G. C. Murphy Company store windows and interior photographs

About this collection

    G.C. Murphy Co. was a chain of discount variety stores founded by George Clinton Murphy in 1906 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Murphy had been an executive with McCrory stores before opening up his own store. After Murphy's death, two former colleagues purchased the company in 1911 and turned it into a chain of 5c-10c-25c stores.
    Despite the Depression, the company grew, establishing 181 stores in 11 states. By 1976, the company operated 529 stores. In 1985, the chain was purchased by Ames Department Stores. In 1989, it was sold again, this time to the parent company of McCrory stores, McCrory Corp., which filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and liquidated a short time later.
    The photographs in the G.C. Murphy Company store windows and interior photographs (Accession 1995.247) collection are of a store in Washington, D.C., and were taken around the years 1930-1945. One photograph is an interior shot of the store’s soda fountain counter. Eight other photographs document various window displays.
    Image: Window display, pet supplies, ca. 1933. Click here to view this item in the digital collection.

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