You are on page 1of 120

. .. ... "' .- ' ...,,........ ...__....

"SMOKE DREAMS "


This is not necessarily a story
about the cigar manufacturing career
of J. C. Newman. It is rather the
story of a man who feels a keen sense
of gratitude for all that life has
offered him.
It is refreshing in this age to dis-
cover a man who feels that life has
been extremely gracious to him. J. C.
Newman has had more problems than
most men. His problems migh.t have
been insurmountable by most men,
but Newman accepted them as part
of an opportunity that overshadowed
adversity.
For instance, Newman, a Hungar-
ian immigrant, felt he was quite a
fortunate man to roll cigars in an
unheated barn in an Ohio village
some 60 years ago--for this was the
intriguing opportunity of America
for which his thirst has never
quenched. Through three major wars
and more numerous depressions he
has weathered the ups and downs
of manufacturing cigars for the
tastes and pocketbooks of American
smokers.
Interwoven in Newman's account
of 61 years of cigar making is an
absorbing outline of American busi-
ness since the Gay Nineties. Newman

; ...1
.. I

. ~~
ti

J
SMOKE DREAMS
SMOKE
DREAMS
An Autobiography By

Juli us C. N evvlllan

A True Pioneer
in the Cigar Industry

1957
COPYRJGHT 1957
J ULIUS c. NEWMAN

PRINTED ANO "BOUND


IN TH& UN ITEO STATES OF AMERICA
BY
Fl..ORJOA GRO W E R PRESS, JNC.

TAMPA, FLORIDA
I dedicate t his book to my wife, Gladys-
whose understanding and jnspiIation made
the writing of this story of my life possible.
J. C. N EWMAN-One of the oldest active cigar manufacturers in
t he country, presiden t of J\I & r Cigar Manufacturers, Inc.,
Standard Cigar Company and Lanclwood Rea lty Co mpany, an
Ohio Corporation.
Contents ...

Chapter 1 FIFTEEN DAYS OF HERRING . . .


THEN AMERICA - - - - - - - - l

Chapter II MY FIRST PAY, MINUS $20 TO


LEARN THE BUSINESS - - - - - - 2

Chapter III FROM HOME CIGAR PRODUCTION


TO MY FIRST FACTORY - - - - - - 7

Chapter IV LIFE ESTABLISHED-I MARRY THE


GIRL OF MY DREAMS - - 17

Chapter V EXPANSION - - - 23

Chapter VI MY PILGRIMAGE TO wASHINGTON - - 33

Chapter VII CHEMISTRY AND SMOKING - - - - - - 43

C h apter VIII MILESTONES . - - - - - - - - - 47

Chapter IX SMOKE DREAMS REALIZED - - - - - - 51

Chapter X GROWING UP - To 81 - - - - - - - - 63
Illustrations ...
MR. JULIUS C. NEWMAN - - - - - Following Dedication

PARENTAL HOME OF J. c. NEWMAN - - - Facing Page 6


MR. NEWMAN'S FIRST FACTORY - - Facing Page 10

GLADYS R. NEWMAN - - - - - - Facing Page 18

THIRD FACTORY - - Facing Page 24

HOME OF THE M&N CIGAR MANUFACTURERS Facing Page 26

THE BIG THREE - - - - - - - - - F acing Page 42

J. c. NEWMAN & PROFESSOR JACKSON - - Facing Page 46

J. c. NEWMAN & LOUIS B. SELTZER - - - Facing Page 48

J . c. NEWMAN R ECEIVING AN AWARD - - F acing Page 50

PRESENT TAMPA FACTORY - - - - F acing Page 52

SAMPLES OF FAMOUS CIGARS - - - Facing Page 58


Introduction . ..

Of ten through the years I have wonder ed about the


qualities which make one man a success and anoth er a
failur e.

Ther e ar e no arbitrary rules or yard stick s by which to


m easure.

Much is hidden away in the m ystifying alch emy of


nature. Certain of these qua]ities however, appear frequently
enough to provid e some clews-p erhaps some an swer s.

Ver y rar ely do they appear all together in a sin gle


individual. When such an individu al walks and works and
lives among other m en h e is at once confounding and
exc1tmg, lifting and inspiring, an example for the yom1g,
a legend among the l egions.

For many years I h ave b een pri vileged to know uch


a m an- su ch a man, his wife, his family, his works, his
deeds, his r efl ections, his courage, his vision s, hi s indomitable
and almost implacable determination to surmount odds
and obstacles.

IL is, in fa ct, for tbe autobiography of th at i:nan, J. C.


ewrnan, these words ar e put together as a prefa ce.

There are times when to write of anoth er comes hard-


even for one who is practiced b y professional r equirem ent
to do so. Again there are times when Lo wr ite of anoth er
is easy, since all on e n eed do is to permit th e th ou ghts to
flow from mind and h eart through finger-tips Lo t ypewriter
keys. \Vhich is wha t happen s at thi s in tanl.

To ay that J. C. Newman i s unusual is to he con ser v-


ative. H e i s extr aordinary.

