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Perfect back contest

Sometimes I run across an article or photo that’s just plain weird. Here’s a picture from the photo page of the July 27 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that falls into this category.

I have no idea why anyone would want to enter the National Progressive Chiropractors Association’s perfect back contest. I suppose that there was a prize of some sort, and it was the middle of the Great Depression, so people were looking to make money any way they could.

I could find no reference to the National Progressive Chiropractors Association or its perfect back contest anywhere. Searches for C. H. Wood indicated that he was a leading chiropractor in California at that time; his given name appears to have been Charles.

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The secret of charm

The July 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two columns on the secret of charm, one from a woman’s point of view and one from a man’s:

Helen Morgan (1900-1941) has appeared in this blog before. She was a popular torch singer during the 1920s, appearing on stage and in New York nightclubs, one of which was called Chez Morgan. She battled alcoholism all of her life and died of cirrhosis of the liver.

Lowell Thomas (1892-1981) was a writer and broadcaster who was an early proponent of the travelogue, filming his travels to various places. His presentation on the war in Palestine was hugely successful in both the United States and England in 1919. He later moved to the radio, delivering talks about his travels and then branching out to stories about other people and news. He remained on radio until he retired in 1976.

Ironically, at the time of the column, Ms. Morgan was in the process of suing her second husband, Maurice “Buddy” Maschke III, for divorce. She married again shortly before her death. Mr. Thomas was more successful in love, as he was married to Frances Ryan from 1917 until she passed away in 1975.

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Abductors of girl?

Here’s a brief article from the July 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that appears to be sad news.

I agree with the writer of this anonymous article: a car with a fictitious registration is a very bad sign. The odd part: poor Miss Duffy appears to have been a resident of Buffalo who was abducted from Columbus and then transported back to Buffalo. Sadly, this means that she might have been targeted.

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Knew man who fought at Trafalgar

Here’s the first part of an article from the July 26 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a man who was 95 years old:

The article listed his address as 17 Roxborough Street West, so I was able to trace Mr. Hector in the Toronto city directories. It looks like he made it to his 100th birthday or possibly even his 101st, as he is listed in the 1941 directory at this address. He is not listed in 1942.

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Champions, two!

Here’s a photo from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of two women who were swimming champions.

Gloria Callen (1923-2016), nicknamed “Glamorous Gloria”, was named the 1942 Associated Press Athlete of the Year. She won 13 American championships and set 35 American records and one world record. Due to the war, she was never able to compete in the Olympics. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984.

Eleanor Holm (1913-2004) competed in the 1928 Olympics at the age of 14, then won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympics in the 100-metre backstroke. She was named to the 1936 Olympic team, but was expelled from the team after a drinking party on board the ship taking the team to Berlin. She maintained that she was expelled because U.S. Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage held a grudge against her, at one time claiming that he propositioned her.

When not competing in the Olympics, Ms. Holm was in the movies: she was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1932, and appeared in the movie Tarzan’s Revenge in 1938. Billy Rose was Ms. Holm’s second husband; they divorced in 1954 after a spectacular divorce trial called “The War Of The Roses”. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966.

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Canadian National telegram

The July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an ad for an upcoming movie that was displayed in the form of a telegram:

Mrs. Miniver (1942) was released in the depths of World War II. Produced in Hollywood, it was a romantic drama that described how the life of a typical English housewife was affected by the war.

While some modern critics consider this movie excessively sentimental, it was a commercial and critical success in its time: it was the top box office draw of 1942, and it won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actress (Greer Garson), and Best Supporting Actress (Teresa Wright). British moviegoers that saw the film were profoundly affected by it, due to its depiction of endurance and perseverance on the home front.

When I looked at the ad, I wondered: was D. E. Galloway, the assistant vice-president mentioned in the header of the telegram, a real person? I looked him up in the 1942 Toronto city directory, and the answer is yes: the directory listed D. Ernest Galloway as, indeed, an assistant vice-president at CN Telegram. He lived at 98 Wychwood Park. But he wasn’t there long: he was in the 1943 directory, but not the 1944. I couldn’t find an entry for his widow, so I don’t know whether he moved out of town or passed away.

