The collection consists of the papers, scrapbooks, photographs, and photo albums of the family of James Mack and Elizabeth
Lilienthal Gerstley. The family papers include some correspondence, a small amount of material from James Mack Gerstley's
tenure at Borax, and historical/ biographical materials about the Gerstley and Mack families. There are a few autograph albums
and scrapbooks in the collection as well. The bulk of the collection is made up of photographs and photo albums documenting
the history of the Gerstley, Mack, Lilienthal, and Sloss families as well as the travels and milestones of James Mack and
Elizabeth Gerstley and their children.
James Mack Gerstley (1907-2007) was born in London to James Gerstley and Adele Mack. The Gerstle(y) family can be traced to
Ichenhausen, Germany, where the oldest identifiable ancestor appears to be Abraham Gerstle (1740-1796). Abraham's son, Isak
Michael Gerstle (1787-1851) married Sara Sofie Weil and had seven children: Abraham, Karoline, Sophie, Handele, Löb, Jette,
and Moritz. Löb Gerstle eventually moved to San Francisco, changed his name to Lewis, and became the patriarch of the Bay
Area branch of the Gerstle family. Lewis married Hannah Greenebaum in 1858 and played key roles in several successful business
enterprises, including the Alaska Commercial Company. Moritz, Lewis' brother, moved to London, where he changed his first
name to Maurice and his last name to Gerstley. Maurice was a successful "fancy goods" wholesaler until his death in 1900.
Maurice and his wife Paulina (Cohn) had four children: Sophia, Frederick Julius, James, and Louisa Paulina. James, born in
1867 (died 1955), was to be the last of the English Gerstleys. James Gerstley Sr. worked for Redwood and Sons, a chemical
firm specializing in food preservatives. Borax or boron was an important ingredient in their enterprise. In 1895, Lewis Gerstle
of San Francisco arranged a meeting with Redwood and Sons and a Bay Area company called Pacific Coast Borax. This meeting
led to a merger between the companies. In 1904, James Gerstley Sr. married Adele Hannah Mack, a granddaughter of Lewis Gerstle.
The company merger and the marriage cemented the links between the San Francisco and London branches of the family.
Number of containers: 11 cartons, 13 oversize boxes, and 4 oversize folders
Linear feet: 17.2
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The
Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright
owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
Collection is open for research.