The basis for the modern pineapple industry in Hawai‘i began when John Kidwell, a trained horticulturist, established a nursery in Mānoa Valley and started a pineapple farm with locally available plants.
The 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 established the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901 and is ‘‘usually considered to have produced the first commercial pack of 1,893 cases of canned pineapple in 1903.”
The pineapple plantation concept quickly spread to Kauai and Maui, perhaps because the already well-established sugar industry provided the near-ideal plantation model for those to whom it was not initially obvious.
The Panic of 1907 in the continental US resulted in a reduction in demand for Hawaiian canned pineapple. Under James Dole’s leadership, an industry association was created to organize a cooperative advertising campaign to revive demand.
At that time Dole and the other canners had not developed their own brands. Most of their output was sold with wholesalers’ brand labels such as “Sussman & Wormser.” Demand for Hawaiian canned pineapple revived.
In April 1927, the Hawaiian Pineapple Co began a national advertising campaign, independent of the Association of Hawaiian Pineapple Canners.
The advertisements were centered on the brand name “Dole,” which was stamped in bas-relief on the top of every can of pineapple produced by the company. The advertising was designed to enable consumers to identify the Hawaiian Pineapple Co’s products from other company’s products, no matter what label the can carried.
The advertising campaign was launched in a spectacular way. At the time, Charles Lindbergh successfully completed his solo flight across the Atlantic, leaving New York and landing at Le Bourget Field, near Paris, on May 21 at 10:21 pm. Thousands of cheering people had gathered to meet him. He had flown more than 3,600 miles in 33 ½ hours.
On May 25, 1927 James D. Dole offered $25,000 to the first flyer to cross from the North American continent to Honolulu, Hawai‘i, in a nonstop flight (second place would receive $10,000.)
Before the Dole Derby got off the ground, on June 28, Army aviators Lester J Maitland, 29, and Albert F Hegenberger, 32 took off from Oakland Airport, headed west and after 25 hours and 50 minutes landed safely at Wheeler Field, Oahu; the first to complete a West Coast to Hawai‘i flight.
Then, on July 14, 1927, airmail pilot Ernie Smith and his navigator, Emory Bronte, lifted off in a monoplane called City of Oakland from Oakland field – they ran out of gas and crash-landed on Molokai 26 hours and 36 minutes later (the first civilian to complete the route.)
Not discouraged, the Dole Derby was still on. A committee of the National Aeronautic Association (chaired by chapter president, Clarence H Cooke, assisted by Frank O Boyer, Commander HB McComb of Pearl Harbor, Captain Lowell H Smith of Wheeler Field, John H Kangeter and Kenneth Barnes) established rules and other flight details, to ensure that “—it may cost no brave man either his life or limb.”
Thirty-three entries were narrowed down to 8-finalists (Aloha, Dallas Spirit, Miss Doran, Golden Eagle, El Encanto, Oklahoma, Pabco Flyer and Woolaroc were the eight finalists.)
Ships were lined up at sea for marking and emergency purposes. Along the route would be the Wilhelmina, 1,400 miles from Honolulu; Los Angeles, 800 miles from Los Angeles; SS Manukai, 950 miles from San Francisco; SS President Harrison, 800 miles from San Francisco; SS Manulani, 1,160 miles from Maui; SS Inora, 800 miles from Honolulu; SS Manoa, 1,820 miles from San Francisco.
The entire Pacific fleet was to be placed in readiness. The aircraft carrier LANGLEY, two destroyers, two mine sweepers and an aircraft tender were to be in position in San Diego.
“It was August 16th, 1927, only 86 days since Lindbergh had single-handedly fired the world’s imagination with his stunning solo flight from New York to Paris. On the field at Oakland California’s municipal airport next to San Francisco Bay, a bevy of would be ‘Pacific Lindberghs’ readied their aircraft for a flight to Hawai‘i.”
Thousands of bystanders lined the field. There were more atop buildings; and some watched from surface craft at sea. At noon, Ernie Smith fired the starter’s pistol and the race was on. The race had an inauspicious start …
At 12:01, the first airplane became airborne. It was the Oklahoma, a blue and yellow monoplane with Bennett Griffen and Al. L. Henley. The Oklahoma passed the Golden Gate but then returned with mechanical difficulties.
Navy Lieutenants Norman A. Goddard and K. C. Hawkins moved their silver monoplane El Encanto down the runway at 12:03. Goddard was with the U.S. Naval Reserve at San Diego and his navigator, Hawkins, was an active duty naval officer from the San Diego Naval Air Station, on special leave to participate in the race.
Thrown off course by a side wind, Goddard managed to get about four feet into the air but then crashed to the ground at the 7,000 foot mark, completely demolishing the left wing. The rudder had failed to react properly. It was damaged sufficiently to be out of competition.
In third position, at 12:11, was war ace Major Livingston J. Irving in his orange monoplane Pabco Pacific Flyer. He rose as high as 10 feet into the air then plummeted suddenly back to the ground, ending up in the marsh and water. Tail wheel shattered, Irving pulled off for repairs and another start at the end of the line, intent not to let down fellow employees of the San Francisco firm who were his backers.
The Golden Eagle took off without incident at 12:31 and headed west with its crew of John W. Frost and Gordon Scott. The Lockheed plane was a Vega cantilever type monoplane, cigar shaped, with a 200 hp radial engine, put in the race by George Hearst, publisher of the San Francisco Examiner.
John Augie Peddlar took off in his Buhl Airsedan biplane, Miss Doran, at 12:33. His navigator was Lieutenant Vilas R. Knopie, U.S. Navy, and a 22-year-old school teacher passenger named Miss Mildred Doran—inspiree for the first woman passenger title.
Movie stunt flyer Arthur C. Goebel guided Woolaroc ,his yellow and blue Travelair monoplane, down the runway with Navy Lieutenant William V. Davis as his navigator. Davis was an active duty Navy pilot on 30 days leave from his North Island, San Diego station. He was formerly an Annapolis swimming star
Taking off next was Honolulu’s Martin Jensen in the Aloha, with Paul Schluter as navigator. The ALOHA was previously christened with a bottle of Waikiki water, complete with Hawaiian singers and hula dancers.
Miss Ruby Smith, an Oakland beauty queen, broke the bottle amidst Hawaiian strains and dances. Jensen was particularly proud of the painted Hawaiian flower lei which draped comfortably around the plane’s nose.
The Pabco Pacific Flyer’s tail wheel was repaired and Irving attempted another takeoff. The overloaded plane crashed, smashing one wing. Pilot and navigator came out unhurt.
Dallas Spirit took off at 12:37, flown by Captain William P Erwin with AH Eichwaldt as navigator. Erwin returned because of torn wing fabric.
Four airplanes were in the race, winging across the Pacific: Aloha, Golden Eagle, Miss Doran and Woolaroc … later, only two landed in Hawai‘i (Woolaroc (the first finisher that landed August 17, 1927 at Wheeler Field after a flight of 26 hours, 17 minutes and 33 seconds) and Aloha.)
When it became obvious the other two contestants were lost, Dole put up a $10,000 reward for anyone finding each of the missing planes. Sponsors of the Golden Eagle put up an equal amount for their plane, so did sponsors for the Miss Doran.
A huge search party was set up, soon swelling to 42 ships and planes. The amazing Jensen took off in the Aloha for a five-hour search over O‘ahu, Molokai and Maui. One of the Army planes on search crashed into the sea, killing its two occupants. The search was to no avail.
In Honolulu, the following day, the Star Bulletin carried James Dole’s statement: “Hawaii is on the lips of the world today, in the minds of countless millions of people.”
“Aviation during this year 1927 has definitely brought our own Hawaiian territory closer than ever before into the consciousness of the whole American people. Time and distance between Hawaii and the Pacific Coast are magically shortened.”
“I feel that this has great practical as well as sentimental value to the people of Hawaii. Business and commerce, social and civic relations, national and international contacts, are the better served, the more greatly inspired and stimulated.”
“There is, I feel, immediate and substantial advertising value to Hawaii, to Hawaii’s business, and to Hawaii’s resources and products, in giving to many millions of people the picture of the modern American community which can be reached from the Pacific Coast in 24 hours.”
“There is also, I feel, a definite stimulus to commercial aviation on the Pacific in the ‘Dole Derby.’ It is my hope and belief that the achievements of the trans-Pacific flyers today point to the early establishment of commercial aviation in Hawaii with regular and ample facilities for business and pleasure transportation.”
“In this spirit of building for Greater Hawaii, I join with my fellow citizens everywhere over the territory in welcoming contestants in this great competition of skill, science and experience, in the conquest of the air.” (Lots of information here is from hawaii-gov, Bartholomew and Hawkins.)