To say that J. C. Newman came to this country, as h is


book suggests. in 1889 at fourteen , i s of itself not particu-
larly unusual, for other have done likewise. But to say
that J. C. Newman , a poor boy, with the odds overwh elmingly
against h im. the future desolate, the opportm1ity non-
existent, lifted him elf hy courage. integrit y. r eso urcefulness
and vision to become ultimately a very successful bu siness-
man- one of the top cigar manufacturers of America, in
a tough , intensely competi tive business-and not only h ecame
that hut th e ohj ect of h is com petitors' admiration and
affection and wholesom e r esp ect- then J. C. 7 ew man
assum es the stature of the extraordinary. the legend ary, the
on e rnan not in a million. but among many million s.

And when a man has worked hard , has experi en ced


innumerable setbacks that might dri ve l esser men to dis-
couragement and failure only to com e back stronger- and
when that man, having thus worked Lard all his life r each es
the traditional three score and ten plus, and. at the supposed
time for r elaxing and r eclining, picks up his wh ole hu sines ,
hi factorie his offices. and in effect his whole fu Lure and
transports tb ein from the middle west of hi s youth and middle
age and starts anew in Florida-when these are added to all
other qualities about J. C. Newman, it is clearly evident
why he justifies being set apart from most men both to be
studied and admired.

The problem about a .man like J. C. Newman, more


especially when h e is a friend , is not when to start writing
about him, but when to stop. A whole hook could be written
about him. But in this instan ce a hook HAS been written
BY HIM. It wouldn' t be quite fair to go any furth er. The
J. C. Newman story, which follows immediatel y, speaks for
itself- more eloquently than anything another could say.
But anoth er does say- in this in stance the one who thus
closes this prefa ce to Mr. Iewrnan's hook- that here indeed
is a most m1usual man.

LO IS B. SELTZER

January 28, ]957


SMOKE DREAMS
I

/I I '1_/ \

Fifteen Days of Herring .. . Then America

I was born in May of 1875 in Koronch, Austria-


Hungary, a small village consisting of about twenty
peasant families, located between the two towns of
Rusko and Terebash. My earliest recollecti011 of life in
this suburb was the small parcel of ground upon which
stood an imposing brick house, the only brick house in
the village. This was not only our home, but also the
village tavern. It was surrounded by a few acres of
land and about fifty acres of woods. We raised
chickens, ducks and geese on the land and grazed
several cows over its pasture. We grew our own vege-
tables and most of our food supplies. My mother, also,
was born and raised in this same house, her father
being the original tavern keeper.
This entire suburb was owned by one Count
Anclrashy. the Prime Minister of Hungary, who lived
in Budapest. Rusko, a town of about one hundred
2 SMOKE DREAMS

families, was about a half an hour's walk to the west


of our village. The other town, Terebash, where I
attended school, consisted of about one thousand fam-
ilies. Here, also, was the palace of Count Andrashy and
Couutess Katherine, his wife.
The Countess's birthday was celebrated each
January, when all the school children marched to the
palace to sing the National Anthem, "God Bless All
Hungarians," in her honor. We would stand and shiver
in the cold while the Countess came out on the veranda
to acknowledge the serenade, smoking a long black
cigar and bestowing a small gift to each child. This
occasion I celebrated all through the primary grades.
At fourteen, I graduated. Just a year before I
completed the graduation, my father left for the United
States, a long and tedious journey, to join my three
older brothers, who had already settled in Cleveland,
Ohio. A year later, a brother near my age, my two
younger sisters, my mother and I bade farewell to the
family home and also launched forth on the adven-
turous trip to America.
How well I recall the week of waiting for the
ship's sailing from Bremen, Germany. The October
voyage in 1889 was long and stormy, with our family
going steerage. A 15-day diet of herring on the trip
left a memory that prevented me from eating it again
for many years. And, oh, that rock and roll of the ship!
We landed at Baltimore, and when I got off the
boat, I was impressed by the slenderness of the people
and their fine clothing. Early Saturday evening, we
left by train for Cleveland, sitting up all night, but
made happy by the purchase of sweet rolls and
bananas, neither of which I had ever seen before.
II

My First Pay; Minus $20 to Learn the Business

To us Cleveland was a bewildering, big city, and


this was to be our home. We were met by many rela-
tives, who gazed at us with great curiosity. Our first
home was small-very small. Crowded together within
its walls and longing for our old peasant friends, the
familiar smell of woods and country, we were an un-
happy group. When we could stand it no longer, a
family counsel was held. It was decided to pool what-
ever money we had and buy a home on a large lot,
which also supported, of all wonderful things- a barn !
My next plan was to get a job. However, I couldn't
speak the language, had no training of any kind and was
not acquainted with the ways of the new land. But, I
had to have employment, so out I went seeking work. I
soon learned to recognize the sign, "Help Wanted,"
and wherever I saw it, I went hopefully in. Finally,
my brothers made arrangements with a buckeye cigar
4 SMOKE DREAMS

