1933 Mail and Empire Women’s Pages 1: Chop Suey and Cookies

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During a research dive into the pages of the Mail and Empire while preparing this article, I wound up collecting two months worth of women’s pages, which I figured might make an interesting ongoing series for this website. The paper had a rich history of covering women’s domestic affairs and social issues stretching back to Kit Coleman’s pioneering work during the 1890s.

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Caricature of Izaak Walton Killam, Maclean’s, April 1, 1933.

In 1933, the Conservative-leaning Mail and Empire was Toronto’s largest morning paper, ahead of the Liberal-leaning Globe (the Star and Telegram, both of which had larger circulations, battled it out for evening readers). It was owned by Izaak Walton Killam, one of Canada’s richest businessmen. In keeping with his shy, modest persona, Killam tended to keep out of the editorial staff’s way.

Some excerpts from a profile of Killam written by Charles Vining that was published by Maclean’s that year:

Mr. Killam lives in Montreal and is a perfect example of what once was known as the financial magnate, a species rendered almost extinct by the glacial action of frozen assets.

He has a power company in Calgary, a chocolate concern in Halifax, a newsprint enterprise at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and a good deal of trouble with all of them.

He also owns a newspaper in Toronto called the Mail and Empire, and has hoped some day to own the Globe as well.

A great many people has wondered why in the world he bought the Mail and Empire, and are even more puzzled as to what a man would do with two newspapers, especially two Toronto newspapers. [Note: the two papers were united as the Globe and Mail by George McCullagh and William Wright in 1936].

He does not speak at all unless he has to.

He is nearly always tired.

He is nearly fifty, wears blue suits, carries a yellow stick, and has romantic brown eyes and a complexion that makes him look slightly in need of a shave.

He made a strict rule some years ago not to be interviewed or photographed by the press, and has had little difficulty about this during the last couple of years.

In spite of the inconvenience which frequently results, he is disposed by nature to be friendly with people.

For more on Killam, check out an episode of CBC Radio’s Ideas series which covers his life, and the philanthropic legacy he left, including scholarships and a lot of money for the Canada Council.

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Mail and Empire, March 1, 1933.

Future posts will discuss the identity of “Ann Adam,” so for now let’s dive right into the table talk about food. The main feature was a series of “ethnic” meat recipes. Understanding of non-European dishes was slowly evolving, as was the bastardization of meals inspired by exotic locales. In 2019, little screams “Mexican” about that meat loaf other than tomatoes.

Next was a lecture from a series sponsored by Consumer’s Gas, which spends today stressing the importance of meal accessories. The lectures were held at the Consumer’s Gas Showroom, an art deco-influenced architectural gem built two years earlier.

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Mail and Empire, March 1, 1933.

Some cookie recipes to get you through your late winter malaise.

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Mail and Empire, March 1, 1933.

A brief word from our sponsors. Underweight children will become a recurring advertising theme.

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Mail and Empire, March 1, 1933.

A mixture of features here, including a spinach recipe, a cutesy cartoon, and an update on a social service organization.

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Mail and Empire, March 1, 1933.

Finally, a syndicated cartoon which ran across North American throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

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