Kingsway home

Here is the third and last of the new home pictures that appeared in the July 24 1939 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

A fully air-conditioned home would have seemed quite appealing to readers who were suffering through a Toronto summer without benefit of air conditioning! (While the high temperature on July 29 1939 was a comparatively cool 25C, the city had just endured a six-day heat wave of highs of 30C or greater, peaking at 33.9C on July 28.)

The Toronto city directories revealed that the “undisclosed purchaser” mentioned in this caption was Herbert G. Baggs, a supervisor at Eaton’s. Sadly, he didn’t get to live in his new air-conditioned home for all that long: the 1945 directory lists him, but the 1948 directory lists his widow.

The house still stands, though it has been recently been remodelled. (Historical Google Street View photos show the house appearing unchanged up until 2018.)

Builder sells three homes

Here’s another real estate photo from the July 24 1939 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I looked the houses and their owners up in the Toronto city directories:

  • James H. Galbraith, who was at 320 Fairlawn, worked as a foreman. There was also a James K. Galbraith who lived there; he worked as an adjuster at Eaton’s, and was probably James H.’s son.
  • G. Vernon Cranfield, at 322 Fairlawn, was a clerk at the city treasury.
  • Samuel A. McIntosh, at 324 Fairlawn, ran the Melrose Service Station. The 1940 directory also listed Stanley Sharp living there; he wasn’t in the 1945 directory.

All three of them were still there in 1945, though James K. Galbraith was now on active service. By 1950, the Galbraiths had moved to 47 Robina Avenue, and the younger Galbraith was now a student. Mr. Cranfield and Mr. McIntosh and their families remained neighbours for at least 20 years, as they are both listed at the same address in the 1960 directory.

All three houses still stand.

New home in York Mills

The July 24 1939 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained photographs of a number of upscale homes that had just been built. Here’s a picture of one of them:

The 1940 Toronto city directory lists Douglas J. Cormack as an assistant treasurer at Abitibi Power and Paper, and lists his address as 51 Donino Avenue in York Mills. Google Street View shows that this house no longer exists.

The 1942 directory lists Mr. Cormack’s address as 27 Donino Avenue. Either the street was renumbered or he moved. The house now at that location is larger than the one in this photograph, so my best guess is the latter. Sadly, Mr. Cormack didn’t get to enjoy life in York Mills for very long: the 1947 city directory lists him at 27 Donino, but the 1948 directory lists his widow.

Radio stunt man

Here’s a photo from the July 24 1939 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a radio announcer at the top of a tall ladder.

John Snagge (1904-1996) had a long and distinguished career at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that started when he broadcasted a soccer match in 1927. He was the BBC’s presentation director during the Second World War, delivering most of the important wartime announcements, and he was the broadcaster for the coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. He retired in 1965, but was the commentator for the Oxford-Cambridge boat race until 1980.

Snagge was a supporter of The Goon Show and was often parodied on it; he regularly provided recorded voiceovers for the show. He also provided the voiceover narration for the Sex Pistols’ “Pistols Propaganda”, which was the B-side of one of their singles and the soundtrack for their movie, The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle.

Choice of London, rage of Paris

Here’s a photograph from the July 24 1939 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of two women who had been proclaimed Miss London and Miss Paris.

Searches for Joyce Claxton and Andree Lorrain turned up very little. Both women appeared in Folies Bergère [1939], a Broadway show whose opening night was Christmas 1939, and which lasted for 121 performances until it closed on February 11, 1940. I could find nothing else on either woman.

Wins three scholarships

Here’s a photo from the July 20 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young man who had just won a number of science scholarships.

Harry Gunning (1916-2002) went on to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. After teaching in the U.S. for a while, he was appointed the head of the department of chemistry at the University of Alberta in 1957. He was president of the university from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Gunning published over 175 papers, specializing in chemical kinetics and photochemistry. He became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979.

Uncritical approval

The Toronto Daily Star’s “A Little Of Everything” column on July 20 1936 contained this poem about a popular movie:

The Green Pastures (1936) was a movie that recreated stories from the Bible with a cast that was entirely Black. Though civil rights activists criticized it for employing racial stereotyping, the film was hugely successful. On its opening night at Radio City Music Hall, tickets sold at the rate of 6000 per hour. The film played for a full year at some theatres.

YouTube has some excerpts from the movie, including this preview.

Earl’s fast right

Here’s a short article from the July 20 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a Hollywood actress who was being bothered by a drunk man until a British peer came up and punched him.

Joan Bennett (1910-1990) was one of three sisters who went into the movies. She appeared in one movie in 1916 and another in 1923, and then started her film career in earnest in the late 1920s. In 1951, her husband, Walter Wanger, shot her agent, Jennings Lang, in a fit of jealousy. Mr. Lang survived, and Mr. Wanger, pleading a fit of temporary insanity, served only four months in jail for the shooting. The scandal, however, effectively ended Ms. Bennett’s movie career; she continued to work extensively on the stage and in television.

William Ward, the 3rd Earl of Dudley (1894-1969) served two terms in the British Parliament as a Conservative before being elevated to the House of Lords in 1932. He was a widower at the time of the punch described here, as his first wife, Lady Rosemary Millicent Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, died in a plane crash in 1930. He married twice more after that, and allegedly proposed to Mandy Rice-Davies in 1961 when he was 67 and she was 17. He was also stridently opposed to the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which partially decriminalized male homosexuality, as he claimed that he could not stand gay people.

Girl tries to see nudists

Here’s a brief article from the July 20 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a New Jersey farmer who had declared war on local nudists.

A Google search for “Schooleys Mountain nudists” turned up nothing except other references to Mr. Searles. So perhaps he was successful in his war against the unclothed.

Long Valley and Schooley’s Mountain are unincorporated communities located near each other in New Jersey. Long Valley, formerly known as German Valley, is home to 2,201 people as of 2020. I couldn’t find a population estimate for the community of Schooley’s Mountain.

Schooley’s Mountain (officially known as Schooleys Mountain) is also, not surprisingly, a mountain – or, rather, a mountain ridge. Its highest elevation is 1200 feet. It is named after the Schooley family, who owned land in the area in the 1790s.

What’s this?

Here’s an odd little cartoon from the July 20 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I didn’t get the joke until I saw that there was an apostrophe between the W and the h. Hoops, my dear!

Milt Gross (1895-1953) was an American cartoonist noted for his exaggerated style and Yiddish-inflected dialogue. He went into semi-retirement after suffering a heart attack in 1945. He suffered another attack in 1953 when returning from a Hawaiian vacation with his wife; this heart attack killed him. In his honour, the National Cartoonists Society established the Milt Gross Fund to help cartoonists who were down on their luck financially.