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Photos

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Morgantown, W.Va., Store No. 197, 1987

This store at 222 High St. in Morgantown, W.Va., home of West Virginia University, opened in the 1920s and survived the takeover of G.C. Murphy Co. by Ames Department Stores in 1985. Its appearance is typical of a mid-1980s Murphy's store. The location was among the variety stores spun off by Ames to Murphy Co.’s old rival, McCrory Corp., in 1989. (Photo courtesy Ed Kinter.)


G.C. Murphy Co. home office, early 1980s

From this modest complex of buildings on Fifth Avenue in McKeesport, Pa., activities of the G.C. Murphy Co.’s 500 stores were coordinated. The three-story building in the center of the photo was the location of the first store in the modern Murphy chain. After J.S. Mack and W.C. Shaw took over the company in 1911, its offices expanded to take over an old church, a livery stable, and three neighboring buildings! The upper stories of the building on the right housed the Murphy Company's real estate and construction department. (Photo by John Barna.)


McKeesport, Pa., ‘Old Store No. 1,’ 1906

Store No. 1 on Fifth Avenue in McKeesport, Pa., was opened in 1906 by George Clinton Murphy on the first floor of what had been known as the Ruben Building. Within a few years, the store had relocated to a former church two doors away. By the 1960s, all three of these buildings, plus the church, had become part of the G.C. Murphy Co. home office complex. (Photo courtesy John Barna.)


Downtown Pittsburgh, Store No. 12, 1950s

A crowd gathers to watch a Murphy’s restaurant employee make submarine sandwiches in the window of the company’s flagship Downtown Pittsburgh store. Date unknown. (Photo courtesy Ed Kinter.)


G.C. Murphy Veterans’ Club meeting, 1954

The “veterans’ club” — an organization for Murphy Co. employees who had been with the firm for 15 years or more — was an important part of social life for the Murphy’s “family.” (Photo courtesy Ed Kinter.)



Opening of Fond Du Lac, Wis., Store No. 340

Managers of a new Murphy’s store in Fond du Lac, Wis., in the 1970s gather for a group portrait shortly before the first customers arrive. Even as smaller, inner-city locations closed, G.C. Murphy Co. continued to open both new variety stores and ”Murphy’s Marts” throughout the 1970s and early ’80s. (Photo courtesy Ed Kinter.)



Murphy’s Mart, 1979

As discount stores began to play a larger role in retailing in the 1970s, suburban “Murphy’s Marts” became more and more important to G.C. Murphy Co.’s success. This unidentified location, pictured on the cover of one of the corporation’s annual reports, is typical in appearance. (Photo courtesy Robert Messner.)



G.C. Murphy restaurant, late 1960s

Before fast-food restaurants were common, G.C. Murphy Co. lunch counters and cafeterias provided cheap, quick and nourishing meals — and enticed shoppers to spend more time in the company’s stores. This location may be the restaurant in Greengate Mall, Greensburg, Pa. (Photo courtesy Ed Kinter.)




More photos to come!













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