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The Exciting Online Dwight Brooks Model Collection is now open to viewing!

Sunday, November 1, 2020, 8:00 AM - 7:30 AM

In 1997, the fledgling Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) received a most unusual gift--32 large-scale fully-operational Dwight Brooks boat models--a gift that would enable the museum to open in less than three years, on July 29, 2000. You may have seen some of these models on display in the Museum--especially Nordkap and Toot-Toot--but now, through the magic of computers and the Internet, SBMM can make all of this collection accessible to the public at Dwight Brooks was a most unusual man who built some very unusual boat models. Born in Minnesota, he worked in his family's newsprint business, fought in the Korean War, founded a company that produced all of the Hobie skateboards sold in the US, became a jet pilot, a real estate developer, an entrepreneur, and a restorer of old cars and airplanes; but he was always an avid modeler whose work was featured in many modeling, boating and woodworking magazines. Far from being "kitchen-table" models, Brooks' models were designed and built in his 20' x 80' workshop and often took months to complete, including detailed interiors--often down to the furniture, pots and pans in the galleys, and dolls dressed to simulate the activities on board each craft. All of them were uniquely powered and radio controlled to be fully operational. The speed boats and PT boats are powered by modified model airplane engines or two-cycle gasoline engines. The larger boats are powered by electric motors. You won't want to miss this exciting virtual exhibit, now available for viewing and research at Because of the wealth of material SBMM has in the Brooks collection, this is just the beginning. Videos and more detailed information will be coming soon. Funding support for the Brooks Models virtual exhibit was provided by the City of Santa Barbara's Organizational Development Grant Program.

Cost: Free

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113 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

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