Myles Thomas

The August 22 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a photo of a pitcher for the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team who was in some demand:


When I looked Myles Thomas up in Baseball Reference, I discovered that he had a 28-8 record for the Maple Leafs, who were considered a class AA club at that time. No wonder he was in demand!

However, he didn’t wind up with the Chicago Cubs – in 1926, he landed with the New York Yankees. He pitched for the Yankees and Washington Senators from 1926 to 1930, with middling success. He did appear in 108 major league games in total, which is a lot more than many players.

After his major league career ended, Thomas pitched in the minor leagues until 1935. He passed away in 1963.


Girl claimed kinship

Here’s another photo from the August 22 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I looked Miss Nancy Bowes Lyon’s name up in Google, and the only person of that name referenced was a Nancy Bowes-Lyon who lived from 1918 to 1959, which was obviously a different person. So this Nancy was almost certainly not related to the Earl of Strathmore. Oh well – nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Descendant of Scottish kings weds

The August 22 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo of a Scottish nobleman and his bride.


Oddly enough, the Wikipedia page for Sir Michael Bruce (1894-1957) doesn’t mention his marriage to Miss Doreen Greenwall, let alone his near-marriage to the unfortunate Emmeline Marion Grace, daughter of the president of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. He is listed as marrying Elizabeth Constance Plummer of Toronto, who unfortunately passed away in the war, and then as marrying again in 1945.

This page states that Sir Michael married a total of four times: between his (presumed) divorce from Miss Greenwall and his marrying Miss Plummer, he married and divorced Anne Patricia Disney.


Future rulers of Poland?

The August 22 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of the then Duke and Duchess of York, who were apparently being considered as rulers of Poland.


Since the Duke of York was second in line to the English throne, it was assumed that his older brother would become King, leaving the Duke free to rule Poland or wherever. But no one knew at the time that the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, would abdicate in 1936, meaning that the Duke would become King George VI.

And Poland has never re-established the monarchy since it was abolished in 1918, so the job of King of Poland has never become available.


Mermaids all ready

Here’s one last photograph from the August 20 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring six women about to compete in the 10-mile marathon swim at the CNE in Toronto.


The swimmers in this photo had varying degrees of fame:

  • I couldn’t find much on Gladys Lathbury. There’s a photo of her in the Ogden Standard-Examiner from September 1932, shortly after the race. And this might be her obituary or it might not be.
  • It turned out that Margaret Ravior actually won the race, winning for the third straight time. She married George Young, who won the 1931 men’s race, in December of that year. I don’t know how long they stayed together, but Young’s Wikipedia page mentioned that Young’s second wife died in 1953.
  • I couldn’t find anything on Ruth Downing, except that she appeared in an ad for Olympene liniment in the 1935 CNE program.
  • I couldn’t find much on Ruth Towers Corsan, other than to correct her name. She appears in this photograph, and in this article on the Corsan family.
  • Gertrude Ederle was famous for being the first woman to swim the English Channel, which she accomplished in 1926. She fell in 1933 and became bedridden for several years, and eventually went deaf due to a childhood measles infection. She died in 2003 at the age of 98.
  • I could find nothing at all on Leah Riley.

Blue shirts

Here’s a photo from the August 20 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star showing a prospective candidate for President of the United States.


The reference to “blue shirts” and the Hitler-like salute seem ominous, but James Renshaw Cox (1886-1951) was not a fascist: he was a priest and a pro-labour activist. In 1932, Cox led 25,000 jobless men from Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., which was the largest demonstration in the United States capital city to that time.

He eventually withdrew from the race for president, throwing his support behind Democratic candidate Franklin Roosevelt. He became known as “The Pastor Of The Poor”.


Held captive by parents

The August 20 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a thwarted marriage.


I searched, but couldn’t find anything on whether the marriage eventually went through. I found an obituary for a Joseph Parker Hillman who was born in 1911 and buried in Ocean City, but this might not be the same man.


High jump record

The August 18 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a British athlete:


Muriel Gunn (1906-1996) broke the women’s world record in the long jump in 1926, and then broke it again in August 1927, at the time of the above picture. Kinue Hitomi, her Japanese rival, recaptured the world record in 1928.

Ms. Gunn, who became Muriel Cornell when she married in 1928, set the British record for the long jump in 1930; this record stood until 1952. Besides the long jump, she competed in sprint and hurdle events; her career ended with an Achilles tendon injury in 1934. She continued in athletics as a manager and organizing secretary.

Here is footage of her from 1927 (no sound).


Noted swimmers

The August 18 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photograph of some noteworthy American swimmers and divers:


Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968), nicknamed “The Big Kahuna”, won gold in the 1912 and 1920 Olympic Games. He lost the 100 meter freestyle in the 1924 Games to Johnny Weismuller, also in this photograph. After the 1924 Olympics, Kahanamoku turned pro and gave swimming and surfing exhibitions. Using his surfboard, he saved eight men from a capsized fishing vessel in 1925.

Betty Becker Pinkston (1903-1989), sometimes written as Becker-Pinkston, won a gold medal in diving in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics. Between Games, she gave birth to fraternal twins. Both she and her husband (also in this photo) were inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (as was everyone else in this photograph).

Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) won five Olympic gold medals for swimming and one for water polo. After his Olympic career, he went into the movies, becoming famous for performing as Tarzan and Jungle Jim.

Clarence Pinkston (1900-1961), known as “Pink”, won gold and silver in the 1920 Olympics and two bronze medals in the 1924 Olympics.


Second in his form

Here’s one last picture of an outstanding student from the August 18 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I’m not sure why the person who finished first in his form wasn’t here, but it doesn’t really matter: 7 firsts, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds is quite an achievement.

Mr. Coburn was listed as a student in the 1930 city directory. In the next directory that I checked, the 1935 one, he was an editor for Ace Publications. Later in life, he became more involved in politics – he was an editor for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (the precursor to the NDP) in 1946, and he was working as a private secretary for the Ontario provincial government speaker in 1951.

He ran for the CCF in the Riverdale riding in the 1951 Ontario provincial election:


Unfortunately, this was not a good time to be a CCF candidate, as the party collapsed from 21 seats to two.

He is listed with no occupation in 1953, and is not listed in the 1954 directory. A relative of his took over his apartment. I have no idea what happened to him – he could have moved, or he could have passed away.