BEATRICE WHITE, FLY-SWATTING CHAMP, LIVED IN TORONTO & WHACKED 500,000 FLIES ONE SUMMER

From the Cabbagetown Regent Park Museum – In August 1912, BEA WHITE of Regent Street, spent several weeks whacking or trapping flies, ridding her neighbourhood of the pests. She earned $50 (about $1250 now) for her efforts.

Why target the fly? To call attention to the unsanitary conditions that caused sickness and death in TORONTO’s overcrowded inner city. And why so many flies? Blame it on the horse.  In this pre-automobile era horses produced piles of manure, perfect for breeding the “queen of the dung hill”

The contest was halted when organizers discovered some competitors were breeding flies to be killed. <IMAGES – City of TORONTO Archives>

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