H-E-double hockey sticks

Here’s a two-part article from the March 24 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star in which various people interviewed by the paper condemned the use of the word “hell” in the House of Commons.

The people who were opposed to the use of the H-word seem to have been divided into those who thought it was blasphemous and those who thought it was just plain vulgar. But no one seemed to think it was a big deal to be using this word in the newspaper.


Interesting photographic study

I’ve seen this several times before, but I’m still astonished that newspapers from the 1930s would publish photographs of girls and young women and include their names and addresses. Weren’t there stalkers back in those days?

Anyway, here’s a photograph of twin girls that appeared in the March 24 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

When I looked in the 1930 Toronto city directory, I discovered that the caption had their surname wrong. G. Douglas Wilson is listed at 21 Parkwood Avenue, and was the managing director of the Bowes Company, Limited. You’d think that the paper would have gotten this right, as the very same edition had a photograph of Mr. Wilson being honoured by his company:

Moving forward:

  • By 1935, the Wilsons had moved to 16 Elderwood Drive in Forest Hill.
  • By 1940, Mr. Wilson was the head of his own firm, the appropriately named G. D. Wilson & Company Limited, which had a bold-face listing in the directory. Their line of work was bakers and confectioners supplies. He was still at 16 Elderwood Drive.
  • By now, Mary and Isabelle are old enough to have listings of their own: Mary D. Wilson is working as a clerk at Imperial Life, and Isabelle has no listed occupation.
  • In 1945, the G. D. Wilson & Company firm was still going strong. The twins are still living at home. Isabelle C. Wilson is listed as a stenographer at her father’s firm, and Mary D. is still at Imperial Life.
  • The listings were the same for 1950 and 1955 as well: the firm was still going, and the sisters were still at 16 Elderwood in their same jobs.
  • The 1960 directory finally brought change. G. Douglas Wilson is listed as “with” G. D. Wilson & Co., which suggests that he was semi-retired. There is no listing for Isabelle, and there is no listing for Mary at 16 Elderwood (she has a common name, so it was difficult to trace). This suggests that the sisters had gotten married and thus disappeared from the city directory.
  • By 1965, the last year that I checked, G. D. Wilson was listed at 16 Elderwood with no occupation, which suggests that he had retired. The G. D. Wilson Company was now the Bakery Division of Rose & Laflamme, Limited. Isabelle and Mary were not listed.

16 Elderwood Drive still stands. It doesn’t appear to have changed much over the years.


Showing up nicely

We’re getting closer to the start of the baseball season, so this photograph from the March 24 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star seems relevant:

There was a Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team before there was a hockey team of the same name. The baseball Maple Leafs played in the Eastern League from 1902 to 1911 (and briefly in 1899). Moving to the International League, the Maple Leafs existed until 1967.

Robert Petrie did become a member of the Maple Leafs in 1930, but it doesn’t look like he made the starting lineup: he appeared in 63 of the team’s 139 games, sometimes as a pinch-hitter, and batted .259. He played for two International League teams in 1931 – Reading and Jersey City – but then disappeared from organized baseball and from history.

In more recent times, the name “Robert Petrie” was more commonly associated with The Dick Van Dyke Show.


Cooking school winners

The March 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained some articles and advertisements related to a cooking school that the paper had recently sponsored. Firms that participated in or sponsored the cooking school raffled off prizes that could be won by attendees.

Here’s the results of one raffle:

Rosemounts (or Rosemounts Registered, as they were officially then known), was a jewellery store. In 1938, they had two locations: 280 Yonge and 1048 Bloor West. The Yonge Street location was gone by 1948, but the 1048 Bloor West location remained in business into the 1960s – it was listed in the 1963 directory, but not in 1968.

And here’s a photograph of a woman who was lucky enough to win the stove that was used during the cooking school:

According to the 1938 Toronto city directory, Thomas Cade was living at 255 Wellesley Street when his wife won the range. He had no listed occupation in the directory. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he was unemployed; but, if he was, I’m sure he was grateful that his spouse had struck it lucky.

I wasn’t able to trace the Cade family after that. There is a Thomas I. Cade in the 1939 directory, working as a “stkpr” (my best guess is stockkeeper) at Lever Brothers and living on Maitland Street, but I have no idea if this was the same person. Thomas I. Cade is listed as being on active service in 1941, but is not listed in the 1943 directory.

I also briefly looked up W. J. Packham, the man who presented the stove to Mrs. Cade. He is listed in the 1938 directory as a divisional manager at Canadian General Electric, living at 11A Bingham Avenue. I checked ten years later, and he was listed as an appliance sales manager at CGE and living on Chaplin Crescent in Forest Hill. I didn’t trace him after that.


For monthly lessons

Here’s a photograph from the March 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of two brothers who travelled a long way once a month for music lessons.

Elsas, Ontario, is an unincorporated town near Kapuskasing. It hosted a Continental Wood Products Corporation mill between 1920 and 1928; the town was named after CWPC’s president, Herman Elsas.

