Tour Newman cigar factory and be “like strolling again in time”

J.C. Newman Cigar Business, which runs Tampa’s final cigar manufacturing unit, celebrated its 125th birthday this yr.

But relatively than talk to for provides, the nation’s oldest family-owned cigar corporation is providing gifts.

The J.C. Newman Cigar Museum a short while ago opened in their Ybor City manufacturing unit at 2701 N. 16th St. and delivers guided 90-minute tours of an procedure that generates 12 million cigars a calendar year.

Admission is totally free, but the tours value $15 per individual and need to be booked in advance by way of their web page

“This is our birthday present to the metropolis,” 3rd-generation company president Eric Newman mentioned. “Tampa applied to have 150 cigar factories. That is why we are identified as Cigar Metropolis. We crafted this museum to showcase the way that Tampa was. Walking into our factory is like strolling back again in time.”

The 1,750-sq.-foot museum spread above 3 floors involves artifacts dating to J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s beginning in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1895.

Among the curator Holden Rasmussen’s favorites is a picket salesman carrying scenario from the early 1900s.

“Now we have salespeople for every single area,” Rasmussen explained. “But back then, cigar salespeople were impartial contractors who bought a number of manufacturers for many businesses.”

Newman is drawn to a fiscal assertion from 1912 that was filed by his grandfather and firm founder Julius C. Newman.

“He designed $603 a person thirty day period, which was fairly great back then,” Newman said.

And then there is the humidor humidifier that now, Newman laughed, would be regarded as a “fire hazard” but in the early 1900s was a “modern marvel.”

The humidifier is a mason jar with a lightbulb hooked to the lid. The jar is loaded two-thirds with h2o and the heat from the bulb generates a mist.

“Place your cigars in a cupboard with the humidifier to preserve them moist,” Newman explained. “And hope it does not burn down your property.”

The tour of manufacturing unit operations also provides glimpses into the previous, Newman stated, but those artifacts are even now in use. “We make cigars the exact same way my grandfather did.”

Tour visitors watch employees work the factory’s hand- and foot-operated equipment from the 1930s. The manufacturing unit has 20 machines and operates all around 14 for each working day.

“These are the same equipment my grandfather used,” Newman said.

Personnel stretch a wrapper leaf throughout their machine’s sheet. Controlled by a foot pedal in the exact same way as vintage stitching devices, the machine then cuts the wrapper and moves it to other compartments wherever it is crammed with tobacco and rolled into a cigar.

“There is a talent to operating the machines,” Newman said. “It’s like golfing. The best golfers make driving a ball significantly glimpse uncomplicated. Then you attempt and comprehend it is not that straightforward.”

Prior to people machines, Newman cigars ended up hand-rolled. To preserve that tradition alive, the Newman manufacturing facility employs 3 rollers whose ability can be noticed as part of the paid out tour.

They roll The American, named immediately after the to start with cigar produced at that factory when it was operated by E. Regensburg & Sons.

Constructed in 1910, the Regensburg’s three-tale, 97,000-square-foot brick factory was hailed by newspapers as “Tampa’s wonderful cigar factory” thanks to its dimensions and clock tower that could be witnessed and heard for miles.

As component of the 125th celebration, the Newmans restored the clock.

The Newman family’s history is instructed by means of museum placards and a community screening room’s 21 short films.

In 1889, the Newman loved ones moved from Austria-Hungary to Cleveland. Not wanting to come to be a tailor like his brothers, Julius C. Newman established his sights on cigar rolling. His mother, Hannah Newman, paid a cigarmaker to teach her son the trade.

He founded the corporation in 1895 in the family members barn but relocated to the household basement when winter arrived. That locale lasted only a number of months. His mom kicked him out when the saved fruits and vegetables tasted like tobacco.

Julius C. Newman moved into a Cleveland storefront from in which, by 1910, the organization grew to become the most profitable of Cleveland’s 200 cigar factories. He developed a 50,000-sq.-foot factory in 1914 where by Cleveland’s Progressive Field baseball stadium sits currently and later expanded to factories in Marion and Lorain, Ohio.

The business relocated to Tampa in 1954 so it could be closer to Cuba, which again then could continue to ship tobacco to the United States.

Now, the company utilizes tobacco developed in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Cameroon.

The American cigar is hand-rolled with tobacco grown only in the United States. It arrives from Clermont, Fla., Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

“It will make no economic perception to hand-roll cigars,” Newman claimed. “It actually does not make much financial perception to continue to use antique hand-operated equipment both. But we do both equally mainly because we respect the family’s heritage and the industry’s record. We’re pleased to now share that with the public.”