Champion beverages

The September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for O’Keefe beverages, in which they were endorsed by two famous rowers.


Bobby Pearce (1905-1976) was an Australian rower who won gold in the 1928 and 1932 Olympic Games. This did not protect him from the Great Depression: he entered the 1930 Empire Games in Hamilton, Ontario only due to the charity of friends. He managed to land a job in Hamilton after the games, which must have been a blessed relief.

Ted Phelps was a British rowing champion. He doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but there is newsreel footage of him being interviewed, and I found an article on him and his brother Eric, both of whom were professional rowers.

Pearce and Phelps wound up in an O’Keefe ad because the World Sculling Championship took place in Toronto in 1933, in which Pearce beat Phelps before a crowd of approximately 30,000. Phelps had won the three previous titles, so this was an impressive accomplishment.

Pearce won the next two title matches, in 1934 and 1938, and retired undefeated. He spent the rest of his life in Canada, and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.


Little shrimp

I keep returning to the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star because there is so much there. Here’s an article about someone who would have been in line for the Worst Husband Award of 1933:


Claire Windsor (1892-1972) was a silent film star whose career did not survive the transition into talkies. She was born Clara Viola “Ola” Cronk, but officially changed her name to Claire Windsor in 1943; I don’t really blame her.

This excerpt reveals that Mrs. Read was eventually awarded $75,000, and Mr. Read was found guilty of stealing $11 from Ms. Windsor.


Grocery stores in 1933

I’ve been posting a lot from the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star because it has a lot of interesting stuff in it (naturally). This paper had three different ads for grocery stores.

The first was for Loblaw Groceterias (which eventually became Loblaw’s, then Loblaws). In 1933, they were already a retail giant, with nearly 50 locations in the city, including the 389 Spadina Road location mentioned here:


This is up from 28 locations in 1928. (By the way, I love the very idea of Dreadnought Toilet Rolls.)

A newer rival in the business was Adanac (Canada spelled backwards, of course), who weren’t in business in 1928, but by 1933 had opened 16 stores in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs:


The customer and grocer appear to be having a somewhat flirtatious conversation here!

The Adanac chain remained in business through 1948, with 30 branches listed in the Toronto city directory, but it is not listed in 1950.

Finally, there is an ad for an independent grocery store:


The Don Avon Marketeria remained in business until sometime between 1951 and 1956 (I didn’t narrow it down further). It’s interesting to me because you used to be able to see a faded ghost sign for it on the wall of the building that it was in:


This photograph was taken in 2001. The sign was difficult to read then, and it is now gone (the building has been repainted).


Baby Rose Marie

The September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had this ad for an in-person appearance:


Baby Rose Marie, later known as simply Rose Marie, started performing in 1926 at the age of three. At her peak as a child star, she had her own radio show, was a successful recording artist, and appeared in a number of movies. YouTube has a lot of footage and audio of Baby Rose Marie, including Don’t Be Like That (1929) and Take A Picture Of The Moon (1932).

As an adult, Rose Marie starred in several television series and touring plays, including the Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966. People who grew up in the 1970s will remember her as a regular on The Hollywood Squares. She passed away in 2017 at the age of 94.

International House (1933), mentioned in this ad, was basically a collection of comedy and musical acts tied together with a thin plot. Many famous stars of the day appeared in it besides Baby Rose Marie, including George Burns and Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway, W.C. Fields, and Peggy Hopkins Joyce (previously mentioned in this blog here). YouTube doesn’t have the complete movie (oh well), but it does have a trailer.

As for Morning Glory, also mentioned in this ad: it’s quite possible that Katharine Hepburn became a lot of people’s favourite star after they watched this movie, as she won an Academy Award for it.


Serial stories from 1933

The September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star was running two separate serialized novels: Bawbee Jock by Amy McLaren, and Swell Garrick by Roy Vickers.



The Furrowed Middlebrow site has biographical data on Emily Louisa “Amy” McLaren (1859-1935), who was a Scottish novelist. Bawbee Jock was published in 1910, and was about a woman who marries a Scottish laird without telling him that she is wealthy (which I guess is understandable, since they didn’t have prenups in those days). Ms. McLaren also wrote, among others:

  • The Davos Balcony (1903), about a woman who finds love while taking care of her aunt in a Swiss sanitorium
  • With The Merry Austrians (1912)
  • The Bonnie Earl (1926)
  • Devil’s Paradise (1929)

Roy Vickers (1889-1965) was an English journalist and mystery writer who wrote approximately 70 novels between 1921 and 1959. Swell Garrick was originally published in 1933 under the pen name of “John Spencer”, so it would have been a bit confusing (and a bit of a giveaway) when this serial was published under his real name.


Points For Parents

Here’s another syndicated column that appeared in the September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Edyth Thomas Wallace (1880-1975) was a syndicated columnist and hosted a radio show on radio station WKY in Oklahoma City. A book of her columns was published in 1946, but her column appears to have continued into the 1950s. She is a member of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.


Gladys Glad on beauty

The September 7 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a syndicated column titled “Gladys Glad On Beauty”:


Gladys Glad (1907-1983) – apparently, that was her real name – appeared in a number of Ziegfeld revues. She married (and remarried) journalist and film producer Mark Hellinger.


The new hydro building

The May 24 1933 edition of the Toronto Globe announced the opening of the new Toronto Hydro-Electric System building on Carlton Street just east of Yonge.


This caught my attention because I used to pass this building all the time in the 1980s when going to see movies at the nearby Carlton Cinema.

The building is still standing – it’s now known as the Richard R. Horkins building. I have no idea who Richard R. Horkins was – I assume he was an important hydro person at one time. I did discover that he was president of the CNE Association in 1978, and that a Richard Horkins (possibly the same one) ran for Toronto Board of Control in 1964 but lost.


Damaged Lives

The May 24 1933 Toronto Globe contained this movie ad:


Naturally, I was curious: what movie was so shocking that women and men were required to see it separately? Of course, it had to do with sex: a young executive, in a long-term relationship, is convinced by his boss to go to a party. At the party, he sleeps with a young wealthy woman and contracts a venereal disease from her.

The film also had actual nudity: according to Wikipedia, it contained a scene in which “a group of fun-loving women strip naked and go skinny dipping”.

The Wikipedia entry for Damaged Lives points out that it was produced during the brief period between the invention of pictures with sound and Hollywood’s universal adoption of the Motion Picture Production Code of moral guidelines in 1934. The film was a Canadian-American production, and the Canuxploitation web site provides more details on the plot.

You can view this film on the Internet Archive.