shop employing eight people. By paying the sum of


twenty dollars, I could work four months for the
privilege of learning the business, receiving no salary.
I found that my main job was hauling in buckets of
coal to keep the place warm and going out for beer
for the cigar makers, but in the meantime, I learned
my trade. I considered myself fortunate that at four-
teen my career in life was already launched.
Finally, the four months of apprenticeship were
completed, and I thought that I was a finished product.
I was paid now on a piece work basis and earned $3.60
the first week. This sum I turned over to my mother,
who generously returned a quarter for my personal
expenses. Once a week I allowed myself the luxury
of an ice cream soda, priced at 5, at a place where
they gave two scoops of ice cream.
* * * *
The first week following my anival in Cleveland,
I enrolled in a night school, which, to my great sur-
prise, employed a woman teacher. I never dreamed
that a woman could teach school, but my respect for
her grew as she applied the wonders of teaching to
my education. I continued to attend school for several
years, while at the same time continuing my work as
a cigar maker. I was with a new company now and
was earning from six to eight dollars per week. Still,
I was not content with the cigar business as my life's
work.
By the time I was seventeen, I decided to make
a move. I discussed the possibility of employment in
New York with one of my friends and co-workers, also
seventeen. We had little money, just enough for our
fares, but, luckily, I got a job the second day I was
there, also in a cigar factory. I worked there only two
SMOKE DREAMS 5

months, since my parents wrote me long letters which


were filled with grief over my absence. So, I returned
home to my old job.
I continued working until the early part of 1894,
at which time William Jennings Bryan took the coun-
try by storm with his famous "16 to 1" speech. It
presented a plan by which one gold dollar would be
converted to sixteen silver dollars. Few people under-
stood the plan of changing the country from a gold
to a silver standard, but many newspapers picked
up the cry and advocated Bryan's nomination for
president.
Pare ntal h ome of ). C. Newman showing the historic barn in the
rear- the fi.rst horn<' of the 'l & N Ci1?;ar l\Ianufacturer s.
m

From Home Cigar Production to My First Factory

The economic crisis of 1895 resulted in a financial


panic. The factories gradually closed, throwing
thousands of workers out of employment, including
me. Jobs were impossible to get, money scarce. Real-
izing that I must contribute my share to the support
of my family, I decided to make my own cigar table
out of some old boards and to turn the family barn into
a one-man-factory.
I had to get orders first, as I had no capital; so
I went to the neighborhood saloon, explaining that I
was about to launch into the cigar manufacturing
business. I asked for and received an order for the
colossal amount of 500 cigars. The family grocer then
gave me an order for 500 cigars, and with a few more
successful prospects on my list, I had total orders for
about 2,500 cigars. I figured that this would require
8 SMOKE DREAMS

about $50.00 worth of tobacco, and, since my total


capitalization was $65.00, I was in business.
I paid my three-cent carfare to West Ninth Street,
and there I bought two bundles of tobacco from a
tobacco jobber. I carried it by the same means of
transportation to my barn factory.
I decided at this time to invest $15.00 of my total
wealth in a savings account at the Society for Savings
bank, which at that time paid a handsome 6' ; interest.
I now felt that I had a back-log and would never be
completely broke. Some fifty years later, the bank
called to inform me that my original $15.00 deposit had
compounded itself to over $250.00 and wanted to know
what to do with my savings. I had completely for-
gotten, but decided that my money was in safe hands
and left it where it was as a security fund .
Work involved in making my opening production
of 2,500 cigars would take about two weeks. I cased
the tobacco, stripped and dried the filler, and after
about four day's preparation, I began to manufacture.
Neatly boxed, my first order was proudly delivered
exactly one week after I opened business. Luckily,
cash was paid on delivery.
Whoever came to visit our house was invited to
help strip tobacco in the barn. F inally, I was ready for
more production. I canvassed the city and found a
wholesale grocery house named William Edwards
Company who gave me an unbelievable order for 10,000
cigars. I nearly fell over! I explained to the company
that I would prefer to deliver the orders in lots of 2,500,
and I was informed that this arrangement would be
satisfactory. Was I happy !
I immediately engaged another cigar maker and
with his help made another table. It took us about
SMOKE DREAMS 9

three weeks to complete delivery. Payment had been


received for each lot of 2,500 as they were delivered.
I was always grateful to this company, which remained
my customer for 55 years, until it went out of business.
John D. Rockefeller was one of its bookkeepers at
one time.
I was still single, so there was no one to object
to my working from 60 to 70 hours per week. While
making my rounds in the evenings, I became acquainted
with some precinct and ward politicians, and I grad-
ually learned a little bit about politics.
It was a problem to sell enough cigars to keep
me and the other cigar maker busy. Soon another
difficulty developed. The barn was unheated, and it
was impossible to work there in the winter. So, I
moved into the house and stored the tobacco in the
basement, where the family canned goods was also
stored. This turned out to be rather impractical since
my mother discovered that her home-made canned
goods and jellies were acquiring a strong tobacco
flavor. The family was disconcerted and decided that
I must move out or stop manufacturing cigars in the
house.
Thus, my next stage of growth was rather auto-
matically determined. I rented a store in a new build-
ing for $20.00 per month and moved in. By this time,
I had about five cigar makers working for me.
After about a year, my landlord gave me notice
to move, as the tenants in the apartments above com-
plained that they, too, were being saturated with
tobacco perfume. I appealed my case to the realty com-
pany officials who had rented the store to me and told
them I wouldn't move. They asked me why, and I
answered that, according to contemporary law, since
10 SMOKE DREAMS

