural extension of the open public space. By Q2 2021, a mini-district will be built there, consisting of several buildings and internal streets, with 8 above-ground and 4 underground levels. The investment will accommodate 65,000 sq.m. of usable area, including 41,000 sq.m. of high standard office space. The remaining area of 24,000 sq.m. will be adapted as the space for leisure, food, shopping, services, culture and wellness. This space will include BioBazar, a boutique cinema launched in a completely new format, a food hall, inspired by the newest global trends and rich in various gastronomic concepts, as well as clubs and restaurants, also with live music, and a fashion and wellness area. One of the main attractions of the project, directly related to the heritage of the place, will be the Open Museum of the Former Norblin Factory, which will hold such exhibitions as unique collections of plated goods or renovated historical factory machines constituting the entire production chain of the former metal mill Walcownia Metali Warszawa. During the revitalization works, 10 buildings of conservation concern will be renovated, and ca. 50 machines and devices, including 42 placed on the register of monuments, from the former factory will also be restored.

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