What if he should tire of me?

Here’s an ad for Lux Toilet Soap from the May 26 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Like other Lux ads of this era, this ad is oddly specific: it claims that 686 of the important 694 actresses in Hollywood use Lux, including all stars. It then claims that “9 out of 10 Screen Stars” use Lux. Oh, well – you can’t expect copywriters to have fluency with numbers.

Aileen Pringle (1895-1989) was an actress who lived a life of privilege: she was born into a wealthy San Francisco family and then married the son of a wealthy British-Jamaican landowner before starting her film career. This might have been why she was noted for her apparent disdain of her fellow actors and of her chosen profession: apparently, in the silent movie Three Weeks (1924), lip readers can discern that she told co-star Conrad Nagel, during a romantic scene, “If you drop me, you bastard, I’ll break your neck.”

On the other hand, Ms. Pringle successfully cultivated friendships with a number of writers and artists, including H. L. Mencken, who became a lifelong friend. She apparently had “wit, a keen intellect, and a sparkling personality”, which are obviously good things to have. She spent her later years in New York, living a comfortable life.


Hungarian mat star

Here’s a photograph from the March 1 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a large and well-muscled wrestler:

In his prime, Sándor Szabó (1906-1966) stood six feet tall and weighed 235 pounds. Settling in the United States, he held three world championships in the 1940s and wrestled professionally until 1963.

In 1953, he recorded a song on Hammerlock Records called “Take Me In Your Arms”. (I love the very idea of a label called Hammerlock Records.) The Internet Archive has a digitized version of this song and a digitized version of the flip side, “It’s All In The Game”. It’s safe to say that Szabó was a better singer than most wrestlers and a better wrestler than most singers!

Szabó also received a commendation from President Dwight Eisenhower for helping an estimated 200,000 Hungarian refugees in America. He passed away at the age of 60 from a heart attack.

YouTube has some footage of Szabó at work. These links are interspersed with links to music performed by another Sándor Szabó, a Yugoslav musician born in 1960. This Szabó is still alive, which means that he has lived longer than his wrestling namesake; to the best of my knowledge, he has never released a recording on the Hammerlock Records label.


Business as usual

Here’s an ad from the March 1 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for a permanent wave:

By the time that this ad appeared, W. T. Pember and his hair salon and store had been in existence at 129 Yonge Street for a long time. He appears in the 1890 Toronto city directory working as a hairdresser. By 1895, he had his own listing in the directory:

By 1898, he had expanded into 129 Yonge Street as well. Over the years, he regularly bought ads in the city directory. For instance, the 1933 directory has this:

W. T. Pember remained in charge of his business at 129 Yonge Street until 1951. The 1952 directory lists The W. T. Pember Stores Limited at 129 Yonge, but with L. F. Johnston as its manager, as Pember had retired.

The 1953 directory lists 129 Yonge as Vacant, ending over half a century of hairdressing at that location. (The business that replaced it, according to the 1954 directory, was Morrow’s Nut House.) Pember appears in this directory as an individual, with no listed occupation; he does not appear in the 1954 directory.


Southern senorita signed

Here’s a publicity photograph that appeared in the March 1 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Unfortunately, searches for the southern senorita turned up nothing. I could find no reference to Josephine Haynes anywhere, nor to “Parade of Melodies”. Sadly, both appear to be lost to history.


Panther woman weds photographer

Here’s a photograph of an upcoming celebrity marriage that appeared on the front page of the March 1 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

The Panther Woman talent contest has appeared in this blog before. The contest, held in 1932, was to determine who was to be given the role of Lota, The Panther Woman, in the movie Island of Lost Souls. Approximately 60,000 women entered the contest; Kathleen Burke (1913-1980) was the winner.

Her newly wedded husband, Glen Rardin, had taken the photographs of her that had been entered in the contest. Their marriage did not last: they separated two months after the marriage, were briefly reconciled, and then were divorced in 1934.

Ms. Burke married twice more after her divorce from Rardin. She married and divorced Jose Torres Fernandez, a dancer from Mexico, before marrying a man named Forrest Smith, who outlived her. She appeared in more than twenty films in the 1930s before she retired from film acting in 1938.

YouTube has a trailer for Island of Lost Souls. In it, Ms. Burke is billed only as “The Panther Woman”.


Uncrowned king’s stamps

Here’s a brief article and photo from the March 1 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of stamps issued by a man who had proclaimed himself king.

Martin Coles Harman (1885-1954) was an English businessman who bought the island of Lundy, located in the Bristol Channel, in 1925. When postal service was discontinued on the island in 1927, Harman covered all postage costs himself for the next two years. In 1929, he issued the postage stamps shown above to cover these postage costs. The unit of currency on these stamps was the puffin, with one puffin being roughly equivalent to one English penny. They are still printed today.

In 1931, Harman decided to go one step further and print his own coins, producing half-puffin and one-puffin coins. He was charged under the Coinage Act and was fined five pounds plus fifteen guineas expenses.

Life dealt Harman a number of blows at this time. In 1931, his wife died of kidney failure. In 1932, he went bankrupt. In 1933, he was charged with conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Saddest of all for him: he lived long enough to see his son, John Harman, die in battle in the Second World War after winning the Victoria Cross for bravery.

The island of Lundy was purchased by Jack Hayward in 1969 and donated to the National Trust. It is now best known for its birds and its shipwrecks.


Spectacular Spanish dance star

Here’s an advertisement from the November 22 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming show by a Spanish dancer.

Searches turned up very little on Teresina, whoever she was. I found two photographs (here and here) of her from 1932 and 1933, but mostly I found references to a city in Brazil named Teresina and restaurants named La Teresina. Her spectacular Spanish dancing appears to be lost to history.


Woman becomes undertaker

Here’s an article from the November 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a woman who had successfully obtained an embalmer’s licence.

As is usual in newspaper articles for at least a generation and more, the writer commented on Ms. Egan’s physical appearance, referring to her as a beautiful, young blonde. Men are virtually never described in this way.

I looked Ms. Egan up in the Toronto city directories, and it doesn’t appear that she had a chance to practice her new profession. The 1934 and 1935 directories list A. Viola Egan as a bookkeeper at Stone Funeral Services, the 1936 directory lists her as a bookkeeper but with no listed employer, and the 1937 directory does not list her at all. My best guess is that she bowed to the convention of her time and gave up her career to get married.


Giant balloon

Here’s a photograph from the November 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a large balloon in an even larger hangar in Akron, Ohio.

The balloon was named Century of Progress, after the trade show of that name that was held in Chicago in the summer of 1933. And, on the day that this photograph appeared in the newspaper, Thomas G. W. “Tex” Settle (1895-1980) helped set a world altitude record in the balloon, reaching a verified height of 61,237 feet.

Settle, a United States Navy officer who had been piloting airships and balloons, asked to be transferred back to sea duty in 1934. He commanded the USS Portland during the latter part of the Second World War. After the war, he served in various roles, retiring with the rank of Rear Admiral. His ambition was to become the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, which he did not achieve.


Elected member

Here’s a photograph from the November 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a Canadian artist who had just been elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Marion Long (1882-1970) was the second Canadian woman ever to be elected a member of the Royal Canadian Academy; the first, Charlotte Schreiber, was elected in 1880 (though she was not permitted to attend meetings or influence policies). Ms. Long was often commissioned to paint portraits; she was asked to paint portraits of the Royal Norwegian Air Force during the Second World War and was honoured with the King Haakon VII Medal of Liberation as a result.

A more detailed biography of her can be found here.