Star seeking divorce

The May 9 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured this article on a marriage between actors that was on the rocks.


Sally Eilers (1908-1978) appeared in 55 movies between 1927 and 1939, but her career stalled after that. She was apparently known for her “high spirits and vivacity”. There are worse things to be known for.

Hoot Gibson (1892-1962) was a rodeo champion and then moved into motion pictures, becoming the second-most popular cowboy star in movies after Tom Mix between the 1920s and 1940s. In later years, he fell into financial difficulties, and wound up being a greeter in a Las Vegas casino, among other things.

The marriage between Ms. Eilers and Mr. Gibson ended in 1933. She married three more times, each ending in divorce. This marriage was his third, after previously marrying two women named Helen; he married again in 1962, to a “22-year-old yodeler” named Dorothy Dunstan. This marriage lasted until his death.

Bad Girl, the movie mentioned in this article, is available here.


Two of a kind

Here’s a photo from the May 9 1932 Toronto Daily Star of jazz musician Paul Whiteman and his doppelganger:


Paul Whiteman (1890-1967) was a successful recording artist in the 1920s and 1930s, and was nicknamed “The King of Jazz” as a result. Some critics disputed his title, claiming that his music lacked emotional depth. But Duke Ellington wrote, in his autobiography, that Whiteman was entitled to his throne, and that’s probably a good enough endorsement. You can decide for yourself: YouTube has some of his recordings, including Whispering and My Blue Heaven.

I could find no information on Earl Judy. Being Paul Whiteman’s lookalike turned out not to be a ticket to fame.


Bathe away fat

Here’s an ad from the May 9 1932 Toronto Daily Star for a product of dubious medical value:


A Google search for Reudel Bath Saltrates didn’t turn up anything definitive. An image search showed that it had been historically used to treat foot troubles, so this was a new marketing twist. I could find no word on whether people’s feet became thinner.


Wanted for cash

The May 9 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this mysterious ad:


I have no idea why the advertiser wanted a piano in less than two weeks, or why it had to be from someone’s private home. I’m kind of suspicious.



In the February 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Globe, there were two separate references to bridge, which implies that the card game was becoming extremely popular.

The first was an ad from Ellis Brothers, who normally specialized in jewellery. They offered a complete set of bridge necessities for $1.50: playing cards, scoring pads, pencils, and “decorative tally cards”.


The second was a Salada Tea ad:


If you were outside Toronto and its suburbs, apparently you were out of luck.

The game of contract bridge evolved from its predecessor, auction bridge. The first official rules of contract bridge (later just called “bridge”) were published in 1925, and the game took off in popularity from there.


Seriously ill

The February 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Globe contained this unfortunate piece of bad news about “famous British playwright” John Drinkwater.


Happily, John Drinkwater survived this bout with pneumonia; unhappily, he passed away five years later, at the too-early age of 54.

Drinkwater’s claim to fame was a play about Abraham Lincoln, written in 1918. This seems an unusual choice of subject for a British playwright, but you can’t argue with success: it ran for 193 performances on Broadway, was turned into a feature film, and was presented on television as recently as 1952.


Real Folks

The October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has contained a whole lot of interesting stuff, so I’m back to it again today. Here’s an ad for a play being performed at Massey Hall:


Real Folks was the NBC network’s first radio serial drama, created and written by George Frame Brown (1896-1979). (Apparently, no known recordings of this show exist.) Like the play, the radio show centered on life in the fictitious town of Thompkins Corners.

The Wistful Vistas old-time radio blog describes the history of Real Folks in detail. The show went on the air in 1928, and left the air in 1932 after switching to the CBS network in 1931. The touring version of the play described in this ad didn’t sell well, and folded in Syracuse about two weeks after the Massey Hall shows; NBC had to step in to ensure that the actors got paid.



Sometimes, I run across an ad that is simply mystifying. Here’s one from the October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that occurs in three separate places:




A Google search for Re-Tex turned up nothing, as did any related searches that I could think of. The 1932 and 1933 Toronto city directories didn’t have anything either. Obviously, Re-Tex is something that is intended to appeal to women, but other than that I have no idea what is going on here.


Now is the time!

The October 11 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star featured a two-part advertising approach that I hadn’t seen before.

The first part was a bit of filler that appeared on an early page of the paper, and superficially looked like any other bit of filler:


I assume that the Daily Star was required by law to put the little “(Advt.)” at the end.

When you turned to page 7, you got the full advertisement:


McBride’s Garage existed at this location until the late 1940s, and then became McBride Motors and moved across the street to 142 Pears Avenue, where they existed until at least 1969 (which is when the Toronto online city directories run out). Both sides of Pears Avenue¬†at this location are now condominiums or are about to become them.


Creepy Kruschen people

So far, I have run across four ads for Kruschen Salts, and the people in them all look really creepy.

The first one is from the August 21 1923 Toronto Daily Star:


That old guy in the water looks happy, but he looks a bit strange, as if he is on uppers or something. But he’s normal-looking when compared to the older guy in ad in the September 27 1927 Toronto Daily Star:


The young man is in despair because he wants the creepy old guy to go away. In this ad, I notice that the sole importer of Kruschen Salts has changed. Perhaps they just found a Toronto distributor as well as a Montreal one.

Next, we have an ad from the November 21 1932 Toronto Daily Star:


This “wonderfully active” 66-year-old woman (Mrs. E. W.) looks a bit more normal, except for those eyes: once again, she looks like she’s high on amphetamines or something. It’s deeply disturbing.

The last one is from the March 31, 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, and I think it’s the creepiest one of all:


Oh my God, the zombies are attacking! Run before it’s too late!

I couldn’t find out much about Kruschen Salts, other than it has been around for a while. A British site mentions that it first went on sale in 1922. One of the ads here claims that Kruschen Salts contains six salts, but the website lists only sodium chloride as its current active ingredient.