What trends occurred at the Port in the early part of the 20th century
and how did they affect the use of these facilities?
Even in the earliest years of Port operation, seagoing passengers were provided transport to the harbor. In 1914, the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company operated a passenger transport business out of the Port's first cargo terminal. Other companies to use the harbor for both freight and passenger service included the Pacific Steamship Company, Dollar Steamship Company (later American President Lines [APL], Luckenbach Steamship Company, McCormick Steamship Company, and Matson Navigation Company.
Ship's Supporter Hoist Loading Oranges
During the 1920s, the Los Angles Steamship Company (LASSCO), located at Berth 155A (Shed No. 5), became one of the most prominent companies at the Port. The company formed on June 10, 1920, when a group of Los Angeles businessmen, backed by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, purchased the steam vessels Yale and Harvard. Constructed for passenger service, the Yale and Harvard operated on both the East and West Coasts before being purchased by the U.S. Navy to be used as troop transports during World War I. After the war, LASSCO bought the ships from the Navy and began moving goods and passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The fast coastal ships became known as "white Flyers of the Pacific"; each made four sailings a week, carrying 565 passengers at an average speed of 24.6 knots.
LASSCO began providing service from Los Angeles to Hawaii in 1922, and was the first to promote tourist travel to Hawaii. By the early-1930s, however, because of the stock market crash and a series of setbacks, including the loss of one of its major liners, LASSCO overextended itself financially and faced bankruptcy. In January 1931, Matson Navigation Company bought out LASSCO and continued operating the coastal line under the LASSCO name. On December 30, 1937, LASSCO was formally dissolved.