Coming or going, it's never a sure thing when a person was aboard a Matson liner wearing leis. You got them when you arrived in Hawaii and then again when you left.

Click on image to see it larger.

This family appears to have been visiting Hawaii in the 1930s which means that they were doing pretty well back on the mainland and not suffering through the Depression. Arriving in Hawaii aboard a Matson ship meant they stayed at one of two hotels: the Royal Hawaiian or the Moana. This photo was taken by Luke Photo Studio located at 1240 Nuuanu St, Honolulu. I'm guessing that this indicates it was probably taken upon arrival and sold to them during their stay. You can find another photo here from the same studio name.

From the Matson website:
The decade from the mid-20s to mid-30s marked a significant period of Matson expansion. In 1925, the company established Matson Terminals, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary, to perform stevedoring and terminal services for its fleet. With increasing passenger traffic to Hawaii, Matson built a world-class luxury liner, the S.S. Malolo, in 1927. At the time, the Malolo was the fastest ship in the Pacific, cruising at 22 knots. Its success led to the construction of the luxury liners Mariposa, Monterey and Lurline between 1930 and 1932. Matson’s famed “white ships” were instrumental in the development of tourism in Hawaii. In addition, beginning in 1927, with the construction of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Matson’s Waikiki hotels provided tourists with luxury accommodations both ashore and afloat. In order to generate excitement and allure for Hawaii as a world class tourist destination, Matson developed an ambitious and enduring advertising campaign that involved the creative efforts of famous photographers such as Edward Steichen and Anton Bruehl. In addition, Matson commissioned artists to design memorable keepsake menus for the voyages, as well as during their stay at the Royal Hawaiian. The Matson artwork created by Frank McIntosh, Eugene Savage, John Kelly and Louis Macouillard continues to be popular today. Reproductions of the some of the more famous and memorable ads and art can be purchased through Matson’s ArteHouse website. (Source: Matson)
Our local Costco occasionally sells orchids leis. I'm always tempted to buy one. Living in Hawaii was a world full of flowers. I miss the colors and the scents. Oh to have a white ginger plant growing outside my window with its scent drifting through the window with the trade winds.


  1. Traveling by ship from LA to Hawaii was like taking the train from Boston to Florida. Slow and civilized holidays with enough time to appreciate the journey and anticipate the beauty of the destination.

    1. That's it exactly. Nothing like the madness and the behemoths today.