I had occupied the store for more than a year, my lease


automatically renewed itself. They were quite sur-
prised to find that I was familiar with realty law. We
finally reached a compromise; I would not have to
move if I kept the tobacco stems under cover. So, I
stayed two more years, until I again, needed more space.
I then moved to larger quarters consisting of a retail
store, factory space in the rear and one floor above.
*
In 1898, the Spanish-American War was declared.
I was a great admirer of Teddy Roosevelt, so I wrote
to Washington to off er my services to the Roosevelt
Rough Riders. I advertised my store for sale, but by
the time a deal had been consummated, the war was
over. So was my retail cigar business. My thought
had been to continue the manufacturing business while
the war lasted, as we all thought it wouldn't last too
long.
I then moved into a new factory building on West
Ninth, where I had room enough for from 75 to 100
workers. In the meantime, I had to work harder than
ever to keep the factory in production. I would spend
every afternoon visiting saloons trying to obtain orders,
saloons being large retailers of cigars in those days. I
spent two or three nights a week collecting accounts;
the other nights I devoted to school and to a corre-
spondence course, in which I had enrolled with
enthusiasm.
About the time I moved from the home produc-
tion factory into the store, I engaged my first salesman,
a man about my age. I found him to be a sincere fellow,
so I proposed that he begin work at 7 :00 A.M., wrap
his own orders, make out the delivey book for the
cartage company, copy the orders in the journal and
J. C. ewman m cente r with de rby hat at that time s till single-age 30.
~MOKE ORJEAMS 11

do other clerical work. His official multiple title was


Clerk-Bookkeeper and Salesman; his salary, $18.00 per
week. He worked for me for two years, after which
time he left to accept a job selling candy and tobacco
for another firm for $22.00 a week. I could not compete
with this vast sum !
In 1902, as business gradually increased, I adver-
tised for a combination bookkeeper and stenographer.
Among the many applicants was a young woman of
about twenty, from Zanesville, Ohio, named Katherine
White. She told me that she had been a school teacher
for two years. She was single and thought life would
be more attractive in a big city. I hired her at the rate
of $10.00 per week and told her I would give her a
raise in two-weeks time, if she could do the work and
liked her job. Two weeks passed and I made her man-
ager of the office, as well as financial secretary-really
the boss. If anyone wanted money, including me, they
had to get her official sanction.
Miss White was a red-haired, Scotch-Irish,
straight-laced woman, and she carried a gun for pro-
tection when she took our funds to the bank. The
longer she stayed, the more efficient she became, and
she soon took over many of my problems and worries.
I sometimes wondered which one of us was really the
boss, since I always had to report to her. She stayed
with our firm for fifteen years, a faithful and trusted
person who did much to further our progress. To this
day, I owe much of our success to her pioneer effort
and ability.
* * *
The first brand of cigars I manufactured, I named
"A-B-C." The label was plain and showed a streetcar
bearing the names Akron, Bedford and Cleveland,
12 SMOKE DREAMS

Akron and Bedford being neighboring suburbs of


Cleveland. This was really the ABC of our business, our
first recognized brand of cigars.
About three years later, we introduced a brand
called "Dr. Nichol." A photograph of a dignified,
white-bearded doctor appeared on the label, and the
caption, "One after each meal, or oftener, if desired,"
was signed "A. Nichol, M.D." The name, Dr. Nichol,
became identified with our company, and soon I was
nick-named Dr. Nichol. Many of our business friends
came to the factory, asking for Dr. Nichol, and
expecting to find a man with a white beard.
The new cigar contained a combination of
domestic and imported tobaccos. The wrapper was
imported Sumatra, which grew in the East Indies, then
controlled by Holland. This cigar was fine, light and
"good burning."
Five cents was the popular price for a cigar, a
loaf of bread, a quart of milk or a bottle of beer with
a free lunch and a floor show thrown in. Those are
often called "the good old days."
Our operations continued for a few years, and
then the tariff on the Sumatra wrapper jumped from
50(- to $1.85 per pound. This cut out most of the profit
on a 5 cigar, bringing about another problem. During
the Spanish-American War, it was impossible for the
cigar factories to obtain Havana wrappers, which were
used on the higher priced, 10 and 15(- cigars. So, a
wrapper grown in Connecticut called Connecticut
Broadleaf was substituted. Only the tip of this large
leaf was used as a substitute for the Havana wrapper,
the balance being used as a binder. This made a fine
tasting and fine burning cigar.
SMOKE DREAMS 13

