Opium Dens in Chinatown

Today, people go to Chinatown, Honolulu, to shop for produce. In 1908, opium users went there for the opium dens.

A Pacific Commercial Advertiser reporter visited one. Smelling the opium, he walked by people lying on wooden mats, inhaling white fumes from pipes or sleeping.

The reporter tried to take photographs of the opium users. Fifty people were using opium on the lanais (balconies). But when they saw the reporter’s camera, they were gone in less than a minute and “piling helter-skelter behind the slammed doors.”

Read more about it in “Honolulu’s Highways and Byways.”

The Pacific commercial advertiser., March 16, 1908, Page 5, Image 5

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