|Ambler Gazette clipping|
from October 28, 1943
Though Chester, who was better known as Harold, was a civil engineer, back in the early 20th century, he had also worked as a secretary for his father's struggling carriage business originally called Germantown Carriage Works and eventually renamed to William H Godshall Inc. William had wanted his son to take over the business and after his death in 1922, Harold did so but not for long. It eventually went out of business in light of the rise of the automobile.
|Harry Fallows and his daughter Emma Sarah proudly|
showing off his automobile, circa 1908, probably rankled his
son-in-law's father, the owner of a failing carriage shop.
While William was probably muttering with bitterness over the growing popularity of the automobile, his son Harold was dating his future bride, Emma Sarah Fallows, whose family were somewhat controversially car enthusiasts. Emma's father Harry was a member of the Quaker City motoring club and won the Salem Cup in the Wildwood Auto Races on July 4, 1912 when he represented the Chase Car company. Harry's brother James owned at least three cars (though not necessarily at the same time) from as early as 1906 and had one repainted at one point. He and his cars had several mentions in the Ambler Gazette and there are also many surviving photographs the Fallows showing off their cars.
These two merging families really highlight the cultural history of the introduction of the automobile into society and what it meant for so many different people. One family struggling to hold onto their livelihood, another embracing the modern marvels that came around the turn of the century. I always imagine the early 20th century must have been an exciting time to be alive but for some, also a little frightening.
With a little reworking, I took this content from my family histories for the Fallows and Godshall families. I will be posting their full histories within the next few days, as a part of the Family History Writing Challenge.