VINTAGE: This clip from the 1939 Miss Toronto pageant is Bomb Girls style classic

While most of us wouldn’t give up present day luxuries like basic modern medicine and women’s rights — and of course sweet, sweet Netflix — there is something alluring about the past. Take, for example, this newsreel footage of the 1939. The bathing suits look perhaps a little uncomfortable and the commentary is more than a little insensitive, but the glamour and elegance of the era is something that doesn’t seem to have made it to today.

The commentary is as follows:

“Youth and beauty at the Canadian Police Games. Who wouldn’t be a policeman in Toronto? After a few minutes of this sort of thing our tame camerman can hardly bear it. What did you say is the fare to Toronto? Anyway, they’re out to pick Miss Toronto of 1939, and the mayor hands it to 19 year old Nancy Morris. Would you? Look out girlie, you’ll tumble!”

The Toronto mayor handing the sash to the winner is Ralph C. Day, whose Wikipedia picture also appears to have been taken at the Miss Toronto pageant, albeit the year before in 1938. His biggest scandal (no, not crack) came in 1940 when Canada went to war with Italy. Italian men were interned, much like Japanese people in Canada were at the same time, and Mayor Day was adamant that the families of the Italian men unable to provide while interned would not receive welfare, stating “this country is at war with Italy and Italians cannot very well expect us to spend money for war purposes for the purpose of maintaining alien enemies.”

Yikes, maybe the romantic vision of the past isn’t so great after all.