Investment opportunities

The business pages of the August 11 1923 Toronto Globe listed some business opportunities, along with telephones for sale:


A Google search yielded an ad in the July 1927 edition of Popular Mechanics that touted the Stransky Vaporizer. (The ad mentions that Mr. Stransky once ran for Governor of South Dakota.) The Model T forum has a discussion of the Vaporizer, including photos of it and its owner’s manual.

At one time, apparently more than 100 of Pukwana, South Dakota’s 192 citizens had jobs related to the Stransky Vaporizer, and the Pukwana post office processed up to 20,000 pieces of mail a day. Today, Pukwana has 285 residents, including the Puk U Bar.

The Canadian Independent Telephone Company had a bold-face listing in the 1923 Toronto city directory. By 1925, the listing was no longer in bold-face, and the company had relocated to 90 Chestnut Street. The company does not appear in the 1926 directory.

I have no idea whether the theatrical opportunity was successful or not.


Vancouver grain trade

The August 11 1923 Toronto Globe listed this bit of filler:


This is a somewhat unexciting set of facts. But it’s interesting that Vancouver exported so much grain to the UK, given that it’s on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and Vancouver is on the Pacific.


The president’s son

Newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s often put their photographs on a single page, as this made the paper easier to produce. The August 11 1923 Toronto Globe included this photograph of John Coolidge, the son of U.S. president Calvin Coolidge:


John Coolidge was 16 at the time this photograph was taken. His brother, Calvin Jr., who was a year and a half younger, had less than a year to live: in July 1924, he died of blood poisoning brought on by an infected blister. John would live for more than three-quarters of a century after this photo was taken: he became a businessman and entrepreneur, and died in 2000 at the age of 93.


Entertainment in 1923

I never get tired of looking at old entertainment ads. Here’s some listings from the August 11 1923 edition of the Toronto Globe:


The Royal Alexandra was air-conditioned to 65 degrees, which seems quite cool today!

Here’s what I could find about the various performers listed here:

I could find nothing about Snell and Vernon, Sally Beers, the Four Juggling Nelsons, Robert Reilly, or Billy Hallen.


Lake Simcoe Ice

Before refrigeration became common, households used to regularly order blocks of ice from dealers. Lake Simcoe Ice was one of the largest ice dealers in the city. Here’s an ad for them from the August 11 1923 edition of the Toronto Globe.


This Muskoka Region web page details the history of ice harvesting on Lake Simcoe and elsewhere. At the time this ad came out, artificial ice began to replace harvested ice, which had the obvious advantage of being easier to produce in warm-weather months.

The Toronto Plaques web site lists a plaque for the Lake Simcoe Ice office at 2276 Gerrard Street East, which closed in 1976.



The January 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food, in which they offered to send $10.00 to anyone who bought it and didn’t feel better afterwards.


Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food originated in the 19th century, and was one of the many products created by Dr. Alvin Wood Chase (1817-1885). Weird Science has a short entry on Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food, and the Canadian Pharmacists Journal has a scholarly article on almanacs advertising Dr. Chase’s patent medicines.

So, suppose that you’ve picked up $10.00 from the Dr. Chase Medicine Co. Ltd., and you’re not sure what to do with it. One option, in an ad on the same page of the paper, was to recement your furnace:


The Carter Furnace Company had moved to 2581 Yonge by 1955, and does not appear in the 1960 city directory.

Another option was to buy a pair of glasses and pocket $0.50 in change:


King Optical existed into at least the mid-1960s. In 1965, they had a branch near Yonge and Dundas (at 276 1/2 Yonge Street), and a branch in Scarborough. I’m not sure when they ceased to exist.


1937 speakers

The April 17 1937 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained two interesting ads for speakers.

The first was for a speech from what could be considered the 1937 equivalent of Tony Robbins:


A search for G. E. Marchand turned up nothing, other than an eBay ad for a photograph of Mr. Marchand from 1934, in which he was billed as “America’s famous maker of successful men and women”.

The second ad was for a speech on education:


A search for Joseph McCulley turned up this link, which claimed that Mr. McCulley was influenced by progressivism, social Christianity, and democratic socialism. Pickering College is located in Newmarket, and still exists.


Gilead Place

The June 27 1936 Toronto Globe and Mail contained this bit of filler:


Gilead Place is in the Corktown neighbourhood, located in southeast Toronto, and for years it was, indeed, not a good part of the city. A Google search turned up two pictures, and the houses looked rundown in both of them:

Here’s the Google Street view of Gilead Place today: the houses on this street have obviously been gone a long time. A search of the Toronto city directories shows that there were a number of homes on Gilead Place in 1936, but almost all of them had been destroyed by 1938.


Prince forgoes throne

In 1936, the King of England, Edward VIII, abandoned his throne so that he could marry the woman that he loved. It turns out that there was at least one other regal person in the 1930s who renounced his right to a throne for marriage.

The February 3 1931 Toronto Globe contained this article about Prince Lennart of Sweden, who married against his grandfather the king’s wishes:


Wikipedia mentions that Prince Lennart (1909-2004) actually became Lennart Bernadotte. His marriage to Ms. Nissvandt produced four children, before they divorced in December 1971. Four months later, Mr. Bernadotte married Sonja Haunz, and they had, in turn, five children of their own. He became part of the Luxembourg nobility in 1951, becoming the Count of Wisborg.


Mysterious name change

The January 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this legal notice about a name change:


I was curious: did Mr. Lazarovitz’s name change go through? I was hoping that the Toronto city directories would answer that question, but unfortunately they are mysteriously silent. There is no Manuel Lazarovitz or Manuel Lazar in any of the 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953 city directories, and he does not appear at 163 Pendrith Street in any of them.

I looked up Pendrith Street, and it appears to have been a predominately Jewish neighbourhood at that time. So my guess is that Mr. Lazarovitz was from out of town and was staying with a friend while he got his legal matter sorted out. I hope that he became Mr. Lazar and had a good life with his new name.