Saturday, September 4, 2010

Three Brothers

I like the running board on this car. I like the fact that they can sit on it. I think it's too bad cars don't have running boards these days.

These men are brothers, 3 of 16 siblings born to Fred Gerner and Elvira (Bartley) Gerner.

From left to right are John, Lon or Fon, and Warren.

John was born in November, 1882, in Winfield, West Virginia. His parents were married in Butler County, Pennsylvania, but moved to WV and stayed for a number of years. They later moved back to Butler County.

Alonzo and Alfonzo (Lon and Fon for short) were twins, born in July, 1874, also in West Virginia. I believe they were identical because in the other photo I have of them, a nephew who knew them couldn't tell them apart. If I knew the year of the car, it might help tell which brother this is. Lon died in October, 1940, so if the car is a 1941 model, this would be Fon.

Warren was born in July, 1890, in Butler County, Pennsylvania. When one of his nephews sent me some photographs of Gerner family members, I remembered this photo from my mother's album. It was identified only with first names of these men. But who could miss that handsome man with the bald head, and I was able to identify these men as Gerner siblings.

Do you have a guess what year this photo was taken? I'd be grateful for estimates based on the car or the ages of the men.

Do you remember running boards on cars? Did you ever sit or ride on one? Do you have photographs of fathers or grandfathers, uncles or great-uncles posed near cars?

If you enjoyed looking at this photograph you might enjoy other Sepia Saturday posts.


  1. I do remember running boards.. but I'd have no idea of when was taken. I can even bring to mind how cars smelled back then.. leather. I can feel the leather seats, shiny and firm. No seat belts. Bench seats. I'm no use to you at all really Nancy!

  2. Oh I agree with you. Style started an uninterrupted downhill spiral once cars did,'t have running boards any more and men didn't wear hats. I do my bit to try and reverse the latter trend but, as yet, have been unable to find a car with a running board.

  3. Wonderful picture! I love the paired names, Alonzo and Alfonzo. Lots of that around here -- Elsie and Delsie, Mearl and Pearl . . .

    My husband thinks the car is late Thirties, possibly early Forties (though not many cars were made in the Forties during WWII.) He noticed the antenna on the car -- which he wondered if might have been added later.

  4. Oh my gosh (and no, I don't remember running boards, though I've seen photos of old cars that had them) -- the twin names, including the ones that Vicki recited -- remind me of when my oldest son was born. There were twin baby girls in the intensive care nursery with him. They didn't have names for the longest time, just "Baby A" and "Baby B" on the dry-erase board that held notes. And then finally, there were names posted. Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. A little bit country?

  5. I have a wonderful photo of my father posed in front of what I believe is the exact same car. I've done some "Googling" and as near as I can tell, it appears to be a 1941 Chevrolet Business Coupe. My grandfather was a traveling salesman, so it makes sense that he would own one of these cars.

    This one has been jazzed up, and is minus the running boards.

    Hope this helps a bit!

  6. Three stylish gentlemen and a very swish car.

  7. Warren certainly is handsome. It sure was easier to get in and out of cars with running boards. All the teenagers had cars with them when I was young (late 50's) although I don't think the newer models had them.

  8. Nice car, handsome man of times gone by. In my family was a similar car but I am not sure what year, it was a fairly big car, a cabriolet as the hood could be put down, I remember it had a running board, unfortunately I have never seen a photo I do not know why as my mother was a keen photographer, I am talking about around 1947.

  9. I'd think this was the mid 1940s with them in their 60s. My maternal grandfather, also from Pennsylvania, had a cap just like this fella.

  10. Joan, you may not have the answer to my question about the year of the car, but I appreciate your comments about bench seats and the lovely smell of leather. I remember bench seats, but not the smell of leather. Thanks for sharing your memories.

    Alan, I can imagine you with a hat! I'm glad to know you are helping along those lines.

    Vicki - thanks for sharing you husband's thoughts about the age of the car. Don't you love those paired names. They were much more common when I was younger but I don't hear them much anymore. (Thank goodness!)

    Meri - I can hardly believe someone would name their daughters Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gale (except the moms of those two singers, of course). I wonder if they got teased, or became singers themselves....

    Patty -- I believe you have solved my mystery! Thank you so very, very much. I tried to post a comment on your blog but it wouldn't let me type in the space. I don't know what happened, but I'll go back tomorrow and see if I can type a comment then.

  11. I LOVE the running boards. Wish cars had them now, they're so classic and stylish.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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