Canada’s hair fashion store

Here’s an ad from the May 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a hair specialist:

The Glenn-Charles salon was, presumably, a competitor of W. T. Pember, whose hair salon was not far away.

Digging into the Toronto city directories revealed that Glenn-Charles were originally Anna Glenn and Charles Wolfe, whose firm goes back as far as at least 1915. By 1924, Anna Glenn is not listed in the directory, and Charles Wolfe is listed as the proprietor of Glenn-Charles.

The firm does not seem to have lasted long after this ad came out. I could find Glenn-Charles in the 1928 directory, but it is not listed in the 1929 directory; 89 King West is listed as Vacant. Charles Wolfe remained listed at his home address on Ellis Avenue in Swansea until at least 1941, but with no listed occupation.

Aeroplane for beautiful

Here’s a photograph from the May 26 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a pilot who had just flown two women to the Chicago World’s Fair.

Victor John “Shorty” Hatton was a Canadian pilot. He does not have a Wikipedia page, but I did find a website and a book about him.

Vera Fleck appeared in some dance shows in England in 1930 and 1931 as a member of the Marie Rambert Dancers. I could find no reference to Lyette Teppaz, except for references to photographs of her taken at about the time of the Chicago World’s Fair held that summer.

He can lick the whole family

Here is a photograph from the May 26 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a competitive cyclist and his young son.

Bobby Walthour Jr. does not have a Wikipedia page, but I did find a page for him on the U. S. Bicycling Hall of Fame website. He won eight major six-day bicycling events between 1924 and 1937.

His father, Bobby Walthour Sr. (1878-1949) was one of the best bicyclists of the first decade of the twentieth century, achieving success in both the United States and Europe. He eventually specialized in the dangerous sport of motor pacing, in which cyclists closely followed the slipstreams of the motorcyclists that were pacing them. This led to multiple injuries. Bobby Senior eventually became estranged from Bobby Junior over what Wikipedia calls “a religious squabble”.

I could find no reference to Bobby Walthour III anywhere on the Internet.

In Toronto to-day

The front page of the May 26 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photograph of a prominent British economist and his wife.

Josiah Stamp (1880-1941) was a number of things: industrialist, economist, civil servant, statistician, writer, and banker, as well as being the 1st Baron Stamp. He was also stubborn: he refused to leave his suburban London home during the Blitz, which was the Nazis’ Second World War bombardment of the city. This stubbornness killed him and his wife when their air-raid shelter was the victim of a direct hit from a German bomb.

The Stamps had four sons; the eldest, Wilfred, died with his parents. However, due to a technicality in British law, the elder Stamp was deemed to have died first. This meant that Wilfred was briefly the second Baron Stamp and that the Stamp estate had to pay two sets of death duties. The second son, Trevor Stamp, became the third Baron.

What if he should tire of me?

Here’s an ad for Lux Toilet Soap from the May 26 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Like other Lux ads of this era, this ad is oddly specific: it claims that 686 of the important 694 actresses in Hollywood use Lux, including all stars. It then claims that “9 out of 10 Screen Stars” use Lux. Oh, well – you can’t expect copywriters to have fluency with numbers.

Aileen Pringle (1895-1989) was an actress who lived a life of privilege: she was born into a wealthy San Francisco family and then married the son of a wealthy British-Jamaican landowner before starting her film career. This might have been why she was noted for her apparent disdain of her fellow actors and of her chosen profession: apparently, in the silent movie Three Weeks (1924), lip readers can discern that she told co-star Conrad Nagel, during a romantic scene, “If you drop me, you bastard, I’ll break your neck.”

On the other hand, Ms. Pringle successfully cultivated friendships with a number of writers and artists, including H. L. Mencken, who became a lifelong friend. She apparently had “wit, a keen intellect, and a sparkling personality”, which are obviously good things to have. She spent her later years in New York, living a comfortable life.

Where the maples grow green

As I’ve mentioned before, the editorial page of the Toronto Daily Star used to include a section titled A Little Of Everything. This section always started off with a poem.

Here’s the poem that appeared in the May 17 1927 edition:

Like James MacGregor, who appeared in this newspaper five years later, Mr. Lynn was clearly of Scottish heritage.

Since the paper published his address, I looked him up in the Toronto city directories. He is listed in the 1927 directory at 423 Crawford and as a clerk at Art Metropole, a firm that sold supplies for engineers, architects, and artists. Some other family members lived there, as there were listings for Dorothy, Mary, and Mina Lynn. The 1928 directory listed all of them plus a new member, John Jr.

Subsequent directories indicate that the family moved around a lot:

  • The 1929 directory only listed some of the Lynns at various locations, which suggests that they were moving at the time that the city directory was being compiled.
  • The 1930 directory lists Dorothy, John, John Jr., Mary, and Mina at 86 Concord Avenue. John Senior had no listed occupation.
  • 1931 lists Dorothy, John, John Jr., and Mina at 162 Indian Grove. John Jr. was now listed as John S. Lynn. There is no listing for Mary; presumably, she got married.
  • By 1932, the family had moved to 106 Chelsea Avenue, but there were listings for Dorothy, John S., and Mina only.
  • In 1933, Dorothy, John, and Mina were listed at 221A Roncesvalles Avenue.
  • In 1934, Dorothy was the only one that I could find; she was back at 86 Concord Avenue. In 1935, she was at 1994 Queen West; I didn’t trace her after that.

“John Lynn” is a common name, so I don’t know for sure what happened to the author of this poem. But the fact that John and John S. were listed in 1931 and only John S. was listed in 1932 suggests, sadly, that John Sr. had left the land where the maples grow green – unless he travelled to Loch Lomond to find his childhood sweetheart.

Awarded a huge contract

Here’s a photo from the May 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of the president of a construction company.

George McNamara (1886-1952) was a successful entrepreneur by 1927, but this was his second career: from 1906 to 1917, he was a professional hockey player. He and his brother Howard were known as “The Dynamite Twins” because of their powerful bodychecks. In 1914, he was a member of the Toronto Blueshirts of the National Hockey Association, which won the Stanley Cup.

McNamara’s career was ended by the First World War when he, along with a number of other players, became part of the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops. He served with distinction, being promoted to major by the end of the war. After the war, he coached the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to the Allan Cup before he and Howard founded the construction company that bore their name.

Famous Canadian prima donna

Here’s a photo from the May 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a Canadian soprano who was about to perform in the city.

The Canadian Encyclopedia has an article on Winifred Lugrin Fahey (1884-1966). Born in Fredericton of what the article describes as “United Empire Loyalist stock”, Ms. Lugrin Fahey performed and taught in Toronto from 1920 to 1944. She seldom performed outside of the country, though she was well-received after a recital in New York.

The article states that she was “a woman of immense enthusiasm and charm”. Which is good.

Havoc is feared

Here is a short article from the May 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that contained a report that Mount Vesuvius was threatening to erupt.

As it turned out, while Mount Vesuvius experienced regular volcanic activity between 1913 and 1944, it didn’t erupt in 1927. The next significant eruption was in 1929.

In 1944, Vesuvius experienced a major eruption, which destroyed three villages as well as several aircraft belonging to the 340th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Air Force. The volcano has not erupted since – which is perhaps just as well, as 600,000 people now live within its danger zone and about three million live close enough to be affected.