Moving furniture safely

Here’s an ad from the November 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for the Tippet-Richardson moving company that featured a testimonial from one of their employees.

Since the Toronto city directories list everyone’s occupation whenever possible, I decided to try to trace Bill Parker. Sure enough, I found him: the 1942 directory lists a William Parker working as a driver for Tippet-Richardson and living at 327 Gladstone Avenue. He first appears in the 1937 directory with that employer and at that location; the 1936 directory does not appear to list him.

The 1947 directory lists him as still working as a driver for Tippet-Richardson, but now living at 386 Balliol. And that is where he stayed: he was at 386 Balliol in the 1969 directory, which is the last one that I can view online. He remained at Tippet-Richardson too, though by 1957 he was working as a warehouse foreman.



As I’ve mentioned before, the Toronto Daily Star used to publish a section titled “A Little Of Everything” on its editorial page. This section usually led off with a poem. Here’s an example from the November 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

As I’ve also said before, I’m no judge of poetry, but I found this a little overwrought for my taste. The rhyming scheme is interesting, though: it appears to be AABCCDD. I looked up some lists of rhyming schemes and couldn’t find this one anywhere.

I included this poem because it provided the writer’s name and address, which gave me the opportunity to trace her in the Toronto city directories. The 1942 city directory lists Charles W. King at 179 Forest Hill Road; he was a sales manager for Willard’s Chocolates. But it also lists Amabel King as a major in the Salvation Army Rescue Home and living at 450 Pape Avenue, which is the address of the rescue home (also referred to as the Girls’ Industrial Home). Amabel is an unusual name, so perhaps Ms. King was devoted enough to her cause to live at least part of the time at the home. Or perhaps this was someone else; I have no way of knowing.

There was a listing for Amabel King in the 1943 and 1944 directories as well, but she does not appear in the 1945 directory. Charles W. King remained at 179 Forest Hill Road at least until 1969, which is the latest year for which I have access to online city directories. By then, he had retired.

As of May 2014, 179 Forest Hill Road appeared to be a tidy but relatively small (for the neighbourhood) house in Forest Hill. Later that year, though, the house was torn down to make room for an addition to 177 Forest Hill Road.


Always returns

Here’s a photograph from the November 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who had returned from an ordeal at sea.

Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973) was noteworthy for a number of things:

  • Before the First World War, he was a race car driver, competing in the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911. He won a race in Sioux City in 1914 after tying the still-beating heart of a bat to his finger (apparently, this was a Swiss superstition that he learned from his mother).
  • When the United States entered the First World War in 1917, Rickenbacker became a pilot. He had 26 aerial victories in 1918, which was the highest total up to that point and made him a war hero. He was given a book deal and went on a speaking tour.
  • He helped design a car, the Rickenbacker, which made its appearance in 1922. It was unsuccessful, and his company went into receivership in 1924, leaving him on the hook for half a million dollars.
  • He bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1927, selling it in 1945.
  • He bought Eastern Air Lines in 1938, and was CEO of the company until 1959.
  • In 1941, he was severely injured in an air crash near Atlanta, requiring many months to heal.
  • In 1942, he was adrift at sea for 23 days after the plane he was in crashed. He had been on his way to deliver a message to General Douglas MacArthur; after he was rescued, he completed his assignment.

When he passed away in 1973, his eulogy was delivered by Jimmy Doolittle (previously mentioned in this blog here). He is not to be confused with Orville Redenbacher.


Champions, two!

Here’s a photo from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of two women who were swimming champions.

Gloria Callen (1923-2016), nicknamed “Glamorous Gloria”, was named the 1942 Associated Press Athlete of the Year. She won 13 American championships and set 35 American records and one world record. Due to the war, she was never able to compete in the Olympics. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984.

Eleanor Holm (1913-2004) competed in the 1928 Olympics at the age of 14, then won a gold medal at the 1932 Olympics in the 100-metre backstroke. She was named to the 1936 Olympic team, but was expelled from the team after a drinking party on board the ship taking the team to Berlin. She maintained that she was expelled because U.S. Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage held a grudge against her, at one time claiming that he propositioned her.

When not competing in the Olympics, Ms. Holm was in the movies: she was a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1932, and appeared in the movie Tarzan’s Revenge in 1938. Billy Rose was Ms. Holm’s second husband; they divorced in 1954 after a spectacular divorce trial called “The War Of The Roses”. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966.


Canadian National telegram

The July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an ad for an upcoming movie that was displayed in the form of a telegram:

Mrs. Miniver (1942) was released in the depths of World War II. Produced in Hollywood, it was a romantic drama that described how the life of a typical English housewife was affected by the war.

