Be Lux lovely

Here’s an ad for Lux soap from the May 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring a young Elizabeth Taylor:


Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) was 19 at the time of this ad.

Father’s Little Dividend (1951) was the sequel to Father Of The Bride, a successful and critically acclaimed film released in 1950. The sequel was almost equally successful.

Father’s Little Dividend is now in the public domain, as MGM did not renew the copyright on it in 1979. There are several copies of the movie on YouTube; here’s one.


Crawled last five miles

Here’s part of an article from the May 23 1951 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, outlining what was to appear in that weekend’s Star Weekly issue. Unfortunately, parts of the article are garbled.


Katalin Karády (1910-1990) lived in interesting times (to paraphrase the old Scottish curse). Crawling five miles to escape Communism was by no means the toughest ordeal that she had to endure:

  • When the Germans invaded Hungary in 1944, she was accused of spying for the Allied Forces, and spent three months in prison. She was tortured and nearly beaten to death.
  • In 1949, all of her films were banned, and she was beaten and abused by the Communists.

After escaping Hungary in 1951, Ms. Karády lived briefly in Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium before relocating to São Paulo, Brazil, in 1953, where she opened a fashion shop. In 1968, she moved to New York City. When invited to return to Hungary in 1980 to commemorate her 70th birthday, she sent a hat in her place.

Olivér Lantos (1917-1981) appeared in two movies in Hungary.


Insomnia cure

Here’s a fun bit of filler from the January 5 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


“You are getting drowsee-ee-ee… So Sleep-ee-ee…”

The trick might have been to play the record over and over again, I suppose. Good night, all.


Mother of actress sues

The January 5 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contains this brief blurb about a somewhat dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship:


Lisa Kirk (1925-1990) went on to have a long career in theatre and television. She passed away from lung cancer despite being a non-smoker, which seems like horrible bad luck. I could find nothing on what happened to her mother’s lawsuit.



The January 5 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reported on unusually mild weather that winter, blaming it on Russian atomic testing.


I looked up the weather records for December 1949 and for the winter of 1950 to see whether the temperatures had been unusually mild. I discovered that December 1949 had been warmer than usual: there were five days with a high temperature above 10C, and only one stretch that was unusually cold (December 6 to 10).

The first part of January continued the trend: January 3 had a high of 13.9C, and it was 11.1C on the 4th. There were additional mild days: it was 13.3C on the 13th, 11.7C on the 26th, and a startlingly warm 16.7C on the 25th. After that, things settled down a bit: there were no days in February above 3.3C, and the high temperature on February 20 was -16.1C. So the Soviets’ influence on the weather must have worn out by then.


There’ll always be an England

The January 14 1958 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo:


Sarah Churchill (1914-1982) was an actress, a dancer, and Winston Churchill’s daughter. She had been widowed in 1957, and was to be widowed again five years later.


Mark 50th wedding

Here’s a brief note in the December 9 1950 Toronto Daily Star about a 50th wedding anniversary:


As usual with these, I ghoulishly looked Mr. Wall up in the Toronto city directories to see how long he lasted after this event. The record is inconclusive: a Henry Wall appears at 38 Fernwood Park Avenue until 1956. He’s not there in 1957, but two Henry Walls disappear and one appears at a different location in that directory, so there’s always the possibility that he moved to a new home at the age of 90. You never know: perhaps he’s still around and he’s still moving.


Nazi actor’s Berlin show

Here’s a small article from the December 9 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Werner Krauss (1884-1959) was not only “Nazi-favored” – he was openly anti-Semitic, and a wholehearted supporter of the Nazi Party. Among other things, he simultaneously played six Jewish stereotypes in an anti-Jewish propaganda film. Eventually, he was forgiven enough that he was invited to German film festivals.

Curt Reiss (1902-1993), mentioned in the body of the article, was a Nazi refugee who became an American war correspondent. He has a Wikipedia page, but it’s in German.


60 a day

The December 9 1950 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this brief article about a measles epidemic in Hamilton:


This is a sobering reminder that childhood diseases such as measles were common before the introduction and standard use of vaccines such as the MMR vaccine. (I was a small child in the 1960s, and I remember contracting mumps and chicken pox. As I recall, my sisters contracted rubella, but I did not.)


Study this picture

Here’s an ad for a housing development in Scarborough from the December 2 1955 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


The neighbourhood still exists today – here’s a closeup of it in Google Maps. There’s also this Google Street View picture of a house that looks like the one in the drawing.