Monday, May 24, 2010

Edwin B. Gerald, Sign Painter

Edwin B. Gerald was born on September 10, 1882, in Brooklyn, New York. He married Wilma Gossman in Ohio in 1906. In 1910, Edwin Gerald and his wife were residing in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At this time Edwin stated his occupation as being in the advertising business, specifically dealing in electric signs. About 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin B. Gerald moved to Sandusky, where Mr. Gerald worked as a self-employed sign painter.

The business known as Gerald Sign Service advertised that signs painted by Mr. Gerald would prove to be “business builders.” Edwin B. Gerald was the owner of Gerald Sign Service, but often the names Gerald and Abele appeared on his signs. To date, we have not discovered the significance of the name Abele in connection with Gerald Sign Service.

In 1974, George W. Bailey donated several photographs of advertising signs which had been painted by Edwin B. Gerald. Mr. Gerald may be the individual pictured below beside the sign advertising Cedar Point.
Edwin Gerald painted signs which advertised a variety of area businesses in Erie County.
In the photograph below, Mr. Gerald’s ladder and paint cans are visible.
Edwin B. Gerald died in Sandusky in October of 1957. Thanks to the generous donation of photographs of his signs, we can see a “slice of life” of local advertising in our community during the first half of the twentieth century.

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