PRIME 1997

Created: September, 2005

The inaugural Pacific Rim International Model Engineering Show (PRIME for short) was held in the showgrounds at Eugene, Oregon in September 1997. As the name suggests, the show was intended by the organizers to provide a west cost gathering place similar to that provided "back east" by the well established NAMES (North American Model Engineering Show) exhibition.

As I was living in Beaverton (just a bit southwest of Portland) at the time, I made a day trip down the I5 to Eugene where some kind of parade was taking place, so after dodging barriers, closed off streets, and narrowly avoiding joining said parade, I managed to find the showgrounds and what looked to me to be a well attended and well run show.

Fransis and Bob Washburn were there and to my surprise, Fransis spotted my name tag in the crowd and called out to Bob, "Hey, here's one of our contributors from Australia!" (I'd just assisted Roger Schroeder in a small way on his Schroeder Simple Twin, and was quite surprised and tickled to find myself promoted to SIC "contributor" status when it was Roger who had done all the hard work!)

As this was pre-digital camera days for me, the color prints of the pictures shot there have languished in a shoe box for the past seven years and any memory I may once have had regarding who was showing what has, alas, faded. I can say that the Whittle V8, Peewit, and Robin are Eric's actual engines. The Bay Area Engine Modelers Club were well represented, showing another two completed examples of the tiny V8. One photo shows Eric's engine being run for the crowd. A pull cord was used to start it (very British) and the sound was pure magic, as was the roar of the dual bank Hodgson, and the Bently BR2. The latter having a full cowel wrapped around it when it was run to preven the crowd from being sprayed with oil from the spinning cylinders.

Sadly, the following photos show only the IC related items on display (and a couple of ring-ins that caught my eye for some reason). There were "trade exhibits" and a lot of other displays--two working model Gatling guns for instance--that I now wish I'd had enough film to capture.

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