Dole Pineapples

In January 1925, Marjorie Lyon accompanied her favorite relatives, Aunt Alice and Uncle Izzie Pardee and their daughter, Helen, on a three-month trip to Hawaii. Bessie had planned to go with them but had to withdraw at the last minute due to ill health. Marjorie was very disappointed and homesick for the first few days, but the trip turned into an adventure for them all and was soon deemed very successful.

Marjorie had arrived in Hawaii with a letter of introduction to a Mr. James Dole, and on February 14 (after exchanging Valentines) they set off to visit him at his Hawaiian Pineapple Company’s cannery. They were hosted by Mr. Dole himself, who was “most friendly.”

There followed a tour around the factory, which Marjorie described in her diary:

“The cannery is the largest in the world. Flat cars bring the pineapples from the plantations. The crates are fed to a ginoca machine which, with various knives, takes off the top and bottom, peels and cores the fruit; and then girls (gloved, capped and aproned) remove any specks left. Then along comes the slicing machine; then girls packing the cans, then a machine that syrups each can; then an exhaust that removes the air from the can; then a lid-putting-on machine; then a cooper (which takes ten minutes); then gasoline and lacquer machine for cans; then water cooler; then twenty-four hours rest; then test by tapping; then wrapper-putting-on machine; then boxes packed; then machine that nails them; then wiring machine, and at last the crates are ready!

“There are three or four sizes of cans. 40,000 was the largest daily output, and over 2,000,000 were shipped last year. They only work four days a week now – but in July, August and September are going ten or more hours per day and every day. There is a cafeteria, a nice rest room, a dispensary, etc. Everything is immaculate.  Uncle Izzie ate the only slice of pineapple he has ever enjoyed. I’m going to send some home to show you how good it is!”