Elderly people, come to Victoria!

Here’s an ad from the May 1 1954 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


The Glenshiel Hotel still exists at this location – a sign at the entranceway boasts that it has been in existence since 1908. Their website advertises the hotel as “affordable living for independent seniors”. Keep this for future reference if you do not need it now!


Power shortage

When looking through the November 22 1948 Toronto Daily Star, I discovered that Toronto’s electrical grid was having trouble meeting the demands of its residents, resulting in a power shortage.

Here’s an official announcement on the shortage, advising people how to install their own electricity supply safely:

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And the CCF (forerunner to today’s NDP) hosted a discussion of the shortage:

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Some venues had their own electricity supply, and boasted that they suffered no power cuts. One of these was the Horseshoe Tavern, which, last year, celebrated its 70th anniversary. Here’s an ad from the year after they opened, along with an ad for another entertainment option, the Embassy Tavern:

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The Horseshoe also offered television! The Embassy Tavern is long gone, by the way – Harry Rosen tailors is now there.


Do you want a diamond?

From the Toronto Daily Star, February 15 1924:

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I’m sure that the seller obtained his goods in an entirely legitimate manner.

By the way, I’m fascinated by the letter and numbering system that appears next to some ads. What does “” mean?


The princess and Abbey’s

From the April 8 1940 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, two unrelated items:

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Queen Farida (1921-1988) was the Queen of Egypt for nearly eleven years, between 1937 and 1948, before King Farouk divorced her. The daughter mentioned in this article was Princess Fawzia Farouk (1940-2005), who became an athlete, a pilot, a sailor, and a professional interpreter, becoming fluent in five languages; this last enabled her to earn her living after she lost her royal status. The last years of her life were tragic: she contracted multiple sclerosis, which left her paralyzed and bedridden.

Abbey’s Effervescent Salt appears to be yet another of the endless stream of patent medicines advertised in newspapers. I couldn’t find out what it was, but I did discover that the Klondike Official Guide recommended that gold-seekers bring an ample supply of Abbey’s Effervescent Salt to the north with them. Presumably, it was important to clear your system regularly while moiling for gold.


A good, jolly dance

Here’s an ad from the September 5 1913 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

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I have no idea why the letters c and t were joined with that strange loop, but I guess font design was different back then.

The Victrola was a brand of gramophone invented by the Victor Talking Machine Company, and was designed to look like a piece of furniture. More details on it can be found here.



From the April 8 1940 Toronto Daily Star:

Giving a chewable minty gum laxative to a child just seems… ugh.

For more on Feen-a-mint:

    • A 1970 commercial
    • A 1979 commercial
    •  A history of Feen-a-mint
    • A site that discusses the components of Feen-a-mint – it’s basically just bisacodyl, which is an organic compound that gives marching orders to your bowels. Carter’s Little Pills, a patent medicine that is likely to appear in these pages sometime soon, are also made of this stuff.

Important fact: there is no further laxative effect after the first three minutes of chewing.



From the April 8 1940 Toronto Daily Star:

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Wikipedia informs me that a truss was a surgical appliance used to provide support for patients suffering from a hernia. They are not used nowadays; apparently, they often made the problem worse. (Fun fact: 27% of males and 3% of females develop a groin hernia at some time in their life. Reassuringly, groin hernias that do not cause symptoms in males do not need to be repaired.)


King of pain

Here’s an ad from the August 25 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star.

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Not sure why they singled out baseball, but here we are. King of Pain!

Wikipedia has an entry on Minard’s Liniment. The liniment was apparently created in Hants County, Nova Scotia, in the 1860s by Dr. Levi “The King Of Pain” Minard. The active ingredients are camphor, ammonia water, and medical turpentine. Not to be taken internally.

A geocaching website has an article on Levi Minard. At the age of 52, he graduated from the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio.



This is from the July 6 1944 Toronto Daily Star:

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That is a pretty good name for a toilet bowl cleaner, you have to admit.

Searches for Flusho, Flusho cleaner, and Flusho toilet bowl cleaner yielded nothing – it’s as if this brand never existed. Clearly, Flusho was, erm, flushed out of the market by Drano.