1933 Mail and Empire Women’s Pages 7: See the New Cookery Methods and Latest Fashions

me 1933-04-06 cooking school ad

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

And so (after a long hiatus for this series), we roll into day 3 of the Mail and Empire‘s cooking school and fashion revue.

me 1933-04-06 cooking school prizes 500 px

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

A sampling of the prizes used to entice readers to attend the cooking demonstrations.

me 1933-04-06 fashions sweep across stage of cooking school

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933. Click on image for larger version.

A sampling of the styles displayed during the fashion revue.

me 1933-04-06 crepes suzettes are you attending our cooking school

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933.

Beyond the reminders to attend the cooking school, regular content carried on. In this case, recipes for crepes suzettes and mayo.

me 1933-04-06 table talkers and cooking school ads

Mail and Empire, April 6, 1933. Click on image for larger version.

A full page of recipes, alongside ads for the cooking school’s suppliers. The Acme Farmers Dairy plant was located on Walmer Road south of Casa Loma. After a succession of ownership changes, the plant closed in 1986 and was replaced with housing. Pickering Farms was acquired by Loblaws in 1954.

Mrs. Shockley was rolling in endorsements during her stay in Toronto. On April 6 alone, besides these two ads, she also pitched Mazola Corn Oil and Parker’s Cleaners.

anchora of delta gamma 1932-01 katherine bayley 1

anchora of delta gamma 1932-01 katherine bayley 2

Anchora of Delta Gamma, January 1932.

Sidebar: a contemporary biography of Katherine Caldwell Bayley (1889-1976), aka Ann Adam. Beyond what’s mentioned here, she also wrote several cookbooks as Ann Adam or whatever house names her clients used. Based in Toronto, she ran Ann Adam Homecrafters, a consulting agency which operated through the 1960s. Among her assistants was Helen Gagen, who later became food editor of the Telegram.

globe 1935-02-21 ad for ann adam's radio show

The Globe, February 21, 1935.

An ad for one of Bayley’s regular radio gigs. CKGW, which was owned by Gooderham and Worts distillery, was leased by the forerunner of the CBC around 1933 and changed its call letters to CRCT. On Christmas Eve 1937 it became CBL.

gm 1942-09-24 first gm ann adam food column

Bayley’s first “Today’s Food” column for the Globe and Mail, September 24, 1942.

When the Mail and Empire merged with the Globe in November 1936, Bayley’s columns were not carried over. Six years passed before she joined the Globe and Mail as a daily food columnist on “The Homemaker Page.”

Her reintroduction stressed the realities of wartime home economics. “This daily column is designed to help you with the sometimes rather complicated problem of adjusting your cooking and meal-planning to the regulations necessary in a country at war,” the page editor wrote in the September 25, 1942 edition. “Some foods are rationed; some are no longer obtainable, and of others we are asked voluntarily to reduce our consumption. All this, and the effort, in spite of it, to increase, rather than decrease our physical efficiency to enable us to fill wartime jobs, involves more careful catering for our families and a skillful use of substitutes.”

gm 1963-02-27 honor food columnist for 50 years service

Globe and Mail, February 27, 1963.

gm 1964-12-31 final ann adam column

Globe and Mail, December 31, 1964.

Bayley’s final G&M column received no fanfare elsewhere in the paper, but went out in a partying mood.

Back to the cooking school…

 

me 1933-04-07 cooking school enjoyed by 2000 women 1

me 1933-04-07 cooking school enjoyed by 2000 women 2

By April 7, the cooking school was front page advertorial copy…um…news.

me 1933-04-07 riches embarassment only description of cooking show menu

Mail and Empire, April 7, 1933.

Next: the cooking school wrap-up.

1933 Mail and Empire Women’s Pages 6: The News You Have Been Waiting For!

me 1933-03-27 cooking show fashion revue ad

Mail and Empire, March 27, 1933.

As part of their efforts to develop loyal relationships with their readers, newspapers have frequently sponsored public contests and exhibitions. Early in the spring of 1933, the Mail and Empire’s women’s pages announced that, along with Simpson’s department store, it was sponsoring a four-day exhibition of cooking exhibitions and seasonal fashions.

me 1933-03-29 prizes for cooking show patrons

Mail and Empire, March 29, 1933.

Readers were teased with a promotional display highlighting the goodies they might take home if they attended the exhibition.

I suspect most of the attendees would have fit the Mail and Empire’s conservative middle class profile. Would this event have drawn in city housewives struggling with the effects of the Great Depression? I’d be curious if, say, the Star or Telegram presented a similar exhibition for their working class audiences.

me 1933-03-30 cooking show fashion review ad

Mail and Empire, March 30, 1933.

