The Story of Hawai‘i Museum at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center is getting some big publicity this month. On Thursday, May 17, the Travel Channel show Mysteries at the Museum will air a segment on the museum’s steel guitar exhibit (which we wrote about in this April 4, 2018 story).
“I’m part of the narration in this segment,” museum owner Bryant Neal told me. “It features the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and how it led to the creation of the ‘pick up’ which electrified the guitar. The artifact is an original Rickenbacker Frying Pan steel guitar which is featured in the museum exhibit.”
That episode is scheduled to air at 9pm EST (check local listings to make sure of time here in Hawai‘i).
The museum will also appear on the show at 10pm EST (again, confirm with local listings) on Thursday, May 31 for a segment titled “Fire in Paradise,” dealing with the fire that ravaged Honolulu’s Chinatown in 1900. That fire, which had started from a controlled blaze meant to clear plague-contaminated areas of the city, ended up going out of control and burning for 17 days. It destroyed 4,000 homes, owned mostly by Chinese and Japanese residents.
“This segment has their own narrator but we have the artifact, which is a vintage fire hose nozzle from Chinatown from the time of the Great Fire of Honolulu,” said Neal.
In each episode of Mysteries at the Museum, host Don Wildman examines particular relics and artifacts at various museums around the world.
“He examines each artifact to illuminate the hidden treasures at the heart of history’s most incredible triumphs, sensational crimes and bizarre encounters,” states the Travel Channel’s website on the show. “Through compelling interviews, rare archival footage and arresting re-creations, Don pursues extraordinary tales of intrigue and wonder.”
And on a personal note, the Story of Hawai‘i Museum also has a new exhibit from yours truly. Because I’ll be leaving Hawai‘i soon, I’ve decided to donate a 1:250 scale model of the battleship USS Arizona to the museum. The model is made entirely from paper. A friend gave me the “kit” (PDF plans that I printed on cardstock and then painstakingly cut out using X-Acto knives) and it took me a few months to build.
It’s impossible to transport the model anywhere except across town because it’s, and since it’s just been sitting on a shelf at home for the last five years, I’ve decided that it would be better if it’s on display in the museum’s World War II exhibit. You can see it in this photo, on the bottom shelf.
Top photo: Sean M. Hower
Bottom photo: Bryant Neal