Must there be war?

The September 14 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an advertisement for a speech by the Duchess of Atholl:


It’s not clear from this title whether the duchess believed that there must be war or not – my guess is yes.

Katharine Stewart-Murray, the Duchess of Atholl (1874-1960) was a Conservative Party member of Parliament in Britain between 1923 and 1938, but was deselected by the party after declaring her opposition to Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement of Adolf Hitler. She was also opposed to abuses of rights in the Soviet Union, but supported the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, leading to her being called the “Red Duchess”.

The Scotsman and Spartacus Educational have brief biographies of her.

An ocean liner was named after her in 1928; it was sunk by the Germans in 1942.


The Count of Cavadonga

The November 23 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an article about a former heir to the throne of Spain who was about to marry a Cuban model:


The Count of Cavadonga was originally Alfonso, Prince of Asturias. He renounced his claim to the Spanish throne in 1933 when he married his first wife, Edelmira Sampedro, whom he divorced shortly before his marriage to Marta Rocafort.

The marriage didn’t last long; the couple separated two months after marriage and divorced in January, 1938. The Count died in a car accident in September, 1938; the injuries from the accident were apparently not severe, but the count suffered from hemophilia, and bled to death internally.


Sues Woody English

The November 20 1937 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail contained a photo of Helen English, who was in the process of divorcing her husband, baseball player Woody English.


The couple had apparently eloped in 1930. He had been previously engaged to another woman, who eventually filed a breach-of-promise suit against him.

Woody English (1906-1997) played in the major leagues for twelve years, his career ending in 1938. He managed the Grand Rapids Chicks of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1952 to 1954, when the league disbanded. He won a championship with them in 1953.

The Society for American Baseball Research has a long article about English. I couldn’t find out anything about what happened to the former Mrs. English after the divorce.


Parting of the ways

The April 18 1934 Toronto Daily Star contained photographs of the Prince and Princess di Siriggnano, whose marriage fell apart after only five days.


Google searches revealed that their surname was actually “di Sirignano”. The couple apparently got married within 24 hours of his arrival in America.

Unfortunately, the stories of both the Prince and Princess had a tragic ending. He died in a car accident five months later. She married again in 1934, and had three children, but fell to her death from a hotel balcony in New York in 1943.


Loretta Poynton

The April 18 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo of 20-year-old radio actress Loretta Poynton:


Ms. Poynton went on to star in several radio series in the 1930s, including Dan Harding’s Wife. She apparently retired from radio in the 1940s, and she passed away in 1992.


Missing society girl

The October 14 1921 edition of the Toronto Globe contained this brief front-page article about a young woman who disappeared on October 11 and was found two days later, claiming to have lost her memory:


I was curious, so I searched for “Pamela Beckett” and “Rupert Beckett” on the Internet. I didn’t find much: a brief bio page of Rupert Beckett, and a photo of Pamela Beckett from around the time of her disappearance. I don’t know what happened to her after her return.


New church

The March 22 1924 Toronto Globe had a picture of a new Methodist church that was scheduled to open at St. Clair Avenue West and Rushton Road later that year:


Shortly after this building was completed, the Methodist Church joined forces with three other Protestant denominations to become the United Church. The church shown in this drawing¬†still stands – it is now St. Matthew’s United Church.


Pair skating champions

The March 22 1924 edition of the Toronto Globe contained a photograph of Elizabeth Blair and John Machado, who were the reigning Canadian pair skating champions.


The Canadian Figure Skating Championships Wikipedia page has a complete list of winners. Besides being the male half of the pair champions, John Machado also won the Canadian men’s figure skating championship in 1924. At the time, it wasn’t that unusual for the men’s winner to also be the male half of the pairs winner; before World War II, Melville Rogers, Montgomery Watson, and Ralph McCreath held both titles at least once. The last Canadian man to accomplish this feat was Wallace Diestelmeyer in 1948.

Both Mr. Machado and Ms. Blair had been champions before joining forces in 1924. Mr. Machado won silver in the Canadian men’s championship in 1921, 1923, and 1925, and won bronze in 1922. Ms. Blair was part of the team that won the fours championship in 1922, 1923, and 1924. (After the war, the fours competition was held irregularly between 1951 and 1965, and was revived in 1982 before being discontinued for good in 1997.)

Mr. Machado and Ms. Blair married shortly after this photograph was taken, and continued to perform in the pairs championship. They never won again, but they earned a silver medal in 1925 and a bronze medal in 1927.


Internal bathing

The March 22 1924 edition of the Toronto Globe contained an article for “internal bathing”, which claimed to be a cure for constipation.


Wikipedia has an entry for Charles Alfred Tyrrell (1843-1918), who was the proponent of internal bathing. The J.B.L. Cascade mentioned in this ad was an enema appliance, and apparently dates to 1903; J.B.L. stood for “Joy, Beauty, Life”. The American Medical Association claimed that the product might be dangerous, and that its advertising featured “deceit, misrepresentation, and quackery”.

Before attempting to market the J.B.L. Cascade, Tyrrell popularized the Ideal Sight Restorer, which the A.M.A. called “pseudomedical claptrap”. So there you are.

As for the Toronto office of Tyrrell’s Hygienic Institute: it first appears in the 1920 Toronto city directory, but was not around much longer than this ad. The institute doesn’t appear in the 1925 directory.


Region-specific weather

The December 2 1926 edition of the Toronto Globe contained two articles that indicated that the weather was significantly different in various parts of the country.

The first article indicated that winter was about to arrive early in Ontario:


Crookston, Minnesota, had it rather tough. If you’re curious, here is the Wikipedia page for Crookston. Test pilot Milt Thompson would have been just shy of seven months old when this cold snap hit.

Compare this to the residents of Newfoundland, who were enjoying an unusually warm late fall:


I couldn’t find climate data for St. John’s from 1926 on the Environment Canada website, for the simple reason that Newfoundland was not yet part of Canada then. But I did look up Sydney, Nova Scotia, which isn’t all that far away, and it turned out that it was having an unseasonably warm spell in late November, 1926. Between November 15 and 30, there were eight days where the temperature was 10 degrees Celsius or higher, and two days where it peaked at 14.4C. (The average high temperature for Sydney in November is 7.3C, and that’s for the whole month; for the second half, it would be lower.)

December 1 was also unusually warm, with a high of 11.1C, but it rained buckets Р41.1 mm of rain fell there. After that, normal service resumed: there was 5.1 cm of snow on December 3, 12.7 cm of snow on December 4, and a whopping 22.9 cm of snow on December 6. There was also snow on the 9th, rain/snow on the 11th, and 38.1 mm of rain on the 12th, so early December 1926 was miserable in Sydney, and was probably  miserable in Newfoundland as well.

As for Ontario in December 1926: the Toronto data shows a three-day cold spell from the 4th to the 6th, with 15 cm of snow on the 5th. Ottawa’s cold spell was longer, but with less snow.