It’s quite a trip from Elsas to Toronto. Nowadays, it takes 12 hours and 44 minutes to drive between them. The railway that would have taken the brothers to the city would have travelled on a slightly straighter route; still, it’s a very long trip to take, and it showed that the Wilcox brothers (or their parents) were seriously committed to music.

Google searches for the brothers didn’t turn up anything; they never made a career in music. Since Werdin Wilcox had an unusual first name, I was hoping to at least find out something about him, but unfortunately he appears to be lost to history.


Ten $20 bills

The March 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a boxer who was willing to bet up to $200 that he would win his upcoming fight.

If Mr. Gaudes had been able to wager all or part of this money on himself, it would have paid off: as it turned out, he did beat his opponent, Baby Yack, in their upcoming boxing match on March 31. In fact, he beat Mr. Yack three times that year: in this match, in a rematch three weeks later, and one final time on November 7th.

I couldn’t find anything on Mr. Gaudes other than his professional boxing record. He continued fighting up until 1941, and then resumed his career after the war, retiring from boxing in 1947. He passed away in 1963 at the age of 52.

I found out a bit more about Baby Yack, whose given name was Benjamin Norman Yackubowitz. He won 90 out of 100 fights as an amateur bantamweight boxer. Along with another Jewish boxer from Toronto, Sammy Luftspring, he passed up the 1936 Olympics in Germany in favour of a People’s Olympics in Barcelona. The Spanish Civil War caused these games to be cancelled and left the two men stranded in Spain.

Eventually returning home, Mr. Yack turned pro and appeared in 37 bouts between 1937 and 1939. He passed away in 1987.

At the time of his first fight with Mr. Gaudes, it’s not surprising that the experts predicted that Mr. Yack would win: he had won 15 of his 17 pro fights up to that time, losing one on points and another on a split decision. Mr. Gaudes’s record leading up to their fight was a bit more uneven: he had recently beaten Mog Mason and Jimmy “Babe” McCusker, but had drawn with Jackie Rodgers and lost to Georgie Pace.


When she wasn’t looking

The March 13 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this syndicated cartoon that today would seem deeply creepy or possibly even grounds for an assault charge (not to mention a medical malpractice suit):

It was difficult to find much on Ed Reed on the Internet, as searches tended to turn up references to a football player named Ed Reed and to Edward Tennyson Reed, a British political cartoonist. I did find an obituary for him, which stated that he grew up in Paris, Texas and that he continued to produce cartoons until his retirement in the mid-1980s. He wound up buying and living in a house in England that formerly belonged to Queen Elizabeth’s great-aunt.


Memory blank after fall

Here’s an article from the March 13 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a teenage girl who escaped a pursuing man. I noticed it because it contains rather sloppy writing.

I’m reasonably certain that Mrs. George Hallam did not say, “My daughter had left the home of Mrs. Dobson, 1347 Pape Ave., and had only to walk around the corner to reach the home of Mrs. T. O. Fowler, 53 Chilton Rd., where she was going.”

When I looked up the addresses in the 1936 Toronto city directory, I discovered that the article writer didn’t get most of these right either. There is no Balsam Avenue in East York, and there wasn’t one in 1936 either; the directory does list a George Hallam at 225 Gamble Avenue, which is in the right neighbourhood and sounds about the same as the non-existent 226 Balsam. There was also nobody named Dobson at 1347 Pape. The article did have the right address for Mrs. T. O. Fowler, so one out of three was correct.

I looked in some later directories, and found a May Hallam in the 1944 directory. She was living on Strathmore Boulevard, which isn’t all that far away from Gamble Avenue, so I assume that it’s the same person as in the article. So, happily, it looks like she recovered from her injury.


A few hurling pointers

Baseball spring training is happening, so this photo from the March 11 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star seems relevant:

Perhaps pitching recruit Reginald Baker didn’t pay close enough attention to Connie Mack, as he never pitched in the major leagues. He last appeared in organized baseball in 1937, after four years away. I could find out nothing else about him, other than that he was listed at 6’3″ and 195 pounds, which is quite large for that era.

Connie Mack, the Philadelphia Athletics’ “perennial manager”, continued to run the team for another twenty years, finally quitting the game in 1950 at the age of 86. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937, despite still being active. Like Baker, he was tall for his era – he is listed at 6’1″.


America’s outstanding hope

Here’s one more photograph from the March 2 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a young man who was good at gymnastics.

Searches for Jack Holst didn’t turn up very much. There were other photographs of him from 1932 and 1933, and this page, which stated that he was the 1933 AAU high-bar champion. But he does not appear to have competed at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

The only other reference to him that I found was in Billboard magazine in 1947. He was appearing as a vaudeville act, performing gymnastics at the Loew’s State Theatre in New York. I have no idea what happened to him, but I assume that advancing age and the rise of television would have reduced his career opportunities.