Support Verso: Diamond Head | Lēʻahi

PortfolioHawaiian Landscape | Japanese Garden Album


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Support Dimensions: 24.9 x 33.7 cm

One subtle clue from the album indicates the photographer may have been a member of the U.S. military based in Honolulu between 1900 and 1920. The curious and intriguing evidence for this is one of the album leaf supports. On it is a mounted photograph showing the famous volcanic tuff cone Diamond Head on the Hawaiian island of Oahu (probably taken from Honolulu’s Kapiolani Park)  On the verso is printed:

War Department
Headquarters Hawaiian Department
Honolulu, H.T.
Official Business

Evidently a mailing envelope, a red ink stamp is used to address its recipient, which is unfortunately mostly rubbed out, except for a few details which can still be gleaned from it:

Commanding Officer

In trying to date this envelope, we note the term Hawaiian Department in relation to the U.S. military did not come into general use until February 15, 1913, when it superseded the term Department of Hawaii. 1.

Taking this further, but of course with no evidence he was the photographer of these images, cursory research turns up a listing for the Commanding Officer, Major Thomas J. Smith, who headed the Hawaii Ordnance Depot for the U.S. Army in Honolulu in 1917. 2.

1. from: War Department- Annual Reports, 1913: Washington: Government Printing Office: 1914: p. 95
2. from: Hawaiian Almanac and Yearbook for 1918: Thomas G. Thrum: compiler and publisher: Honolulu: 1917: p. 169

Support Verso: Diamond Head | Lēʻahi