I began experimenting by using the whole leaf,


cutting it into three wrappers to cover three cigars.
Out of this, I made a new 5q cigar, which I called
"J udge Wright." The cigar label bore a picture of an
astute judge, with the small imprint, "Judge Wright
is always right." Incidentally, this cigar showed more
of a profit than did the Dr. Nichol, so I began to
promote the sale of both.
To my surprise, the Judge Wright took such a lead
that we put our best efforts behind it. As a result, we
couldn't supply the demand; it had become Cleveland's
leading 5( cigar. Many manufacturers tried to copy
us, but I held the edge, since I already had the knowl-
edge of processing this type of tobacco.
I found that we had now outgrown our factory and
that there was not enough labor in Cleveland to make
our new product, so we opened a small factory m
Lorain, Ohio, a town not far from Cleveland.
Up to that time, there were many factories in
Cleveland, and in spite of the shortage of workers and
demands from other plants, we had always been able
to round up a sufficient number of cigar workers for
our needs. One evening the superintendent of one of
the large cigar companies with a branch in Cleveland
came to see me at my home. He inquired how it was
possible for a small company to pay its superintendent
more money than his company, which had millions of
dollars worth of capital. I explained to him that my
key employees were viewed as associates and that,
since I had no partners, it was my wish that they share
proportionately in the progress which we were making.
In one way I was fortunate, for most of the men
whom I selected as prospective department managers
proved to be sincere and able to accept responsibility.
14 SMOKE DREAMS

This may have been due to the fact that I began my


cigar making career at about the age of fourteen,
carried my dinner pail like all other laborers and was
well aware of what constituted a clay's work. I was
about nineteen when I started my own little business,
and when I began hiring help, I could always see the
point of view of the employee, as well as that of the
employer. This fact set the pattern of friendliness
with my organization that I have followed throughout
my business life. I was also fortunate to secure good
supervisors, one of whom was later made superin-
tendent. Most of them were connected with us for
many years. One man was with us for over forty years,
until his death.
This policy with employees has worked out well
to our mutual advantage. Once a year, the firm gave
a party for our employees. The executives participated,
and all were called the Newman Family.
* * *
At the beginning of the First World War, many
strange things happened. Most commodities, such as
potatoes, disappeared from the market. P resident
Wilson appealed to all citizens who owned any land,
even if only a back or front lawn, to plant, as war
gardens. Food was badly needed. Everyone carried
food cards to meet this emergency.
I leased a sixty-acre farm not far from Cleveland
and made arrangements with the government to supply
one hundred bushels of seed potatoes for the purpose
of establishing a war garden for our two hundred em-
ployees. I secured a tenant farmer and his family to
help supervise the farm and to look after the two cows,
one Holstein and one Jersey, the horse and the farm
equipment. The cows were to supply milk for the wives
SMOKE DREAMS 15

and children of our employees who had been called


to the service. It proved to be an expensive experiment,
but I was glad to do this as a security measure. Anyone
who wanted potatoes was given ground, free seed and
the opportunity to plant a crop. Many availed them-
selves, but half of the employees were not interested.
The food shortage lasted all during the war, but
when the war ended and normalcy was restored, food
was plentiful again. Food cards were recalled. We no
longer had need for the farm experiment. It proved
to be too expensive a luxury for me to be a gentleman
farmer.
During World War I, my thoughts returned to my
birthplace and the plight of European refugees. I
signed affidavits for a family and accepted the
responsibility for bringing them to this country and
guaranteeing their support.
During World War II, I brought three families to
America. They all became citizens of this country and
are now well established here.
* * *
One peculiar incident of my early days in the
business stands out in my memory. I went into a
saloon run by an Irishman, "Little Patsy Riley." His
friends in Irishtown looked upon him as a super man,
and what he said, went. There were a number of rough-
looking sailors in his place one day, when I was show-
ing him my samples of cigars, and they thought they
would have some fun with me. I heard one of them
say, "Let's stand him on his head!" So, I stepped
bravely up and said, "Come on, boys, let's all have a
drink." They looked at me with amazement, but they
all accepted a drink of whiskey and a big beer for
a chaser.
16 SMOKE DREAMS

My profits for a month were gone, but Mr. Riley


seemed to think that I was a good sport. He said, "I'll
give you an order for 1,000 ten cent cigars, and when
you deliver them, you'll get the cash." That called
for another round for the sailors, who wanted to know
when I was coming back. I told them I would be back
on Monday, and they were waiting, this time with
friendly, smiling faces. They were all interested in
how I was getting along and how business was. In
the meantime, they all gathered at the bar and helped
hoist the bundle of cigars to hand to Mr. Riley. Nothing
was too much for them. I, in turn, bought the whiskies
and beer washes. This was a new thing for me.
After a couple of rounds, several of the men
offered to accompany me. They were well acquainted
with many good saloon keepers, so I took along a
couple of sponsors to introduce me to the higher-ups
in the field . Every introduction was accompanied by
a round of drinks. I found that, in spite of their becom-
ing good friends, this was too costly a proposition. It
cost me more than the total profits, so I had to change
my course and call on wholesalers, drug and cigar
stores.
From that time, I began to make greater progress,
and when I was twenty-eight, I had the largest cigar
factory in the city of Cleveland.
IV

