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  • Hawaii's Illustrated Monthly
  • Photo Credit: Matson Navigation Company, photo can be found on

Hawaii becomes “Paradise of the Pacific” and the Matson Company

When Captain Cook ‘discovered’ the Hawaiian Islands, “paradise” had been found and later in 1875, a Hawaiian journalist named Henry Whitney dubbed the islands as “The Earthly Paradise” in a Hawaiian guide book. This idea of paradise depicted Hawaii as “a land of brilliant sunsets, palm fringed lagoons and friendly maidens”. This alluring portrayal of Hawaii was exemplified by a photo tabloid entitled “Paradise of the Pacific”; Hawaii’s illustrated monthly. This magazine was published by James Williams in 1888 and was published well into the 1950’s.
The ability to access this idealistic paradise was made possible in 1882 with the establishment of Matson Navigation Company. The Matson Company starting transporting  goods to Hawai‛i in 1882 via sailing ships and later turned to transporting passengers via steamship and building hotels on the Islands. This private passenger-freight shipping company is credited with initiating mass tourism to Hawaii. Increasing commerce resulted in an increasing interest in Hawaiian ‘paradise’ and in the mid 20’s and 30’s, a substantial growth in tourism. The tourism boom was further enhanced by the opening of the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian hotel, also known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific”. Unfortunately, the cost of tourism over the years has resulted in a loss of irreplaceable environmental assets and in the increasing number of tourists has been eroding Hawaii’s ideals of a paradise.  Matson Navigation still considers themselves Hawai‛i’s premier ocean carrier.

Photo Credit:
This was a magazine cover done by H.B. Christian in 1928

  1882  /  History  /  Last Updated August 31, 2012 by Heather Heenehan  /  Tags: , , ,