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Old News Ladies

Old News Ladies

Regular price $120.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $120.00 USD
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My first release in Old News was for my final project with Pow Wow back in February of 2019.  Since then, I've adapted this cool collage to be our shop tissue paper and have had hundreds of requests for a re-release of the shirt, so here ya go!


This collage of 13 island newspapers dating from 1840 to 1912 lends a perspective of the islands at a time when all the business and commerce was very central to the Port of Honolulu at Aloha Tower.  All passengers arrived and departed by ship and each persons name was printed in the paper as part of the ships manifest. This port of arrival was bustling upslope to Fort Street, Bethel Street, Nu'uanu, and Hotel, which was the thriving center of mercantile shops, tailors, commerce, hotels and saloons. Being a retail store owner with a shop in Chinatown made this all especially interesting to me, my present reality being set in a historic neighborhood who's charm lingers in a moment of the past.

The classifieds were by far the most interesting section to explore.  I discovered an ad for a lost terrier bitch named "Patch", who's owner asked for her return to the Anchor Saloon at the corner of Nu'uanu and King Streets. In the FOR RENT section is a single advertisement for a five bedroom furnished house available for $25 per month, or if your needed a job, a jewelry shop on Fort Street had a position open for a live model to wear a diamond ring, the pay being $1 per week. I also found the article from when Duke Kahanamoku broke the world record in the 100-yard freestyle swim by 4.6 seconds in Honolulu Harbor on August 11, 1911. In a "travel" article is told the delight of day-trip excursion up to Tantalus.

 All the newspapers at this time were printed on a printing press, the text being laid out pretty much one letter at a time.  These newspapers took skill and craftsmanship to print.  Illustrations were etched onto plates. People read the paper word for word.  I find myself appreciating the aesthetic of the different fonts, the layout, the time and skill it took to print a single line and the romantic thought of my Chinatown community a century and a half ago, in it's hay day, shops bustling and horse's hitched up outside the saloon on the corner of Nu'uanu and King as a man stands bellied up to the bar in the hopes that someone had seen his ad and would stumble in with his lost dog Patch.

Original artwork print using old Chinatown newspapers, by Roberta Oaks.

    • Tailored cut for a woman's body.
    • 100% luxe poplin cotton
    • Perfectly matched up chest pocket
    • Black buttons buttons
    • Original print by Roberta Oaks
    • Cut and sewn in Honolulu, Hawaii
    • Machine wash cold and hang to dry. Or, dry clean it.


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