In keeping with the rich tradition of Mac-focused web pages writing about everything and anything Mac related, no matter how trivial. Herein presented, my collection of Apple and Mac-related free clothing, mostly t-shirts.
Usually these things are only given out to employees. I worked with Apple during my tenure at MacWarehouse and we answered the phones for Apple so were considered (by some) to be part of the Apple family. We therefore qualified for Apple internal schwag.
At the time the Apple Catalog was being run by Apple and not doing very well. MacWarehouse was (at the time) the number one retailer of Macintosh peripherals and software. This was before e-commerce (so actual catalogs were the latest thing) and during the time when the only legitimate place you could buy a Mac was from an Apple Authorized Reseller. Mail-order sales of Macs were verboten! So MacWarehouse took over.
MacWarehouse was very successful at the time and was tapped by Apple corporate to answer the phones for the Apple Catalog as well as some of their other in-house programs. Educator Advantage and Individual Direct was Apple’s way of selling select Macs (E.G. poorly selling Performas) to educators. Special Performas were also configured for a variety of other companies as a special promotional purchase. We also answered the phones for their Higher Education division, but the smaller schools only.
I was tapped to set up what was to be a 5 person pre-sales tech support department. I spent a couple of weeks at the Apple Assistance Center in Austin TX training with the new phone techs and soaking up the Apple Culture.
At the time Apple Tech Support was reached by calling 800-SOS-APPL (800-767-2775). We discovered via a customer who dialed the number as 800-S0S-APPL by mistake (note the zero instead of the letter “O”) and got a phone sex line. Woo Hoo!
One of the things that I learned during my year plus tenure as Manager of MacWarehouse’s Apple Individual Direct Tech Support division (other than MacWarehouse management could fuck up a wet dream) was that Apple loved passing out t-shirts to employees. Often t-shirts that were never distributed or sold to the general public. A nice perk.
Presented below are the shirts I got from Apple (cropped to show just the “interesting” parts). A little worse for wear and tear, shrunk and fraying and rarely worn. But still a fun glimpse into Apple’s past.
Most are from 1994-95. There were more Performas than you could shake a stick at. Apple was transitioning to PowerPC chips and the hot new hand-held computer was called Newton.
Now if you were lucky and made friends with the on-site Apple manager you might get an actual Apple sweatshirt. These came in handy during New Jersey winters. Not to mention making the rank and file envious. On the front a nice color version of the first Macintosh logo and on the back the Apple logotype in red. Somehow I got two of these. Now, unfortunately they are too small to wear.
This one, however, is my favorite. It’s a two-tone heavy sweat with a double collar. It didn’t shrink and still looks great, Unfortunately the weather in Austin doesn’t give me many days to wear sweatshirts.
The properly scholastic-looking logo of one of the divisions we sold for, Educator Advantage. The only real advantage that you got as an educator, that I could see, was the opportunity to purchase underselling Performas at a slight discount. But considering there was never, ever, any discount on Apple’s computers, it was probably a good deal.
I seem to recall that System 7.5.x was the first Apple operating system to support PowerPC. The design on this t-shirt always struck me as kind of odd, “OK let’s just find a lot of ways to represent 7.5 and slap it on a shirt.”
Fortunately Apple’s graphic arts department was seemingly involved in the shirt for O/S 8. I wore this particular shirt while standing in line to get my first (3G) iPhone. I got more than a few strange looks (well more than usual) and a few comments on it as well.
As you may recall Apple was really pushing the power and speed of their new PowerPC architecture. And if I recall the first generation of Macs with the PowerPC chips in them were dog slow. But Apple marketing sent a big box of these so everyone was reminded how powerful their new chip architecture was.
Apple was also quite proud of their new (now defunct) search technology Sherlock. It was integrated into Mac O/S 8.5. Also version eight of the Macintosh operating system went from being “System…” to being “O/S.” If you recall it was System 7.x, but O/S 8.x. Remember that the next time you are playing Mac trivia!
And then on the back in glorious Apple Garamond: Mac OS 8.5, Faster. Smarter. Far More Clever.
Apple wasn’t the only one to provide t-shirts to the industrious phone drones at MacWarehouse. Other companies showed up with wearable schwag as well.
Dayna made Mac-specific network products. Really good products. So good in fact that Intel swallowed them up a couple of years later. I always liked their logo. It looked great in color, especially splashed across the back of their t-shirt. Well, It looked really good when new. Thirteen years later, no so much.
Then there was a nice long sleeve grey shirt. While not as pretty as the previous example it has stood up much better than it’s more colorful brethren.
