Siegfried Gerstl was a Kommerzialrat and sworn commercial court expert in agricultural machines. In this function he gave talks to farmers' associations and published articles in trade journals such as the Wiener Landwirtschaftliche Zeitung. As an expert in agricultural machines, he offered to donate books and glass negatives to the Technisches Museum Wien in early August 1938. At this time he and his wife Irma were already being persecuted by the Nazis as Jews. After his death in September 1938, the objects were given to the Technisches Museum by his widow. In January 1943 the Gestapo arrested her in her apartment on Liechtensteinstraße and deported her to Theresienstadt ghetto, where she died a short time afterwards.
A publication and several hundred glass negatives formerly owned by Gerstl were found in the archive and library of the Technisches Museum Wien. Based on the results of provenance research, the Art Restitution Advisory Board recommended the restitution of these objects in 2006 and 2008, but to date no heirs have been identified.