Today’s ‘Timeline Tuesday’ takes us through the 1990s – construction of first geothermal well, Akebono becomes first foreign-born to achieve Yokozuna rank in sumo, H-3 opens and Hawaii Convention Center opens. We look at what was happening in Hawai‘i during this time period and what else was happening around the rest of the world
French Actor George Brangier met Duke Kahanamoku in Los Angeles while both were acting. Brangier asked Kahanamoku to teach him how to surf. Kahanamoku agreed. Brangier moved to Hawai‘i in 1928. Brangier and a California surfer, Nat Norfleet Sr, started Branfleet in January 1936 at 1704 King Street. “We began like nearly everybody else in the business – not with a pair of shoestrings but with on shoestring between the two of us.”
“Red McQueen had brought back from the 1932 Olympics in Japan some shirts made out of silk kimono cloth. We copied them to produce our first aloha shirts.” The company was one of the first to switch from making strictly tailor-made shirts to making them through a manufacturing process. (On July 23, 1939, they moved into a factory on Kapiʻolani Boulevard.) In 1937 Branfleet signed Duke Kahanamoku to a five-year contract allowing them to use the noted champion’s name on their sportswear. They also had the ‘Kahala’ brand – what the company was eventually called.
Benjamin Franklin (Frank) Dillingham’s OR&L company, created in 1889, changed the landscape of west Honolulu. Its first train depot was created between a fishpond and North King Street, next to Prison Road, later renamed Iwilei Road. The first section of track extended only as far as Aiea, but by the 1920s, tracks had been laid all over the island. The train was the primary mode of transportation. “Plans have been approved by which the main depot will be placed 180 feet from King street in what is now a fish-pond dividing Oahu prison from the royal stables.”
“A large portion, if not all of this extensive fish-pond will be filled in without delay, and this substantial and eligible building ground, artificially firmed, will become of great value by close proximity to the main depot buildings.” In 1924-1925, a new Depot was constructed to replace an earlier 1889 wooden terminal building, and was the main Honolulu rail terminal for OR&L’s passenger operations. Upon completion, the building had dual functions, with the 2nd floor providing offices for the company’s daily railroad operations, and the 1st floor accommodating passengers. A 1975 renovation completely reconfigured the interior of the building for office use by Department of Human Services.
When Duke Kahanamoku, Kenneth Winter and William ‘Knute’ Cottrell decided to form a boat club, one of the names they initially came up with for it was the ‘Very Lazy Surfers.’ They later settled on ‘Hui Nalu’ (the club of the waves, or surf club.) The club was loosely organized in 1905 and officially formed in 1911. (Others suggest it was formed in 1908.) Based at the Moana Hotel in Waikiki, swimming was the primary activity of the club in the early years; it expanded into surfing and canoe paddling.
Composed primarily of surfers of full or partial Hawaiian blood. Hui Nalu was a longtime rival to the 1908-formed Outrigger Canoe Club. Membership to Hui Nalu, in contrast to Outrigger, was by election, and the club, while social in its own way, was for athletes only. In 1915, Hui Nalu surfers opened lucrative beach concession businesses in Waikīkī. Through these concessions, Hui Nalu surfers found regular and profitable work and became known as Waikīkī beachboys. The beachboys were lifeguards, bodyguards, instructors, entertainers, and tour guides for visitors in Waikīkī.
Canning is the process in which foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes. This heating and later cooling forms a vacuum seal. The vacuum seal prevents other microorganisms from recontaminating the food within the jar or can. Baltimore became the canning center of America. Pineapple, initially imported from the Bahamas and later also from Cuba, was first canned there in 1865.
The basis for the modern Hawaii pineapple canning industry was begun when John Kidwell, a trained horticulturist, arrived in Honolulu from San Francisco in 1882 and established a nursery in Mānoa Valley. In 1885, Kidwell started a pineapple farm with locally available plants, but their fruit was of poor quality; he later brought in ‘Smooth Cayenne’, it proved to be the best to grow and can. The commercial Hawaiian pineapple canning industry began in 1889 when Kidwell’s business associate, John Emmeluth, a Honolulu hardware merchant and plumber, produced commercial quantities of canned pineapple. James Dole arrived in 1899.