The morning argument

The November 26 1936 edition of the Globe and Mail contained this pair of syndicated cartoons, bundled together as “The Morning Argument”:


Robert Quillen (1887-1948) was a journalist and humorist based in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. By the 1930s, his work was regularly appearing in over 400 newspapers. The cartoon in “Aunt Het” was drawn by illustrator John H. Striebel (1891-1962).

Claude Callan (1881-1956) was a humorist and newspaper columnist who lived in Texas. “Poor Pa” was created in 1925, and was syndicated in over 100 newspapers by the early 1930s. I’m not sure who the illustrator was, but “Poor Pa” looks a lot like “Aunt Het”, so it might have been drawn by Mr. Striebel as well.


Buying and the war

By the time that the March 31 1942 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail came out, Canada had been at war for some time. Naturally, the war affected people’s buying and saving habits, and it also affected the ads that appeared in that day’s paper.

For example, there was an ad encouraging Torontonians to save fats and bones:


I have no idea whether RAndolph 1400 was an official City of Toronto or Government of Canada number, or whether this was a clever way for somebody to acquire free fats and bones for some intended purpose or other. My guess is that it was actually legit.

By this time, price controls were in place in Canada, and the Bank of Nova Scotia provided a public service ad that encouraged Canadians to buy less and save more (preferably, with the help of the bank):


The Dominion Rubber Company pointed out that it was essential for your car’s tires to last as long as possible:


It wasn’t a pleasure car anymore – it was a war car!

Eaton’s kept with the spirit of things by stating there was no reason to panic buy:


Of course, there is always a dissenting voice in the crowd. Clifton’s Plumbing and Heating urged consumers to get their plumbing and heating needs dealt with now, as later might be too late:


W. F. Clifton and Company remained in business at 313 Brock Avenue until at least 1960. By then, though, it was being run by someone other than Mr. Clifton, who presumably had passed on.


Plum pudding recipes

The November 26 1936 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained not one but two recipes for plum pudding.

The first was offered by physician Robert G. Jackson:


You might be wondering why 4 cups of Roman Meal are included in this recipe, and why the virtues of Roman Meal are praised in the text. This is because Robert G. Jackson, M.D., was the creator of Roman Meal. In 1927, Dr. Jackson wrote a book titled How To Be Always Well, which was apparently somewhat unusual. (The book is now in the public domain – you can get a copy here.) He was a millionaire by 1930, he apparently died in 1941 of complications from a broken hip, and his age was uncertain.

By the way, I couldn’t find a 582 Vine Avenue in the 1936 Toronto city directory. The correct address was actually 108-124 Vine Avenue, which was the location of Dr. Jackson Foods Ltd.; I guess that mail sent to Dr. Jackson at 582 Vine would have gotten to the right place. Dr. Jackson appears in the 1941 directory (by which time, he had moved to Markham), but he does not appear in the 1942 directory.

The second recipe for plum pudding is billed as A Neighbor’s Recipe. Since this uses the American spelling of “neighbour”, my guess is that it was provided by an American newspaper syndicate.


I don’t know anything about plum pudding (and, to be honest, I don’t care about it much one way or the other), so I have no idea which recipe is better. The main difference between the two seems to be that the first recipe uses Roman Meal and the second uses stale bread crumbs and milk. Given a choice, I’d probably pick the recipe that wasn’t a thinly disguised product ad.


The atomic bomb and the future

The March 25 1947 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained multiple advertisements for a lecture on the atomic bomb and the future.



Dr. Omond Solandt (1909-1993) was a Canadian scientist who held a number of  posts during and after the war, including Chancellor of the University of Toronto, vice-president of research and development for Canadian National Railways, and president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

I’m not sure whether Marian Grudeff (1927-2006) performed during Dr. Solandt’s talk or separately from it – my guess is that she went on first. She was a Canadian pianist and musical theatre composer, and taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music.


Old shoe man retires

The December 12 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this advertisement:


Out of curiosity, I decided to search the Toronto city directories to see how long Mr. McCullough had been in business. It turned out that he had moved into his 866 College Street location in 1911, which is approximately when the building was built; there is no reference to him anywhere before that. The city directories show him in business at this address until 1926; his business might have lingered on due to want of a buyer, or the city directory might not have been updated until 1927, when this address was shown as vacant.

Mr. McCullough decided not to give up, though – he took over the Glebe Shoe Store, at 1997 Yonge, in 1927. He was still there in 1931, though just under his own name; by 1935, he was listed at his home address only, so he might have retired from the shoe business. I couldn’t find him at all in 1936.


Auto polo

When reading the September 2 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, I discovered that the 1922 CNE featured auto polo as one of its exhibits. This was like polo, except with cars instead of horses: two teams of two cars competed, with each car containing a driver and a man with a mallet.

The article reported that only one man in twenty was fit to play auto polo:


The article did not mention whether the other 19 lacked the necessary requirements or simply had enough common sense to avoid such a dangerous sport – even if the game being played was now “very scientific” and the construction of the cars was “almost perfect”.

Wikipedia has an article about auto polo. It mentions that, in 1924, the British and American auto polo teams had to endure 1564 broken wheels, 538 burst tires, 66 broken axles, 10 cracked engines, and six completely destroyed cars. Scenes like this one, portrayed in a Library of Congress image from between 1910 and 1915, were all too common:


It comes as no surprise that the popularity of auto polo faded away in the late 1920s.


Christmas gift ideas in 1924

Naturally, any newspaper edition published in December is likely to contain advertisements for Christmas gift suggestions. In 1924, there were so many of them that the December 12 edition of the Toronto Daily Star could not print them all.


However, it printed a good many of them, including this ad for the Valet Auto-Strop Razor:


The most useful gift on the tree!

If you couldn’t decide what to buy the people in your life, why not buy something for the car?


Riverdale Garage wound up staying in business for quite a while – they became a Ford and later a Lincoln/Mercury dealer, and were at this location until 1960. Dominion Riverdale Motors took over the space in 1961. 755 Danforth Avenue is now a Shoppers Drug Mart.

Last but not least: why bother with just one Christmas gift, when you could enjoy a thousand gifts from your radio?


The Radio Museum has photographs of a Quadrodyne radio, if you’re curious.


Twenty years ahead

Here’s two insurance ads that want their readers to look twenty years ahead.

First this one, from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star:


And this one, from the December 10 1945 Toronto Globe:


It looks like the second couple are spending 1965 in the dark. Perhaps they just aren’t home much: they’re on a “perpetual holiday”, so they don’t bother to pay the hydro bill.


The limits of faith healing

Here are two articles, more than three decades apart, which seemingly prove that faith healing has limits.

First, there’s this item from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star:


I get the impression that the article writer quite enjoyed writing this piece. (I left in the Star want ads bit at the bottom because it seemed to somehow fit.)

Nearly a third of a century later, the July 26 1955 Toronto Daily Star contained this:


Wikipedia has an entry for George Went Hensley. He taught a form of Pentecostalism that “emphasized personal holiness and frequent contact with venomous snakes”.


Stars who unbend

The February 2 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this brief article:


Lois Andrews (1924-1968) was married and a mother when still in her teens: she was actor George Jessel‘s wife between 1940 and 1943. She appeared in several films that Jessel produced, the last of which was filmed in 1951. She died of lung cancer at the age of 44.

Patricia Medina (1919-2012) had a longer acting career, a longer marriage, and a longer life. She appeared in over 50 movies and television series, and then toured with her husband, Joseph Cotten, to whom she was married from 1960 until his death in 1994. She is now buried beside him in Petersburg, Virginia.