Information online about Mrs. J. Watson Shockley is scarce, as at least one other person looking into her story discovered. It appears she was active on the cooking presentation circuit between 1928 and 1936, primarily in the eastern United States. Searches through the online archives of the Globe/Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star turned up nothing, so presumably she didn’t participate in any women’s exhibitions presented by either of those papers.

bradford era 1928-03-07 mention of watson shockley in pennsylvania

Bradford [Pennsylvania] Era, March 7, 1928. Outside of a book listed on Amazon claiming to be from 1926, one of the earliest references I found for the mysterious Mrs. Shockley.

One of the most frustrating elements in the search for Mrs. Shockley that is not uncommon for this era: nowhere is her first name mentioned. It is possible that “J” was her first initial, but it’s equally possible it was her husband’s.

me 1933-03-30 show invitation

Mail and Empire, March 30, 1933.

An invitation from Ann Adam to all of her “Table Talkers.”

me 1933-03-31 sponge cake table set for cooking school small

Mail and Empire, March 31, 1933.

As the exhibition neared, the teasers increased. More photos of Mrs. Shockley were published, but her biographical info only rehashed what had already been included in earlier ads.

me 1933-04-05 ice cream pie invite to cooking school

Mail and Empire, April 5, 1933.

me 1933-04-05 shockley recipes

Mail and Empire, April 5, 1933.

A sampling of Mrs. Shockley’s cooking ideas from day one of the cooking school. I love asparagus, but I’m not sure how I feel about combining it with a sweet shortcake.

Also note the plug inserted at the bottom of the Crisco ad. Hopefully Mrs. Shockley’s french fries did not “raise the old Harry.”

me 1933-04-05 tea-bisk cooking school ads

Mail and Empire, April 5, 1933.

Maybe Mrs. Shockley used Tea-Bisk as a shortcut onstage for her asparagus shortcake?

Next: more ads, recipes, and pictures from the exhibition.

Neon Narcissism

IMG_6184a

This weekend, I checked out the pop-up neon exhibition in a condo sales centre in The Junction. Entering the space, my eyes should have been drawn to a lit sign rescued from a short-lived restaurant in Chinatown. Instead, the first thing I noticed was a woman sitting on the ground in front of the “Lucky” sign, posing for a long series of pictures. She attempted to cultivate a seductive mood, perhaps hoping that whoever saw the end result would feel as lucky as the neon message behind her.

Elsewhere in the small exhibition space, it was nearly impossible to read the curatorial material. Doing so interfered with the selfie-takers snapping endless pictures of themselves striking poses with little consideration that others might want a few moments to take in the displays.

My temperature rose.

IMG_6186a

A moment for myself and others to take a regular photo. 

All I thought of was my honeymoon in Paris two years ago. The day we visited the Louvre, the city was under tight security after a terrorist threat that morning. After a long wait to get into the museum, my irritation grew as other tourists, armed with selfie sticks, blocked exhibits.

And walkways.

And staircases.

Trying to navigate the Louvre felt like an obstacle course, with every path blocked by those more interested in themselves than any of historical or cultural contexts surrounding them. I wanted to re-enact the scene in Airplane! where Robert Stack decks anyone in his way en route to air traffic control.

I felt less danger that day from terrorists than being accidentally knocked in the head or jabbed in the side by a selfie-stick.

IMG_6193a

Back in the present I decided to move along. It was a relief when, after leaving the exhibit, someone who appeared to be a condo centre employee directed me into a model living room to check out one more neon installation. While it didn’t convince me to invest in a unit, it placed me far away from the selfie horde, allowing my temperature to lower.

Talking to others who visited the exhibit revealed similar frustrations. The pop-up was a great idea to provide exposure for a future neon museum downtown, but it felt like too many of the people I saw there were only present for narcissistic reasons. I imagined some of them moving on to whatever is this season’s version of Sweet Jesus, buying over-the-top food for a picture then barely eating it before tossing it in the garbage bin.

IMG_6183a

POSTSCRIPT: Speaking of garbage, the block of Old Weston Road behind Junction House was full of debris. There was a comforting seat with its own shopping cart…

IMG_6200a

…and the answer to “Where do Readers Digest Condensed Books ultimately wind up?”.

Self-Promotion Department: War’s End

IMG_5710small

If you visit the Peel Art Gallery, Museum + Archives before October 6, check out War’s End: Peel Stories of World War I, the latest museum exhibit I assisted with.

IMG_5696small

Focusing on the aftermath of the war, the displays look at the impact the conflict had on the residents of what was then Peel County.

IMG_5720small

Also worth checking out (if you visit before June 30) is North is Freedom: The Legacy of the Underground Railroad, a photo essay depicting descendants of those who fled to Canada to escape slavery in the American south.

Secrets of the Maya

Originally published on Torontoist on November 17, 2011.

20111117blueman

Part of the press preview festivities.

