Married forty years

Here’s a short society announcement from the October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

When I see one of these, I sometimes like to morbidly trace the couple in the Toronto city directories to see how many more wedding anniversaries they celebrated. In the case of the Moores, it looks like they were around for a while: there is a William G. Moore at 310 Westmoreland Avenue as late as 1953. The 1954 directory lists his widow.

There’s a possibility that this might be two William G. Moores, father and son, since William G. Moore was not employed between 1938 and 1942, but was working at Belyea Brothers between 1943 and 1953. But I couldn’t tell for sure.

As for Hunt’s, the location of the special occasion: I’m a bit mystified about that too, as Hunt’s is listed in the 1938 city directory as a chain of confectioners. Perhaps they had room for a dinner party at one of their locations.


Dean of Canterbury weds

Here’s a brief blurb from the October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about what could be called a May-December romance:

Hewlett Johnson (1874-1966) was a zealous supporter of the Soviet Union. He published a collection of pro-Soviet articles, The Socialist Sixth of the World, in 1939; it was later discovered that much of this book was copied word for word from various Soviet propaganda sources.

His marriage to the former Nowell Edwards (who was his second cousin) produced two daughters. As far as I know, the couple stayed together until his death. She passed away in 1983.


Rheumatic pain gone

I’m always fascinated by testimonial ads that feature real people. Here’s one from the October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Mosby’s Tonic has been discussed before in this blog, but there are two things that I find interesting about this version of the Mosby’s ad:

  • To fit the second line of the headline into the available space, the typesetter used the number 0 instead of the letter O. It looks a little odd, but it’s narrower. (Here’s another example of this.)
  • A “MOSBY’S TONIC Man” was apparently at the Tamblyn drug store at Keele and Dundas. Was he there full-time?

I looked up Mr. John S. Stevenson of 227 St. John’s Road in the Toronto city directories. Sure enough, he was there, and he had no listed occupation, so I assume that he was actually retired. I looked ahead and found him at the same address in the 1943 and 1948 city directories. So we know for sure that Mosby’s Tonic didn’t kill Mr. Stevenson, at least not right away.


Elected president

I am always fascinated by pictures of people being honoured for some achievement or other. Here’s one from the October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, of a man who had just been appointed president of the Dufferin Old Boys’ association.

I think this refers to people who went to Lord Dufferin Public School in Toronto, but I’m not sure.

Because I was curious, I looked up George A. Keates in the Toronto city directories. The 1938 directory lists him as working as the assistant treasurer at Terminal Warehouses Limited. By 1944, he had become the division manager there, but he is not listed in the 1945 directory. This directory doesn’t list his widow, so I have no idea whether he passed away or moved elsewhere.


Injured actor (2 of 2)

Here’s the second of two posts from the October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about an actor who had suffered an injury. This time, it’s Canadian-born actress Margaret Bannerman, who sustained facial injuries in an accident.

Margaret Bannerman (1896-1976) appeared in silent films in Britain between 1917 and 1920. She moved to the United States in the 1930s and appeared in movies until 1947. She eventually retired to an actors’ home in Englewood, New Jersey.


Injured actor (1 of 2)

The October 25 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two separate reports of actors who were injured in accidents. I’ll do the first one today, which is of actor Lyle Talbot escaping a fire.

Lyle Talbot (1902-1996) not only recovered from his injuries – he lived for nearly 58 years after the fire, and appeared in various television series well into the 1980s. Among his accomplishments, he was a co-founder of the Screen Actors Guild and played Ozzie Nelson’s friend and neighbour on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for ten years. He claimed that he never refused a part that was offered to him, which led to him appearing in some notoriously bad films.

Talbot was married five times. His first four marriages were brief, but then he married actress and singer Paula Epple when he was 46 and she was 20. Not only did their marriage last – they were married for over forty years and had four children – he outlived her, as she passed away in 1989.


Take to the boats

The June 13 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photo of Admiral Sir Edward Evans testing the air raid defence of London:


Edward Evans (1880-1957) led a full and heroic life. Among other things:

  • As a young man, he became a physical fitness fanatic, walking 40 or 50 miles a day and swimming for hours in the sea.
  • He participated in two Antarctic expeditions: one in 1902-1904, and one in 1910-1913.
  • In the First World War, he commanded the HMS Broke, which, in an action near Dover, sank one German destroyer, rammed another, and forced four others to escape. This made him a popular hero.
  • From 1936 to 1942, he was rector of the University of Aberdeen.
  • In 1945, he became Baron Mountevans.
  • In 1947, he chaired a committee to establish the rules of professional wrestling in Britain.

That’s rather a lot of accomplishments.


19 strokes

The June 13 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained a photo of golfer Ray Ainsley, who scored 19 on one hole in the 1938 U.S. Open:


The Wikipedia page for the 1938 U.S. Open provides more details: apparently, Mr. Ainsley hit the ball into the water on the 16th hole. Instead of taking a penalty and taking his next shot on dry land, he repeatedly tried to hit the ball out of the water. His score of 19 remains the U.S. Open record.

I couldn’t find much on Ainsley, but there is a PGA Tour page for him. He played in four tour events in his lifetime – one in 1926, one in 1937, and two in 1938. He made the cut in the other three events in which he played, but never earned any money.


Hanging out with J. Edgar Hoover

The June 13 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of Lela Rogers, the mother of actress and dancer Ginger Rogers:


The Wikipedia entry for J. Edgar Hoover states that he never married, but mentions that he and Mrs. Rogers attended social events as late as the 1950s.


To-day versus today

One thing I noticed a while back in old newspapers was that the words “today” and “tomorrow” used to be hyphenated as “to-day” and “to-morrow”. I have long wondered: when did the usage change?

My wife suggested that I try a more systematic search and, for the Toronto Daily Star at least, this is possible: they had a daily weather report at the bottom of page one that always included the word “today” or “to-day”.

What I discovered was that the usage change in the Daily Star happened gradually between May and June of 1938. Here’s the weather forecast for May 14, 1938, which uses “to-day”:


The weather report for May 28 uses both spellings:


By June 13, the new spelling was in use throughout the weather report:


This is not conclusive evidence, of course, since the weather was only one feature that appeared in the paper, and the Daily Star’s usage might not be the same as usage elsewhere. I haven’t been able to figure out how to systematically search the Toronto Globe / Globe and Mail’s archive yet – from what I’ve seen, it started using “today” earlier. If I can find any definite information, I will post it here.