Lady bowlers hold tea

Here’s a bit of filler from the June 10 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


The problems of the world must have seemed so far away.

There is now an Etobicoke Lawn Bowling Club at the corner of Islington and Dundas in Toronto. Since this is the centre of what used to be the town of Islington, I’m assuming that this is the same club.


Thief had meal then took cat

Here’s a bit of filler from the June 4 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I’m thinking that whoever wrote this does not have a cat. Of course, Mr. Cunningham’s cat is valuable!


Filler from 1934

Old-time newspaper editors often went to great length to ensure that there was no blank space left in any newspaper column, but few went further than whoever edited the front page of the May 21 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. Here’s two bits of filler used to tidy up the bottom of neighbouring page columns.

The first one was marginally interesting:


The second one, in the column to the left, is really grasping at straws.


One short sentence, and it contained a typo! Oh well – I guess 39 pickerel is a pretty good haul.


Completed wheat sowing

The April 16 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contains this item:


While it is obviously a good thing that the farmers in the Dina district of Alberta had sowed their wheat, I’m not sure that this bit of news was that interesting to readers in Toronto. But it succeeded in filling some column space, and that’s the important thing.

Dina, Alberta, is part of the County of Vermilion River. The nearest city is Lloydminster.


Blames on Presbyterians

Here’s an amusing bit of filler from the April 9 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I did a search in the 1934 and 1935 Toronto city directories for Rudolph Steigmeyer, but could not find him. Either he was from out of town, or the Daily Star misspelled his name.


Philadelphia filler

The February 7 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two bits of filler that originated in Philadelphia.

The first was an objection to “Dumb Doras”:


The original Dumb Dora was a comic strip created by Chic Young, who later went on to create Blondie.

The second was a statement about automobile speed:


Captain Ruch might be right about this.


Vesuvius’ tremors

Here’s a bit of filler in the February 4 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about the recent volcanic activity of Mount Vesuvius:


At the time of this article, Mount Vesuvius’s last major eruption had been on April 5 1906, killing more than 100 people and forcing the city of Naples to give up the 1908 Summer Olympics. The next major eruption was on March 18 1944.


Wife gets divorce decree

Here’s an odd bit of filler from the January 20 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


I’m not sure why a Scottish divorce merited space in a Toronto newspaper, but I guess anything that filled column space would do.

I guess it serves him right for committing misconduct with Virginia Groams.


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.


Two bit imposter

The December 11 1947 edition of the Toronto Daily Star had a brief article on a man who was going into taverns and pretending to be Tom Longboat, a famous Canadian runner:


Sadly, Tom Longboat was not alive for very long after this article appeared: he passed away from pneumonia in January, 1949.

Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Longboat had been plagued by an impersonator. In 1917, a man named Edgar Laplante travelled around America giving concerts and pretending to be him, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Transport Service under Longboat’s name. When the fake Longboat was killed in action, newspaper stories reported his death. His wife believed them, and remarried in 1918; when the real Longboat returned, she preferred to remain married to her new husband. Undaunted, Longboat remarried and had four children.