Heads tailors’ association

Here’s another photo of a man who received an honour significant enough to earn him his picture in the paper. This is from the February 4 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

I’m thinking that it’s pretty cool to be elected the international president of anything. I wonder how many countries this involved?

When I looked R.L. Hewitt up in the 1935 Toronto city directory, I found that he had an establishment at 89 King West, and lived in one of the Nanton Court Apartments that ran between 7 and 19 Nanton Avenue. He remained at his King Street location up until at least 1950. The 1953 directory lists him at his home address with no occupation, and the 1954 directory does not list him.

It’s hard to tell from Google Street View, but it looks like the Nanton Court Apartments are still standing. 89 King West has, of course, long since been replaced by a large office tower.


Medical officer

As I’ve often mentioned, I am fascinated by photos of people who have just been promoted to a new job. This one is from the February 4 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

As usual, out of curiosity, I looked Dr. Delamere up in the Toronto city directories. It turns out that Harold D. Delamere had found his niche in life when he was appointed Crown Life’s medical officer: he held the position for 25 years, as he was listed in this role in the 1960 directory. The 1961 and 1962 directories show him as at Crown Life, but no longer as medical officer; after that, he retired.

Unfortunately, he did not get to enjoy a long retirement. The 1963 and 1964 directories list him without an occupation, but the 1965 directory lists his widow.


Medical column

A regular feature of Toronto Daily Star newspapers of the 1930s was a syndicated column from Royal S. Copeland, M.D. Here’s the beginning of his column from the February 4 1935 edition:

When Royal S. Copeland (1868-1938) wasn’t busy writing newspaper columns, he had a day job: he was a Senator from New York, a position he held from 1923 until his death. He graduated from medical school in 1889, becoming a homeopathic physician, and was the mayor of Ann Arbor, Michigan, from 1901 to 1903.

Before becoming a Senator, his most noteworthy achievement was becoming president of the New York City Board of Health in 1918. He was given credit for keeping the city calm during the influenza pandemic, and introduced the concept of air conditioning to the Senate while he was there. He reportedly passed away due to overwork following a longer than usual Senate session.


Gives evidence

The February 4 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad for Fruit-a-tives, a “fruit liver tablet”:

The ad included a testimonial that included a sworn statement, apparently made before a notary, and on file in Ottawa. I wonder if anyone ever asked for it?

I looked Mrs. Grace Sansone up in the Toronto city directories. The 1935 directory listed Samuel Sanson working as a barber and living at 233 Melita; in other years, his name was listed as Sansone, so I think that the Fruit-a-tives company did have the name right. There was also a Grace Sanson in the 1940 directory, working as a ward aide at the Toronto Hospital for Consumptives and also living there; this might have been someone else.

Samuel Sanson or Sansone continued barbering into the 1960s. The 1962 directory lists him still working as a barber and living at 233 Melita. The 1964 directory lists him with no occupation, which presumably meant that he had retired. The 1965 directory, however, lists Grace as the widow of Samuel and living at 233 Melita.

233 Melita Avenue is a semi-detached house near Dupont and Christie; it looks pleasant enough.

Fruit-a-tives seems to have been used for a variety of purposes; besides clearing up Mrs. Sansone’s pimples, it was apparently also a laxative. A search yielded references to a 1931 pamphlet entitled Secrets of Health and Long Life and a medical handbook from about the time of the First World War.


Back at classes

The February 4 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this enigmatic bit of filler:

This was confusing. Why were doctors declining to comment?

A search of the Toronto Daily Star archives yielded this article from the February 2 edition, which provided an explanation:

And on February 5, the paper had this to say about young Mr. Griffin:

A Google search for Murray Griffin revealed that he played in the Canadian Football League for a number of teams in the 1930s and 1940s, winning the Grey Cup with Ottawa in 1940. Presumably, whatever was wrong with him in 1935 had no long-term effects, at least not for a few years.


Canada’s radio rally

Here’s an ad from the January 8 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming radio broadcast.

My first thought: while I genuinely believe that the Radio Rally broadcasted from all of the places that it said it did, listeners at the time would have had no way of knowing whether everything was just being simulated in a studio somewhere. I live in a more cynical age.

