There’ll always be an England

The January 14 1958 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo:


Sarah Churchill (1914-1982) was an actress, a dancer, and Winston Churchill’s daughter. She had been widowed in 1957, and was to be widowed again five years later.


Alleged girl bandit

The December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has been a fertile source of posts. Here’s the last one, of a 16-year-old girl accused of aiding a robbery:


A search turned up a few old newspaper articles related to Ms. Showalter:

  • She later admitted to taking part in five robberies, and stopped insisting that she was 17, not 16. This meant that she would be tried in juvenile court rather than as adult (which, at the time, could have led to the death penalty).
  • The total number of offenses later went up to “numerous burglaries and 7 holdups” in a month.
  • She was eventually sentenced to five years in a state industrial school for girls.

And here is an article that is an excerpt from a book by Margaret Murray, who served as a lookout for a gang of criminals. The excerpt mentions Ms. Showalter in passing. I have no idea what happened to her after she served her sentence.


Toronto Coach Terminal

If you’ve travelled by bus to or from Toronto, you will be familiar with the Toronto Coach Terminal at Bay and Edward, near Dundas. The December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had a drawing of the then-new building, which was scheduled to open the next day.


Here’s a Google Street View shot of the building as it looks today, from roughly the same angle. It’s pretty much unchanged.



Here’s an ad from the December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a new semi-detached house in the borough of York:


Google Street View shows this house as still standing, though its appearance has changed substantially in its nearly nine decades of life.


Arizona girls’ polo team

Here’s another photo from the December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Google searches revealed that Hortense Lindenfeld was an illustrator; she did the drawings for Early In The Saddle (1936) and her grandfather’s memoir, My Foot’s In The Stirrup (1937). Sadly, I also discovered that Hortense Lindenfeld Knowles passed away in January 1937 from pneumonia resulting from influenza. She had been sick for only five days, and married for a little more than three months.


How the other half lived

The December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained ads that appealed to people in widely different economic circumstances.

One ad was for a Sparton radio that cost $119.75:


$119.75 in 1931 dollars is roughly equivalent to $2060 today.

And the other ad was geared toward people with less discretionary purchasing power:


During the Great Depression years of the 1930s, many people didn’t have $9.50 handy to spend on a coffee pot.


Miss Germany 1932

The December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star continues to be a wealthy source of material! Here’s a photo of a beauty contest winner:


The Wikipedia page for Miss Germany states that the titleholder in 1932 was actually Liselotte de Booy-Schulze. However, the title of “Miss Germany” was not registered at the time, so anybody could hold a contest and give that name to the winner.

Neither the National Socialists nor the German Democratic Republic held beauty contests. The Nazis called them an example of “Jewish-Bolshevik decadence”, and the East German Communists claimed that they were “degradation and exploitation of the woman by capitalism”. So there you go.


Ten-year terms and fifteen lashes

The December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this article about two convicted bank robbers who were sentenced to ten years in prison and fifteen lashes:



I wondered: for how long were criminals sentenced to receive lashes?

I found a Maclean’s article from 1949 that deplored the use of corporal punishment, pointing out that only three “civilized” countries were still using it. And the Correctional Services Canada web site states that corporal punishment was finally abolished in Canada in 1972; its use had been declining for some time.


Canadian Tire in 1931

Here’s a Canadian Tire ad from the December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Is it just me, or does it look like they forgot the trailing G in “driving” when typesetting the headline in this ad, and then had to shoehorn it in later?

At the time, there was only one Canadian Tire branch, which had been at 629-637 Yonge Street since 1925. Not only was there only one branch – the 1931 Toronto city directory for Canadian Tire wasn’t even in boldface:

canadian tire

Canadian Tire opened its first “associate store” in Hamilton in 1934. By 1945, there were 110 Canadian Tire stores; now, there are over 500.


Friends didn’t know

To finally usher in the new year, here’s one last article from the December 31 1919 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Adam Beck might have been ill on New Year’s Eve 1919, but he recovered: he lived until 1925, when he passed away from anemia. His wife, Lilian, died of cancer in 1921.