The entertainment section of the July 23 1963 Toronto Daily Star contained this article about four young British actresses:


I’m not sure when newspapers and magazines stopped using the term “starlet”, but I don’t think I miss it.

As for the people mentioned in the story, all had successful careers, and almost all were actually older than this article claimed that they were. I have no idea whether the article writer or the actresses’ publicists decided to adjust their ages; I guess that was standard practice then (and maybe now).

  • Samantha Eggar (who was actually 24 when this story came out) became famous in 1965 when she starred in The Collector. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. She relocated to the United States in 1972, and has remained a working actor, with a variety of film, TV, and stage credits. She turned 80 last month.
  • Susan Hampshire was actually 26, not 23. She went on to win three Emmy Awards in the early 1970s. Sadly, she gave up almost all of her acting roles after 2009 to take care of her husband, who had developed dementia and type 2 diabetes. She turns 82 in May.
  • Susannah York (1939-2011) did not have her age mentioned in the article. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? She also won a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the movie Images. She was a trouper to the end: after being diagnosed with cancer, she refused chemotherapy to honour a contractual obligation.
  • Julie Christie was actually 23, not 21. She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her last significant role was in 2012, and she turned 78 last week.

Arlene Francis

The July 23 1963 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an article about game show panelist Arlene Francis, who was being sued for a million dollars after getting into a car accident that caused the death of a passenger in the other car:


According to the Useless Information web site, the accident happened on a rainy day: the car in front of her skidded, she slammed on her car’s brakes, and her car skidded, crossed the divider, and collided with Mr. Arcos’s car. The case went to trial, and was settled for $210,000, not $1 million (or $1.8 million, as the article states).

Astonishingly, this was not the only fatal accident inadvertently caused by Ms. Francis around that time. On June 23, 1960, a dumbbell fell out of Ms. Francis’s apartment on the eighth floor of the Ritz Tower in Manhattan and struck Alvin Rodecker, killing him instantly. The dumbbell had been used to prop a screen in place; when a maid cleaned the screen, the dumbbell fell out of the window. Mr. Rodecker’s widow sued for $500,000, and settled for $175,000.

Ms. Francis passed away in 2001, at the age of 93.



Wheat reports

The July 18 1933 edition of the Toronto Globe contained two filler articles reporting on how the wheat crop was doing in various parts of Canada.

First, there was a report from D. P. Weibe of Plum Coulee, Manitoba:


Twelve bushels per acre isn’t many by modern standards. By way of comparison, the average wheat yield in Canada in 2018 was 43.9 bushels per acre (down from 49.6 bushels per acre in 2017).

The news wasn’t any better in St. Thomas, Ontario:


Things might have been bad in 1933, but they got worse in 1934: on the Canadian Prairies, the drought was so bad that it created a dust bowl.



The Great Depression brought hard times to many people. The July 18 1933 edition of the Toronto Globe provided one example.


According to an inflation calculator that I found online, one dollar in 1933 was equivalent to $18.32 in 2018. So pensioners were expected to get by on the 1933 equivalent of today’s $274.80 per month.


Golden wedding

The August 27 1929 Toronto Globe contained an announcement of a golden wedding anniversary:


As usual, I indulged in morbid curiosity and looked up The Rev. C. W. Watch in the Toronto city directories to see if I could figure out how long he and his wife were able to enjoy wedded happiness together. I determined that the Rev. Charles W. Watch lasted a good long time indeed: he appears in the 1948 city directory but not the 1949. Mrs. Watch is not listed, as the directories only listed heads of households; she doesn’t appear on her own as the widow of Charles, so sadly she must have pre-deceased him.


Jeeves and the felt hat

By the time of the August 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Globe, P. G. Wodehouse‘s fictional valet, Jeeves, was so well known that an ad for Eaton’s felt free to appropriate it:


There’s no word on whether the T. Eaton Co. Limited saw fit to credit Wodehouse in any way. By now, this horse has long since left the barn: “Jeeves” is now a generic term for a valet or butler.


Martha Norelius and Vi-Tone

The August 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Globe contained an endorsement of “food-tonic-beverage” Vi-Tone by swimmer Martha Norelius:


Martha Norelius (1909-1955) won the Wrigley Marathon swim event in Toronto, held at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1929. At about this time, she also met her future husband, rower Joseph Wright, Jr. She died following gall bladder surgery at the young age of 46.

The City of Vancouver archives contains a photograph of the Vi-Tone display at the Pacific National Exhibition in 1928.

By the way: this post is an anniversary of sorts: I started this blog exactly one year ago today. Thank you for reading; I hope you have found at least some of this interesting or enjoyable!


Those pesky insects

The August 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Globe had two small articles on the front page that discussed assorted problems with insects.

First, there was the state of Florida, which was battling the Mediterranean fruit fly:


Not to be outdone, firefighters in Kinley, Saskatchewan, were called out to confront an army of ants:


Kinley has a population of 60 as of the 2016 census, up from 45 in 2011. Here’s what it looks like on Google Street View.


Boxing match

The June 10 1931 Toronto Globe contained this ad for a boxing match that for some reason caught my attention:


Maxie Rosenbloom (1907-1976) was the New York light heavyweight champion at the time of this ad. He won the world light heavyweight championship in 1932, and held it until 1934. After his boxing career, he became an actor, playing mostly random large men, and opened a nightclub called Slapsy Maxie’s.

Charley Belanger (1901-1970) was a Canadian boxer. He fought Maxie Rosenbloom three times, losing each time (including, presumably, this one). He won the Canadian and British Empire light heavyweight titles in 1928.



The June 10 1931 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained a brief ad, announcing that savage lions were on display at Sunnyside Beach:


A Google search for Madame Lorraine Wallace turned up nothing – there is a Lorraine Wallace who is married to Fox news anchor Chris Wallace, and she dominates the search engine.

I strongly suspect that the six savage African lions were not leading happy lives, especially at 3:30 and 8:15 daily.