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The Millionaires Cruise of 1929


 

 

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The Millionaires Cruise of 1929


 

 

 

in the beginning

It's September 1929.

The jazz is hot and 'The Twenties' are in full roar. The nation's wealth has more than doubled since we ended 'The Great War to End All Wars', and economic growth has swept many Americans into an affluent, but unfamiliar, consumer society.

America declares her days of self-imposed isolation are over.

Her national anthem plays more frequently as her citizens step forward to assume increasingly greater roles on the world's stage.  

The word is out... Americans show they can play just as hard as they can fight.

At this time, passengers traveling between continents via ocean liners are routinely treated not all that different than 'cargo'. Regardless of the ship's utilitarian purpose, passenger liners are still perceived to be mere ocean-crossing ferries.

But, William P. Roth, president of Matson Navigation Company, puts forth a different point-of-view. His vision of passengers being 'tourists with money' will soon become an industry transforming paradigm. Roth entices the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to organize a 'Round the Pacific Cruise' aboard the "SS Malolo", his company's newly constructed, luxury ocean liner. 

This unique 'stay-on-board' tour becomes an instant sell-out.

On September 21, 1929, three hundred and fifty-six millionaires set sail from San Francisco on an ambitious ninety-day, twenty-four thousand mile odyssey aboard the fastest and most luxurious ship in the Pacific. 

Thirty-eight days into the tour, somewhere between the American governed Philippines and French colonial Saigon, passengers receive news about stock markets crashing around the globe.

Quite understandably, this face-slapping news dramatically impacts many of the passenger's financial portfolios. 

Nearly ninety years have passed since this first 'Round the Pacific Cruise'. Since then, this little known pioneering journey continues to gain worldwide recognition as the seminal moment when a whole new industry was born. In the last ten years alone, demand for leisure cruising has increased sixty-eight percent. This modern, ocean-going pastime presently captures the attention of twenty-four million passengers annually generating forty-billion dollars in direct revenues; perhaps more than one hundred and twenty billion dollars overall when one considers the impact upon peripheral economies.

Modern Day Leisure Cruising  

Good news, folks... 'we no longer need to be millionaires'.

 

The Movie Trailer


A short trailer promoting the documentary about the 1929 tour of the Pacific aboard the SS Malolo

The Movie Trailer


A short trailer promoting the documentary about the 1929 tour of the Pacific aboard the SS Malolo

 

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About Us


History of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County

About Us


History of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County

About us

The CALIFORNIA PIONEERS of SANTA CLARA COUNTY is a non-profit organization founded in 1875 to preserve and promote the history of the 'VALLEY OF HEART'S DELIGHT', a region more commonly known today as 'SILICON VALLEY'.

One of the many ways we accomplish this is through our historic Film Transfer and Preservation Program. In early 2014, we received a contribution of family films from the 1920's which totally amazed us. Inside a large cardboard box, among many films of local interest, we discovered ten reels (two hours) of vintage 16mm film tucked neatly inside a one gallon galvanized can, a hold-over from the valley's fruit canning operations.

The film canisters were simply labeled "MALOLO". A quick search of the internet and we soon discovered this reference was to the "STEAM SHIP MALOLO", credited by many to be one of the first modern ocean liners specifically designed with 'leisure cruising' in mind. We became mesmerized by these never-before-viewed moving images 

It was at this moment our own personal journey began. We soon discover these moving images were taken in late 1929 by the donor's great-grandfather, LOUIS O. NORMANDIN, while traveling aboard the SS Malolo on her first 'ROUND THE PACIFIC CRUISE'. The cruise consisted of an extensive ninety day, twenty-four thousand mile journey which called at nineteen ports in fourteen countries.  

As historians, we wanted to know more, but unfortunately, there was very little information available.  It seemed like the only way to reconstruct the story behind these films was to do our own independent research.  It didn't take long to confirm our suspicions about the importance of these films.   

Our initial research began with online genealogical websites where we discovered a copy of THE SHIP'S PASSENGER LIST containing the names of three hundred and fifty-six passengers who were on board.  This document became our 'Rosetta Stone' as we set out to make contact with as many of the passenger's living descendants as possible.

