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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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Observed the 51st anniversary

Here’s a photograph from the March 16 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a couple who had just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary.

As usual when I see one of these, I indulge my morbid curiosity and look the couple up in the Toronto city directories to see how long they lasted. In this case, it’s impossible to tell, as it looks like Mrs. Exley predeceased her husband. He appears in city directories up until 1935, but is not listed in 1936.

When I looked up 364 Concord Avenue in the Streets section of the 1936 directory, the owner was listed as Frank W. Newberry, whose wife was one of the Exleys’ daughters mentioned in the photo caption above. So I guess they got the house. Charles Exley, the son mentioned in the caption, is listed as working as a butler, so I suppose that he already had a place to live.

364 Concord Avenue appears to be still standing today – it’s a semi-detached house near Bloor and Ossington.

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Played part of Prince

Here’s a photo from the March 16 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a well-dressed young boy who was asked to play the part of the Prince of Wales in a parade in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Out of curiosity, I looked the Goldring family up in the Toronto city directories. They don’t appear to have remained in Toronto long: the 1928 and 1929 directories list John. E. Goldring as a comptroller at Simpson’s and living at 28 Wychwood Park. The 1930 directory lists John C. Goldring with no occupation at that address; this appears to be a typo, as the Streets listing for 28 Wychwood Park still has John E. Goldring. The 1931 directory does not list him.

A Google search for Elmer Goldring turned up this entry on an ancestry website. If this is him, he was 14 at the time he was asked to impersonate the Prince, and he passed away in 1995.

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Going away dress of 1940

Here’s a photograph from the March 16 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young society woman wearing an unusual costume.

Searches turned up very little on Mrs. Archie Campbell, well known London society woman.

  • I found a couple of other photographs of her taken at about that time.
  • I also discovered that Archie Campbell’s full name was John Archibald Campbell, that her name was Dorothy Campbell, and that they had a son named Colin Guy Napier Campbell, born in 1930, who passed away in 2019.

I wonder how often she wore that dress.

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May be Mrs. Tunney

Here’s a photo from the March 16 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who was rumoured to be marrying heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney:

As it turned out, Ms. Bishop and Mr. Tunney got married within a year, but to different people. He married Mary “Polly” Lauder later that year after a secret romance (and after being sued by Mrs. Katherine King Fogarty for breach of promise). The new Mrs. Tunney apparently persuaded him to give up boxing, and they remained together for half a century until he passed away in 1978. She died in 2008, less than two weeks before her 101st birthday.

Ms. Bishop married Martin Stelling Jr., a San Francisco real estate agent, early in 1929. She stopped being a figure of public interest after that, as I could find no record of what happened to her or them.

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Demand for “Keeno”

Here’s an ad from the February 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a herbal remedy named “Keeno”:

Apparently, Tamblyn Drug Stores were selling almost a bottle a minute of this stuff.

Google searches turned up nothing on Keeno, except for references to a couple of other newspapers from the period that also had an ad for it. The Charles Anderson mentioned in the ad might be this man, who was a Canadian politician and doctor. He served as a Conservative member of the Ontario provincial parliament from 1908 to 1914.

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An old established Canadian firm

Here’s an ad from the February 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a long-standing Toronto-based bread company.

I looked up Lawrence in the 1884 Toronto city directory (on the assumption that if the Lawrence brothers started their firm in 1883, they might not have made it into that year’s directory). Sure enough, George and James Lawrence were there:

16 Lisgar Street, where the brothers lived in 1884, is of course now a condo.

Lawrence Bakery had existed for 46 years in 1929, and was listed in the 1929 directory at 17-31 Carr Street, but they weren’t there for very much longer: they were in the 1930 directory, but the 1931 directory lists the Purity Bread Company at that location. 17 to 31 Carr Street has been townhouses for quite some time.

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Latest contribution to fashion

I don’t think I will ever grow tired of the photo pages of old newspapers. Here’s a picture from the photo page of the February 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I am fascinated by the final sentence of this caption. “A black crocheted straw is worn.” Straw what? And why use the passive voice?

Esther Ralston (1902-1994) started her career early: she was the youngest member of a family of vaudeville performers, and was billed as “Baby Esther, America’s Youngest Juliet”. She went on to become a silent film star, earning $8000 a week at the peak of her career. Her transition to talking pictures was derailed when, as she described in her autobiography, she refused to sleep with studio head Louis B. Mayer. In retaliation, he apparently ensured that she was relegated to supporting roles at minor studios.

Ms. Ralston was married three times and had three children. She passed away in 1994; her funeral service was held in California on the day of the Northridge earthquake.

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Her 101st birthday

The February 27 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a woman who was about to celebrate her 101st birthday.

As usual, I wanted to indulge my morbid curiosity: how much longer did Mrs. Haslett stay alive? I did a search of the Toronto city directories, and found Frances C. Haslett listed in the 1929 directory as the widow of John J. and living at 48 Howland. It looks like she got to celebrate at least one more birthday and possibly two: she appears in the 1930 and 1931 directories, but not in 1932.

She had been widowed for a while: the 1909 directory lists a John Haslett working as a stonecutter, but the 1912 directory lists her as his widow.