Save that man! Save that woman!

Daily newspapers used to have a page devoted to ads for churches and visiting preachers. Here’s one from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star that stood out:


A Google search for Byron Stauffer turned up a number of things:

  • In 1910, he wrote Your Mother’s Apron Strings, a series of talks to young men.
  • In 1912, he delivered a sermon entitled “The Titanic Disaster and The Spirit of the Master”.
  • In 1915, he gave a speech to the Empire Club titled “Sir John A. Macdonald: Empire Builder”.
  • In 1919, he wrote The Battle Nobody Saw and Other Sermons.

And, sadly, he might not have lived very long after this Massey Hall event:

  • A footnote from this article lists a “Byron E. Stauffer” as having lived from 1870 to 1922. Every other reference I found referred to “Byron H. Stauffer”, so this might have been somebody else.
  • However, I found a reference to Byron H. Stauffer having been born in 1870.
  • This Amazon link lists his birth and death dates as 1870 and 1922.
  • He is listed in the 1922 Toronto city directory, but not in the 1923 city directory.
  • This footnote lists his name and the date “October 26, 1922” – was that when he passed away? I didn’t want to buy the e-book to find out.

Real Folks

The October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has contained a whole lot of interesting stuff, so I’m back to it again today. Here’s an ad for a play being performed at Massey Hall:


Real Folks was the NBC network’s first radio serial drama, created and written by George Frame Brown (1896-1979). (Apparently, no known recordings of this show exist.) Like the play, the radio show centered on life in the fictitious town of Thompkins Corners.

The Wistful Vistas old-time radio blog describes the history of Real Folks in detail. The show went on the air in 1928, and left the air in 1932 after switching to the CBS network in 1931. The touring version of the play described in this ad didn’t sell well, and folded in Syracuse about two weeks after the Massey Hall shows; NBC had to step in to ensure that the actors got paid.


Sometimes, I run across an ad that is simply mystifying. Here’s one from the October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that occurs in three separate places:




A Google search for Re-Tex turned up nothing, as did any related searches that I could think of. The 1932 and 1933 Toronto city directories didn’t have anything either. Obviously, Re-Tex is something that is intended to appeal to women, but other than that I have no idea what is going on here.

Now is the time!

The October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured a two-part advertising approach that I hadn’t seen before.

The first part was a bit of filler that appeared on an early page of the paper, and superficially looked like any other bit of filler:


I assume that the Daily Star was required by law to put the little “(Advt.)” at the end.

When you turned to page 7, you got the full advertisement:


McBride’s Garage existed at this location until the late 1940s, and then became McBride Motors and moved across the street to 142 Pears Avenue, where they existed until at least 1969 (which is when the Toronto online city directories run out). Both sides of Pears Avenue¬†at this location are now condominiums or are about to become them.


The August 25 1931 Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for a patent medicine:


I couldn’t find much on Professor R. L. Mulveney’s remedies, except for an image of a Mulveney’s “Mother’s Friend” bottle. Searching the Toronto city directories revealed that Mr. Mulveney started his business somewhere between 1905 and 1910, back when 211 Ossington Avenue was 167 Dundas Street. This address became 211 Ossington Avenue in 1918.

Mr. Mulveney passed away in 1928 or 1929: the 1928 directory listed him at 211 Ossington, but the 1929 directory listed his widow and the name of the firm (“Prof. R. L. Mulveney”), which was now being run by his widow and son. The 1929 and 1930 city directories included an ad for a tapeworm remedy:


A Google search for “Mulveney’s B’Well” indicated that there were newspaper ads for this medicine into the 1950s. The firm stayed in business until at least the 1960s, and the corporation was dissolved in 1976. Today, 211 Ossington houses a store that provides products for dogs.

Mrs. W. O. Banner, who wrote the testimonial that appears in the ad, was actually a real person. Here’s the City Directory listing for 1931 for that stretch of Gerrard Street East:


Since I had the 1941 city directory open, I looked it up too – by then, Mr. Banner had passed away, but his widow still lived at that address.

Creepy Kruschen people

So far, I have run across four ads for Kruschen Salts, and the people in them all look really creepy.

The first one is from the August 21 1923 Toronto Daily Star:


That old guy in the water looks happy, but he looks a bit strange, as if he is on uppers or something. But he’s normal-looking when compared to the older guy in ad in the September 27 1927 Toronto Daily Star:


The young man is in despair because he wants the creepy old guy to go away. In this ad, I notice that the sole importer of Kruschen Salts has changed. Perhaps they just found a Toronto distributor as well as a Montreal one.