Now, after three years of research, we have surprisingly gathered almost six hours of 16 mm film, more than one thousand still photos, seven journals, eight diaries... even 'letters home' written by a member of the ship's orchestra. Our collection of donated passenger film includes an 800 foot reel 'in living color', the oldest known moving images of Japan and China in color. We also have a pass key to stateroom #143... a compact double bed suite located on C- Deck. From these combined resources, we have succeeded in the identification of various passengers, then matched personal images with their literary contributions.

We dedicate this documentary to these families who thoughtfully preserved their ancestor's many fascinating narratives and incredible images from this historic journey... then enthusiastically shared them with us so others may be able to revisit this momentous lost moment in time. We would especially like to acknowledge and thank profusely the family who shared the original cache of film which sparked our own journey. More specifically, his grandson, Lon Nomandin, and great-grandson, Paul Normandin. 

 
 
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You can save a Rare piece of film history


You can save a Rare piece of film history


 

                                      HELP!

During the course of producing our documentary, we received donations of film, photographs, diaries, journals and other forms of memorabilia, from the descendants of passengers aboard the SS Malolo in 1929.

We received one 800 ft. reel of film taken during the ship's layover in Japan and China by passenger Dr. Ormond Wall of Hawaii. His footage was shot using Kodak's newest line of film, Kodacolor. Only recently, have experts discovered a digital method for extracting the original colors from the few remaining Kodacolor films that still exist.

We have established a 'GoFundMe' account to raise the necessary funds to preserve this specific reel. Once this is complete, this rare vintage film will be recognized as the oldest known full-color moving images of Japan and China.

Ultimately, it is our desire to gift these rare moving images to the archival film repositories for each country.

UPDATE 10/1/2018

We are excited to report we received the needed financial support to begin the needed restoration of this rare Kodacolor reel taken by Dr. Ormond Wall while traveling through China and Japan in October 1929. It is presently being processed and preserved by Colorlab Corp., Rockville, Maryland.

 

 
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Ports of Call


Travel Map outlining the route of the SS Malolo's journey of the Pacific in 1929. 

 

Ports of Call


Travel Map outlining the route of the SS Malolo's journey of the Pacific in 1929. 

 

Everything I was, I carry with me...
Everything I will be, lies on the road ahead.
— MA JIEN
Travelling... It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a story teller.
— IBN BATUTTA - 14th CENTURY

Meet the Travel Guides - Members of American Express, New York, headed by Louis Stone (Front Row Center)

YOUR ITiNERARY

Make sure to tip your Steward.

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Film Production


THIS IS WHERE WE WRITE

GLOWINGLY ABOUT WHAT

A WONDERFUL FILM

WE'VE MADE. 

COMING SOON!

Film Production


THIS IS WHERE WE WRITE

GLOWINGLY ABOUT WHAT

A WONDERFUL FILM

WE'VE MADE. 

COMING SOON!

r. helin

WRITER/DIRECTOR

Raised in Hawaii, Rick traveled to the mainland in 1965 to attend San Jose State from where he received a BA degree in Psychology. Rick briefly performed the duties of a Superior Court Deputy Probation Officer before going on to complete a successful thirty-two year career as a Mortgage Banker. Upon his retirement, Rick dedicated more of his time toward volunteer work, digitizing vintage film on behalf of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. Rick's personal video site can be found at:

https://www.youtube.com/user/KailuaKid/videos

 

b. foley

PRODUCER

Bill's roots in our community run deep. We credit his contagious love for history and and his knowledge of high-tech capabilities for ultimately inspiring us to preserve our fading moments of history through film preservation. As the steadfast trailblazer on our film restoration team, it is through Bill's leadership and unwavering love of history this unique documentary has come to fruition.    

d. BARCELLOS

ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

A native of Santa Clara County, Dale's music experience runs deep, having produced and toured with a series of amazing musical acts. His ability to play multiple instruments has helped him fine-tune his expertise in Music Composition and Audio Production.  Dale returned to San Jose State in 2005 where he received his BA in Art Education, then shared his expertise in advanced multimedia skills, graphic design, art and photography, to secondary students for the next ten years.  

You can listen to Dale's musical artistry at:

 http://music.avalanchechoir.com/album/dale-and-marilyn-barcellos-originals

 

Tourists and Natives co-mingle in Whaka Village in Rotorua, NZ

               Collins Street, Melbourne, AU