Interesting photographic study

I’ve seen this several times before, but I’m still astonished that newspapers from the 1930s would publish photographs of girls and young women and include their names and addresses. Weren’t there stalkers back in those days?

Anyway, here’s a photograph of twin girls that appeared in the March 24 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

When I looked in the 1930 Toronto city directory, I discovered that the caption had their surname wrong. G. Douglas Wilson is listed at 21 Parkwood Avenue, and was the managing director of the Bowes Company, Limited. You’d think that the paper would have gotten this right, as the very same edition had a photograph of Mr. Wilson being honoured by his company:

Moving forward:

  • By 1935, the Wilsons had moved to 16 Elderwood Drive in Forest Hill.
  • By 1940, Mr. Wilson was the head of his own firm, the appropriately named G. D. Wilson & Company Limited, which had a bold-face listing in the directory. Their line of work was bakers and confectioners supplies. He was still at 16 Elderwood Drive.
  • By now, Mary and Isabelle are old enough to have listings of their own: Mary D. Wilson is working as a clerk at Imperial Life, and Isabelle has no listed occupation.
  • In 1945, the G. D. Wilson & Company firm was still going strong. The twins are still living at home. Isabelle C. Wilson is listed as a stenographer at her father’s firm, and Mary D. is still at Imperial Life.
  • The listings were the same for 1950 and 1955 as well: the firm was still going, and the sisters were still at 16 Elderwood in their same jobs.
  • The 1960 directory finally brought change. G. Douglas Wilson is listed as “with” G. D. Wilson & Co., which suggests that he was semi-retired. There is no listing for Isabelle, and there is no listing for Mary at 16 Elderwood (she has a common name, so it was difficult to trace). This suggests that the sisters had gotten married and thus disappeared from the city directory.
  • By 1965, the last year that I checked, G. D. Wilson was listed at 16 Elderwood with no occupation, which suggests that he had retired. The G. D. Wilson Company was now the Bakery Division of Rose & Laflamme, Limited. Isabelle and Mary were not listed.

16 Elderwood Drive still stands. It doesn’t appear to have changed much over the years.

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