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Machinist, Electrician, Carpenter, Ironworker—Which would your boy rather be?

Cover Image: Masthead of Ka Nupepa Kuokoa published on August 23, 1918.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

We hope this new school year is going well for you all. Have you seen the case celebrating the bicentennial of printing in Hawaiʻi located on the third floor of Hawaiian Hall? Last week we switched out the Hawaiian language newspaper on display and noticed this advertisement for Kamehameha Schools.


Which would your boy rather be?

So read the headline of this Kamehameha Schools advertisement promoting enrollment for boys ranging six to 20 years old. It was one of several ads printed in both the English and Hawaiian language newspapers leading up to the start of the 1918–1919 school year. Machine work, ironworking, automobile repair, and electricity were but a few of the courses offered at the school. The instruction would provide the pupils with foundational skills for good-paying jobs that were in demand at the time.

Image: “Hana Mikini, Hana Uwila, Hana Kamana, Hana Hao: O Keaha ka Hana a Kau Keiki?” Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, August 23, 1918, p. 2.

Nā Kula Kamehameha during those days prided itself as a properly equipped vocational school in the Territory of Hawaiʻi for learning trades. The advertisement prompted its readers to “let your son try his hand at each one before making a decision.” Graduates would be able to enter their trade at once and advance quickly because of their training. It was an affordable opportunity made possible to children of Hawaiian blood by the generous endowment of Bernice Pauahi Bishop.

The cost to attend Kamehameha Schools included a $50 tuition fee for the year with additional expenses not to exceed $50 for clothing, books, and other fees—bringing the entire cost under $100 annually. With the opening of the fall session set for September 9, parents were urged to complete the application for enrollment without delay.

Image: Kamehameha School manual arts class in the forging room; Honolulu, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. 1913. Photo by L. E. Edgeworth, Bishop Museum Archives. SP 25125.

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This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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