hawaiian islands silent film documentary 1924

Waikiki Beach, 1924.

This silent film of the Hawaiian Islands from 1924 shows a way of life that once was

Prepare to be transported back in time… Hawaii in 1924, specifically.

In this silent film simply titled “The Hawaiian Islands,” black and white waves lap against the shores, people shop at the Japanese-owned stores in the city district, workers tend to sugar canes plantation fields in the hot sun, Hawaiians pound poi and surf the high-rise-free beaches of Waikiki—showcasing a way of life that once was.

There’s even period footage of molten lava flows at Kilauea on Hawaii Island, and we doubt anyone will ever see men and women in buttoned up collars, top hats and dresses hopping over cracks along the crater floor in this era.

The video was shot in the “modern city” of Honolulu, Oahu, and produced by the Ford Motor Company, all when Hawaii, deemed “the crossroads of the Pacific,” was still a territory of the United States. The footage has since been attained by the U.S. National Archives.

Staple agricultural crops, a railroad train system, little to no buildings. Watch what it was like to live in the Islands 92 years ago through the eyes of then-America: