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Claimed to be a copy

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has continued to be a useful source of blog material. Here’s one more picture, of a painting that was deemed to be a copy:

I couldn’t find any record of whether the portrait of Elizabeth, Duchess of Sutherland, was copied, but I did look up all of the people mentioned in the photo caption.

  • Elizabeth Leveson-Gower (1765-1839) and her husband once owned 63% of the county of Sutherland in England. She participated in the Highland Clearances, which was the eviction of mixed-farming tenants to enable more modern farming methods. She was an accomplished painter in her own right.
  • George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1888-1963) was the Duke of Sutherland at the time of this article. He was a minister in various Conservative governments in the 1920s and was the first chairman of the British Film Institute.
  • George Romney (1734-1802) was the most fashionable English portrait painter of his time. He is distantly related to American politicians George and Mitt Romney.
  • Lawrence P. Fisher was one of seven Fisher brothers who founded Fisher Body, the leading builder of automobile bodies in Detroit and eventually part of General Motors.

If you want a copy of the portrait of the Duchess of Sutherland for yourself, you can now buy it here. You can now also buy a face mask with her portrait on it.

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New leader

Here is yet another photo from the picture page of the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Margery Corbett Ashby (1882-1981) was involved in the women’s suffrage movement starting in 1901, when she and her sister Cicely founded the Younger Suffragists. While I could find no reference to the World League for Women’s Suffrage, Ms. Ashby became secretary of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1907 and was President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance from 1923 to 1946.

She also was a candidate for Parliament for the Liberal Party, running for office in 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1929, 1935, 1937, and 1944 (the last as an Independent Liberal candidate). She never won, but she polled respectably enough that her campaigns served as a platform for the suffragist cause.

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Champion rider

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star continues to be a useful source of material! Here’s a photograph of a 12-year-old British girl who had been successful at show jumping:

Searches didn’t reveal much about Olive Ricks. I found a photograph of her with, presumably, all of her prizes, and a photograph of her having her competitor’s number adjusted. I also found out that she eventually became Olive Evans. But I don’t know what happened to her; I guess she stopped competing when she got older. I suppose that 204 prizes is enough, really.

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Will write

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of an heir to the Mellon banking fortune, who was apparently about to embark on a career as a writer.

As it turned out, the life work of Paul Mellon (1907-1999) was horse racing. After serving with distinction as a cavalry officer and a member of the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services in the Second World War, Mr. Mellon founded Rokeby Stables, which won over 1000 stakes-level races and accumulated over $30 million in earnings. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame designated him an “Exemplar of Racing”; he is one of only five people to have been given this honour.

Mr. Mellon also devoted himself to art collecting and philanthropy. He eventually did write his autobiography, Reflections in a Silver Spoon, in 1992, so he didn’t avoid writing entirely.

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Receive on golden wedding day

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo of a couple that was about to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

I was startled to notice that the Murphys had 13 children, 10 of whom were still alive. At the time, this wasn’t all that unusual.

When I see one of these notices, I often indulge my morbid curiosity and look in the Toronto city directories to find out how long the couple remained together. In this case, the answer was six more years: William P. Murphy is listed in the 1935 directory but not in 1936. When I looked up 145 Bellwoods in the Streets section of the 1936 directory, the owner was listed as Mrs. W. P. Murphy, so she outlived him.

145 Bellwoods is a semi-detached house located a little northeast of Trinity Bellwoods Park. It looks like it’s gotten new windows since 1929, but it appears to be the same house.

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To make first appearance

Here’s a photo from the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who had just become a Member of Parliament in Britain.

Jennie Lee (1904-1988) won her seat in a by-election in 1929 and then retained it in a general election the same year. At the time that she was elected, women under the age of 30 were not allowed to vote in Britain.

She was defeated in the 1931 election, but returned to the British Parliament in 1945 and served until 1970. She was the Minister for the Arts in Harold Wilson’s government from 1964 to 1970. After she left Parliament, she became Baroness Lee of Ashbridge. She was married to Welsh politician and fellow Labour party member Aneurin Bevan.

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Toronto man disappeared

Here’s a photo from the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who had mysteriously disappeared, along with a photo of the house that he lived in.

A Google search turned up this book about Mr. Hendry’s family, which revealed sad news: he was found drowned in Grenadier Pond in High Park on April 8th. Apparently, he died after would nowadays be called an epileptic fit, but was then referred to as “automatism”.

I looked up Mr. Hendry’s address, 104 Kilbarry Road, in Google Street View. It looks vaguely similar to the 1929 version, but seems to have been remodelled.

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Thwarts hold-up

Here’s a photograph from the March 27 1934 edition of the Toronto Globe of an enterprising man who kept his gas station from being robbed.

Out of curiosity, I looked him up in the Toronto city directories. I discovered that his name was actually George E. MacFarlane; in the 1934 directory, he was listed as working as a service station operator for the Hambleton Company. This company had a service station at 299 Eastern Avenue, which is at the corner of Eastern and Broadview, so I’m pretty sure that this was him.

Looking forward: Mr. MacFarlane is listed in the 1936 directory as an assistant manager at a service station, and in 1938 as a service station attendant. But the 1941 directory lists him as an electrician, so he had succeeded in improving his career prospects.

He seems to have remained an electrician for a long time. The 1948 directory lists him as an electrician at “Burman Elect”. Some of the directories from the 1950s do not list him, possibly because he moved outside of Toronto, but the 1958 directory lists George E. MacFarlane as an electrician at “Burnham Elect”, which I’m pretty sure is the same place. He was there in the 1968 directory too; I don’t have access to directories later than 1969, so I couldn’t trace him later than that.

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Canada’s leading pavement pounder

The March 27 1934 edition of the Toronto Globe featured this one-panel cartoon and write-up of a marathon runner based in Canada.

Taavi Komonen (1898-1978) emigrated to Canada from his native Finland in 1929, with his first name being anglicized to “Dave” at that time. When not struggling to find work, he was competing in marathons, winning the Canadian National Marathon championship in 1932. After finishing second in the Boston Marathon in 1933, he was forced to sell his running shoes to pay for a ticket back to Toronto.

He found employment in Sudbury, and was able to go to the Boston Marathon in 1934 thanks to financial aid. He won that year’s event by almost four minutes.

He lived in Sudbury until 1951, and then returned to Finland. He passed away exactly 44 years after winning in Boston.

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Eventual building

Here’s an article from the March 27 1934 edition of the Toronto Globe that discussed the possible creation of a St. Lawrence Seaway.

The St. Lawrence Seaway did eventually open, but not for a quarter of a century after this article, due to political struggles on both sides of the border and the time required to construct its components. The first ocean-going ship made its way through the seaway on April 25, 1959.

Henry I. Harriman (1873-1950) had been a public utility executive before being appointed the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce. He held this position until 1935.