Two lives

The February 4 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two photographs of young men: one whose life had just ended, and one whose career had started to take off.

The first photo was of Carlyle Graham-Browne, who had just been killed in a car crash:


The accompanying article described a horrific single-vehicle crash:


The 1932 and 1933 city directories list Carlyle Graham-Browne as working as a general agent at the National Surety Company.

(By the way: the “Margot” in the neighbouring article was Margot Asquith, then the widow of a former Prime Minister of Britain. She is probably best known these days for being the target of a famous Dorothy Parker quotation: “The affair between Margot Asquith and Margot Asquith will live as one of the prettiest love stories in all literature.”)

The other man whose photograph I found had just been appointed as advertising manager at Holt, Renfrew and Company:


I traced Mr. Petersen, at least partially, in the city directories. He stayed at Holt, Renfrew for less than three years, as the 1936 directory lists him as the advertising manager for Langleys (the dry cleaning firm). Amusingly, the 1935 directory lists him as the advertising manager for the “Hotel Renfrew”.

He is missing from a few directories at the time of the Second World War, which suggests that he went off to fight. After the war, he gradually worked his way up to forming his own advertising partnerships; he appears in the 1969 directory as part of one, which is the last year that I can access online.


Arrested for attempted suicide

The January 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star tells a sad story of a young woman who attempted suicide and then was about to be arrested for it:


According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, suicide was decriminalized in Canada in 1972.

I tried to trace the unfortunate Ms. Mushet in the Toronto city directories. She is listed at 264 Garden Avenue, along with her sister and widowed mother, in the 1931 directory. None of the family appear in any other directory after that, as far as I know. There is no W. E. Smith listed at Harvard Avenue in any of the 1929, 1930, and 1931 directories; there are other Smiths on the street, but it’s a very common name.


Young Stribling

Here’s another photograph from the January 27 1930 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


William Lawrence (Young) Stribling Jr. (1904-1933) set a record in his short life: he fought 253 heavyweight bouts, more than any other fighter. He had been a boxer literally his whole life: as a child, he and his younger brother, “Baby” Stribling, were part of a family vaudeville act that ended with a mock fight between the two.

Stribling died in a motorcycle accident in 1933 while on his way to visit the hospital where his wife and his newborn third child were. He passed away in that hospital.


Arizona girls’ polo team

Here’s another photo from the December 18 1931 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Google searches revealed that Hortense Lindenfeld was an illustrator; she did the drawings for Early In The Saddle (1936) and her grandfather’s memoir, My Foot’s In The Stirrup (1937). Sadly, I also discovered that Hortense Lindenfeld Knowles passed away in January 1937 from pneumonia resulting from influenza. She had been sick for only five days, and married for a little more than three months.


Hardest task

The front page of the Toronto Daily Star for November 22 1946 included this story, which can only be described as sad and tragic:


A Google search turned up this entry from the British National Archives site, which indicates that Mr. Long’s death sentence was commuted. Records on this case are sealed until New Year’s Day 2023.


Deadly gas

The October 17 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two separate stories about people killed or injured by gas fumes in their home.

In the first, there appear to have been no casualties:


The second one, unfortunately, was more tragic:


I tried to trace Mrs. Partridge in the Toronto city directories, but with no luck. 228 Mutual Street is not listed in either the 1927 or 1928 directory, and I couldn’t find anyone named Partridge at an address similar to this. So I’m not sure whether this actually happened.


Tragedy in 1929

Car crashes were as tragic years ago as they are today. Here’s an especially sad photo on the front page of the October 8 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:



Parents tell police

The September 27 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this piece of sad news about a 17-year-old boy who had gone missing:


Sometimes, when I look up something like this in the Toronto city directories, I am happily able to determine that the missing person was found. Unfortunately, I could not find such satisfaction this time.

The 1928 city directory lists Phil Lichtman as living at 42 Grange and working as an operator at Eaton’s, but he doesn’t appear in the 1929 directory or in any subsequent directory that I looked at. I also tried the 1933 and 1938 directories to see if Louis Lichtman appeared under his own name as a young man, but no luck. So I hope he was found, but I have no way of knowing either way.


Sadly, they were right

Here’s the headline from the front page of the August 8 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, which really needs no further comment.



Condition weaker

The July 19 1934 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this bit of sad news about comedic actress Marie Dressler:


The “incurable disease” mentioned in this article was cancer, and Ms. Dressler passed away from it nine days later, on July 28, 1934. She was 65, not 62 as mentioned in the article.

She was born in Cobourg, Ontario. The home that she grew up in is now the Marie Dressler Museum and home to the Cobourg visitor information office. You can see it on Google Street View.