From Our Files: See What the Punahou Carnival Looked Like in 1948

We flipped back 75 years to see what Honolulu was buzzing about in April 1948.


April 1948 Paradise Cover


HONOLULU Magazine emerged from Paradise of the Pacific, a publication commissioned by King Kalākaua that began in 1888, making it the oldest continuously published magazine west of the Mississippi. Each month we take advantage of its enviable archive with a nostalgic dive into the past. For this issue, we flipped back 75 years to see what the city was buzzing about in April 1948. 



Honolulu Magazine April 1948 Punahou Carnival Ferris Wheel

Photo: HONOLULU Magazine


In the spring of ’48, a new film photography course at Punahou School piqued the interest of Paradise of the Pacific. Budding shutterbugs, under the tutelage of Bob Ebert, the chief photographer of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper, developed their skills by capturing scenes from that year’s carnival.




The resulting shots snagged a two-page spread in the issue titled “Carnival Thrills Seen thru Cameras at Punahou School” and offer a fun look at the annual fundraiser’s early years (the first took place in 1936), showcasing old-school rides and attractions, along with the decade’s saddle shoes, Peter Pan collars and slicked-back hairstyles.


FAST FACT: Remember McInerny? 1948 was also the year that the retailer opened its dazzling downtown location on Fort and King streets.   


From Our Files 4


Into the Sea

The issue’s cover featured an image of “Old Whaling Days in Honolulu,” an oil painting by American artist Lionel Walden, chosen to reflect the “vivid contrast between overseas transportation of a hundred years ago and modern luxury liners such as the renovated Matson ‘queen’ S. S. Lurline—returning to the Hawaiian run this month.” Walden was known for his moody, active seascapes, including many depicting Hawai‘i shores.





Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU  Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at


SEE ALSO: From Our Files: Magnum Mania