May day festivities

Here’s a photograph from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a festive occasion.

I wasn’t expecting to find much when I did a search, but I did turn up a page that contained another photograph of Ms. Bell and a page that listed her address in 1947. There were also May Day photographs from 1935 and 1936. I also found video footage of the 1938 celebrations that included the women in the above photo.

Fun at home

Here’s a syndicated column that appeared in the May 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that described how to build a catamaran raft.

Ray J. Marran published several books between 1938 and 1940, all on the subject of building things for use inside and outside the home. Given that they were all published more or less at once, I suspect that they were collections of columns that had previously appeared in newspapers. Other than this, I couldn’t find anything on him.

Makes golf history

Here’s a photo from the May 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of an American golfer who had just won the British Amateur golf championship for the second year in a row.

Lawson Little (1910-1968) won the British Amateur and U.S. Amateur championships in both 1934 and 1935. He is one of four golfers to have won both championships in the same year and the only one to do it twice.

Little turned professional in 1936 and won eight tournaments, including the 1940 U.S. Open. He carried up to 26 clubs in his bag until the United States Golf Association imposed a 14-club limit in 1938. He raised his family in a house that was located on the first fairway of the Pebble Beach golf course (hopefully, off to one side and not right in the middle of it).

It’s love makes women happy

Here’s an ad for Lux toilet soap from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Lux ads from earlier in the 1930s were oddly specific about the number of Hollywood stars that used their product. They claimed, for instance, that 605 out of 613 or 686 out of 694 stars used it. This ad settled for a relatively modest 9 out of 10.

Andrea Leeds (1913-1984) appeared in a number of significant movie roles in the late 1930s. She retired from acting in 1939 when she married Robert Stewart Howard, son of Charles S. Howard, the owner of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit. She and her husband also became successful horse breeders and remained married until he passed away in 1962.

Rochelle Hudson (1916-1972) was signed to a movie contract when she was 14, though the studio listed her birth date as 1914 to enable her to play romantic roles. Her movie career peaked in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but she played Natalie Wood’s mother in Rebel Without A Cause in 1955. Married and divorced four times, she died of a heart attack caused by a liver problem.

An old Japanese custom

Here’s a photograph from the May 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of the Prime Minister of Japan putting his shoes back on.

Keisuke Okada (1868-1952) was the Prime Minister of Japan from 1934 to 1936. A moderate, he was opposed to the rise of the militarists in Japan; he narrowly escaped assassination in 1936 because the assassins killed someone else thinking that he was the prime minister. He left office after emerging from hiding a few days later.

Okada was opposed to the war against the United States. He worked to try to end the hostilities early and helped overthrow the Hideki Tojo cabinet in 1944.

Wins gold medal

Here’s a photo from the May 25 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a girl who had just won a piano contest.

As I’ve mentioned before, it was common practice in the 1930s for photos to list the address of the person being photographed. Needless to say, this would not happen today.

The 1935 Toronto city directory lists Edward and Maurice Goldstick as business partners in the Superior Wrecking Company; presumably, they were brothers. They were also neighbours: Edward lived at 356 Delaware Avenue, and Maurice lived at 358A.

I could find no reference to Sylvia Goldstick in any directory from 1937 to 1948, but an Internet search turned up this photo record from the Ontario Jewish Archives. It stated that Sylvia Goldstick married Dr. Izzy Kamin in 1940 and that the couple moved to San Francisco. The 1947 Toronto city directory lists Wilfred Goldstick as living at 358A Delaware, and I found an obituary for him that listed him as passing away in 2012 and that his sister, Sylvia Kamin, predeceased him.

Presented to the King

Here’s a photograph from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of the wife of the United States ambassador to Britain and two of her daughters.

Both Kathleen Kennedy – later Kathleen Cavendish, the Marchioness of Hartington – and Rosemary Kennedy led tragic lives, though of different sorts. Kathleen, nicknamed “Kick”, saw her husband killed in action in 1944, and then passed away in a plane crash in 1948. Rosemary, who struggled with developmental disabilities and possibly depression, was lobotomized in 1941 and lived in an institution for the rest of her life; she passed away in 2005.

