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Beginner’s Guide History Old Hawaii Postcards

Eruption Kilauea Volcano Halemaumau Firepit Molten Lava

Hawaii has been in the news so much lately, it has lush green tropical waterfalls and Mountains Streams.  It has been for years in the mind of most Americans –  If you could go somewhere on vacation – where would it be Hawaii comes on many people’s lips.  Lately because of the eruptions, many have been watching lava flows, volcanic ash coating the Island Paradises

All You Need To Know About Hawaii History

Knowing one’s history of origin gives you a sense of belonging. In order words, it is very vital to understand the historical antecedent of a particular country, nation or state. This is so because it keeps you in the known of the stages of development that translate to present-day society. Remember, without history, there is no future because the history of a state like Hawaii shapes the present existence in all ramifications. On this note, we shall be looking out the various history of Hawaii, and how it translates to be known as the US state.


Captain Tames Cook was the first European to set foot in Hawaii in 1778. He came to the Islands of Kauai and later named the Island after the order of Earl of Sandwich. He was killed during a confrontation with Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay which is Hawaii’s biggest Island.

Between the period of 1791 and 1810, King Kamehameha conquered other rulers and unite all other islands into one kingdom called the Hawaii kingdom, and he was a ruler of them. He died in 1819, every June 11 is King Kamehameha Day.

The first Christian missionaries came into Hawaii in 1820, later the Western traders came, that brought the strange diseases that led to the decline of the native Hawaiian population. Imagine having a number of 300, 000 plus during Cook arrival, now dropped down to 70,000.

Hawaii Historical Periods

Here we shall be looking at the various periods, events that led to the present-day Hawaii state. These stages or periods would give us a break down on how the Island of Hawaii became part of the US state. These periods include the following:

  • Human Settlement Era
  • Kingdom Of Hawaii
  • Massive Immigration/ Sugar Plantation Period
  • Sugar Reciprocity Period
  • Republic Of Hawaii Period


Human Settlement Era

The history of Hawaii’s state cannot be a discourse in the absence of human settlement. This is why the history of Hawaii is referred to as the era of human settlement. The history of the now American state began around 124 and 1120 AD. During this period, the state was regarded as Hawaiian Islands, a place that was formally dominated by Polynesians. It may shock you to know that Hawaii civilization was isolated from the world for a period of 500 years.

It was discovered that a Spanish captain named Ruy Lopez de Villalobos was the first to discover Hawaii a European in 1542, and British explorer known as James Cook arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778. Kamehameha 1 conquer and unify the islands of Hawaii by establishing the kingdom of Hawaii. This was achievable through the help and assistance of the European military Technology offered to Kamehameha. The kingdom of Hawaii was prosperous based on its strategic location in the Pacific Ocean and its agriculture productivity.

Kingdom Of Hawaii

The house of Kamehameha plays an important role in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Though the kingdom of Hawaii lasted from 1795 till 1893. The house of Kamehameha or Hale O Kamehameha as it was called plays a prominent role in the historical making of Hawaii. Kamehameha 1, was the originator of the kingdom of Hawaii but was overthrown in 1893.

Massive Immigration/ Sugar Plantation Period

Immediately the arrival of Cook the British explorer led by Protestant Missionaries. Americans begin to set up sugar plantations. This method of farming required a large number of laborers that necessitated the arrival of new immigrants from China, Japan, Philippines. These immigrants work as a laborer of the sugar plantation. The then government of Japan organized and protected his people.25 percent of the Hawaii population was attributed to Japan.

Sugar Reciprocity Period

Sugar became the major export from Hawaii immediately after Cook’s arrival. The first popular plantation started in Kauai in 1835. The sugar plantation drastically turns the economy of Hawaii. The positive effects of sugar plantation were felt in the four main islands. Sugar production completely altered Hawaii’s economy. This is when American influence on the island grew. I started demanding US ownership in the sugar plantation. This was orchestrated by the missionary religion and sugar economic pressure.

Pressure from plantation owners was felt by the king and chiefs. Immediately this intrusion of the U.S demanding a say in Hawaii Kingdom politics, the King decided to seek reciprocity. The king tries to reduce the US tariff on Sugarcane based on what is obtainable with other foreign partners. In 1854 the king proposed policy of reciprocity but the proposal couldn’t hold water and was swept under the carpet of the US senate. US control of the Hawaii territory was seen as a defense for its West Coast.


