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).


Don’t waste tea

The June 25 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained several advertisements that stressed the importance of not wasting tea. I assume that this was because tea was shipped from overseas, and overseas shipping was difficult and costly because of the war.

The ad from Loblaws included this:


And the ad from the Red & White grocery chain included this:


And the Salada Tea company provided this ad:


The instructions appear to be the same in all three cases, though Salada makes a point of suggesting that the water be boiling furiously before pouring it into the teapot.


After The Storm

I’ve mentioned this before, but the Toronto Daily Star used to publish a poem every day on its editorial page, as the lead to its “A Little Of Everything” feature. I know very little about poetry, but the poems seem to me to vary widely in quality.

The poem that appeared in the October 16 1942 edition of the Daily Star is not one of my favourites – the central character writes with what I think is an Irish accent, and the text is somewhat melodramatic.


Since I’m a snoop, I thought I would try to look Frances Hanson up in the Toronto city directories, but I found nothing. She doesn’t appear by name in the 1941, 1942, and 1943 directories, and the listing at 368 Huron doesn’t include her. So either she was staying there for a while but was not listed as a resident, or somebody submitted this poem under a fake name and/or address. I’ll never know which.

If you’re interested in bad poetry, you’ve probably heard of William McGonagall, and you might have heard of Amanda McKittrick Ros.


Our Secret Weapon

The October 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this ad:


If you were going to hire somebody to broadcast war propaganda, is there a better name than “Rex Stout”?

Rex Stout (1886-1975), whose full name was Rex Todhunter Stout, was a mystery writer who was best known for creating detective Nero Wolfe. He wrote 33 novels and 39 novellas about Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin, between 1934 and his death. The Wolfe Pack website provides more details on Wolfe and on Stout’s writing.

Between 1942 and 1943, Stout cut back on his novel writing to produce 62 broadcasts of Our Secret Weapon. His goal was to refute short-wave propaganda being broadcast by the Axis. The Library of Congress now has a complete record of the typewritten pages of the scripts of these broadcasts, transferred onto a total of 8000 feet of microfilm.

After the war, Stout was accused of being a Communist by a prominent member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities and was closely watched by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. This seems misplaced, as Stout was a fierce anti-Communist; he was later condemned for being too harsh on Communism and too much in favour of the Vietnam War. Some days, you just can’t win.


Bashing Bob Cosgrove

Though Canada was at war in 1942, there was still time for sports and other amusements. The October 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photograph of an offensive lineman:


The Ontario Rugby Football Union, abbreviated O.R.F.U., was the last amateur football league in Canada; as you can guess from the name, it was based in Ontario. During the war, after the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union suspended its league play, many military teams were formed that played in the O.R.F.U. One of these teams, the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes, won the Grey Cup in 1942, becoming the last amateur team to do so.

Bob Cosgrove has a Wikipedia entry: he played for various Toronto-based football teams in the 1940s, including the Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers (called the Balm Balm Balmies in this photo).

The O.R.F.U. competed for the Grey Cup until 1954, by which time the I.R.F.U. (later to become the East Division of the Canadian Football League) and the Western Interprovincial Football Union (later to become the West Division of the CFL) had become fully professional. The O.R.F.U. ceased to exist in 1974.


Hats part 2!

Five years after the ads in yesterday’s blog entry, the October 16 1942 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included another round of Stetson hat ads.

As before, the first was a generic ad for Stetson hats.


Then there was an ad for L. J. Applegath and Son Limited:


As mentioned yesterday, L. J. Applegath and Son are related to Jess Applegath, who had his own hat firm, but the two firms appear to have been separate. They both lasted into the mid-1960s.

There were also ads for two firms that lasted much longer. First, an ad for Jack Fraser stores:


The Jack Fraser men’s clothing stores remained in existence until 2005.

The last ad was for Stollery’s, which was at the corner of Yonge and Bloor until very recently, when its building was replaced by a condo:


From these ads, it looks like the going price for a Stetson in 1942 was $6.50. Cheaper options were the Brock at $6 and the Kensington at $5.


Buying and the war

By the time that the March 31 1942 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail came out, Canada had been at war for some time. Naturally, the war affected people’s buying and saving habits, and it also affected the ads that appeared in that day’s paper.

For example, there was an ad encouraging Torontonians to save fats and bones:


I have no idea whether RAndolph 1400 was an official City of Toronto or Government of Canada number, or whether this was a clever way for somebody to acquire free fats and bones for some intended purpose or other. My guess is that it was actually legit.

By this time, price controls were in place in Canada, and the Bank of Nova Scotia provided a public service ad that encouraged Canadians to buy less and save more (preferably, with the help of the bank):


The Dominion Rubber Company pointed out that it was essential for your car’s tires to last as long as possible:


It wasn’t a pleasure car anymore – it was a war car!

Eaton’s kept with the spirit of things by stating there was no reason to panic buy:


Of course, there is always a dissenting voice in the crowd. Clifton’s Plumbing and Heating urged consumers to get their plumbing and heating needs dealt with now, as later might be too late:


W. F. Clifton and Company remained in business at 313 Brock Avenue until at least 1960. By then, though, it was being run by someone other than Mr. Clifton, who presumably had passed on.