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The Birth of a Baby

Here’s an ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming movie that featured, as the title suggested, the birth of a baby.

The Birth of a Baby (1938) was an educational film in which an expectant mother and her husband consult “a kindly obstetrician”, after which the mother gives birth to a healthy baby. The gimmick was that footage of an actual birth was spliced into the movie.

Naturally, the movie – which was only one hour and twelve minutes long, including the birth scene – caused controversy in its time. The state of New York banned it outright, and several theatres screened the movie separately for men and women. The All Movie website calls it “a prime example of old-fashioned (and very successful) hucksterism”.

The short opening film, Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk (1942), was a cartoon in which “Mr. Strauss, with the help of the forest animals, composes his greatest waltz”. You can watch it on YouTube.

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Celebrating its first anniversary

The July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this large advertisement for a chicken restaurant on Yonge Street:

There was also this Consumers Gas ad that referenced the Chicken Palace:

I looked the Chicken Palace up in the Toronto city directories. The 1942 directory listed it at 404 Yonge Street, with Ben Ber as its proprietor. (I’ll bet that the signature on his cheques was easy to read.) Mr. Ber was still running the Chicken Palace in 1957, but he had retired by 1960; the manager was listed as Gus Alexander.

The restaurant didn’t last long after that – the 1962 directory lists a restaurant named The Moorings at that location. I would guess that the new restaurant featured fish instead of chicken.

A search turned up this postcard of the Chicken Palace, with no date provided.

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Fifth column and fourth Axis power

Here’s an ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming church service:

The three existing Axis Powers were, of course, Germany, Italy, and Japan. “Fifth column” was a term used to describe people who undermined a group from within on behalf of an enemy.

The background for this, as far as I can tell: in September 1939, Prime Minister Mackenzie King had pledged that Canada would not introduce overseas conscription for the duration of the Second World War. By 1942, some people were advocating conscription, and a plebiscite on April 27 of that year asked voters whether they were willing to let the Canadian government release itself from its promise not to send conscripted men overseas.

83% of English Canadians supported the plebiscite, which meant that eight of the nine provinces at that time supported it. But 72.9% of voters in Quebec opposed it, which presumably aroused the ire of Dr. Shields and Rev. Martin. The conscription crisis in Canada reached a peak in 1944, and is discussed in detail in this Wikipedia page.

This blog has encountered Dr. Shields a couple of times before – most recently, here. He was the pastor of the Jarvis Street Baptist Church from 1910 to 1955. A search for Reverend H. G. Martin revealed that somebody of that name travelled to the Ivory Coast as a Protestant missionary in about 1915; I have no idea if this was the same man.

A search for “Canadian Protestant League” threatened to send me down some deep Internet rabbit holes, so I didn’t follow the results too much. I did find a reference to a book written by Reverend Shields and others in 1945 titled Why The Canadian Protestant League Was Formed. Some of the chapter titles of the book are listed in this reference, indicating that the book was anti-Catholic and anti-Quebec.

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Aching aching feet

Here’s a short ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that caught my attention:

I’m not sure why the ad copy mentioned that the method of overcoming foot trouble was the most sensible in all America. Presumably, the method was imported from the United States, but the ad doesn’t say what it was.

The 1942 Toronto city directory lists Ross Wood’s Ltd. as a drug store, located on the second floor of the building at 197 Bay Street. J. B. Wood was listed as the firm’s president, but I couldn’t find anybody of that name in the directory – he or she must have lived out of town. The firm was new, as it wasn’t in the 1941 directory.

The 1943 directory lists the firm on the first floor of 160 Bloor East, the location in this ad. There’s no record of J. B. Wood there either. By 1944, the firm was gone, so people with aching, aching feet would have had to look elsewhere for a solution.