Life Established - I Marry the Girl of My Dreams

Since I was busy with my job in the cigar business


and so determined to make a success of it, I did not
have the opportunity as a young fellow to devote much
time or attention to social activities. Suddenly, I found
myself thirty years old and unmarried. I began to
think that I had better plan for my future life, for I
felt that if I waited too long to marry, I might be
shelved. I began to divide my time and attention
between social life and business problems.
I inquired of my friends and relatives for suitable
prospects; object- matrimony. Whenever I received
the name and address of a young lady, I made sure
that my business trips took me to her town. So, it was
on one of these business trips to Detroit, Michigan,
that I met Gladys P ollasky, the girl who later became
my wife.
18 SMOKE DREAMS

It was a Saturday, at noon, when I telephoned a


number which had been given me by my sister. There
were two sisters at the number, and the one who
answered the phone asked which one I wanted to speak
to. I hesitated for a moment. I didn't know which
was which, so I said, "I guess, to the older one." As it
happened, the younger one, who was a student at the
University, was not at home anyway. The older had
just graduated from school. She wanted to know who
I was. I told her that I was a distant relative of hers
and would be in town for a few days, so would like
to see her that afternoon. She said that would be all
right, and I made an appointment with her for two
o'clock.
I arrived at the address a few moments ahead of
time. The young lady met me at the door with a warm
greeting and a pleasant smile. I felt her welcome.
During the visit, I found her to be a spirited conver-
sationalist, so I was happy to remain silent most of
the time. In our conversation, I had difficulty in ex-
plaining just how we were related. The hours flew.
I asked her if I might come again the following evening
to meet her parents, who were out of town and were
returning the next day.
The following day, I met her parents. They were
wonderful people. When I left, I made up my mind
that I had better get busy quick, and land that girl
while she was still fresh from school and had not had
a chance to get too well acquainted with too many
competitors.
I learned that the girl's mother and grandmother
were raised in Sandusky, Ohio, and that her father,
grandfather and great grandfather had come to this
country right after the Hungarian Revolution in 1848
SMOKE DREAMS 19

and had settled in Detroit. Later on, the grandfather


received a land grant in Michigan and became a
pioneer settler in the covered wagon days.
The covered wagon trail stories were very inter-
esting to me. Her father's family had followed the
trail for a week in the Michigan wilds. Finally, in
their travels they came upon a river hedged with
willows. Exhausted and discouraged, they could go
on no longer, so that night they camped under the stars.
Daylight brought visitors on horseback, strangers who
greeted them and told them the good news-the very
river beside which they made camp was on their own
land grant.
The next day, other settlers came with offers to
help. A log house was erected by many willing hands.
The wives cooked while the men worked, and by night-
fall the roof was on. The little family moved in. To
be sure, the snow sifted in through the chinks in the
logs during the winter, but it was home for this pioneer
family for two years. They cut the timber from the
land, prospered and built a permanent home across
the river. Here, with the help of other settlers, they
formed a village which later grew into the town of
Alma, Michigan. They gave land for the first railroad,
the first church, the first school and later the first
hospital. It was at this location that Alma College was
founded in 1886. Their house, built so many years ago
and housing six generations of one family, was torn
clown in 1954 to make way for a super market.
When the homestead was demolished, old news-
papers, which had been used for insulation, were dis-
covered. Many were still readable and told stories of
Abraham Lincoln's election and described battles of
the Civil War, historic reminders of true pioneers.
20 SMOKE DREAMS

After that momentous meeting with my future


wife, I frequently found myself in Detroit on what was
the most important event of my life, planning for my
marriage. During this time, I sold cigars and courted
my girl. On April 21, 1909, we were married. Life
changed very fast after that. I was now head of a
household, as well as a business. I found myself more
engrossed in details of the business while my pattern
of living was unfolding. I was a happy man and was
able to crystalize my thoughts more closely toward the
promotion and expansion of my work.
In order to enlarge my business knowledge, I took
courses in business psychology and graduated from
National University Society, taking a concentrated
business course. I devoted some attention to civic work
in Cleveland and in Ohio, and learned to know inti-
mately the official heads of the city and state. I served
willingly, in appreciation of the privilege of life in
this blessed land.
Over the years, four children were added to our
family; two daughters and two sons, namely Helen,
Elaine, Stanford and Millard.
From the time my sons were old enough to go to
school, I devoted much time to their development.
Walks in the evening included intimate talks on life's
values. I always felt that home training preceded all
other education. I gradually conditioned them to the
cigar business. During their vacations, they worked
in the factory. When Stanford, the older son, gradu-
ated from Western Reserve University, among the
most cherished gifts he received was a pair of overalls
from me, as I knew by now that my sons would follow
me in the business. He was willing to go into the
basement and learn the business from the bottom up.
SMOKE DREAMS 21

I made arrangements for Stanford to take a


practical course for a year in Connecticut by working
on a tobacco farm, learning the different grades of
tobacco, as well as how to select the grain of the finer
and better burning tobaccos. He was to mail to me a
report every Saturday of what he had learned during
that particular week. This he did as he put in a year
acquiring knowledge as an apprentice in the leaf
tobacco end of the business.
Shortly after Millard, the younger son, graduated
from college, World War II was declared. Both sons
enlisted in the Army Air Corps and were away from
home for more than four years. During this time, I
kept in constant contact with them, so their interest in
the business was sustained.
After graduation from college, both sons took up
courses in stenography, which proved of inestimable
value while in the Army. Stanford is now head of
the manufacturing of our company, and Millard is in
charge of sales. Both are very much interested in the
business and are making marked progress.
My personal interest in our firm and in the in-
terest in the industry has not diminished over the years,
notwithstanding the fact that for the last fifteen years,
I have extended my interest in the real estate end,
which had to do with our business expansion.
v

Expansion . ..

