Tour Newman cigar factory and be “like walking back in time”

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — J.C. Newman Cigar Enterprise, which runs Tampa’s past cigar manufacturing facility, celebrated its 125th birthday this yr.

But fairly than request for offers, the nation’s oldest spouse and children-owned cigar business is giving gifts.

The J.C. Newman Cigar Museum not long ago opened in their Ybor Town factory at 2701 N. 16th St. and provides guided 90-moment excursions of an operation that creates 12 million cigars a yr.

Admission is no cost, but the excursions value $15 per person and should be booked in advance by way of their internet site www.jcnewman.com.

“This is our birthday reward to the town,” 3rd-era business president Eric Newman explained. “Tampa made use of to have 150 cigar factories. That is why we are referred to as Cigar City. We constructed this museum to showcase the way that Tampa was. Strolling into our manufacturing facility is like going for walks back again in time.”

The 1,750-square-foot museum unfold in excess of a few floors features artifacts dating to J.C. Newman Cigar Company’s start in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1895.


Amongst curator Holden Rasmussen’s favorites is a wood salesman carrying circumstance from the early 1900s.

“Now we have salespeople for every location,” Rasmussen claimed. “But back then, cigar salespeople have been impartial contractors who sold a number of brand names for multiple businesses.”

Newman is drawn to a economic statement from 1912 that was submitted by his grandfather and company founder Julius C. Newman.

“He built $603 one particular thirty day period, which was fairly superior again then,” Newman stated.

And then there is the humidor humidifier that now, Newman laughed, would be regarded 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 crammed two-thirds with drinking water and the warmth from the bulb results in a mist.

“Place your cigars in a cupboard with the humidifier to continue to keep them moist,” Newman said. “And hope it does not burn off down your home.”

The tour of factory operations also offers glimpses into the past, Newman reported, but these artifacts are continue to in use. “We make cigars the very same way my grandfather did.”

Tour friends view workers do the job the factory’s hand- and foot-operated machines from the 1930s. The manufacturing facility has 20 machines and operates all around 14 for every working day.

“These are the similar devices my grandfather made use of,” Newman mentioned.

Staff members extend a wrapper leaf across their machine’s sheet. Controlled by a foot pedal in the exact method as vintage stitching machines, the machine then cuts the wrapper and moves it to other compartments exactly where it is crammed with tobacco and rolled into a cigar.

“There is a ability to functioning the equipment,” Newman stated. “It’s like golfing. The very best golfers make driving a ball much look straightforward. Then you check out and realize it’s not that simple.”

Right before individuals devices, Newman cigars have been hand-rolled. To hold that custom alive, the Newman manufacturing unit employs a few rollers whose skill can be noticed as part of the compensated tour.

They roll The American, named immediately after the 1st cigar built at that manufacturing unit when it was operated by E. Regensburg & Sons.

Developed in 1910, the Regensburg’s 3-tale, 97,000-sq.-foot brick manufacturing unit was hailed by newspapers as “Tampa’s good cigar factory” thanks to its dimensions and clock tower that could be witnessed and listened to for miles.

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

The Newman family’s history is told through museum placards and a general public screening room’s 21 brief movies.

In 1889, the Newman spouse and children moved from Austria-Hungary to Cleveland. Not seeking to come to be a tailor like his brothers, Julius C. Newman established his sights on cigar rolling. His mother, Hannah Newman, paid out a cigarmaker to train her son the trade.

He established the corporation in 1895 in the household barn but relocated to the household basement when winter arrived. That locale lasted only a handful of weeks. His mom kicked him out when the stored fruits and greens tasted like tobacco.

Julius C. Newman moved into a Cleveland storefront from where by, by 1910, the organization turned the most productive of Cleveland’s 200 cigar factories. He built a 50,000-sq.-foot manufacturing facility in 1914 the place Cleveland’s Progressive Discipline baseball stadium sits right now and afterwards expanded to factories in Marion and Lorain, Ohio.

The company relocated to Tampa in 1954 so it could be nearer to Cuba, which again then could nevertheless ship tobacco to the United States.

Now, the company works by using tobacco grown in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Cameroon.

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

“It helps make no economic feeling to hand-roll cigars,” Newman stated. “It seriously does not make a lot economic sense to however use antique hand-operated devices possibly. But we do both of those because we regard the family’s historical past and the industry’s historical past. We’re content to now share that with the community.”