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This Rare Footage From 1924 Shows Hawaii Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Take a step back in time to the era before Hawaii was an American state, to an island paradise, circa 1924. Produced by the Ford Motor Company, this beautiful black and white silent film simply entitled, “The Hawaiian Islands,” shows us life in Hawaii through the eyes of mainlanders in the roaring ‘20s. The footage was obtained by the U.S. National Archives, and later uploaded to YouTube in 2014.

The film describes Honolulu as “a modern city with avenues of beautiful palms and tropical plants,” and features footage of waves crashing against the shore at the famous Waikiki Beach, individuals working in sugar cane plantations and taro fields, an impressive railroad system, Japanese shop owners, and even well-dressed men jumping over crevices made from the cooled lava flows of Kilauea.

While I feel lucky to live in modern day Hawaii, where I can easily retreat into my air conditioned home when the weather gets a little too warm, it is quite incredible to see the islands from this unique perspective.

Megan Shute
Megan is a freelance journalist residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from the mainland two years ago, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Kona coffee.