Dying alone

Here’s a bit of filler from the March 20 1939 Globe and Mail that is unbearably sad to read:


If I read this correctly, Dr. Bond was dead for a week before anyone noticed he was missing.


Ill-fated ships

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if there were any newspapers that carried an ad for the Titanic before it sank on its maiden voyage. Sure enough, the April 8 1912 edition of the Toronto Globe contained this:


The body of the ad text misspelled the liner’s name as “Titantic”.

This is actually a two-for-one special: there is also an ad for the Lusitania, which was eventually torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915.


Marriage by proxy

The May 19 1915 edition of the Toronto Daily Star reported that marriage by proxy was a concept in use during the First World War, at least in France. This is where a bride pledged her vows to a groom who was away at the front, with a proxy standing in at the ceremony to speak the groom’s part. Here’s the article:


To me, this seems sad beyond words. I have no idea what happened to M. Lorin and Mlle. Martigny (who I guess became Mme. Lorin). I hope he returned home to her and they had many happy years together. I hope that Monsieur Firmin Souq also found someone to share his life with.


Free as a sea gull

Here’s an ad from the August 25 1931 Toronto Daily Star that featured an eventually ill-fated ship:


The SS Noronic, the first ship listed in this ad, was destroyed in a fire in the Toronto harbour in 1949, killing at least 118 people.

Times have changed: I don’t think there would be much demand nowadays for a cruise ship voyage from Toronto to Duluth and back.


Foot wired by Nazis as booby-trap

Here’s a depressing article from the February 8 1945 edition of the Toronto Daily Star. War is hell, the Nazis were evil (a word I don’t use lightly), and remind me never to complain about anything about my life.


Glad to hear that he made it out alive.

A Google search for William H. Edwards turned up nothing about this unfortunate private. He shares the same name and middle initial as William Henry Edwards, a 19th-century businessman and entomologist, but that’s not really useful.


Chloe Davis

Not everything in old newspapers is fun reading – some items are horrible, sad, or both. For example, here’s a news article from the April 8 1940 Toronto Daily Star:


This was a report of an unimaginably horrible crime, described in more detail here. Chloe Davis, an 11-year-old girl living in Los Angeles, woke up one day to discover that her mother had gone insane and was in the process of killing Chloe’s three younger siblings before eventually killing herself.

The girl apparently was unemotional by temperament, which made the LAPD suspicious of her. As a result, she was arrested for murder before forensic evidence (and evidence of her mother’s blooming insanity) cleared her.

One site I found on the Internet claimed that Ms. Davis died in 1987 in Indiana. There are other sites devoted to her case (including one with crime scene photos), but they make for depressing reading.



When looking at old newspapers, I find things that used to cause problems back then but don’t much any more. For example, here’s an article from the September 5 1913 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:


Such horrible tragic ways to die: because you had a small pimple on your face, stepped on a nail, or picked at a mosquito bite.

Thankfully, this is mostly a thing of the past in developed countries: the tetanus vaccine was developed in 1924 and became generally available in the United States in the 1940s. If Master Dalton Woodside had waited until then to be born, he would not have been killed by the deadly disease.


Canada brave and free

A small news item from the April 8 1940 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Photo 2018-04-08, 3 56 16 PM

I couldn’t find anything about the song on the Internet, but the Government of Canada website has a record of the burial site for Mrs. Tyas’s son. He is interred in the Vimy Memorial Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

From the “Ode of Remembrance”:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.