Lost and Found

Did you ever read the lost and found classified ads even though you didn’t lose or find anything?
Historical classified ads show the material items of yesterday. Some items–purses, glasses, watch, key, dogs, cats–are the same items we commonly use today. Other items–horses, handkerchiefs, bankbooks, livestock, human slaves–reflect their times. Fortunately, Hawaii newspapers don’t have ads about human slaves, but have ads about the rest, as seen below.

As horses served as the main mode of transportation in the 1800s, ads about missing horses appeared. Pet dogs also were apparently common in Hawaii, and ads commonly mentioned missing terrier and pointer dogs.
Less common are ads for found items.

This ad announces a missing “poi” (mixed-breed) dog.
Did the same person lose and find a gold watch?
The lost ads rarely presented a feeling of closure. This ad about a “lame” dog, which ran for three issues, got a response, and the ad didn’t run again:
G. Schumann’s black and white spotted coach dog was another lost dog ad that was able to get closure.

A pair of gold cuff buttons, each with a diamond in the center, went missing from the Waikiki Inn (third ad).
And the following is what happened to the cuff buttons:

– Alice Kim

Newspapers with Lost and Found section
The Daily Bulletin
Evening Bulletin
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
The Maui News
Further Reading
Strange Red Cow by Sara Bader

“Lost, Strayed or Stolen”
The Daily bulletin., August 12, 1892, Image 3
http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016412/1892-08-12/ed-1/seq-3/The Independent., June 27, 1895, Image 4

“Horse Found”
The Daily bulletin., October 26, 1888, Image 2


“Want Ads”

Honolulu star-bulletin., March 21, 1916, 2:30 Edition, Page THREE, Image 3

Lost “lame” dog and dog found


“Advertising Notes”

The Daily bulletin., May 27, 1892, Image 3

Evening bulletin., July 03, 1901, Page 8, Image 8

Evening bulletin., July 05, 1901, Page 5, Image 5


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