I looked up the Canadian-born stars in the list:

  • Walter Huston (1883-1950) eventually won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), which was directed by his son John. Three generations of his descendants have become actors and directors.
  • David Manners (1900-1998) was born Rauff de Ryther Duan Acklom, so you can’t blame him for taking a stage name. He appeared in a number of movies in the 1930s, including Tod Browning’s 1931 version of Dracula. He stopped acting in movies in 1936, became an American citizen in the early 1940s (after officially changing his name to David Manners), and quit acting entirely in 1953.
  • Rodolphe Plamondon (1876-1940) was both a tenor and a cello player. He had a long and distinguished career in Europe.
  • Fifi D’Orsay (1904-1983) was born Marie-Rose Angelina Yvonne Lussier in Montreal. Moving to New York to become an actress, she pretended that she was from France, presuming successfully that no one could tell the difference between Quebec French and France French. She was billed in the Greenwich Village Follies as “Mademoiselle Fifi”. She became an American citizen in 1936.
  • Ned Sparks (1883-1957) was a character actor best known for his deadpan expression (which wouldn’t have translated to radio) and his deep, gravelly voice (which would). He retired from movies in 1947.
  • I couldn’t find anything for Arlene Jackson.
  • John B. Kennedy (1894-1961) was a journalist, radio correspondent, and film narrator. His Wikipedia page lists him as American, but states that he was born in Quebec City; I have no idea when or if he became a U.S. citizen. He was 23 years older than John F. Kennedy, the future president of the United States, but pre-deceased him by only two years.
  • Jimmy Wallington (1907-1972) was a radio announcer and actor. His Internet Movie Database page states that he was born in Rochester, New York, so either this page has it wrong or he wasn’t actually Canadian.


Radiant living

Here’s a small advertisement that appeared in the January 8 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

I assume that they were offering singing and exercises and making a collection, but that’s just a guess.

The 1935 Toronto city directory lists the Sutcliffe School at 3 Charles West. A search revealed that the Sutcliffe School for Radiant Living was the handiwork of Herbert Sutcliffe (1886-1971), an English psychologist and alternative health advocate. Starting in 1931, Sutcliffe established a total of 36 schools located in various parts of the world, 12 of which were in New Zealand.

Over the next few years, the Toronto branch of the Sutcliffe School changed locations a few times. A possibly incomplete list of locations includes 3 Charles West, 749 Yonge, 41 Cumberland, and 194 Wellesley East. The school went out of existence sometime in the early 1950s; the 1951 directory lists it, but the 1953 directory does not.

The New Zealand History website has a multi-page history of the Radiant Living movement. Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first people to climb Mount Everest, was an enthusiastic devotee; his mother had been secretary of the Auckland branch of the school. On the other hand, the Wikipedia page for Sutcliffe claims that some of his ideas were pseudo-scientific. Sutcliffe could apparently do cartwheels on stage when he was in his sixties; whether Radiant Living had anything to do with that is, of course, debatable.


In cast of play

Here’s a photo that appeared in the December 21 1935 of two young women in the cast of a play at Hart House:

This photo is of interest because Miss Helen Gardiner, at right, eventually had a theatre at the University of Toronto named after her. (I am assuming that this is the same Helen Gardiner. I suppose that there could have been two of them.) She passed away in 1999, and is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Oddly enough, Ms. Gardiner wound up at the intersection of two chicken empires. Her brother, George Gardiner, brought the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise to Canada, and she married Paul James Phalen, who founded the Swiss Chalet chicken franchise.

I couldn’t find out anything about the play “Wappin’ Wharf”, as a search turned up Wapping Wharf, which is a newly developed neighbourhood in Bristol, England.

A search for Nancy Pyper, the director of the play, turned up this link to her archives. She was mostly based in Winnipeg, and has an Internet Movie Database entry for a CBC television credit from 1952.


Twin sisters to observe

Here’s a brief article from the December 21 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that talked about twin sisters who were celebrating their 77th birthday:

Of the sisters, Eva Rose York is the better known: she was a composer, organist, and writer, and has an entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia. In 1920, she wrote an book about Redemption Home (mentioned in the Daily Star article) called Feathers With Yellow Gold. In 1935, she wrote an autobiography, When My Dream Came True, which the Canadian Encyclopedia dismissed as brief and unrevealing. The poem mentioned in the newspaper article, “I Shall Not Pass This Way Again”, can be read here and is analyzed here. She passed away in February, 1938.

Her sister, Ida Emma Baker, did some writing also: she produced a collection of poems and a book titled How They Found Jesus. I used the Toronto city directories to try to trace her, and discovered that she appears as late as 1949 at 77 Alberta Avenue, so she made it to her 90th birthday. However, she is not listed in the 1950 directory, so it looks like she outlived her sister by about eleven years.


Appearing on the stage

The entertainment page of the December 21 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included two publicity photos of groups of young women singing and dancing on Toronto stages.

The Imperial Theatre featured the McNally Sisters:

Searches turned up nothing on the McNally Sisters. They appear to be lost to history.

The Strand Theatre featured Lillian Strachan and her Sunshine Revue:

I didn’t have much luck here either. My searches turned up a couple of other references to Lillian Strachan from the early 1930s, but no details on who she was.