Advice for parents

So far, I have found three advice columns for parents from the 1930s and 1940s.

The earliest was from the January 7 1932 Toronto Daily Star:


I couldn’t find out much about Mrs. Gladys Huntington Bevans, other than that she (probably) lived from 1882 to 1947, and was the author of the 1930 pamphlet A Group of Simple and Beautiful Prayers and Graces for Children.

The next one is from the November 27 1936 edition of the Toronto Globe and Mail:


Angelo Patri (1876-1965) was a New York City school principal, syndicated columnist, and author. He wrote a number of books intended for adults, and some Pinocchio books for children. There is now a New York middle school named after him.

And, lastly, here’s a column from the February 8 1945 Toronto Daily Star:


Myrtle Meyer Eldred (1885-1978) started her newspaper column in 1918. A collection of her columns was published in 1931 and reprinted in 1951. One writer claimed that Ms. Eldred tended to think that all babies should be treated exactly alike, which is probably a bad thing.


The morning argument

The November 26 1936 edition of the Globe and Mail contained this pair of syndicated cartoons, bundled together as “The Morning Argument”:


Robert Quillen (1887-1948) was a journalist and humorist based in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. By the 1930s, his work was regularly appearing in over 400 newspapers. The cartoon in “Aunt Het” was drawn by illustrator John H. Striebel (1891-1962).

Claude Callan (1881-1956) was a humorist and newspaper columnist who lived in Texas. “Poor Pa” was created in 1925, and was syndicated in over 100 newspapers by the early 1930s. I’m not sure who the illustrator was, but “Poor Pa” looks a lot like “Aunt Het”, so it might have been drawn by Mr. Striebel as well.


Good grief, Mr. Ripley

Recently, I was reading a biography of Charles Schulz (of Peanuts fame). In an early chapter, the book mentioned that Mr. Schulz, as a boy, sent an item to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not about his dog, and that it was published on February 22, 1937.

The Toronto Daily Star ran Ripley’s Believe It Or Not as a regular feature, and I found it:


As the biography explains, “Sparky” was Mr. Schulz’s childhood nickname. I might be imagining things, but I think the dog looks a bit like Snoopy.


Oofy Glue

Here’s a piece that appeared in the February 15 1924 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I think Oofy Glue appeared regularly in the Daily Star at that time – I’ll have to double-check. A Google search turned up nothing at allĀ  – Oofy, whoever he is, has been lost to history. Perhaps it’s just as well.


Is there folk music in Canada?

When looking through old editions of the Toronto Daily Star, I discovered two competing viewpoints on the question of whether there is authentic folk music in Canada. On the “no” side, there is this article from the April 8 1940 edition:


Taking the “yes” side is this article from May 1 1954:IMG_0863

Boris Berlin (1907-2001) was a pianist and music teacher who taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music for many decades. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, but passed away before the ceremony that honoured him.

Leslie Bell (1906-1962) did a bunch of musical things, including being the chair of the musical department at the Ontario College of Education from 1939 to 1948.

I have no idea whether these two men ever met. They were almost exact contemporaries, so it may very well have happened. I like to think of their meeting descending into a shouting match, especially since Dr. Bell described his opposing viewpoint as “a bit stupid”.


A man talks to women

“A Man Talks To Women” was a regular column that appeared in the Toronto Daily Star around the time of the Second World War. Here’s the entry for April 8, 1940, which expresses some, um, traditional viewpoints on the relationships between young men and young women:

Photo 2018-04-08, 3 57 52 PM

George Anthiel (1900-1959) led a varied life. Besides being an advice columnist, he was an avant-garde composer, a mystery writer, and the co-inventor (with actor Hedy Lamarr) of a frequency-hopping method of ensuring that signals to radio-guided torpedoes are not jammed. (The Scientific American article on this is here.)

Anthiel also appears to have been something of a creep. He wrote a series of articles on how to detect the availability of women based on “glandular effects”, with titles such as “The Glandbook For The Questing Male”, which is seriously icky. Gizmodo has an article on this; apparently, Ms. Lamarr first approached Anthiel because she wanted information on how to increase her bust size, and the conversation apparently turned to torpedoes after she figured out that he knew nothing about enhancement.