Mrs. Courtland H. Young

The September 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photo of a woman in the midst of a divorce:


This led me to wonder: who was Courtland H. Young?

Apparently, he was a magazine publisher in the 1920s. I found a three-part article on his life and his magazines here Рit describes the divorce and court proceedings of Young and the former Dorothea Campbell in great detail, including that he allegedly beat her and was constantly drunk. He was 50 and she was 24 at the time of the photo above.

The divorce finally went through in 1928, and Young passed away somewhat mysteriously in 1930.


Found way to health

The September 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this patent medicine ad:


As usual with patent medicine ads that contained a Toronto name and address, I looked in the Toronto city directories to check whether this was a real person. I discovered that the 1926 directory listed Edson Bradshaw at 413 Wellesley, so he actually existed.

However, Mr. Bradshaw might have just had a change of fortune. The 1925 directory lists him as a painter and decorator at 159 Bleecker, but the 1926 directory lists him with no occupation. Either the directory compiler didn’t record his job, or he was now out of work; if the latter, he might have been more likely to offer a paid endorsement to Tanlac.

I tracked Mr. Bradshaw for a bit:

  • In 1927, he was still listed at 413 Wellesley with no recorded occupation.
  • In 1928, he wasn’t listed at all, which appears ominous, but he reappears in the 1929 directory at 419 Leslie, still with no occupation.
  • In 1932, he was at 60 Saulter without an occupation, but the 1935 directory lists him as a painter and decorator again, at 26 Walpole.

I hope this meant that his misfortunes were now behind him, and that he was in good health, with or without Tanlac.

The Weird Universe site has an entry on Tanlac. Apparently, it had been exposed as a fraud in 1915, but continued to be sold for at least another 30 years.


Missing from home

The September 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this plea for help:


A search through the Runnymede section of the Toronto city directories revealed that her name was actually Alice Collinson, and her address was actually 22 Jillson Avenue. She appears in the 1927 and the 1928 city directories, which I hope means that somebody found her.

22 Jillson Avenue still stands, but appears to have been remodelled.


Elected Tuesday night president

Here’s a photo from the August 26 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


When I saw this, I wondered who was elected president on the other nights of the week. But whatever.

Out of curiosity, I traced J. Grittani in the Toronto city directories. He turned out to be Joseph Grittani, and he worked as an insurance broker for Sun Life. He seems to have had a successful and uneventful life: in 1931, he moved to 2 Northcliffe Boulevard, which remained his home base for many years. By 1941, he had struck out on his own; he is listed as an insurance broker with no employer.

By 1946, other family members appear in the directory: Gloria and Howard are there. In 1951, Joseph Jr. is at the family address; he went into the insurance business too, and by 1956, father and son had started a company together. It was listed in the 1961 and 1966 directories. By 1969, the last year that I could view, Joseph Senior had retired. So he seems to have lived a long life.

The Circolo Colombo appears to have been an early organization of Torontonians of Italian origin. I found references to it here and here.


Mary Casson

The August 26 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of Canadian swimmer Mary Casson:


My first thought when I saw this was that better dentistry is now available to almost everybody: nowadays, you’d have to be very poor to be young with a tooth missing or lopsided like that.

I couldn’t find anything on Mary Casson, partly because there was an actress with the same name who passed away in 2009 at the age of 95. The only reference that I saw was that she was posthumously honoured at the 2015 University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame ceremony.


Diwan’s own signature

The August 26 1926 Toronto Daily Star contained a brief article on a man from India who had a very long name.


I’m thinking that it was a bit rude of the Daily Star to poke fun at his long name.

When looking this up, I discovered that Diwan Bahadur (or Dewan Bahadur) was a title used when India was controlled by the British, not a name.

I couldn’t find out anything about Sir Tiruvalyangudi Vijayaraghavacharya, other than that he wrote a pamphlet on India in 1944, titled The Land and Its Problems. So he was an influential figure for some time.


Miss Toronto 1926

The August 26 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured this ad:


A little digging revealed that 1926 was the year of the first Miss Toronto pageant, and that Jean Ford Tolmie was the winner. She is pictured here (in the white suit) and here (in her victory gown). The pageant was abolished in 1991.


Louise Glaum

The August 26 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for a live performance:


Louise Glaum (1888-1970) appeared in over 110 movies between 1912 and 1925. After this, she returned to the stage, where she started. She toured the Loew’s Theatre chain with The Sins of Julia Boyd and with The Web, which she wrote herself.

The Sins of Julia Boyd was written by Paul Gerard Smith, who also wrote for the Ziegfeld Follies and for Buster Keaton.


First to compete

The July 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a photograph of (supposedly) the first woman ever to compete against men in an auto race.


I couldn’t find anything about Mme. Hitier in any searches (it doesn’t help that her name is very similar to “Hitler”). And this list of female Spanish drivers doesn’t include her. Either this photograph got her name wrong, or she is lost to history.


How Toronto grows

The July 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had photographs of the corner of Montgomery Avenue and Yonge Street, just north of Eglinton, in 1907 and 1926:


Streeter provides details on what has happened since. The post office shown in the lower photo was demolished in 1936 and replaced by an Art Deco-inspired two-story post office. This building is now being remodelled into a condominium; Google Street View shows what it looks like now.