In 1914, I ananged for the building of a modern


cigar factory in Cleveland, which we thought would
be perfectly adequate for all future needs.
But a labor shortage developed in big cities during
the war, and we had to have more help to keep our
production up to our needs.
Soon, we looked around for an additional suitable
factory site. In the meantime, a customer from Marion,
Ohio, who was active in the local Chamber of Com-
merce, proposed that we open a cigar factory there.
They were to supply the land; we, the building and
the plant. They also promised us good labor at reason-
able prices. These promises sounded good to me, so
we built our additional factory in Marion. Later, we
opened another factory in Lorain, Ohio, when a further
expansion was indicated. We sent over supervisors
24 SMOKE DREAMS

from our Cleveland plant to these factories where they


trained the local workers.
In Marion, our factory was sponsored by the
Chamber of Commerce, of which Senator Warren G.
Harding was a member. I joined the Marion Club,
where I met many future office holders.
About 1918, an acute labor situation arose in the
cigar industry. There were no new apprentices for a
few years, because earnings in the trade were not
comparable to those in other lines. I wrote to the AgTi-
cultural Department in Washington, asking for infor-
mation on any new developments in the industry. Their
reply was of little value.
In the meantime, in further inquiries, I was advised
that there was a new automatic cigar machine being
developed. Isenlohr, one of the principal manufac-
turers in Philadelphia, was already doing some experi-
mental work with them. However, the machine was
in the early stages of development. Nevertheless, I
ordered four of these machines, and in six months
they were delivered. I also sent a machinist to New
York City to learn the workings of this radically new
machine. In the meantime, my mechanic informed
me that he had obtained a good job in Brooklyn and
would stay there. You can imagine my predicament,
four machines and no mechanic.
I appealed to the machine company for help, ask-
ing them to send a mechanic from their plant. I
promised that if this man could stay with us for a
few months, I would buy four more machines for
another $16,000.00. In this way, a trained person
would be able to operate the intricate new machines,
and train new people. The machines arrived, and
THTRD FACTORY- 1907
This p h otograph was taken of the early a utomatic ciga1 machine
in operation, in the eve ntful yeax of 1919 in the Cleveland fa ctory.
SMOKE DREAM S 25

arrangements were made for a mechanic to stay with


us six more months until the second batch arrived.
We finally started to operate these automatic
machines in our Marion plant. Slowly, we made prog-
ress with them. The year 1920 found us with a gradual
recession in all business. It got so bad that over
night in 1921, all inventory values went down 50 )~ ,
and since most of the manufacturers had contracted
materials more than equivalent to their entire capital,
factory after factory slowly disappeared.
Because we were hard pressed, I returned some
of the machines and sold others. However, I had full
faith and confidence, and recognized that this machine
would eventually be perfected so that good cigars
could be made mechanically. My faith was justified,
for the machinery was perfected later.
But even though we believed in machinery in
future manufacturing, we had to keep our feet on the
ground during this business panic, so we concentrated
on our Cleveland plant and closed first in Lorain, then
in Marion, with regret and great financial loss.
After we went back to making all hand-made
cigars again, I kept on thinking that machinery useful
to our industry would eventually become a factor in
manufacturing. I kept myself posted on all new
developments toward this encl.
At last, in 1926, I decided to again purchase
machines, so I told a machine company representative
from Sweden that I would purchase about $30,000.00
worth of machines, provided I could get terms of four
years on a small payment plan. While he looked at
me in amazement, he compromised on a deal for three
years at 4 < ; interest.
26 SMOKE DREAMS

A very peculiar incident happened later with one


of the suppliers to whom I owed a considerable amount
of money. When I showed him our statement with a
thirty thousand dollar liability in machines, he was
much disturbed why I hadn't asked his permission
before making the purchase. I was frank and told him
calmly that if I had asked his permission, his answer
would have been, "No." I explained to him that the
only practical method of manufacturing in factories
like ours would be to use automatic machines. While
I did not blame him for his attitude, I told him that
as a craftsman, I must understand more about the
intricate details of manufacturing than a leaf tobacco
man. He started to smile and admitted that I was
right. I asked his patience and cooperation, which
he granted.
In 1927, we merged with another factory, and the
name, M & N Cigar Manufacturers, Inc. was adopted.
At the time of the merger, we began to feature the
name brand of STUDENT PRINCE and continued to
do so until after World War II, when, clue to the rise
in prices of labor and material, we had to gradually
adjust our business according to the new trends.
As I continued in the business, I observed changing
cycles every few years. I kept my ear to the ground,
and thus foresaw the new trends. For instance, new
machinery and methods of packaging were undergoing
great change, demanding of us added expenditure in
money and ideas to keep up with ever growing com-
petition. Cellophane was developed as a cover for
protection against breakage of cigars. We tried it
out by hand, then later used machinery for this pack-
aging. Gradually, the other manufacturers followed
this, as they had followed our use of cigar machines
The Home of th<' \T & C i!{at Manu fa ctmcrs in 1946. This is now
a complcteJy modern fac tory and js now th e distribution branch
for the n orth ern district.
SMOKE DREAMS 27

