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JULY 2020        TAP TIMES          -7-          The first SEMICON West was scheduled for
                                                                January 26-27, 1971.  Due to “a number
                                                                of delays” according to a SEMI history, the
                  SEMICON West (from 6)                         event was postponed until May 25-27.


        Fairgrounds, a well-known venue some 20                 Profitable from the start
        miles south of San Francisco and the site               The first show profited SEMI $46,392,
        of many public events, including the annu-              after expenses of $31,986, leaving a profit
        al  San Mateo County Fair & Floral Fiesta.              of $14,406—more than double the initial
                                                                minimum forecast, the SEMI history re-
        The venue offered acres of parking at                   ported.
        the adjacent Bay Meadows Race Course,
        where the thoroughbreds ran during the                  The Fairgrounds were rustic and offered
        summer.  When SEMI occupied the venue,                  showgoers an ideal spot to relax in San
        in off-season, however, the equipment                   Mateo’s warm July sunshine away from the
        show completely took over Bay Meadows.                  nearby exhibits.


                                                                SEMICON West was an undeniable suc-
                                                                cess, and continued to grow every year.
                                                                It was, in fact, this growth that ended
                                                                the show’s successful run in San Mateo.
                                                                Space at the Fairgrounds was finite.  Soon
                                                                there was no room for growth.

                                                                Anyone who exhibited in San Mateo dur-
                                                                ing the early years will recall the years the

        The Hall of Flowers at the San Mateo Fairgrounds.  This   Fairgrounds set up large,white tents to en-
        was  the  “main”  exhibit  room,  although  exhibits  were   able more displays.
        spread  out  on  the  property  in  halls  named  after  trees,
        such as Yosemite Hall and Redwood Hall.
                                                                The first year, these tents were apparently
        An iconic location                                      not air conditioned.  The Combination of
        To  semiconductor  industry  veterans,  the             the people and large operating machines
        San Mateo Fairgrounds through the years,                in some displays, turned the tents into
        has  remained  an  iconic,  much-revered                oversized spas.  next page
        SEMICON West home.  Exhibits overflowed
        from the Hall of Flowers and adjacent hall
        locations to the race course next door.


        An ad-festooned cable car—really a motor-
        ized vehicle with the getup of a San Fran-
        cisco  cable  car—transported  show  visitors
        between the main halls and Bay Meadows.


        Unlike San Francisco (or the later San Jose
        location), the flow of visitors leaving the Hall
        of Flowers to visit other halls were treated to
        a ragtime banjo band on the small square.
        Vendors  with  carts  sold  chips--chocolate
        chip cookies and other foods.                           McEnery  Convention  Center,  San  Jose,  was  the  site  of
                                                                “final  manufacturing”  (test,  assembly,  etc.),  for  several
                                                                years during SEMICON West’s “divided” era.
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