Belleville is growing

The February 11 1914 edition of the Toronto Globe contained this item of filler:


I guess it was good news that Belleville was growing, but it is a little odd to see this in the paper.

By the way, Belleville’s population as of 2016 is 50,716 in the city itself, or 92,540 in the metropolitan Belleville area.


Lazy digestive organs

When looking at old newspapers, I’ve determined that constipation was more of a problem ages ago than it is now. For instance, here’s an ad from the September 28 1927 Globe:


Exercise those bowel muscles and make them strong!

The only references I could find to Tillson’s Natural Bran on the Internet were to other ads from 1920s publications.


Chicken rustlers

From the September 28 1927 Toronto Globe:


So if I read this correctly, two men stole 70 chickens and four ducks from farms in Brantford and Woodstock, and then drove all the way to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, in a 1927 vehicle, with all 74 fowl in the vehicle with them? That was a tremendous, albeit criminal, achievement.


Toronto’s official crest

The June 8 1960 edition of the Toronto Daily Star stated that the “college of hearalds” had approved this official crest for the City of Toronto:


The Wikipedia page for the Toronto coat of arms provides a slightly different version of this crest – the maple leaf and gear have swapped positions, and the indigenous Canadian on the left has been rendered differently. The coat of arms was redesigned in 1998 after Metro Toronto was amalgamated.


Oofy Glue

Here’s a piece that appeared in the February 15 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I think Oofy Glue appeared regularly in the Daily Star at that time – I’ll have to double-check. A Google search turned up nothing at all  – Oofy, whoever he is, has been lost to history. Perhaps it’s just as well.



Here’s a notice that appeared in the February 15 1924 Toronto Daily Star:


I’m reasonably certain that this refers to Josef Lhévinne (1874-1944), a Russian-born pianist and piano teacher. Considered a master of piano technique, he wrote a book, Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing, which appeared in 1924.

His real surname was actually Levin; an early manager changed it because “Lhévinne” sounded more distinctive and less Jewish.


Fanny Parker Candies

Here’s an ad from the February 15 1924 Toronto Daily Star:


A Google search for “Fanny Parker Candies” turned up nothing, but it did reveal that Fanny Parker (1875-1924) was a member of the Scottish suffragette movement who took part in increasingly militant actions. She appears to have had nothing to do with the candies of the same name – and, in fact, naming a candy after her seems singularly inappropriate, since she was sometimes force-fed by the authorities after going on hunger strikes.

My guess is that “Fanny Parker” was intended to sound like Fanny Farmer, a chain of American candy stores (founded by the same person who originated the Laura Secord chain in Canada).


Item 12

In the March 13 1948 Toronto Globe and Mail, I found an ad for a neighbourhood in Toronto that I think was supposed to be cropped differently:


What exactly is Item 12?

Thorncrest Village is in Etobicoke, and is just north of Richview Collegiate Institute, where former prime minister Stephen Harper went to school. The neighbourhood still exists: according to Wikipedia, residents own three parkettes and a park with a clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, and a playground.


No liquor on election day!

Those of you above a certain age might remember when you couldn’t buy booze on election day until after the polls closed. Here’s an example, from the June 8 1977 Toronto Star:


I never really saw the point of this: you could always just buy a bunch of beverages on the previous day and then get blitzed at home on your own. (Depending on the election results, this might be a desirable thing to do.)

I couldn’t find when this stopped happening, but I’ll keep looking.


Life Savers

Here’s an ad from the November 21 1932 Toronto Daily Star, marketing Life Savers candy as drowsiness relief.


Life Savers were first created in 1912 by Clarence Crane, a candy maker from Cleveland and the father of poet Hart Crane. The original flavour was Pep-O-Mint; by the late 1920s, all of the flavours listed here had been created, along with Choc-O-Late, which I guess didn’t prove popular.

Today, Life Savers are made in Montreal, as sugar prices are lower in Canada than in the United States.