Three of their brothers became well-known politicians. John became President of the United States in 1960 and was assassinated in 1963. Robert became John’s attorney general and was himself assassinated in 1968. Ted, the youngest child of the family, became a long-serving member of the United States Senate.

Their father, Joseph Kennedy (1888-1969), made a fortune in the stock market, liquor importing, and real estate. In the late 1920s, he had a three-year affair with actress Gloria Swanson. He was appointed the first head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1934. From 1938 to 1940, he was the United States ambassador to Britain, becoming known first as a supporter of appeasement of Germany and later for his defeatist attitude about the war.

Rose Kennedy (1890-1995) lived to be 104 years old, outliving five of her nine children. She was a homemaker and was involved in charitable work and women’s groups. At one time, she appeared on the International Best Dressed List.

Five big policemen go through window

Here’s a short article from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who was arrested for bookmaking:

Because the article listed the arrestee’s address, I looked him up in the Toronto city directories. The 1938 directory lists Albert Atkinson as a machinist at Canadian Acme Screw and Gear and living at 333 Westmoreland Avenue. The arrest doesn’t seem to have affected his life noticeably, as the 1940 directory has the same listing for him.

Subsequent directories list him as a machinist without listing his employer, with no listed occupation, and then as a carpenter. He remained at 333 Westmoreland, and the last year in which he appears in the Toronto city directory is 1956.

Catching help for Dan’s club

Here’s a photograph from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a catcher who was about to join the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team.

San Harshaney or Harshany (1910-2001) had spent the previous four seasons with San Antonio of the Texas League, which was affiliated with the St. Louis Browns. He played well enough in the 1937 season to earn a brief callup to the Browns, getting one hit in 11 at-bats. The Maple Leafs were not affiliated with the Browns, but they needed a catcher and the Browns wanted to move him up a level (San Antonio was class A and Toronto was class AA), which is why he was in Toronto in 1938.

After his arrival in Toronto, Harshany batted .227 in 68 games, serving as a backup catcher. He then appeared in 11 games for the Browns. 1939 was his best season: he batted .328 in 44 games for the Maple Leafs, which earned him a mid-season callup to the Browns. He had one more at-bat with the Browns in 1940, which ended his major-league career.

Harshany went off to fight in the war and played the 1946 season in the Browns organization. After that, he was a player-manager in various low-level minor leagues in Texas. He last played in a minor-league game in 1954, when he was 44 years old.

Poet, change your tune!

As I’ve mentioned before, the Toronto Daily Star used to publish a poem a day on its editorial page as the lead entry in its “A Little Of Everything” section. (Most of the rest of A Little Of Everything seems to have been the Daily Star’s editorial stuff sounding off on current events or attempting to tell jokes.) Here’s the poem from the May 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I’m not any judge of poetry, but I enjoyed this one more than most that I have seen: this poet appears to have a sense of humour.

A search in the Toronto city directories revealed that “Karl Andrews” was almost certainly a pen name – there’s nobody with that name in either the 1938 or the 1939 city directory. The 1938 directory lists Mrs. Elizabeth Board living at 263 Rhodes Avenue, and the 1939 directory lists Thomas Leanon as the owner and resident there. Cross-checking revealed that Mr. Leanon worked as a car washer, which might be the sort of job that a poet might take when not writing poetry; you never know. But my best guess is that Mrs. Board wrote the poem and used a male pseudonym.

Searching in earlier years revealed that Mrs. Board had relatively recently become widowed:

  • The 1936 directory lists James Board as working as a labourer and living at 116 Broadview Avenue.
  • In the 1937 directory, Mrs. Elizabeth Board is listed as the widow of James and living at 261 Rhodes Avenue as a boarder.
  • In 1938, she appears to have moved next door and become a boarder of Mr. Leanon – he is listed as the owner at 263 Rhodes in 1937 and 1939, but is not listed in 1938 (he probably wasn’t home when the city directory person came around to enumerate).
  • In 1939, she had moved again, to 44 Lewis Street.

Moving forward five years: the 1944 directory still lists Thomas Leanon as a car washer and living at 263 Rhodes. Mrs. Board is still listed also – she is living at 348 Ontario Street. I didn’t trace them after that.