Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tired Carpenter Takes Wrong Car Home

Judging by the following article about my great grandfather George Hartley (1878-1949) and a carpenter F. M. Umbarger, car keys in the early 1920's must have been universal.

[George Henry Hartley, probably about 1900.  I don't have a pic from the 1920's of him.  
From my personal collection]

From: Saturday, September 17, 1921, San Diego Union (San Diego, California), page 1.  Accessed from, 22 Oct 2014.
Rides Home in Wrong Auto, Cop Wakes Him
F. M. Umbarger, a carpenter living at 2985 Logan avenue, and George Hartley, 2241 Fourth street, parked their Overland cars almost identically the same, at Seventh street and Broadway, yesterday afternoon.  Umbarger was the first to go back for his automobile.  Without paying much attention to the license number of the car, which he thought to be his, he jumped into the driver's seat, put his key in the switch and drove the car home.  He ran the automobile into the garage and went to bed.
In the meantime, Hartley had gone to get his car.  An Overland car, license number 170-727, was standing at the curb, but there was no trace of Hartley's auto, and he notified police that it had been stolen.
About 7 o'clock the attention of the police was called to the fact that an Overland car had been parked at Seventh street and Broadway for several hours.  Sergt. Henry Churchman traced the ownership of the car to Umbarger through its license number and had Patrolman Parrott investigate the case.
When he discovered his mistake Umbarger was dumbfounded.  He said he had noticed the windshield of the auto was a little loose and the cushions did not seem just right, but he had not paid any attention to it.  That just shows.

[Postcard photo of Overland Automobile's Model 83, likely similar to the one in the above story.  Uploaded to Wiki Commons by user "We hope":]

I wonder. Is this the same car that is seen in the picture of my great grandfather's family in 1919?

[Adults from left to right: Paul Hartley (brother of George), Mary Jane (Tibbetts) Hartley (mother), Minnie (Nosler) Hartley (wife of George), & James Denby Hartley (son of George with Jennie Denby).  The two kids are my grandfather George Hartley Jr and great grand aunt Mary Esther Hartley.]

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment