The sights of the Midway

The September 5 1913 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured this article about the CNE midway, which shows that at least the food hasn’t changed much over the years.


Beautiful Arab girls from Limerick performing the houchee-couchee?

H. F. Gadsby was an art critic. His greatest claim to fame, at this distance, appears to be that he disliked what eventually became the Group of Seven. In the December 12 1913 edition of the Daily Star, he referred to them as the Hot Mush School, and claimed that the texture of their paint reminded him of gobs of porridge. Here’s a bit of the article (it’s too large to reprint here – you can find it on page 6 of the paper):


This article started a controversy, which brought these artists to public attention. Sometimes, any publicity is good, even when it’s bad!

Wikipedia also has an entry on the hoochie coochie, which was apparently was a catchall term for sexually provocative belly dances. Hubba hubba, etc.


Posh salad dressing

Here’s an ad from the September 5 1913 Toronto Daily Star that attempted to sell salad dressing as a luxury item:



An Internet search for Yacht Club Salad Dressing turned up a PDF link to the Yacht Club Manual of Salads from 1914, and a number of people wanting to sell copies of old ads and salad dressing bottles. This page provides a detailed history of Yacht Club Salad Dressing and lots of ads for the product.



The September 5 1913 Toronto Daily Star contains this terse comment:


J.M. Barrie is, of course, best known as the writer of Peter Pan, which will likely remain in our culture for as long as there is one. The Adored One doesn’t appear in the list of works by year in Barrie’s Wikipedia page (which possibly proves this writer’s point).

Mark Bostridge’s The Fateful Year: England 1914 mentions this play as having been written for Mrs. Patrick Campbell (“Mrs. Pat”), an English stage actress who became emotionally (but apparently not physically) involved with George Bernard Shaw.

For more on Barrie, you can read Anthony Lane’s Lost Boys or this article in the Telegraph.



When looking at old newspapers, I find things that used to cause problems back then but don’t much any more. For example, here’s an article from the September 5 1913 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Such horrible tragic ways to die: because you had a small pimple on your face, stepped on a nail, or picked at a mosquito bite.

Thankfully, this is mostly a thing of the past in developed countries: the tetanus vaccine was developed in 1924 and became generally available in the United States in the 1940s. If Master Dalton Woodside had waited until then to be born, he would not have been killed by the deadly disease.


A good, jolly dance

Here’s an ad from the September 5 1913 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Photo 2018-03-26, 7 24 49 PM

I have no idea why the letters c and t were joined with that strange loop, but I guess font design was different back then.

The Victrola was a brand of gramophone invented by the Victor Talking Machine Company, and was designed to look like a piece of furniture. More details on it can be found here.