Republic Of Hawaii Period

As native population decline due to diseases brought by Europeans like smallpox. The United States of America took advantage of and rewrote the constitution. Their intention was to cut down the power of King David and disenfranchise the rights of many native Hawaiians and Asian citizens. Placing more emphasis on the amount of property or income one has. This law further favors the plantation owners. The Queen strives to restore the royal power in 1893 but proves abortive. She was placed under house arrest by the businessmen through US military assistance. The Republic of Hawaii was formed, against the wishes of the queen. In 1898 the government decided to join the US as the Territory of Hawaii, and in 1959 the Island became the state of Hawaii of the United States.



On the final note, the above are some of the major events that preceded the present-day Hawaii state. It should be noted that before the United State annexed the Republic of Hawaii in 1893 to be part of the US state. They existed as a kingdom and has been ruled by various rulers, chieftains and kings. They operated a rich and productive economy in the area of sugarcane. Hawaii’s historical origin would be incomplete if the above periods are not encapsulated in our historical analysis.


Postcard History


Postcards History Began in Hawaii in 1896, but prior to that Hawaii had a rich Past.  Hawaii’s years in the past Polynesians made it to the Islands by canoe.  Skilled Farmers and fishermen lived in small communities. ruled by local chieftains who were in constant conflict battling over territory.  In the 1820s the first Missionaries arrived.  Followed by western traders and whaling ships.   the population was around 300,000 – when Cook arrived.  by 1853 it had dropped to 70,000 because of the influence of western diseases


In 1893 American colonists held most of the Sugar Plantations.  They overthrew the Republic of Hawaii, and Hawaii was Annexed in 1898 as a Territory


Queen Liliuokalani was running out and imprisoned.  Becoming a Hawaiian Heroine.  Her Palace was restored in 1970.

POSTCARDS  We’re being used in Hawaii, while the US had changed to SOUVENIR CARDS.  It was toward the end of June in 1900 that the Postal Service caught up with the Territory of Hawaii.  Post Offices Remained Opened until Midnight on the 14th to accommodate the masses of People wanting to get Passing Stamps and Postal Cancellation.


If you had a Hawaiian Postcard canceled June 13, or 14th 1900, you have a very rare postcard of this historic Event’.  Today it is very hard to find these rare cards.

When Hawaii became part of the US. Hawaii developed into a tourist attraction.  Many Postcards printed of the colorful flowers, Volcano’s When Mt Kilauea was fuming, many postcards of Peles Kitchen.  Some were selling Postcards – Saying “This Card was Scorched over hot lava cracks in the Crater of Kilauea, Hawaii” and they physically scorched the cards themselves.   They had a five-foot stick with a slot to hold the cards as they tenderized them.  The toasted cards were then sent back as souvenirs.  If you spot these cards grab them.


South Seas Curio Company


In 1910 Post Cards Printed in Germany, of Colorful Hawaiian Fish.  Local Publishers were publishing many cards and were very popular.  One Company – Named – South Seas Curio Company preserved many of the earlier times in Hawaiian History.


The Owner James Steiner was  Czechoslovakia in 1860- James immigrated to the U.S. in 1881 and came to Hawaii in 1882.  He went to work for the Hart Company,  a restaurant, and a catering business.  he eventually became part owner, then eventually sole owner in the 1890’s.  He then redirected the business to the Island Curio Company.  Postcards were added to their sales in 1903.  James Steiner was a very strong driver of the tourist Business.  And his Postcards did a lot to instigate the desire to come to Hawaii.  It seems like the majority of the Hawaiian Postcards produced by local businesses, the island curio company seemed to put out the most.


Hula Dancers


Hawaiian Dancing called Hula, Young Ladies hula dancing became very sought after.  The years they were most popular were 1898 – 1959.  hula dancing was the traditional way of describing the stories of their Gods.  It was done by both men and women dancers.  When American missionaries converted Queen Lili’uokalanin, she banned the hula dancing from a religious view.   Many of the earlier cards were black and white.

The  Hawaii & South Seas Curio Company advertised itself as “The Largest Pacific-Souvenir Store in the World”. The company had offices located at 1033 Bishop Street, in downtown Honolulu, at 2385 Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki, and at 821 Market Street in San Francisco.  it was selling a lot of the Hawaiian Postcards – many said greetings from Hawaii – Printed on the image side of the card.  The Hawaiian Branch was named ” The Pink Palace”.  They sold many souvenirs, postcards, but also ukuleles, costumes, fans, jewelry, hula costumes.


