Guide to the William Hesketh Leverhulme Solomon Islands photograph album, circa 1906-1910
William Hesketh Lever was the First Viscount Leverhulme, and founder of the international firm, Lever Brothers. This bound photograph album belonging to Lord Leverhulme is entitled Solomon Islands Views, and contains 98 black-and-white photographs, chiefly measuring 6x8 inches, that illustrate the beginnings of the Lever Brothers Pacific plantations operations from about 1906-1910. Images include company buildings, plantations at various stages of development, local inhabitants and dwellings, other cultivated crops, flora and fauna, and steamships. Among the place names listed are Rendova, Pepesala and Guadalcanal. Notable persons found among the images include the Resident Commissioner of the Islands at the time, missionary J.F. Goldie, and various Lever officers.
- Collection Number
- William Hesketh Leverhulme Solomon Islands photograph album
- circa 1906-1910
- Leverhulme, William Hesketh Lever, Viscount, 1851-1925
- 0.5 Linear Feet, 1 Volume
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
This handsomely bound photograph album belonging to Lord Leverhulme is entitled Solomon Islands Views, and contains 98 black-and-white photographs that illustrate the beginnings of the Lever Brothers Pacific plantations operations. Images include buildings, plantations at various stages of development, local inhabitants, and steamships. Among the place names listed are Rendova, Pepesala and Guadalcanal. Persons whose photographic portraits are found among the images are the Resident Commissioner of the Islands, missionary J.F. Goldie, and various Lever officers. The photographs illustrate the beginnings of the Lever Brothers' Pacific Plantations operations in the Solomon Islands. The views include buildings and other installations, coconut plantations in various stages of development, lumbering, native housing, local populace, local workers in various tasks, local and inter-island shipping, colonial and company officials, local chiefs, company and government headquarters, ocean steamships, steam powered agricultural equipment, copra, local flora and fauna, and the cultivation of peanuts, rubber, and sweet potatoes.
Place names listed for the photographs are: Rendova, West Bay, Erickson's Island, Pepesala, Guadalcanal, KayIan, Ufa, Banika, Tulagi, Gavatu, Lunga, Kokoon, Pampa, Kaukau, Aola, and Stanmore River. Persons in the photographs include: Charles Morris Woodford, Resident Commissioner of the Islands, 1896 to 1914, and Mrs. Woodford; Mrs. Tillotson, wife of Lord Leverhulme's nephew, John Lever Tillotson (d. 1915) who was his senior colleague on the board; Fred Wernham, an expert in tropical plantation work who was closely identified with developments in the Solomon Islands; Joseph Meek, who first journeyed to the Islands in 1905 to assess prospects there; Methodist missionary J. F. Goldie, translator of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John into Roviana; and a number of others whose names can be found in the list of the pictures.
The black-and-white photographs, emulsion-paper prints, typically measure 6x8 inches in size. Several photographs are dated 1906, but most are undated. The buildings and headquarters of the company appear well developed. That suggests that 1906 is too early a date, since Mr. Meek's initial visit to the Solomons was in 1905. Most of the pictures probably date some years after 1906, but before 1914 when Commissioner Woodford left the islands. Other factors suggest that the dates range from 1906 to 1910.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], William Hesketh Leverhulme Solomon Islands photograph album, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Titles are taken from the original captions in the album.
William Hesketh Lever, First Viscount Leverhulme (1851-1925), British soap manufacturer, was the founder of the well-known firm of Lever Brothers whose operations became international during his lifetime. One of Lever Brothers' major international investments was in the Solomon Islands. In 1905 the company sent Joseph Meek, chairman of Lever Brothers Australian Company, to Lever, prospect through the Pacific islands and the Straits Settlements. They selected the Solomon Islands and eventually acquired 300,000 acres. The company began coconut planting on a considerable scale, forming for this purpose an associated company called Levers' Pacific Plantations, Ltd.
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- Coconut industry
- Coconut palm -- Economic aspects
- Solomon Islands -- History -- 20th century
- Solomon Islands -- Pictorial works
- Solomon Islands -- Social life and customs
- Solomon Islands -- Commerce
The William Hesketh Leverhulme Solomon Islands photograph album was acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at an unknown date.
Processed by Rubenstein Library staff.
Encoded by Paula Jeannet and Elizabeth Shesko, May 2013