ELECTRIC LIGHTING OF KINGDOM OF HAWAII IN 1888 RECEIVES GLOBAL RECOGNITION AS AN IEEE MILESTONE
Iolani Palace honored for lighting the way
HONOLULU (March 12, 2018) – The electric lighting of Hawaii, which began in 1887 with the lighting of Iolani Palace, will be honored by IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization advancing technology for humanity, with an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering. Iolani Palace is the first Hawaii landmark to receive this recognition. The Milestone plaque will be presented during a ceremony on Friday, March 23, 2018, exactly 130 years after the first electric lighting of Honolulu.
“King Kalakaua was a strong proponent of technological advancements and embraced new ideas that would elevate the Kingdom of Hawaii’s profile on the world stage,” said Iolani Palace Executive Director, Kippen de Alba Chu. “We are honored that Iolani Palace is still being recognized for our monarch’s revolutionary accomplishments over a century later.”
It was reported that following a visit with Thomas Edison in New York, King Kalakaua illuminated Iolani Palace’s grounds with electric lights for his 50th birthday celebrations during November 1886, and by June 1887 the Palace was lit with 325 incandescent lights, including the Throne Room with 72 lights on six chandeliers. The king’s actions promoted economic development and accelerated implementation of electric lighting and other electrical products including communications using the telephone.
“Iolani Palace is already a true landmark in its own right because of the historical and cultural significance to the state,” said Chair of the IEEE Hawaii Section, John O. Borland. “Now, we celebrate the Palace’s global recognition as a milestone for its historical technical achievement.”
The IEEE Milestone program established in 1983 honors significant achievements in the history of electrical and electronics engineering. IEEE Milestones recognize the technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity found in unique products, services, seminal papers and patents and honor the achievement, rather than a place or a person. To be proposed as an IEEE Milestone, an achievement must be at least 25 years old, have benefited humanity, and must have had at least regional importance. Proposed milestones undergo an extensive process of approval by an advocate, IEEE History Committee and IEEE Board of Directors.
About Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace is the only official residence of royalty in the United States. King Kalakaua was the first reigning monarch to travel around the world and built Iolani Palace in 1882 to enhance the prestige of Hawaii overseas and to mark Hawaii’s status as a modern nation. For more information, please call Iolani Palace at (808) 522-0822 or visit www.iolanipalace.org.