Lord Irwin at Port Hope

Here’s a photograph from the April 25 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a British peer who was visiting Toronto and Port Hope, Ontario.

Edward Wood (1881-1959) was the fourth son of the 2nd Viscount Halifax, but became his father’s heir when his three older brothers died between 1886 and 1890. He was born without a left hand, but employed a spring-loaded artificial hand that could hold reins or open gates, making it possible for him to ride a horse. He also could not pronounce the letter “r” and was 6’5″ tall.

Wood, as he was then known, became a member of the British Parliament in 1910, holding office until 1925. At this time, he became Lord Irwin. He was Viceroy of India between 1926 and 1931.

In 1934, he inherited his father’s title, becoming Viscount Halifax. In 1938, he became Foreign Minister in Neville Chamberlain’s government, becoming one of the principal architects of the policy of appeasement of Hitler, and then advocating that Britain go to war to defend Poland.

In 1940, Halifax advocated making peace with Germany, who were in the process of overrunning Western Europe and encircling British troops at Dunkirk. After a long debate, Winston Churchill’s preference to fight on won out. Halifax was then appointed Ambassador to the United States, a post that he held between late 1940 and 1946.

In 1944, he was ennobled further, becoming the first Earl of Halifax. His grandson, the third Earl of Halifax, was considered a suitable husband for Princess Anne at one point. The third Earl wound up marrying a woman who was formerly known as Camilla Parker Bowles, but not the woman who was formerly known as Camilla Parker Bowles who is now married to Prince Charles. This Camilla was married to a different Parker Bowles brother; the two Camillas were sisters-in-law once upon a time.


How to throw the javelin

Here’s a picture from the photo page of the April 25 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that features a young man and a javelin.

Barney Berlinger (1908-2002) wound up not competing at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, as he was recovering from a sore back and was just starting a new job. He compensated by defeating the Olympic decathlon winner, Jim Bausch, in a seven-event competition at Madison Square Garden.

Berlinger started working for Quaker City Gear Works in 1932, and retired from the firm in 1978, having become its president. His son, Barney Jr., became a college football quarterback. Father and son were inducted into the University of Pennsylvania athletics hall of fame together.

A Google search for Sue Dougherty turned up nothing that matched the woman in the photo.


Final clearance sale

Here’s an ad from the April 25 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming art auction.

When I saw this, I was reminded of this ad, so I wondered whether this highly important collection of oil paintings and water colors was legit. The answer appears to be “sort of”. There really was an A. Luscombe Carroll, and there really was a Carroll Gallery in London; references to the gallery appear in print from about 1922 (or possibly earlier) to about 1938. However, it is not clear that all of the Canadian stock of the Carroll Galleries was being auctioned in Toronto, given that there were similar auctions in Vancouver and Winnipeg, among other places. Maybe they were transporting the art from place to place.

I traced Ward Price Limited and W. Ward Price in the Toronto city directories as best as I could. Mr. Price appears in the 1932 and 1933 directories, but is missing from other directories in the 1930s. He reappears in the 1941 and 1942 directories as residing in a house on Lonsdale Road in Forest Hill, but is not listed in the 1943 directory. Ward Price Limited (sometimes listed as Ward-Price Limited or Ward-Price (Downtown) Limited), appears at 111 King West as late as 1943, but the 1944 directory lists the address as Vacant.


Hollywood just madhouse

Here’s a short article from the April 25 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that interviewed writer and actress Cornelia Otis Skinner.

Cornelia Otis Skinner (1899-1979) was the child of two actors, and started a career on the stage in 1921. In the late 1920s, she toured the United States performing short character sketches. Four collections of her “monologue-dramas” and eight collections of her essays were published between 1932 and 1958.

YouTube has a number of recordings of her recitals of poems; here’s one from 1941. She appeared on What’s My Line? in 1959.


Action plus!

I don’t think I will ever grow tired of pictures from the photo page of 1930s newspapers. Here’s another photo from the April 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, this time of two tennis players in mid-game.

Bryan Grant (1909-1986) and Lester Stoefen (1911-1970) were quite likely the men’s tennis doubles partnership with the greatest height difference in history.

Grant, who was 5’4″, was nicknamed “Itsy Bitsy the Giant Killer” or just “Bitsy” for short. His specialty was retrieving balls hit by much larger opponents and wearing them out. He was ranked in the United States Top Ten a total of nine times between 1930 and 1941, and played seniors competitive tennis well into the 1970s. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1972.