Next, we have an ad from the November 21 1932 Toronto Daily Star:


This “wonderfully active” 66-year-old woman (Mrs. E. W.) looks a bit more normal, except for those eyes: once again, she looks like she’s high on amphetamines or something. It’s deeply disturbing.

The last one is from the March 31, 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, and I think it’s the creepiest one of all:


Oh my God, the zombies are attacking! Run before it’s too late!

I couldn’t find out much about Kruschen Salts, other than it has been around for a while. A British site mentions that it first went on sale in 1922. One of the ads here claims that Kruschen Salts contains six salts, but the website lists only sodium chloride as its current active ingredient.

Marie, Queen of Rumania

The June 26 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this syndicated column that was allegedly authored by Marie, Queen of Rumania (1875-1938):


I am wondering: was Queen Marie actually writing a column for North American newspapers? Here’s what I found:

  • Her Wikipedia page makes no mention of newspaper writing that I could find, though it did mention that she wrote extensively, producing 34 books and short stories – including a three-volume autobiography, The Story of My Life, and a diary.
  • The Tourist in Romania site doesn’t mention newspaper writing either, but does point out that, after her death, her heart remained for many years in a dusty shoebox in the basement of the National Museum of Romanian History.
  • I also found a detailed list of books and articles by or about Marie, including “A Queen Talks About Love”, which appeared in Hearst’s International-Cosmpolitan in September 1925. One of the pictures on this page matches the picture in the 1926 article in the Star (though it has been flipped horizontally).

This last point leads me to believe that the column is genuine and was actually written by a regal person.

The Nicky referred to in the article was Prince Nicholas of Romania (1903-1978), who was exiled from Romania by his older brother King Carol II when the monarch disapproved of Nicholas’s marriage to a divorced woman. He emigrated to Spain and then to Switzerland, eventually passing away in Spain.

By the way, I cannot think of Marie of Romania (or Rumania) without thinking of this Dorothy Parker poem:

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Roumania.

Canada’s national anthem

The September 2 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a brief article about Canada needing a national anthem.


The two leading historical candidates were “O Canada” and “God Save The Queen”. (There was also “The Maple Leaf Forever”, but I suspect that it was too explicitly British in origin to cover the whole country.)

The French version of “O Canada” was composed in 1880, became hugely popular in Quebec over the next twenty years, and then increased in popularity elsewhere. Since there were no official English words, over two hundred unofficial versions sprang up; a version created by Robert Weir in 1908 was published by the government of Canada in 1927 as part of the country’s Diamond Jubilee festivities.

“O Canada” was more or less the unofficial national anthem going back as far as 1939. (Though, as a teenager in the 1970s, I remember listening to instrumental versions of all of “O Canada”, “God Save The Queen” and “The Maple Leaf Forever” at school assemblies.) It didn’t become the official national anthem until 1980, when the (appropriately named) National Anthem Act became law.

Strathcona Rollerdrome

The February 8 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had an ad for the Strathcona Rollerdrome, offering an evening of rollerskating for 35 cents:


I couldn’t find any pictures of the rollerdrome; at least one Facebook user has a request out there for photos, and couldn’t find any either.

The Toronto city directories tell me that the Strathcona Club opened on Christie Street in 1935, replacing the Oakwood Bowling Club at that location. (The original street address was 584 Christie Street.) A second branch of the rink opened at the Palace Pier in June 1941, possibly on June 10 or on June 18. This second branch lasted only until 1943.

The Christie Street club last appeared in the 1956 Toronto city directory (though, ominously, its phone numbers were no longer listed). By 1957, it was gone. There is now a high-rise building at that site.

Advice for parents

So far, I have found three advice columns for parents from the 1930s and 1940s.

The earliest was from the January 7 1932 Toronto Daily Star:


I couldn’t find out much about Mrs. Gladys Huntington Bevans, other than that she (probably) lived from 1882 to 1947, and was the author of the 1930 pamphlet A Group of Simple and Beautiful Prayers and Graces for Children.

The next one is from the November 27 1936 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail:


Angelo Patri (1876-1965) was a New York City school principal, syndicated columnist, and author. He wrote a number of books intended for adults, and some Pinocchio books for children. There is now a New York middle school named after him.

And, lastly, here’s a column from the February 8 1945 Toronto Daily Star:


Myrtle Meyer Eldred (1885-1978) started her newspaper column in 1918. A collection of her columns was published in 1931 and reprinted in 1951. One writer claimed that Ms. Eldred tended to think that all babies should be treated exactly alike, which is probably a bad thing.