On Tuesday,April 3,2012 beginning at 9:00 AM,the Museum of History &Industry will move one of its most beloved artifacts—the hydroplane Slo-Mo-Shun IV. Credited with popularizing hydroplane racing and solidifying Seafair as a major cultural event,Slo-Mo-Shun IV (“Slo Mo” for short) will be removed by crane through a very large door in MOHAI’s East wall.
Below is more information about the hydroplane from MOHAI:
‘In the years before the Mariners and other local big-league sports teams,Seattle had the Slo-Mo-Shun IV hydroplane,“Slo-Mo”for short. The vessel’s designers,builders,and racers,Anchor Jensen,Ted Jones,Stan Sayres and Lou Fageol became household names as they sped to a new world water speed record of over 160 mph on the waters of Lake Washington in 1950,and won the 1951 Gold Cup Race watched by an estimated 200,000 exhilarated spectators.
As the centerpiece of Seafair-Seattle’s annual civic celebration begun in 1950-the “hydro”races on Lake Washington were the high point of every summer for more than thirty years. After a devastating wreck in Detroit in 1956,Slo-Mo was cosmetically restored for display at MOHAI,beginning in 1959. In 1990,she left MOHAI for a complete structural and mechanical restoration and was ultimately put through her paces on Lake Washington one last time. Slo-Mo returned to MOHAI in 2001 and has been on display since then.
At approximately 30 feet long and 11 feet wide,Slo-mo’s aerodynamic design influenced boat building for many years,and secured the ongoing popularity of the Seafair festival,which was only in its second year in 1951. Hydroplane mania became a local obsession,and Slo-Mo put Seattle squarely in the center of the race boat circuit. The hydroplane is emblematic of Pacific Northwest invention and entrepreneurship as well as the region’s strong interest in outdoor sports and recreation.‘