Stoefen wasn’t just six-foot – he was 6’6″. He won three Grand Slam doubles titles with George Lott in 1933 and 1934. He turned pro in 1934, and started a series of head-to-head matches against fellow professional Ellsworth Vines in 1935, winning one and losing 25. He passed away from cirrhosis of the liver in 1970.


To aid one-time enemy

Here’s another item from the photo page of the April 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, this time featuring a former millionaire who had fallen on hard times.

It’s accurate to say that Horatio Bottomley (1860-1933) lived life large. Among other things, he was:

  • A newspaper proprietor, co-founding the Financial Times and John Bull, among others.
  • A member of Parliament for the Liberal Party between 1906 and 1912, and an independent between 1918 and 1922.
  • A speculator who made a fortune in Australian gold mining shares, which enabled him to live a lavish lifestyle, including a number of mistresses discreetly stashed away.
  • A tireless pro-war propagandist during the First World War, making over 300 speeches on behalf of the war effort, and becoming enormously influential as a result.
  • A swindler, whose fraudulent Victory Bonds scheme led to his being imprisoned in 1922 for five years, which effectively ended his career.

Reuben Bigland was a businessman from Birmingham who joined forces with Bottomley in 1913. Together, they organized sweepstakes and lotteries based in Switzerland that were suspected of being dubious. In 1921, Bottomley sued Bigland for libel and charged him with blackmail and extortion; Bigland was acquitted, and the facts revealed at the trial led to Bottomley’s eventual imprisonment.

If Bigland had actually offered a cottage and a pound a week for life to his former enemy, he wouldn’t have needed to provide them for long: Bottomley passed away a little over a month after this photo appeared. His obituaries stated that he was a man of considerable natural ability ruined by greed and vanity.


Arrives in Mexico City

Here’s a photo from the April 20 1933 of the newly appointed United States ambassador to Mexico.

Josephus Daniels (1862-1948) was a newspaper editor in Raleigh, North Carolina, for many years. During the First World War, he was Secretary of the Navy. His undersecretary was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which eventually led to Daniels being appointed an ambassador when Roosevelt became president.

Daniels was also a white supremacist and segregationist. In 1900, he was a driving force behind the North Carolina state legislature’s passing of an amendment that disenfranchised African-Americans in the state and denied them political power for many decades.


Prodigious poundage

Here’s an item from the photo page of the April 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a young boy who was quite large.

I did a search for Jules Tewlow, and found a number of results that might or might not refer to the same person as the one in this photograph:

  • A birth record for Jules Sylvan “Nick” Tewlow from 1927.
  • A photograph of him from 1931, when he was already noticeably large.
  • A better reproduction of the photograph above, from Getty Images – this mentions that he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tewlow, which becomes relevant when looking at:
  • The marriage announcement for Jules S. Tewlow and Miss Eleanor M. Turel from the New York Times in 1964. This Jules Tewlow was also the son of Frank Tewlow.
  • There were a number of references to Jules S. Tewlow related to newspapers and digital publishing, including this article from 1993.

I have no idea whether all of these references to Jules Tewlow are to the same person. I could find no photographs of an adult Jules Tewlow, so I don’t know whether he was still unusually large.


Humour, 1933 style

The April 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a column titled “Boners” that I assume was a collection of witticisms:

Perhaps humour changes over time, but my first thought on reading this was: huh? This is supposed to be funny? But, then again, perhaps it makes sense to never go into the water until you have learned how to swim. Heh heh heh!

Obviously, I couldn’t do a Google search for a humour column named Boners, as the results would reference a more modern use of the word. So the origins of this column – which appears to have been syndicated, given the copyright – will have to remain a mystery.


Grants decree nisi

In 1933, it was harder to get a divorce than it is today. It was rare enough that the April 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star used a report of a divorce as a bit of filler on one of its pages:

I was hoping to be able to locate the Geleffs in the Toronto city directories to find out what happened to them, but I had no luck. The 1933 and 1934 directories listed three family members named Geleff living at 35 Davies Avenue and a confectioner living at 202 Queen East; none of them were named Katherine or Anastas. Searches for similar last names turned up nothing either. Whoever these people were – and however they spelled their name – I hope they had happy lives now that they were apart.