Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Blair Company, Pittsburgh Printer

When my maternal grandfather was a young adult in the 1920s, he operated a printing press. Since his employer is listed in some city directories, I know that he was a pressman for at least four years with The Blair Company in Pittsburgh. Here's one of their advertisements:

Ad for The Blair Company, Pittsburgh printers, 1919
The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 21, 1919

In May of 1921 when my grandfather was an apprentice, pressmen and others in the printing industry went on strike in many cities across the country, including Pittsburgh. The main issue was the number of hours per week, with the union wanting to reduce the work week to 44 hours.

Many Pittsburgh printers, like The Blair Company and Anderson & Grater (where my grandfather worked in 1930), joined together to place large ads in newspapers to voice their opposition, like the one below:

The Pittsburgh Post, April 28, 1921 (partial list of printers)

In July 1921, employees in various cities gave up and started to return to their 48-hour work week.

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