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The House of Bulgarian MacBooks & Wooden Bikes

Nikolay TraykovDid you know that ELKA, the first electronic calculator to include a square root function, was made in Bulgaria? Or that Bulgarian microcomputer IMKO-1, released in 1979, had similar functionality as Apple II Plus, one of the first successful mass-produced computers?

At the National Polytechnic Museum in Sofia, you can learn a great deal about Bulgaria’s contribution to technological progress, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Gadgets from all over the world will help visitors discover the wonders of technology. A popular exhibit is an elegant 1928 Ford with a four-cylinder engine—one of the fastest land vehicles of its time (with top speed of up to 65 mph when most vehicles reached 45 mph).

The National Polytechnic Museum is a meeting point of past and present. A wooden bicycle from 1880 is displayed alongside a solar-powered modern bike. Younger visitors will be astounded to discover that the first TVs were anything but flat, while the collection of sound-recording equipment and musical instruments will impress all, regardless of age.

There is something for everyone here. The museum is a place for history, science, technology, art, and, last but not least, fun (check out the music and textile-printing workshops!). It is a paradise for people of many interests and those who like spotting the connections between things. Like Nikolay Traykov, design and construction manager at the America for Bulgaria Foundation, who chose to give admission tickets to the museum for the holidays.

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