Please write again

Here’s an entry from the Personals section from the July 9 1920 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

July 9 1

I looked in the Toronto city directories for 1920 and 1921, and didn’t find a Mr. Stewart at 95 Crawford; the resident was listed as Mrs. Elizabeth A. Crookshank. There was a Thomas Stuart at 105 Crawford in 1920, but that’s probably not the same person.

However, I did find a Minnie Green in the 1920 directory, a stenographer living at 131 Drayton Avenue. If Mr. Stewart had thought to look in a convenient Toronto city directory, would he have found her? She wasn’t in the 1921 directory, so maybe he did.


You will not find me here

Here’s a cryptic pair of entries from the Personals column of the Toronto Daily Star in July 1920. First, this entry from July 7:

July 7 1

And this response, from July 8:

July 8 2

This seems like something out of a spy novel, but perhaps they were just needing wood to build a house.


Personals from 1920, part 4

Here’s a Personals ad from the July 6 1920 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that is somewhat heart-wrenching.

July 6 2

I hope that the poor widow with five children was eventually able to keep her family together.


Personals from 1920, part 3

Here’s an entry from the personals section of the July 6 1920 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

July 6 3

Since Ms. Martin had a Toronto address, I looked her name up in the Toronto city directories. The first problem is that there is no “Ainda Avenue” in Toronto; I looked in the Streets section and didn’t find a name that sounded close to that.

The only Alice Martin in the 1917 directory was the widow of James Martin, so she would not have roomed on Ainda Avenue, whatever that was. In the 1918 directory, the only Alice Martin worked as a housemaid at the Asylum. I suppose that could have been the Alice E. Martin in the personals entry – or, I suppose, the poor widow of James Martin was left with no choice but to seek a job as a housemaid.

Either way, I had no more luck finding Alice E. Martin than the personals writer had. The listing didn’t appear in the next edition of the paper, so either the writer gave up or had found her.


Personals from 1920, part 2

I’m continuing to look at the Personals sections from the July 1920 editions of the Toronto Daily Star. The July 3 1920 section contained this cryptic entry:

July 3 1

The next edition of the paper, on July 5, contained this response:

July 5 1

Neither Muddler nor M.S. had an entry in the July 6 paper.


Personals from 1920, part 1

Lately, I’ve grown fascinated by the Personals column from old newspapers, so I’ve gotten copies of all of them from the Toronto Daily Star for the month of July 1920.

One common type of ad at the time were requests for companionship/partners. Here’s a pair from July 3 1920:

July 3 2

There were also a lot of ads offering babies for adoption. Also from the July 3 paper:

July 3 3

I wish I knew what the letters at the bottom right of the ads meant. Presumably, they were a code indicating how long the ad was to run for. Though the first ad of this last pair actually listed the dates for the ad, so perhaps the letter codes meant something else.