When bathing at Bronte

The October 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a photograph of an unfortunate young man who broke his neck in July of that year:


Because I am morbidly curious, I looked up the Hoffmans in the Toronto city directory. I found Aaron Hoffman at 263 Grace in the 1928 directory – he was working as an agent for Metropolitan Life. Irving first appears in the 1934 directory, at the same address as his father, and is listed as a tinsmith in the 1935 directory. So he seems to have survived his accident.

His father might not have fared so well, however. He was listed without an occupation in the 1934 directory, and is not listed at all in the 1935 directory. There’s always the possibility that he might have moved away, of course.


Stella Walsh

The October 14 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of an Olympic sprinter:


Stella Walsh (1911-1980) turns out to be a very interesting and sadly tragic story. Her given name was Stanislawa Walasiewicz, and her family emigrated from Poland to the United States when she was three months old.

She qualified for the American Olympic team in 1928, but was not eligible to compete, as she did not have American citizenship and could not obtain it until she was 21. In 1930, she competed for Poland in the Women’s World Games, winning the gold medal in three events (after which she was photographed, as shown above).

Four years later, she won American championships in three events and was offered citizenship just prior to the 1932 Olympics. However, she chose to become a citizen of Poland, and won the gold medal in the 100 meter dash. In 1936, she finished second to Helen Stephens (who appeared in this blog here).

In 1947, she became an American citizen. In 1980, she was killed during an armed robbery in her home city of Cleveland. On her death, it was discovered that she had a Y chromosome and some features of both sexes. There is some debate over whether her track and field records should be erased.


Former governor is grateful

The October 14 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a patent-medicine ad that featured an endorsement from a former governor of Georgia.


Clifford Walker (1877-1954) was the governor of Georgia from 1923 to 1927. He is best known for being a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Sargon was invented by George Francis Willis, who had previously made a fortune with Tanlac (which appears in an advertisement in this blog entry). The Ray City History blog has an entry on Sargon; it apparently contained just grain alcohol and a laxative.


Jenny Lind

The October 14 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained several ads for a movie titled Jenny Lind. By an unfortunate coincidence, two of them appeared on top of ads for patent medicines:



The ads were for a 1930 movie about the life of 19th century opera singer Jenny Lind, known as the Swedish Nightingale. As far as I know, this movie did not cause or have an effect on indigestion or hemorrhoids.


Tales of woe

The October 10 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this brief column listing people who had suffered various mishaps that day:


I feel particularly sorry for the boy who injured himself playing leapfrog.


91-year-old voter

The October 10 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an article in which a 91-year-old woman claimed that she was going to vote for the Liberal candidate in her riding in the upcoming federal election.


I looked Miss Parkes up in the Toronto city directories and discovered that her name was actually Jane E. Parks. If the Daily Star had her age right, Miss Parks lived to be at least 103 – she appears in the 1948 city directory but not the 1949 directory. She would have had the opportunity to vote in two additional federal elections – the 1940 election and the 1945 one.

As for Salter Hayden: he did indeed win his seat in the 1935 election. In 1940, William Lyon Mackenzie King appointed him to the Senate; he remained there until 1983, when he resigned at the age of 87 due to poor health. He passed away in 1987.



The Toronto Daily Star’s photo section sometimes included photos of young men as well as young women. Here’s a portrait from the October 8 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Tracing Murray Fleming in the Toronto city directories proved difficult. There was one Murray Fleming that first appeared in the 1928 directory, living at 317 Russell Hill Road. He appears in the 1929 directory, but not in the 1930 directory.

There’s another Murray Fleming who is the vice-president of Brown, Fleming & Co. Limited, but I think the Murray Fleming in this photo is too young to have been made a vice-president.

It didn’t help that I couldn’t conclusively trace R. J. Fleming. My best guess is that there was a Robert J. Fleming who was listed in bold face in the 1920 directory as the general manager of the Toronto Railway Company. His home address was on the north side of St. Clair at Bathurst (no street number was given), which is close to Russell Hill Road. He appeared in the 1924 directory but not 1925; his home was apparently now occupied by the Sacred Heart Institute. His widow, if he had predeceased his wife, was not listed in the city directories, so I can’t be sure that I have the right Fleming anywhere. Oh well.


Picturesque Muskoka

Here’s a scenic photograph from the October 8 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Thanks to Google Street View, we can see what High Falls looks like today. This photograph was taken by Grant Wood.



Tragedy in 1929

Car crashes were as tragic years ago as they are today. Here’s an especially sad photo on the front page of the October 8 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:



Interesting camera study

Yesterday, we had an “attractive camera study” from the October 6 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. Today’s picture from the same issue is an “interesting camera study”:


I have no idea whether there is any difference between “attractive” and “interesting” in this context. My guess is no.

As usual when I see somebody’s name and address in the paper, I tried to track the O’Neills down in the Toronto city directories. Sure enough, James O’Neill is listed in the 1930 directory at 925 Dufferin – he worked as the “asst dist foremn” (presumably assistant district foreman) at the Department of Works, Roadway Section. I couldn’t find any other O’Neills at that address – however, it’s a common enough name, and I might have missed one.

Fast forward five years: James was now the district foreman, and was living at 471 Gladstone Avenue, and Sarah A. O’Neill was now working as a switchboard operator at the same address. This might be the young woman in the picture above.

They were both in the 1940 and the 1945 directory at the same address. By 1950, he was there and she was not – as usual, I assume that she got married and moved out, which makes her impossible to trace.