John Kidwell and the Founding of Hawaii’s Pineapple Industry

A group of farm workers surround harvested pineapples in the middle of a field on Oahu. Bettmann / Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

From his start as an apprentice to a nurseryman in London, John Kidwell would go on to catalyze the establishment of Hawaii’s pineapple industry. His story is also tied to the white business-driven Reform Party and its coup over the Hawaiian monarchy.

My research:

  • Bartholomew, Duane P., et al. “Hawaii Pineapple: The Rise and Fall of an Industry.” HortScience. October 2012. Vol. 47, No. 10. 1390-1398. Accessed online:
  • Hawkins, Richard A. “An English Entrepreneur in the Hawaiian Islands: The Life and Times of John Kidwell, 1849—1922.” Hawaiian Journal of History. Vol. 31. 1997.
  • Hawkins, Richard A. “A Pacific Industry: The History of Pineapple Canning in Hawaii.” I.B. Taurus. 2011.
  • Okihiro, Gary Y. “Pineapple Culture: A History of Tropical and Temperate Zones.” University of California Press. 2009.
  • Warner, Glen W. “The Hawaiian Pineapple Industry.” School Science and Mathematics Association. October 1959. Accessed online:

Topics in this Podcast: horticulture, Hawaii, culinary history, show notes, economics