As we approached the seating area for a press conference about the Royal Ontario Museum’s next major exhibit yesterday, we were greeted by a man in blue body paint and a tall headdress wielding a weapon. While he was there to pose for the media (and is pictured above), we couldn’t resist letting our imagination run free to speculate that he was on hand as a ghost of a past civilization warning us of future calamity.

Along with the ROM’s recently reduced admission prices, it probably won’t hurt the museum’s attendance figures that the Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World exhibit that opens to the public this Saturday ties into the hype surrounding the Mayan long-form calendar prophecies—ones that some believe spell either glory or doom for the world next December.

20111117mask
Funerary mask made of jade, shell, and obsidian, circa 250-600 CE. Royal Ontario Museum.

The exhibition is a collaborative effort between the ROM, the Canadian Museum of Civilization (where it will run later in 2012), and Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (Spanish website). Over 250 artifacts ranging from giant incense burners to rings for ball games have been gathered from the ROM’s collection, various museums in the Yucatan, and institutions from overseas (British Museum) and across the street (Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art). Many items, especially those recently excavated from the ruins of the city of Palenque, are being presented in public for the first time.

Installed in the basement Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall, the exhibit is divided into seven sections covering various aspects of Mayan culture: The Maya World, The City, Cosmology and Ritual, Writing and Timekeeping, The Palace, Death, and Collapse and Survival. We were particularly drawn to the Writing and Timekeeping section, especially the exhibits on the efforts to decipher the glyphs that are the written legacy of the Mayans. Videos and touch-screen panels explain how researchers have determined that the symbols often represent syllables instead of individual letters or whole words. Like the rest of the exhibit, this section includes recreations of objects on display so that the visually impaired or those who enjoy a tactile component as part of their museum experience can touch the items without damaging the originals. This section also addresses the stories around 2012 and the Mayan calendar, including a projected clock on the wall. The ROM is also offering numerous tie-ins to the show, including a lecture series, graphic novels, and a Maya-themed sleepover for kids.

As part of the press conference, we were served samples of Mayan-themed dishes that will appear on the menus of both C5 and the Food Studio Cafe during the exhibit’s run, including some rich hot chocolate. No toasts to the upcoming apocalypse, though.

Exhibiting the Human Edge

Originally published on Torontoist on December 4, 2013.

As soon as you enter The AstraZeneca Human Edge at the Ontario Science Centre, you can predict which exhibit kids will run to: the climbing wall on the immediate left. A stand-in for mountaineering, the wall represents the limits of human endurance—the theme of many of the displays, which make their public debut on December 7.

The first new permanent exhibition hall to open at the Science Centre in seven years, The AstraZeneca Human Edge features 80 exhibits that explore the boundaries of our bodies as they develop from conception to death. The exhibits are grouped into five thematic areas, each of which focuses on a different kind of human limitation, such as aging or physical injury.

One of the first stops is a tall cone containing a free-diving simulation. Featuring narration from world-record-holder Mandy-Rae Cruickshank Krack, the chamber combines sound and watery lighting evocative of a deep dive. The effect is stunning—by the time Krack reaches the dark reaches of her 88-metre descent, the pressure of the depths gnaws at your head.

That pressure is relieved by a nearby case filled with oddities and artifacts from the weight-loss industry. You can test the effectiveness of rollers designed to glide away the pounds, listen to exercise records (with full orchestral accompaniment!) from the 1920s, gaze upon boxes of tragically named appetite-suppressant candies, and browse advertisements for slenderizing products parodied by Monty Python.

On a more serious historical note, the corner devoted to diabetes treatment includes a refurbished version of Frederick Banting and Charles Best’s University of Toronto lab. A series of phones offers users historical diagnoses of the disease from the Victorian era to the near future. Sadly, none are narrated by Wilford Brimley. If you were recently informed that you have diabetes, please don’t dial up Sir William Osler for a second opinion.

We tested the “aging machine,” which snaps your photo and projects your future appearance for every decade until you hit 70. The results are alternately amusing and terrifying, depending on how deeply lined your face becomes. You can then share the image of your aged visage on nearby screens, or type in a code that will allow you to download the photos at home.

Elsewhere in the hall, you’ll find the usual assortment of buttons, cross-sections, and dials intended to inform and amuse patrons. It’s likely staff will hear every sperm joke invented if they hang around long enough by the interactive display illustrating how many little swimmers will reach the final conception heats.

During her opening remarks at today’s media preview, Ontario Science Centre CEO Lesley Lewis warned that “it’s not quite finished.” If you’re planning a holiday visit, be warned that several major interactive displays won’t be ready for prime time until late January. Currently marked by tape outlines on the floor, the “Personal Limits” area will include a dance floor that converts your moves into electricity, rowing machines, and a running track that will videotape your gait for all to see. Until that section is functional, the hall can’t help but feel like a work in progress.