MATSON ad, October 1936

There's nothing particularly Polynesian about this ad, and yet that was what they were hoping to sell you. This ad could have just as easily been for Miami. So why weren't the people of Polynesia featured in ads? I don't think I need to delve into the answer for this. I think most people can figure it out. It's a shame, because I'm guessing that when a lot of passengers disembarked from their ship at the Aloha Tower their senses were soon overwhelmed by Hawaii that they dreaded ever returning to their world of browns and grays. Who would want to leave a place full of color and flowers that bloom all year long?

Click on image to see it larger. (SOURCE: The American Magazine, October, 1936)

You can actually buy a sign of this image, sans type, from a company that is licensed to reproduce vintage Matson Liner ephemera. They also have many of the beautiful illustrations Matson commissioned for murals and ephemera. I wish they offered posters instead of signs.

To get a feeling of what it was like to travel on a Matson Liner there is a wonderful book called To Honolulu in Five Days. Full of images of ephemera, it tells the story of your trip to heaven and what it was like once you got there.

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