Hilo Drug Company


Hawaiian postcards were also distributed by the Hilo Drug Company, in Hilo,  they sent their postcards to Japan to be hand colored this made them more valuable for these reasons.  These Cards were sent to Japan to Karl Lewis in Yokohama.  his Postcards are very rare.  he was born in Kentucky on Sept 10th, 1865,  he began living in Japan on August 14, 1903.    It is recorded he had a common Law wife, a young 17-year-old Japanese girl named Sasako Sadako.  It is said he chose to live in Yokohama, because of the inspiration of Mount Fuji.  He advertised himself as the only European photographer living in Japan.  He produced Hawaiian cards that feature his hand-colored hula girl images.

  • Hand Colored Cards were gorgeous

  • Opened a whole new Group of Japanese Collectors

  • They also printed them with divided / undivided back giving collector more of a selection.

Production amounts were very small 150-300, so amounts were small which magnified their collecting Value.


Hawaiian Costumes

Polynesian Authentic Costumes Honolulu Hawaii
Polynesian Authentic Costumes Honolulu Hawaii


Primitive Native Hawaiian wore few clothes, the weather was always warm.  Clothing was mostly made from plant fibers, bark cloth or grasses.  Traditional garments for men included the “malo” or loincloth.  The Women wore “pa’u” or skirt, in colder weather, a “kihei”  was worn by both to protect from chills or rain. This was made from Kapa – is soft durable bark cloth.  It is made by gently pounding out the bark from wauke, mamaki, oloa, akala or hau trees into sheets of fabric.  Green and colorful Plant dyes are used to give color.  Sweet smells were further added by pounding flowers into the materials.


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Hawaiian Canoes

Canoes were used for fishing, travel and exploring the coast.  Some have one or two outriggers.  Hawaiian canoes were extremely light, the Canoes were typically 15 to 24 feet long with a single float on the port side for stability. They Had a one and a half-inch thick hull, a 24-foot canoe weighed less than 50 pounds, making for easy handling, and transporting.

Hawaiian craftsmen selected a tree for the hull, generally koa, then used stone axes, chisels, and files to shape the boat. Booms were made of hau wood and the ama, or float, was shaped from wiliwili, the lightest, most buoyant wood.  large double-hulled canoes could accommodate up to 100 passengers and used sail power as well as paddlers. These canoes were able to make long ocean voyages or carried armies of warriors to battle.

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Buy Postcard Pig Roast Luau Hawaii
Buy Postcard Pig Roast Luau Hawaii


Hawaiian Luau – Hawaiian Party


  • Pass the coconut

  •  Ulu Maika

  •  Konane

  • Hula till you Drop

  • Hawaiian Pictionary

  • Hawaiian Limbo

  •  Kumu Hula Say

  • Pineapple Bowling

Spouting Horn Kauai hawaii
Spouting Horn Kauai Hawaii


Hawaii Volcanos

  • Kilauea

  • Mauna Loa

  • Hualalai

  • Puu O O

  • Haleakala

  • Kohala

  • West Maui Mountains

  • East Molokai Volcano

  • West Molokai Volcano

  • Diamond Head

  • Pu u  Kukui

  • Kamakou

Hawaii Volcano'sVideoPricing Hi / LoNumber of PostcardsEbay Link to 4 Million Postcards
Kilauea Volcano
Video$ 48.00 / .99247Kilauea Volcano Postcards
Mauna Loa VolcanoVideo$ 22.84 / .3525Mauna Loa Volcano Postcards
Hualalai VolcanoVideo$ 14.501Hualalai Volcano Postcards
Puu OO VolcanoVideo$ 7.192Puu OO Volcano Postcards
Haleakala VolcanoVideo$ 4.99 / 1.0031Haleakala Volcano Postcards
Kohala volcanoVideo$ 14.501Kohala volcano Postcards
West Molokai VolcanoVideo45West Molokai Volcano Postcards
East Molokai VolcanoVideo45East Molokai Volcano Postcards
Diamond Head VolcanoVideo$ 2.99 / .9917Diamond Head Volcano Postcards
Puu Kukui VolcanoVideo30Puu Kukui Volcano Postcards
Kamakou VolcanoVideo20Kamakou Volcano Postcards



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Sheraton Molokai Hawaii
Sheraton Molokai Hawaii


The story of the Sheraton Kaluakoi Resort is a sad one. It was built as the Sheraton Molokai Hotel in 1975.   Today it is Abandoned, it has been through many owners.  Today it is locked up.  Some of the smaller residences are being used as private Villas.  The rest of the main commercial parts are locked up.


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Beginner's Guide History Old Hawaii Postcards 5
Volcano Erupting Hawaii




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History of Hawaii – You Tube

You Tube History of Hawaii
You Tube History of Hawaii


Ebay’s Selection of Vintage Postcards from Hawaii – 12,706


Owner of Darlene's Old Postcards
Missionary – Mother – Grandmother
God Bless Darlene & Greg