We hit the archives for this collection of photos from everyday life in Honolulu over the past roughly 100 years to rediscover what we wore, where we worked, how we played.
Our iron industry: Honolulu Iron Works workers, and their bosses pose in the undated photo above. After decades of unstoppable success, in the 1950s Honolulu Iron Works began to feel the effects of the changing industry. Coming to Hawaii in 1913: Chinese men gather around eating bowls of rice aboard the steamer Sierra en route to Hawaii.
Afternoon snack: Why shimmy up a papaya tree when you can just stand on the roof of your 1928 Willys Knight? Desk jockeys: Honolulu businessmen and their secretary take a break from work to pose for this 1920s photo. In October 1899, Henry Baldwin and Edward Tenney became the first Honoluluans to drive automobiles in the Islands, cruising down King and Punahou streets. Trained Nurturers: Board of Health nurses pose on the steps of Palama Settlement in this 1935 photo. Local Filipino men celebrate their home country’s independence in 1934 with a patriotic float at the Iolani Palace grounds. How We Traveled: Traveling to Hawaii from the West Coast in the 1930s used to be a five-day journey, with wealthy passengers pampered along the way with gourmet food, drinks and services. It was the arrival of regular jet service between Hawaii and the Mainland in 1959 that jump-started decades of growth and prosperity in the Islands. Hal Wilcox (left) and Harvey Dukelow (right) silk-screen fabric at Hawaiian Hand Prints in 1949. Driving in style: Honolulu midwife, Elsie Masao Tsuchiyama poses in front of her 1950 Chevrolet. Kite Day: Mid-Pacific Institute students around show off their hand-made kites in this photo taken between 1925 to 1935. Family Portrait: Simona Baysa with daughters Evelyn (left) and Ruth (on her lap) sit in the door of their home in this 1945 photo. Going Holo Holo: A 1960s Volkswagen towing a rented camper sits parked at Punaluu Beach Park in 1965.


Island Longs employees sport aloha shirts and the store also, unlike its Mainland counterparts, carries all the local necessities, from cans of Spam, large bags of white rice and crack seed to kukui nut and flower leis  and rubber slippers.
Play Ball: A Kainalu Little League ballplayer rides his bike near his home on Kaha Street in Kailua in this 1957 photo. Waikiki People Watching: Two men relax under a covered public bench fronting the old banyan tree near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki in this photo from the late 1970s. The Computer Revolution: By 1982, more and more computers were seen perched on desks in offices, but that was just the beginning.
Represent: Members of Alii motorcycle club display their club tattoos in this photo taken in the 1990s. Say Cheese: A group of friends take a hiking break from their Mokolii Island day trip to pose in front of the Koolau Mountain range in 1983. In the evening, or on weekends, there is fun to be had: hitting a favorite restaurant, listening to some music, maybe a carport party with neighbors, or the beach with the kids. As the sugar plantations thrived, so too did David Weston’s machine shop, which began producing the hardware of the sugar mills. The company faced stiff competition on the Mainland and many plantations were making and repairing their own parts. The café was part of the 300-room Alexander Young Hotel, its namesake a prominent Honolulu businessman. Education during this era emphasized manual skills, such as sewing, carpentry and printing.
By then, telephones, typewriters and mechanical adding machines were commonplace in Island offices. By then some laws were already in place, such as requiring lights after dusk, vehicle taxes and a four-mile-per-hour speed limit over bridges.
Chong (left), his son (in the car) and four unidentified women pose with Chong's new LaSalle in front of his legendary Waikiki restaurant, Lau Yee Chai, in 1937. That same year, the John Rodgers Airport opened, later renamed the Honolulu International Airport. Four-year-old boys clinch during a Maryknoll Grammar School boxing class led by Father Dan McLellan around 1935.


The Rainbows, which were first founded by the College of Hawaii in 1909, played in the 24,000-seat Honolulu Stadium in Moiliili. Fifties-era nostalgia was big in Honolulu at the time, and the diner was one of the town’s most popular. By 1900, around the time this photo was taken, almost 26,000 Chinese people called Hawaii home. Young opened the hotel in 1903 and would later buy the original Royal Hawaiian Hotel at Richards and Hotel streets and the Moana Hotel in Waikiki.
Some were political, such as the Hawaiian-language one above promoting a Territorial Legislative candidate. Inter-Island Airways (now Hawaiian Airlines), the Islands’ first local airlines, began operating in 1929, using two Sikorsky seven-passenger planes and a Bellanca monoplane. In 1950, the club became a member of Hawaiian Canoe Surfing and Racing Association, along with the Outrigger Canoe Club, Waikiki Surf Club and Hui Nalu Canoe Club. Training programs enabled them to learn new skills, which earned them the highest year-round agricultural wage in the world. The orphanage was founded by Bishop Libert Boeynaems in 1909 and run by members of the Sacred Hearts Congregation (which also founded Sacred Hearts Academy). The first Hawaii location opened in 1954 on Hotel and Bishop streets and quickly developed a loyal following. It was also during the glory days of Restaurant Row, back when it was known for its restaurants, such as Black Orchid and World Café.
While most were plantation laborers, some residents opened restaurants, apothecaries, launderettes and markets, like the men pictured above. Some residents actively protested billboard advertisements, especially Outdoor Circle members.
That same year, townies could get to Bijou Theatre by riding in a Model T Ford from the Honolulu Taxicab Company.



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