Emil Melville’s Balloon Ride

Up, up and away! This month in history–March 1889–before airplanes, hot-air balloons were becoming popular.

In Hawaii, Emil Melville would attempt the first human flight and first manned ascent on a balloon, perform acrobatic stunts, and hang from a trapeze.

How did Mr. Melville’s attempt go? Find out by reading “Emil Melville’s Balloon Ride.”



First Public Airport

Today in history–March 21, 1927–Hawaii’s first official civilian airfield, John Rodgers Airport, was dedicated. It was renamed Honolulu International Airport and became among the busiest U.S. airports with over 21 million passengers per year.

Read more about how people Hawaii traveled in “Trans-Pacific Travel.”

Trans-Pacific Travel

The First Motorcycle in Hawaii

Today in history–February 15, 1901–the motorcycle debuted in Hawaii. Mr. Whitman, manager of the Tribune bicycle agency, took the very first spin around downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. Read about the first motorcycle ride in Hawaii in “First Motorcycles in Hawaii.”

First Motorcycles in Hawaii

Hawaii’s First Photograph

Today in history — May 17, 1845 — Theophilus Metcalf took Hawaii’s first photograph. The  daguerreotype portrayed Timoteo Haalilio and William Richards in Paris (left image) as diplomats for the Kingdom of Hawaii.

After returning to Hawaii, Metcalf started his photography business as Hawaii’s first commercial photographer. Read more about it in “Early Photography in Hawaii.”

“Early Photography in Hawaii”

First Filming in Hawaii

This week in history — May 10, 1898 — Edison photographers filmed the first filming in Hawaii. The two photographers traveled around Honolulu and filmed scenes.

The year before, the Hawaiian Opera House featured the first movie showing in Hawaii, which included seven short films, such as “A Watermelon Contest,” and “Wonderful Contrivance.”  Each of the silent film was less than a minute long.

Read more about it in “First Night at the Movies in Hawaii.”

“First Night at the Movies in Hawaii”

Hawaii’s First Gas Light

This week in history — November 2, 1858 – Hawaii’s first gas lights illuminated Mr. E. Burgess’ spacious billiard saloon at the Commercial Hotel. Read more about it in “Hawaii’s First Gas Light.”

Hawaii’s First Gas Light

Hawaii’s First Electrical Telegraph

One hundred forty-two years ago this week, The Pacific Commercial Advertiser reported the first electric telegraph in Hawaii:

The line connecting Mr. Rawson’s store and Mr. Eckart’s jewelry manufactory, is now in successful operation, and a crowd of the curious have been flattening their noses against Kinney’s front window to see the machine work. For the sake of satisfying everybody, messages will be sent over the wires for a few days from 12:30 to 1 o’clock P.M., when any one can witness their transmission.

“The Telegraph”
The Pacific commercial advertiser, October 19, 1872, Image 3