Master installed

Here’s a photograph from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. It’s interesting to me because it looks like somebody at the paper drew in his glasses by hand:


Out of curiosity, I traced I. E. Francis in the Toronto city directories. He was almost certainly Isaac E. Francis, who worked at Elias Rogers (the coal people) in a variety of jobs from 1933 to 1957. He last appears in the 1957 directory – I couldn’t find him, or a mention of a widow, in 1958.


The kiss of death

Here’s an article from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a man who may have been about to die of fright:


A Google search turned up a couple of references to Margaret Mary Collins:

  • This article indicated that Sol Feldman managed to survive his wounds.
  • The Weird Chicago Tours Facebook page tells the story of the “Kiss Of Death Girl” in more detail.

Grocers to share orders

Here’s a short article from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that illustrated how tough things were during the heart of the Great Depression.


I can understand not wanting to waste taxpayers’ money, but the idea of a board of presumably prosperous men going through a price list with a fine-tooth comb is somewhat depressing to me.


Learns from son

Here’s a photo from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Malcolm Campbell (1885-1948) set automobile land speed records between 1924 and 1935. In his last attempt, in 1935 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, he did manage to drive over 300 mph, becoming the first person to do so. Unlike other drivers attempting this feat, he eventually died of natural causes, succumbing to a stroke on New Year’s Eve 1948.

Donald Campbell (1921-1967) followed in his father’s footsteps, breaking both land and water speed records. Unfortunately, he passed away during an attempt to set the water speed record yet again. His body was not found until 2001. His teddy bear, Mr. Whoppit, has a Wikipedia page of his own.


Wife gets divorce decree

Here’s an odd bit of filler from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I’m not sure why a Scottish divorce merited space in a Toronto newspaper, but I guess anything that filled column space would do.

I guess it serves him right for committing misconduct with Virginia Groams.


Engaged to marry London divorcee

The January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this article about a May-December romance featuring the governor of the Bank of England.


Montagu Norman (1871-1950) held the governor’s post from 1920 to 1944. He was sympathetic to Germany: he was a member of the Anglo-German Fellowship, and twice tried to transfer Czechoslovakian gold to Nazi Germany (the British blocked the second transfer).

Norman’s health was ruined when he went for a walk and tripped over a cow. He passed away of a stroke in 1950; his wife outlived him by more than 41 years.


New Customs House

An article in the January 13 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star described a new Customs House that was to be built next to Union Station:


The Customs House eventually became the Dominion Public Building. It still stands, of course; its facade shows the year 1930. It was a federal government building until 2017, when it was sold to the company that owns the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa.


Both lose permits

Here’s an article from the January 13 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, describing a situation where the police found more beer at somebody’s house than was allowed back in those days:


At the time, Ontario citizens were allowed to buy liquor only if they had received a permit from the province; these permits existed from when the Liquor Control Board of Ontario was formed in 1927 until 1962. The liquor permit enabled LCBO employees to monitor each individual’s liquor consumption and deny a sale if, in the employee’s opinion, it was too much alcohol for one person to consume. The permit could be revoked at any time (as in this article).

Out of curiosity (because it’s the sort of thing I do), I traced Mrs. Roy Benjamin of 43 Elm Street in the Toronto city directories:

  • She first appears in the 1923 city directory at 33 Elm, as the widow of Abraham Benjamin; her name is listed as Rachel Benjamin.
  • By 1928, she was listed as Rachael Benjamin, at 43 Elm; her widow status was not displayed.
  • The 1930 directory lists her at 43 Elm, and once again refers to her as the widow of Abraham.
  • By 1931, she is gone. George McKinlay, a shoe repairman, was now at 43 Elm.

I’m not sure where the “Roy” part of the name came from – perhaps she was living with someone named Roy, or perhaps the Star just got it wrong.

By the way, 43 Elm Street still stands – it’s now the Elm Tree Restaurant.


How much do you know?

The January 13 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this brief quiz. Try it yourself, and see how well you do! The answers are below.


Here are the answers:



Another royal romance mooted

The January 7 1925 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of Prince George, the youngest son of King George V of England, and a prospective bride-to-be:


Poppy Baring (1901-1980) was actually almost married to two princes of England:

  • Albert, the Duke of York and the future King George VI, proposed marriage to her in 1921. She accepted, but his mother shot down the marriage. (The course of the British monarchy, and British history, would have been drastically changed had the marriage gone through!)
  • Prince George proposed in 1927, but this time it was King George V who rejected the marriage. This didn’t stop the two from having an affair.

She became known as one of the Bright Young Things of the 1920s, and later opened a dress shop and married a Eton cricketer.

Prince George eventually married Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark in 1934, but kept busy with a number of affairs (including with Kiki Gwynne, mentioned earlier in this blog). He was killed in a military air crash in 1942.

Prince Henry, mentioned in the text of this article, did marry Lady Mary Scott, though this didn’t happen until 1935. She lived to be 102, passing away in 2004.