At the time MacWarehouse had a division that sold PC products as well. It was much smaller and sold nowhere near as much as MacWarehouse but sometimes the swag would trickle over from “Micro.”
Sometimes I wear this one just for the looks I get. The logo is on both sides of the shirt. A small one over the left breast. A big one on the back and then their slogan running down the arm.
OK so how many t-shirts for Windows 3.1-based word processors do you have?
My favorite third party t-shirt had to be this nice long sleeve T from Mac Play. Their logotype over the left breast and then their really great logo covering the back of the shirt. The company is long gone but their image lives on.
OK Back to the Apple schwag.
Right about the time I was the beneficiary of all of this Apple t-shirt largesse there were lawsuits ‘a ‘flyin over the “look and feel” of the Macintosh OS as well as other lawsuits accusing other companies of various and sundry things.
I believe this shirt was at least a partial reaction to Everyone Stealing Apple’s Ideas. It starts out simply enough with a “Been there… …done that” over the left breast
In case you can’t easily read what it says:
1984 Macintosh • Graphical User Interface, cut, copy, paste, undo • Quicktime bitmapped graphical display, long file names, 3.5″ floppy
1985 LaserWriter printer with PostScript • Plug and Play networking (LocalTalk)
1986 Plug & play SCSI, Kanjitalk.
1987 Buil-in plug & play bus expansion (NuBus) • Plug and play Ethernet • Networking Multifinder brings multitasking to Mac • HyperCard visual programming
1988 1st SCSI plug & play CD-ROM • SuperDrive can read/write Mac, DOS & O/S2 files • EtherTalk
1989 photo-realistic u\images (32-bit QuickDraw)
1990 Sound input • Macintosh Quadra with Ethernet built-in
1991 System 7 • Apple invents TrueType fonts file sharing aliases • Motorola, IBM and Apple agree to develop RISC chips • Quicktime multimedia, AppleTalk Remote Access (ARA)
1992 Global Support (WorldScript) • ColorSync • color matching • Built-in CD-ROM drive spur multimedia growth • Quicktime for Windows cross-platform standard • AppleScript & OSA
1993 Speech Recognition/synthesis • integrated telephony (GeoPort) • AOCE, PowerTalk & PowerShare • 1st PC with built-in TV
1994 Power Macintosh • Mac OS on UNIX (MAE) • System 7.5 introduced • Most recent folders • WindowShade • Apple Guide with coachmarks • Macintosh PC Exchange • Macintosh Easy Open • DOS and Windows compatibility add-in cards • DOS and Windows emulation • Thread Manager • QuickDraw GX next generation DTP • Quicktime 2.0 advanced multimedia • Integrated 32-bit TCP/IP Internet support • Powerbook control strip • Universal mailbox • DigiSign electronic approval • Powerbook file synchronization
1995 Quicktime VR • Quicktime conferencing • Open Transport • Quickdraw 3D • Next generation RISC-based Macs • Mac OS for SUN & HP UNIX (MAE) • More RISC native (faster) Mac OS upgrades • PCI suport • Copland on the way • OpenDoc
I would take (major) issue with only one thing on that shirt “Plug & play SCSI.” Literally half of my time on the phones answering calls at MacWarehouse was helping customers configure multiple (and sometimes only single) SCSI configurations. Plug and Play? nope it was commonly referred to as SCSI Voodoo. For good reason, which I will spare you. But if you want your ears to bleed ask any Mac tech who worked on Macs during the SCSI years about SCSI on the Mac.
So go ahead and read through all of it and count the number of technologies that Apple was proud enough of to put on a shirt that no longer exist. Not to mention the one vaporware operating system (actually not) on the way.
Lest you think Apple only provided white t and sweat shirts There was this nice black Apple t-shirt with their logotype stitched in colored thread
Also the slightly more upscale Apple Commercial Credit polo shirt that is still wearable today
And the somewhat rare (if white) Apple logo (not mock) turtleneck. As you can imagine that due to Austin weather conditions, not to mention fashion constraints, I have not worn this one in a while.
And probably the cream of the crop of Apple schwag I got was this. It’s a classy looking jacket that looks as good today as the day it was given to me. Made of lightweight fabric it is even suitable for the mild weather of Austin.
And finally. Years later when Apple starts opening stores near where I live I manage to get in line and snag a couple of Store Grand Opening shirts.
I was in one of the Apple stores here in Austin a while back and one of the employees remarked about the shirt I was wearing at the time.
“I’m From Menlo Park California and I don’t remember an Apple store there.”
His boss overheard and pointed out that it was Menlo Park New Jersey.
The kids these days!
Comments are always welcome but the spammers found the contact form so It is disabled, you'll have to use email...