Beauty products from Paris

The June 7 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained ads for two beauty products imported from Paris. (Paris, France, that is.)

The first was for Djer-Kiss face powder and talc:


The Collecting Vintage Compacts blog has a detailed history of Djer-Kiss and how it was marketed in North America.

The second ad was for L. T. Piver perfumes and face powders:


L. T. Piver still exists.


Tragedy in 1922

The June 7 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this sad story, about a man who rented a room solely for the purpose of killing himself, and who had been missing for a week before he was found.


The Toronto city directories enable me to indulge morbid curiosity, so I looked poor Harry Magee up. He is listed in the 1922 city directory as living at 69 Jackman Avenue – the listed profession matches, so I know it’s him – and does not appear in the 1923 directory.

The dwellings at 69 Jackman Avenue and 204 Sherbourne Street no longer exist. That stretch of Jackman Avenue now contains Jackman Avenue Public School, and 204 Sherbourne is now a vacant lot.


Zurich society will bar Mathilde

Here’s a brief article from the June 7 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that caught my attention:


I was curious: did they marry? And did Zurich society bar her?

I found out the answer to only the first question, thanks to the Villa Turicum blog, which posted about Mathilde here and here. Mr. Oser, a riding instructor (which sounds a bit classier than “livery stable man”) was 44 and Mathilde 16 when they first planned to wed; they finally, and controversially, tied the knot in 1923. Despite the difference in their ages, they stayed together and had two children, but both died young: Oser passed away in 1942 at the age of 65, and Mathilde passed away in 1947, after surgery, at the age of 41.

I never did find out whether they were admitted to Zurich society. Since their children went to school in California and the couple had a residence there, they might not have cared.


Save that man! Save that woman!

Daily newspapers used to have a page devoted to ads for churches and visiting preachers. Here’s one from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star that stood out:


A Google search for Byron Stauffer turned up a number of things:

  • In 1910, he wrote Your Mother’s Apron Strings, a series of talks to young men.
  • In 1912, he delivered a sermon entitled “The Titanic Disaster and The Spirit of the Master”.
  • In 1915, he gave a speech to the Empire Club titled “Sir John A. Macdonald: Empire Builder”.
  • In 1919, he wrote The Battle Nobody Saw and Other Sermons.

And, sadly, he might not have lived very long after this Massey Hall event:

  • A footnote from this article lists a “Byron E. Stauffer” as having lived from 1870 to 1922. Every other reference I found referred to “Byron H. Stauffer”, so this might have been somebody else.
  • However, I found a reference to Byron H. Stauffer having been born in 1870.
  • This Amazon link lists his birth and death dates as 1870 and 1922.
  • He is listed in the 1922 Toronto city directory, but not in the 1923 city directory.
  • This footnote lists his name and the date “October 26, 1922” – was that when he passed away? I didn’t want to buy the e-book to find out.

Canada’s national anthem

The September 2 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a brief article about Canada needing a national anthem.


The two leading historical candidates were “O Canada” and “God Save The Queen”. (There was also “The Maple Leaf Forever”, but I suspect that it was too explicitly British in origin to cover the whole country.)

The French version of “O Canada” was composed in 1880, became hugely popular in Quebec over the next twenty years, and then increased in popularity elsewhere. Since there were no official English words, over two hundred unofficial versions sprang up; a version created by Robert Weir in 1908 was published by the government of Canada in 1927 as part of the country’s Diamond Jubilee festivities.

“O Canada” was more or less the unofficial national anthem going back as far as 1939. (Though, as a teenager in the 1970s, I remember listening to instrumental versions of all of “O Canada”, “God Save The Queen” and “The Maple Leaf Forever” at school assemblies.) It didn’t become the official national anthem until 1980, when the (appropriately named) National Anthem Act became law.


Auto polo

When reading the September 2 1922 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, I discovered that the 1922 CNE featured auto polo as one of its exhibits. This was like polo, except with cars instead of horses: two teams of two cars competed, with each car containing a driver and a man with a mallet.

The article reported that only one man in twenty was fit to play auto polo:


The article did not mention whether the other 19 lacked the necessary requirements or simply had enough common sense to avoid such a dangerous sport – even if the game being played was now “very scientific” and the construction of the cars was “almost perfect”.

Wikipedia has an article about auto polo. It mentions that, in 1924, the British and American auto polo teams had to endure 1564 broken wheels, 538 burst tires, 66 broken axles, 10 cracked engines, and six completely destroyed cars. Scenes like this one, portrayed in a Library of Congress image from between 1910 and 1915, were all too common:


It comes as no surprise that the popularity of auto polo faded away in the late 1920s.


Twenty years ahead

Here’s two insurance ads that want their readers to look twenty years ahead.

First this one, from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star:


And this one, from the December 10 1945 Toronto Globe:


It looks like the second couple are spending 1965 in the dark. Perhaps they just aren’t home much: they’re on a “perpetual holiday”, so they don’t bother to pay the hydro bill.


The limits of faith healing

Here are two articles, more than three decades apart, which seemingly prove that faith healing has limits.

First, there’s this item from the September 2 1922 Toronto Daily Star:


I get the impression that the article writer quite enjoyed writing this piece. (I left in the Star want ads bit at the bottom because it seemed to somehow fit.)

Nearly a third of a century later, the July 26 1955 Toronto Daily Star contained this:


Wikipedia has an entry for George Went Hensley. He taught a form of Pentecostalism that “emphasized personal holiness and frequent contact with venomous snakes”.