While some modern critics consider this movie excessively sentimental, it was a commercial and critical success in its time: it was the top box office draw of 1942, and it won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (William Wyler), Best Actress (Greer Garson), and Best Supporting Actress (Teresa Wright). British moviegoers that saw the film were profoundly affected by it, due to its depiction of endurance and perseverance on the home front.

When I looked at the ad, I wondered: was D. E. Galloway, the assistant vice-president mentioned in the header of the telegram, a real person? I looked him up in the 1942 Toronto city directory, and the answer is yes: the directory listed D. Ernest Galloway as, indeed, an assistant vice-president at CN Telegram. He lived at 98 Wychwood Park. But he wasn’t there long: he was in the 1943 directory, but not the 1944. I couldn’t find an entry for his widow, so I don’t know whether he moved out of town or passed away.


The Birth of a Baby

Here’s an ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming movie that featured, as the title suggested, the birth of a baby.

The Birth of a Baby (1938) was an educational film in which an expectant mother and her husband consult “a kindly obstetrician”, after which the mother gives birth to a healthy baby. The gimmick was that footage of an actual birth was spliced into the movie.

Naturally, the movie – which was only one hour and twelve minutes long, including the birth scene – caused controversy in its time. The state of New York banned it outright, and several theatres screened the movie separately for men and women. The All Movie website calls it “a prime example of old-fashioned (and very successful) hucksterism”.

The short opening film, Mr. Strauss Takes a Walk (1942), was a cartoon in which “Mr. Strauss, with the help of the forest animals, composes his greatest waltz”. You can watch it on YouTube.


Celebrating its first anniversary

The July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this large advertisement for a chicken restaurant on Yonge Street:

There was also this Consumers Gas ad that referenced the Chicken Palace:

I looked the Chicken Palace up in the Toronto city directories. The 1942 directory listed it at 404 Yonge Street, with Ben Ber as its proprietor. (I’ll bet that the signature on his cheques was easy to read.) Mr. Ber was still running the Chicken Palace in 1957, but he had retired by 1960; the manager was listed as Gus Alexander.

The restaurant didn’t last long after that – the 1962 directory lists a restaurant named The Moorings at that location. I would guess that the new restaurant featured fish instead of chicken.

A search turned up this postcard of the Chicken Palace, with no date provided.


Fifth column and fourth Axis power

Here’s an ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for an upcoming church service:

The three existing Axis Powers were, of course, Germany, Italy, and Japan. “Fifth column” was a term used to describe people who undermined a group from within on behalf of an enemy.

The background for this, as far as I can tell: in September 1939, Prime Minister Mackenzie King had pledged that Canada would not introduce overseas conscription for the duration of the Second World War. By 1942, some people were advocating conscription, and a plebiscite on April 27 of that year asked voters whether they were willing to let the Canadian government release itself from its promise not to send conscripted men overseas.

83% of English Canadians supported the plebiscite, which meant that eight of the nine provinces at that time supported it. But 72.9% of voters in Quebec opposed it, which presumably aroused the ire of Dr. Shields and Rev. Martin. The conscription crisis in Canada reached a peak in 1944, and is discussed in detail in this Wikipedia page.

This blog has encountered Dr. Shields a couple of times before – most recently, here. He was the pastor of the Jarvis Street Baptist Church from 1910 to 1955. A search for Reverend H. G. Martin revealed that somebody of that name travelled to the Ivory Coast as a Protestant missionary in about 1915; I have no idea if this was the same man.

A search for “Canadian Protestant League” threatened to send me down some deep Internet rabbit holes, so I didn’t follow the results too much. I did find a reference to a book written by Reverend Shields and others in 1945 titled Why The Canadian Protestant League Was Formed. Some of the chapter titles of the book are listed in this reference, indicating that the book was anti-Catholic and anti-Quebec.


Aching aching feet

Here’s a short ad from the July 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that caught my attention:

I’m not sure why the ad copy mentioned that the method of overcoming foot trouble was the most sensible in all America. Presumably, the method was imported from the United States, but the ad doesn’t say what it was.

The 1942 Toronto city directory lists Ross Wood’s Ltd. as a drug store, located on the second floor of the building at 197 Bay Street. J. B. Wood was listed as the firm’s president, but I couldn’t find anybody of that name in the directory – he or she must have lived out of town. The firm was new, as it wasn’t in the 1941 directory.

The 1943 directory lists the firm on the first floor of 160 Bloor East, the location in this ad. There’s no record of J. B. Wood there either. By 1944, the firm was gone, so people with aching, aching feet would have had to look elsewhere for a solution.


Students come north

The June 25 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this bit of obscure filler, complete with misspelling:


Assuming this filler is accurate, there were more South American students at LSU in 1941 than there are now: according to this page, there are now 81 South American students there (assuming that I counted them properly).