Altitude record set

Here’s a photograph from the April 25 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of an aviator whose squadron had just set an altitude record.

Carl Spaatz (1891-1974) went on to become commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe during the Second World War, reaching the rank of General. At the request of his wife and daughters, he changed the spelling of his name from Spatz to Spaatz in 1937 so that people would pronounce it correctly (“spots” rather than “spats”). He later became the military affairs editor of Newsweek magazine.

Hugh M. Elmendorf was killed in 1933 while flight testing an experimental plane. Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, is named after him.


Marked activity indicated

The April 25 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included these three renderings of new upscale houses in the Forest Hill district:

When looking these houses up in Google Street View, I discovered that 112 Old Forest Hill Road and 128 Forest Hill Road are still standing.

The house on Ava Crescent was actually at 7 Ava, not 10. The 2009 Google Street View photo clearly shows this house; by 2019, it had been torn down and a new larger house put up.

The Toronto city directories might have inadvertently caused this problem. The 1931 directory lists Alfred A. Walker at 10 Ava Crescent, not 7. The 1932 directory is confusing: it lists Alfred A. Walker at 10 Ava and Alfred E. Walker at 7 Ava. The Names section of the directory lists Alfred A. as the president of the Hudson-Essex company at 10 Ava, and lists Alfred E. at 7 Ava with no listed occupation. By the 1933 directory, Alfred A. is listed at 7 Ava. He is there in 1937 as well.

Either the city directory didn’t have the address correct, or Mr. Walker was living at 10 Ava for a bit before finally settling in at 7 Ava. I’m not sure.


Wife found shot

Here’s a photo from the April 25 1930 of tragic news – an actor’s ex-wife had just been found shot dead.

Guy Bates Post (1875-1968) played Omar Khayyam in the stage and film productions of Omar the Tentmaker. He appeared in Broadway productions from 1901 to 1934.

Post was married four times, but it was his third wife, Adele Ritchie, who was mentioned here. The two were married in Toronto in 1916 and were separated for nearly three years before divorcing in 1929. After the divorce, Ms. Ritchie became director of the Community Players theatre group in Laguna Beach, California, where she met and befriended Doris Miller, a set designer nearly 23 years younger.

(There may be trigger warnings in this paragraph.) When she was replaced as director and Ms. Miller was invited to a social event to which Ms. Ritchie was not invited, the two got into an argument that ended with Ms. Miller being shot. Ms. Ritchie, feeling remorseful, attempted to stop the flow of blood from the wound before shooting herself.

Mr. Post married for the fourth and final time in 1936. This time, it worked out: he and his new bride, actress Lillian Kemble-Cooper, remained together until he passed away.


Frail slip of femininity

The front page of the April 25 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this portrait of a 17-year-old girl accused of being an accomplice in a bank robbery:

An accompanying article stated that 17-year-old Kathleen Boyle, termed a “frail slip of femininity”, and her brother-in-law robbed a bank:

A search revealed that the Toronto Star and the Historicist website both have articles on this robbery. Ms. Boyle and her brother-in-law, Cecil Irving, were found guilty of the crime. Ms. Boyle was sentenced to two years less a day in reformatory and was deported back to her native Buffalo on release. Mr. Irving was treated more harshly: he was given 15 years in prison and three sets of 10 lashes as his punishment.


Charming camera study

Here’s a photo from the picture page of the April 25 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman starring in an upcoming movie.

Mary Lawlor (1907-1977) had been appearing in Broadway shows since the age of 15, when she had a role in The Passing Show of 1922. She married baseball player Lyn Lary in 1931. (His nickname, probably uncoincidentally, was “Broadway”.) Ms. Lawlor’s stage career ended at about this time, which suggests that she gave it up to raise the child that the couple had together.

The movie referenced here is Good News, which was based on the musical of the same name. The film was in black and white except for its ending, which was shot in color; the ending is now lost.


Dollar Line head ill

Here’s a photograph from the April 4 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a shipping magnate who was in poor health.

Robert Dollar (1844-1932), who had the perfect surname for a wealthy industrialist, managed to hold out for two more years after the illness reported here. Dollar was born in Scotland (so perhaps his surname should have been Pound?) and his family moved to Canada when he was in his early teens.

Dollar started his working life as a logger and then established a series of lumber camps. He moved to California in 1888 and bought more lumber camps, branching into shipping in the 1890s. By the time of his death, his various steamship lines transported passengers and freight around the earth.

However, when he passed away, his company went bankrupt. This was partly due to the Depression and partly because Dollar was a staunch Republican, which didn’t win him any friends in the Franklin Roosevelt presidency. To resolve the bankruptcy, Dollar’s son Stanley turned almost all of the company’s voting stock over to the Maritime Commission.


Transatlantic flier

Here’s another photo from the April 4 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of an aviator.

It turned out that Lewis Yancey (1895-1940) was able to fly to Bermuda in about eight and a half hours of flying time, but he and his two crew members had to spend the night at sea partway through the flight after their plane was forced down. Fortunately, the plane was equipped with pontoons. Even more fortunately, the plane was able to take off again.

When not flying, Yancey was writing: he wrote a number of books on aviation and contributed articles to the New York Times. Like many early pilots, Yancey died young, but he didn’t perish in a plane crash – he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.


Catapulted from plane

Here’s a photo from the April 4 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a female aviator who had saved her life by parachuting out of an airplane.

Mildred Kauffman (1907-1932) had already established a reputation as a stunt pilot. On February 23, 1930, she performed 46 loops in a single flight, setting a record for a female aviator. She was attempting to beat her record when she was forced to bail out over Buffalo.

Unfortunately for her, she was not so lucky two years later: in Kansas City, her plane collided with another one when only 75 feet off the ground. She was killed in the accident.

The Ninety-Nines website has a biography of her.


To whom she is engaged

Here’s an entry from the photo page of the April 4 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a young British couple who were about to get married.

Hubert T. Parson (1872-1940) was president of Woolworth’s from when Frank Woolworth died in 1919 until he reached his 60th birthday in 1932. (60 was the company’s age limit.) His brother-in-law, Clarence Warren Gasque, was the director of Woolworth’s in England; his daughter is pictured here.

John Roland Robinson (1907-1989) was a Conservative Party member of the British Parliament from 1931 to 1964. He was then the governor of Bermuda from 1964 to 1972. He was knighted in 1954 and became the first Baron Martonmere in 1964. He and his wife both passed away in 1989.

The Robinsons had two children; the younger of the two, Loretta Robinson, married Ted Rogers Jr. in 1963. She serves as a director of Rogers Communications, and her net worth is estimated to be $5.5 billion in U.S. dollars.


Plays important role

Here’s a portrait from the April 4 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who was deemed attractive enough to appear on the front page:

I’m still astonished that the paper would regularly publish the addresses of the people whose portraits they printed. Needless to say, this would not happen nowadays. But it did give me the opportunity to trace Ms. Halligan in the Toronto city directories.

She first appears in the 1929 directory as “Meldah Halligan”. There’s also a John C. Halligan at 28 Chicora Avenue; I assume that this was her father. The city directory had trouble with Ms. Halligan’s first name: between 1929 and 1932, she was referred to as Meldah, Imelda, and Amelda.

She does not appear in the 1933 directory – presumably, she got married. It looks like 28 Chicora Avenue still stands – it seems to be a nice-looking house.