Good news!

The September 1 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained several ads that looked like this:

The radio page of that day’s edition provided an answer to the mystery:

Looking at that day’s radio listings revealed that the show was literally called the Three Star Programme:

Some of the other listings are intriguing. Pianomania? Hungry five? A choice between sacred songs and a dinner dance?

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out anything about the Three Star Programme. I did find a link to an episode of Daddy and Rollo, a program that was running at the same time. Rex Battle, being broadcast on CPRY, has appeared in this blog before.

Offers services to China

Here’s a photograph from the front page of the August 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a female physician who was volunteering to help China during its war with Japan.

Margaret Chung (1889-1959) was the first woman of Chinese descent born in America to become a physician. She started her medical career in Chicago in the field of psychiatry, becoming a state criminologist for Illinois, before accepting a position as a surgeon in Los Angeles in 1918. While there, she removed Mary Pickford’s tonsils.

Moving to San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1922, she treated the local population, area celebrities, and Navy pilots. Many of her patients became her “adopted sons”; among the adoptees of “Mom Chung” were Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Ronald Reagan.

While Ms. Chung was volunteering to go to China in 1937, she was also secretly assigned to recruit fighter pilots for the “Flying Tigers”, the First American Volunteer Group of the China Air Force. During the Second World War, she served Thanksgiving dinner to up to 175 people at her house and wrapped 4000 gifts at Christmas. When she retired from her medical practice after the war, her “adopted sons” purchased a house for her in Marin County.

Smart shot

Here’s a photograph from the August 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a 15-year-old girl who finished third in a pistol-shooting event.

Gloria Jacobs got even better at shooting a little later on: in December 1939, she set a world record by hitting 299 out of 300 targets on a 30-shot course at Camp Perry. She compiled a total of 13 shooting world records in her career.

I found these links, among others:

  • Film footage of her from early in 1940.
  • A long article on her that appeared in American Rifleman magazine in 1949.
  • Her obituary: she became Gloria Jacobs Norton and passed away in 2011 at the age of 88.

Fan mob troubles

Here’s a photograph from the August 23 1937 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a movie actor being overwhelmed by fans.

Robert Taylor (1911-1969), who was born Spencer Arlington Brugh, was known as “The Man With The Perfect Profile”. He signed a seven-year contract with MGM in 1932, starting at $25 per week and rising to $2500 per week by 1936. During the Second World War, he served as a flying instructor. After the war, he was a strident anti-Communist.

At the time of this photograph, Taylor was dating Barbara Stanwyck; they married in 1939 and divorced in 1951. Taylor smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, which led to his developing the lung cancer that killed him.

Royalty decision

Here’s a photograph from the August 19 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a couple who were about to receive royalties from radio.

William Dubilier (1888-1969) was an American radio and electronics inventor. According to an RF Cafe website article, Dubilier held over 600 patents in his field. For his efforts in developing a submarine detection device during the First World War, Britain offered him a knighthood and a pension for life, which he refused.

I couldn’t find any details on the royalty decision.

On coast-to-coast flight

Here’s a photo from the August 19 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a pilot in the midst of a long-distance flight.

Nick Mamer (1897-1938) and Art Walker, his mechanic, flew continously in the plane Spokane Sun-God for five days starting on August 15, 1929. They flew from Spokane to San Francisco, then to New York City, and then back to Spokane. Refueling was accomplished in mid-air, and the two men got no sleep while performing this endurance flight.

Mamer later worked for Northwest Airlines. On January 10, 1938, he was flying from Seattle to Minneapolis when the tail section of his plane disintegrated and the plane crashed. He, his co-pilot, and eight passengers were killed instantly.

Action, thrills, romance

Here’s another ad from the August 19 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a combined program of film and vaudeville.

The Carnation Kid was a drama released on March 2, 1929. There were apparently both silent and sound versions of the movie, which is preserved in the Library of Congress.

Madame Q was a short film produced by Hal Roach. Details and reviews can be found on the Internet Movie Database.

People mentioned in this ad:

  • Douglas MacLean (1890-1967) appeared in films in the 1920s and became a producer and screenwriter in the sound era. He married and divorced three times.
  • Frances Lee (1906-2000) was born Merna Phyllis Tibbetts. She appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies before moving to Hollywood, and she appeared in a number of films in the 1920s and early 1930s. She was a semi-finalist for the role of the female lead in King Kong, losing out to Fay Wray. Later in life, she taught dance, society behavior, and etiquette, with the daughters of Richard Nixon being among her students.
  • I found a couple of references to Sol Gould, but no information on him.
  • Jean Berrios was a female impersonator; he turns up in a few searches. The University of Washington Libraries site has a photo of him.

2 weeks off

Here’s an ad from the August 19 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a combined movie and vaudeville event.

Two Weeks Off was released in both silent and sound format in 1929. It is now a lost film.

As for the people listed in this advertisement:

  • Dorothy MacKaill (1903-1990) was born in Britain but became a United States citizen in 1926, listing her year of birth as 1904. She appeared regularly in movies from 1920 to 1935 and retired from the movie business in 1937 to take care of her ailing mother. Married and divorced three times, she eventually moved to Honolulu, where she lived in a luxury hotel, swam in the ocean nearly every day, and occasionally took bit parts in shows filmed in Hawaii. There’s lots worse ways to live.
  • Jack Mulhall (1887-1979) appeared in movies from 1910 to 1959, after which he became a contract negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild. He was a widower twice over by 1921: his first wife died shortly after their marriage and his second wife committed suicide. His third marriage, to Evelyn Winans later that year, lasted until his death.
  • Bob Murphy (1889-1948) appeared in a number of movies in the late 1930s. He once saw President Calvin Coolidge wearing a smock and suggested that this might turn the area farmers into “nances”.
  • I couldn’t find much on Bob and Gayle Sherwood, but their son, Bobby Sherwood, became a musician and television presenter. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • “Dotson, Lightning Steps and Laughs” might refer to Clarence “Dancing” Dotson, referenced in this article on tap dance in history from the Library of Congress.

Complains of treatment

Here’s a photo from the August 19 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who claimed had become totally disabled by the Christie Street hospital.

I could find no reference to the unfortunate Mr. Wood in the Toronto city directories. In the 1929 directory, Frank W. Thomas is listed as the resident at 12 Hector Avenue. The 1930 directory lists the resident of 12 Hector as Absent, and the 1931 directory lists Peter Souris as living there.

The Read The Plaque website has an entry on the Christie Street hospital from which Mr. Wood was discharged. In 1919, the National Cash Register factory on Christie Street was converted to become the Toronto Military Orthopaedic Hospital. In 1936, it was renamed the Christie Street Veterans’ Hospital. It became overcrowded with Second World War veterans, which led to the construction of Sunnybrook Hospital in 1948. The building became a seniors’ residence before being demolished in 1981.