Mac McGrew - Chronology
Chronology of Mac McGrew’s Life


  • Father, Carl Abram McGrew. Born 1881 and raised in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Attended Ohio State University and studied architecture at The University of Pennsylvania. Worked in Pittsburgh and then in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he moved after marriage in 1911.
  • Mother, Hannah Lucinda (Lucy or Lucile). Born and raised in Scio, Ohio. Attended Scio College. Opened millinery shop in Martins Ferry. Sold it when married.

This chronology was written by Mac McGrew

1912Born in Chattanooga.
c1913Family moved to Norwood (Cincinnati), Ohio.
1915Moved to Dallas (later Danvers) Avenue, Ingram (Pittsburgh), Pa. Neighbors: Ross family with twins Tom and Earl, about my age. Years later, Tom was an Art Director at KM&G where I was Typographic Director.
1915Sister Martha Ellen born.
c1916Moved to 25 Walnut Street, Crafton, Pa. Memory: sitting in back seat of open touring car, between Mother (holding Martha Ellen) and her mother, my other Grandmother, with framed picture of Creation (which later hung in living room of our home on McMunn Avenue) back of front seat. Dad and driver (of hired car) in front seat. Neighbors: Hoge (Hogue) family, across street, with Sarah (old enough to walk me to kindergarten).
1917Went to kindergarten in house next to Second Ward School; then to first grade (and up to sixth) at First Ward School; seventh and eighth in Second Ward School.
c1919Moved to 73 McMunn Avenue, half a block away. I was privileged to haul some things in my little wagon. Gas lights; Dad had electricity installed soon. Neighbors: Purcell family at 69, with Caroline (older than me) and Bob (younger); Duff family at 71, with Miriam (o) and Catherine (y); Cloos family at 23 Walnut, with Helen (o) and Howard (y); Foster family at 30 Walnut, with Doris, Grace, Mary Jane, and Charles, a youngster who fell from a tree and died of injuries (all younger)—Grace is now a member of Christ UMC; Hooper family at 32 Walnut, with John (o) and others; Curtin family at c33 Walnut with Frank (o). Later Duff family moved away; replaced by his brother or cousin with Sam (o) and Catherine (y).
1921Saw and heard first radio. (The first KDKA broadcast was 11-2-1920: Harding-Cox election returns.) Soon after that, family acquired its first radio. Listened to first 5 local stations, 3 networks. Later pursued DXing: logging distant stations.
1926Graduated from eighth grade. Bought 3x5 Kelsey printing press. Entered high school.
c1930Experimented with typewriter portraiture; portrait of President F. D. Roosevelt published in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
1930Graduated from Crafton High School; Art Editor of yearbook, Ginkgo, in senior year.
1930Got summer job at Willoughby Printing Company in downtown Pittsburgh.
1930Started printing course at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
1932Ended printing course; went to summer school at CIT. Returned to Willoughby Printing. Submitted idea for "timetable" style of radio program listings to radio editor of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; hired for after-hours job compiling programs in that style, which I did for a year or two.
1936Got job at Pickwick Press. Joined Pittsburgh Club of Printing House Craftsmen.
1936Rode the first PCC streetcar, used as demonstrator in Pittsburgh.
1937Started own print shop in Crafton. Printed tickets and programs for Laura, dancing teacher, among other customers.
1940Closed shop to become more of a specialist. Started production job at Rippl Printing Company in Pittsburgh.
1941Got better job at William G. Johnston Company.
1942Married Laura on February 14; honeymoon bus tour of several southern states. Got apartment at 46 Walnut Street, Crafton. (Landlady was Mrs. Zapf.)
1942December: Drafted into U.S. Army; sent to Camp Barkeley, Texas, near Abilene.
1943Sent to specialized training at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1943Daughter Lucinda born. Laura and baby visited me in Ann Arbor in December.
1944Specialized training program discontinued in January; sent to camp in Wisconsin. Discharged in June.
1944Returned to job at Johnston’s.
1944Apartment on Vancouver Avenue, Ingram. Later moved to Preston Street, Crafton Heights. (Landlady was Mrs. Kertes.)
c1945Moved to Scotia Street, Ingram. (Landladies, Marie and Sylvia Jamison.) Neighbors, Mrs. Petrie and Mrs. Hanna, Stowe Street.
1946Jon born.
c1948Bought house and moved to 16 Lyons Street, Crafton. Neighbors, Cottrell family at 18 with Elaine; Harold and Helen Carter family on Division Street (gave us two kittens about 1952).
c1948Taught typesetting at CIT night school.
1950Got job as Type Director (later Typographic Director) at Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove advertising agency.
1950sRode trolleys in D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Toronto, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, as well as last runs in Emsworth, Mt. Washington, Carnegie, Crafton, and some of the West Penn, Altoona, and Johnstown lines.
1952Moved to 8 Belvidere Street. Neighbors: Dr. and Mrs. (Catherine) Staduhar with Alice; Jo Ann and Ray Boyer.
1954Rode first three museum streetcars to new Arden Trolley Museum site. [This later became The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.] Later edited movies by Bob Brown, Art Ellis, and myself into comprehensive story of move.
c1954–’55President, Pittsburgh Club of Printing House Craftsmen; delegate to International convention in Los Angeles; took family on vacation trip including SF, LA, Disneyland, Grand Canyon.
1960Moved to 98 Poplar Drive, Mt. Lebanon. Neighbors, Tommy and (Elaine?) Powdrill; Bill and Dorothy Sherwood.
1960Joined Christ Methodist Church, Bethel Park.
1962–’63Built house at 181 Mt. Lebanon Boulevard; moved in. Neighbors, Sharrow family, soon replaced by Stanley and Barbara Moskal, with Danny, Dennis, and Barbara.
1950s–’70sWrote about 300 columns and articles on type and typography for Typo Graphic, A. D. Assistant, The Typographer, Inland Printer, Typographic i, and other publications.
1963Researched and drew all-time map of Pittsburgh-area trolley lines.
c1965Taught typography class at Ivy School of Commercial Art.
c1968Became Usher Captain at Christ UMC.
c1969Vice president, Pennsylvania Railway Museum Association (PRMA).
c1970Declined to run for president of PRMA due to conflicting activities.
c1970Designed and worked on first issue of Christ Church Reporter, also pictorial directories and other church publications.
c1975Wrote The Streetcar Era, published by Maple Press.
1977Officially retired December 31; continued work as independent contractor until April 30.
1979Announced intention to write book on typefaces, at annual convention of Typocrafters.
1980Laura and I visited Cindy in Australia; vacationed there and in New Zealand and California.
1981Laura and I attended Jon and Bridget’s wedding outside London.
1986First edition of American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century published by Myriade Press after much research and correspondence.
1987Moved to Asbury Heights Retirement Community.
1989Attended Cindy and Larry’s wedding.
1992Laura and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.
1993Laura died June 14.
1993Second edition of American Metal Typefaces of the Twentieth Century published by Oak Knoll Books after much more research and correspondence.
1997Cataract operation.
1999 Mac McGrew lost a considerable portion of his vision, leaving him unable to read except to a very limited extent under the best conditions.
1999 Presented with the President’s Award from The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum for 25 years of volunteer work as the Design and Production Editor for their bimonthly newsletter, Trolley Fare.
2000 Asbury officially opened the Asbury Walking Trail, designed by Mac. In October, he helped cut the ribbon to inaugurate the course.
2002Appointed as Life Member #3 of The Amalgamated Printers' Association, a hobby group which he belonged to for many years.
2002Moved to Asbury Villas (across the street from Asbury Heights).

2007Mac McGrew died February 28.