Thief had meal then took cat

Here’s a bit of filler from the June 4 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I’m thinking that whoever wrote this does not have a cat. Of course, Mr. Cunningham’s cat is valuable!


Cases show sharp decline

Here’s an article from the June 4 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star describing the latest case counts for common diseases.


May 1932 appears to have been a bad month for mumps!

The reduced incidence of diphtheria might have been related to another article that appeared in the same paper:


Diphtheria vaccine was invented in 1923. Today, about 84% of the world is vaccinated, which is grimly ironic, given the current world situation.


Who’ll give the girls a pen?

Here’s a publicity photo from the radio page of the June 4 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


A Google search for Ruth and Katharine Glenn turned up nothing at all, which made me a bit sad. In 1932, the singing Glenn sisters were popular enough to go through a pen a day answering fan mail; now, they are lost to history.


Prophesies doom of the Soviet

Here’s another picture from the photo page of the May 30 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Ms. Hanoun got neither of her predictions right in the short term, but I suppose that her prophecies eventually were proven correct: Prince Carol regained his throne in 1930, and the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. (Prince Carol has previously appeared in this blog here.)


Taxi driver claims throne

Here’s a picture from the photo page of the May 30 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Wikipedia has an entry for the Kotromanić dynasty, which ruled Bosnia between the 13th and 15th century. I couldn’t find anything on either Prince Alexander or Princess Ariadne, so I have no idea whether he was a descendant of this dynasty or made the whole thing up.

I suppose it doesn’t really matter: the King of Yugoslavia went into exile in 1941 when the Germans conquered, and the monarchy was formally abolished in 1945.


Lone 4000 mile tour

Here’s a photo from the May 30 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young man who was about to venture on a solo 4000 mile tour of the Arctic.


Cornelius Osgood (1905-1985) went on to become the Curator of Anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum from 1934 to 1973. A brief biography of Mr. Osgood is here, and a link to the Cornelius Osgood Papers is here.


Crofton Villa

The May 29 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for a restaurant in Cooksville:

The Insauga website has a recent article on old Mississauga restaurants that includes a postcard of the Crofton Villa. The restaurant existed from 1922 until 1968.

Cookstown was located at what is now Dundas and Hurontario in Mississauga.


Tom Thumb miniature golf

Here’s an ad from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a new miniature golf course near the Old Mill:


The 1930 Toronto city directory contains no mention of a Tom Thumb golf course, but it does mention the Old Mill Athletic Grounds, which included a miniature golf course, tennis, bowling, and badminton.

When I looked at the 1931 directory, I discovered that Tom Thumb miniature golf courses were something of a fad, to put it mildly. They had sprouted up everywhere, including the Old Mill. Rather than type them all out, I’ll include a screen shot of their listings in the directory (this is under “Tom”, so only “Thumb” is listed):


By my count, there were 17 Tom Thumb miniature golf courses in operation, under five different proprietors (not counting the nearby Tom Thumb Lunch). The fad proved short-lived: by 1932, there were only four Tom Thumb courses still listed in the directory, at 759 Crawford, 1692 Dufferin, 164 Lake Shore Road, and 563 1/2 Parliament. In 1933, there were no Tom Thumb courses listed.

The 1932 directory no longer lists the Old Mill Athletic Grounds either, though it lists the Old Mill Golf Course. I’m not sure whether it was a miniature golf course or a full course. By 1933, this was gone too.

Searching for “Tom Thumb miniature golf” on the Internet turned up a few sources – apparently, they were a huge fad everywhere.

  • There is a Smithsonian Magazine article on Tom Thumb courses. By the summer of 1930, there were an estimated 25,000 miniature golf courses in the United States, over half of which had been built that year.
  • There is an article on Tom Thumb miniature golf in Ottawa. Twelve courses were opened there in 1930.
  • There is Pathé video footage of a Tom Thumb course in Toronto. The background suggests that this is the 9-15 Adelaide West course.

15,000 visitors

Here’s an ad for Barker’s Bread from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Barker’s Bread had just switched locations at the time of this ad, as the 1930 Toronto city directory lists them at 279 Spadina. They remained at 559 Davenport for some time. By 1950, the firm was known as Barker’s Biscuits. The last city directory that they appear in is 1953.

There is an old Torontoist page that provides some information on Barker’s Bread (the link may be stale, though, as the image that was originally included with the page is no longer there).


Played Johnnie!

Here’s an ad from the May 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Amy Johnson (1903-1941) was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia (as mentioned in this ad). A song, Amy, Wonderful Amy, was written about this achievement; you can hear it here.

In 1932, Ms. Johnson married Jim Mollison, another pilot, who proposed to her eight hours after meeting her. The two attempted other records together until 1936; they divorced in 1938.

Ms. Johnson was killed while flying for the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War.

Other aviators mentioned in this ad:

  • Ross Macpherson Smith (1892-1922) and Keith Macpherson Smith (1890-1955) flew from England to Australia in 1919, becoming the first pilots to do so. Ross was killed in 1922 when testing a Vickers Viking aircraft. Keith had been planning an around-the-world flight, but gave up the idea when his brother passed away.
  • Alan Cobham (1894-1973) visited 17 cities in three weeks by aircraft in 1921, and also flew from England to Cape Town and back in 1925. During his return flight to Australia in 1926, his aircraft engineer was killed when leaving Baghdad.
  • Bert Hinkler (1892-1933) was killed when attempting to break the record time for flying from England to Australia. His plane crashed in the Tuscan Mountains in Italy.