Players’ appreciation night

The September 6 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for an upcoming baseball game in Toronto.

I assume that Pool and Hilcher had enough appeal to female baseball fans that they would appreciate autographed pictures of the two men.

In 1935, the Toronto Maple Leafs were the Cincinnati Reds’ class AA minor-league affiliate, and both of the men in this ad spent some time with the big club that year.

Harlin Pool seemed to be a promising young player in 1934. Called up to the Reds in late May, he hit .327 the rest of the way for them. Unfortunately, he opened 1935 in a severe slump, and was batting .176 for the Reds when he was sent to Toronto in early June. His bat bounced back with the Leafs, as he hit .329, but he never returned to the majors. He played for four other minor league teams before ending his career in 1939.

Walter Frank “Whitey” Hilcher had spent brief periods of time pitching for the Reds in 1931 and 1932 before winning 19 games for the Leafs in 1935. This earned him a callup to the majors – one week after the game shown in this ad, Hilcher pitched a shutout for the Reds at home against the Boston Braves. This, unfortunately, was the high point of his major league career – he pitched poorly for the Reds in 1936, and was released after the season. He spent several years pitching for the independent Portland team, playing his last game in 1942.

Sadly, both men died relatively young: Pool passed away in 1963 at the age of 54, and Hilcher in 1962 at the age of 53.


18 if not all 21

Here’s another article from the September 6 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star containing a prediction about the upcoming federal election:

The three men who assured the Star that the Liberals would win at least 18 seats in Saskatchewan were wrong: the Liberals collected only 16 seats. But it wouldn’t have bothered them too much: Mackenzie King’s party went from 90 to 171 seats overall and returned to power with a significant majority. The Liberals would remain in power until 1957.


Ripley greets Liberal candidate

Here’s a photo from the September 6 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring Robert Ripley of “Believe It Or Not” fame with Liberal Party candidate Salter A. Hayden:

Ripley’s prediction turned out to be wrong: Salter Hayden (1896-1987) did not win the St. Paul’s riding in 1935. Mackenzie King appointed him to the Senate in 1940, and he served there until he resigned in 1983 due to poor health. He outlived Ripley by more than 37 years: Ripley passed away in 1949 at the age of 59 from a heart attack.


After many years

Here’s a short piece from the August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about two elderly brothers meeting for the first time in many years.

For those unwilling to read the small type: the Reverend Richard Duke, who lived in Toronto, met his older brother John, who lived in Long Island.

One thing I noticed in the article: John is 81 and Richard is 78, and they are the oldest of eleven children, “all, with the exception of two, [who] lived to extreme old age”. So “extreme old age” was defined to be significantly less than 78 in 1924, given that the Dukes had seven younger long-lived siblings.

Naturally, when I see a report of an older person in the newspaper, I indulge my morbid curiosity and look in the Toronto city directories to see if I can find out how long he lived afterwards. In the case of the Reverend Duke, it was five more years: he appears in the 1929 directory, but the 1930 directory lists his widow.



Here’s a small ad from the August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an elocutionist.

It’s interesting that there were special rates for church and welfare work. I guess, back in those days, it might have been necessary to teach people how to speak properly before they could be employable.

I tried to trace Lillian Climo in the Toronto city directories and didn’t find her. Cross-referencing the Streets sections of the 1924 and 1925 directories revealed that Elisabeth R. Sadlier (once written as Sadleir) lived at 64 Isabella. She didn’t have a listed occupation when I looked her up in the Names section of the directories. My guess is that “Lillian Climo” was a pseudonym that Ms. Sadlier used for work, but I don’t know this for sure.

64 Isabella no longer exists – there are now apartments there.


Sold himself to the Yankees

The August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star is turning out to be a good source of material! Here’s another photo, of a baseball player who sold himself for $11,000:

A search for Frank Walker in the Baseball Reference website revealed that while he might have sold himself to the New York Yankees, he actually wound up playing for the New York Giants in 1925. He batted only .222 in 39 games, and this was his last year in the major leagues.

He returned to the minor leagues in 1926, spending the next four years as player-manager with Greenville of the South Atlantic League. He continued to play minor league baseball until 1931, and passed away in 1974.

$11,000 was a tidy sum of money in 1924, by the way: it is equivalent to over $166,000 today. Mr. Walker was a good businessman indeed.


Ex-princess of Prussia

Here’s another photo from the August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Gl├╝cksburg (1887-1957) married Prince August Wilhelm, her first cousin and the fourth son of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, in 1908. The couple divorced in 1920 after the monarchy fell, as the Kaiser refused to allow them to divorce before that. The Prince’s Wikipedia page strongly hints that he was intimately involved with his personal adjutant; he later went on to become an admirer of Hitler.

In later life, the ex-Princess married and divorced again, and became a portrait and landscape painter. I could find no mention of starring in film productions.


Attempted round the world flight

Here’s a photograph from the August 30 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a failed attempt to fly around the world:

The Wikipedia entry for Archibald Stuart-MacLaren provides more details on the attempted circumnavigation of the globe, including that the plane shown here was a replacement, after the original was destroyed when attempting to take off in Burma.

During the summer of 1924, a number of nations were trying to become the first to fly around the world; Mr. Stuart-MacLaren headed the British team. Only the Americans made it.

I couldn’t find out anything about what happened to Mr. Stuart-MacLaren after that.


Reckless in her loves

Here’s a movie ad from the August 26 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

100% talking, singing, loving!

The Squall (1929) was the first talking picture for director Alexander Korda, who worked in Hollywood from 1926 to 1930 and then moved to Britain. He became a well-known figure in the British film industry, eventually earning a knighthood.

Myrna Loy (1905-1993) was frequently typecast as an exotic vamp, so playing Nubi, the “Gypsy Gale of Passion”, was just another day’s work for her. Her career took off when she played Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934).

Flora Le Breton (1899-1951) was sometimes referred to as the British Mary Pickford. She appeared in movies throughout the 1920s and was on the stage through the mid-1930s. Her last film credit was in 1930, and her last Broadway stage credit was in 1934. I have no idea why her career ended comparatively early or why she passed away at a relatively young age.


Your ruling star

One of the things that I was startled to discover when I first started looking at old newspapers was that horoscopes were a comparatively recent innovation. They mostly didn’t start appearing until after the Second World War.

However, I did find an early ancestor to the modern horoscope in the August 26 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

This diagram includes the twelve signs of the Zodiac that would appear in post-war horoscopes, but didn’t include individual entries for each sign.

I did a Google search for William Shwader and found nothing, except for a reference to him as a German astrologer.