Young aeroplane designer

Before starting today’s post, I wanted to take another look at yesterday’s: how common was the name Florence Nightingale in the Toronto city directories? When I looked, I found two Florence Nightingales in the 1935 city directory and no fewer than five in the 1938 directory: a seamer, a stenographer, two teachers, and a dressmaker. Interestingly enough, and perhaps not surprisingly, no nurses.

Moving on: here’s a photograph from the March 14 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young man who had built his own model airplane.

The 1935 Toronto city directory lists Charles Anthony as a machine mover and living at apartment 6, 778 Broadview Avenue. By 1937, he had moved to apartment 2, 733 Broadview Avenue and, in 1939, he was at 37 McMurrich Street (which has since been redeveloped).

The 1941 directory contains an entry for Vernon H. Anthony; he was listed as a salesman at Eaton’s. In 1943, he was a sheet metal worker at Toronto Shipbuilding, and in 1945, he was a draftsman at Massey-Harris; these seem like the sorts of occupations that a boy who built his own model airplane would eventually gravitate to. Moving forward in five-year intervals:

  • 1950: department superintendent, Smith Manufacturing
  • 1955: employee at Duplex Sash Balance – he was listed as V. Howard Anthony in this directory
  • 1960: no occupation, still listed as V. Howard Anthony
  • 1965: president and general manager of Higgin Homeshield Limited, now listed as Vernon H. Anthony again; he was listed as living in Dixie

The 1969 directory, which is the last one available online, does not list him. If he had retired and moved out of town, or if his business had moved out of town, there would have been no reason for him to appear in the Toronto directories. I tried searching for his obituary, but searches turned up references to Vernon Howard, an American spiritual teacher and author, who was almost Vern Anthony’s exact contemporary (Howard would have been one or two years older).

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