as a means of manufacturing cigars. Now, all manu-


facturers have automatic cellophane machines.
The purchasing of raw materials had become even
a greater problem. As far back as fifty years ago, a
manufacturer was able to obtain tobacco that was two
or three years old from the wholesale packer or farmer,
so by the time the tobacco was worked, it was reason-
ably cured. Later on, only tobacco a year old was
available. So, the manufacturers were forced to con-
tract for large stocks and had to age it themselves.
The inventories of old tobaccos on the farms became
less and less, and so the purchasers were forced to
seek out methods of curing tobaccos in a shorter space
of ~ime.
The situation we had to face was as follows:
Filler tobacco was usually two or three years old
before the cigar manufacturers could process it for
use in cigars. Consequently, special equipment had to
be built to cure tobacco in a few month's time, a process
which had formerly taken two or three years. Rooms
were constructed with temperatures up to 140 degrees
and humidity up to 100 percent. In addition to this,
special ingredients had to be used, such as wine, cider
and other liquids, to help to cure and improve the
tobacco in its taste and burning qualities.
Those manufacturers who didn't prepare for these
new changes simply fell by the wayside. Likewise, the
manufacturers who still clung to the outmoded pack-
aging and did not equip themselves with modern
machinery for making cigars had to give up finally.
We had two problems ever before us, first the
purchasing, and preparation of the material, and
second, the securing of machinery and equipment for
28 SMOKE DREAMS

manufacturing and packing. When I first started in


business about 1894, there were 40,000 cigar manu-
facturers in the country, including the "buckeyes," or
small manufacturers. Today, all in all, there are less
than one t.o.ousand, and only about thirty have modern
equipment and are doing interstate business.
All this time, my faith was strong, but my capital
was weak. Almost broke during the world wide depres-
sion, I appealed to the R.F.C., the government bank,
for help. Several men from Washington came to
investigate me and stayed two weeks looking over my
past records. While they made a good report to head-
quarters, they recommended that my capital was too
small and would hesitate to make a substantial loan.
So I went to Washington and took the matter to
the higher officials. I wanted one hundred thousand
dollars. After a three-day deliberation, we compro-
mised on the amount, and Uncle Sam and I were then
partners. The government gave me money to be paid
back within five years. During the five years, I was
checked every month, and given plenty of free advice.
Was I happy that I was able to meet the payments
according to arrangements ! In fact, I paid up the
entire amount ahead of time. When I took the last
check to Washington and thanked the R.F.C. for put-
ting me back in business, they offered to loan not only
the same amount again, but also to increase the amount
if I wished it. I told them, "Thank you, but I'm glad
I don't need it now."
We were small but aggressive. In many ways,
we were the pathfinders, but we were always short of
cash. We were watched with wonder, and offers to
buy us out were made by two of the largest cigar
SMOKE DREAMS 29

manufacturers in the country. However, I preferred


to be on my own for further development and experi-
mental work. This thrill I wanted for myself.
The cigar business is constantly entering fewer
hands, and those who expect to remain have to con-
tinually study changes and make improvements accord-
ingly in their products. It will be a very difficult matter
for new manufacturers to enter the field in coming
years, because it will require equipment costing thous-
ands of dollars, as well as facilities for processing the
tobacco, plus acquired knowledge and experience.
However, there is always a possibility for craftsmen
who will devote themselves to research and experi-
mental work and study, which requires patience and
determination.
From now on, all operations in the manufacture
of tobacco products will have to be on a more scientific
basis in all phases. Large capital is needed, since the
use of automation is the new development in the science
of manufacture, insuring uniformity and purity of
quality in the product. It is the magic eye that detects
defects.

TAX VICTORY AT COLUMBUS


About 1935, a group of lawyers representing the
major interests of Ohio met in session to discuss ways
and means to raise needed tax revenue, as the state
needed more money. Tax on tobaccos, cigars and
cigarettes was on their minds. I was called as the lead-
ing cigar manufacturer in Ohio to meet with these men,
among whom were such personalities as Jam es Gar-
field, son of the former President, and several other
prominent lawyers representing the various financial
interests in the State of Ohio.
30 SMOKE DREAMS

The group wanted to discuss the problem of put-


ting taxes on cigars, tobaccos and cigarettes in order to
obtain state revenue. They wanted to get my views
on the matter and to find out to what extent the in-
dustry would be affected. They also explained that
the State Ways and Means Committee had this plan
under consideration at that time, and that if there were
no objections, they would recommend it for a vote
in the legislature.
I freely expressed my views and argued with them
that this measure would be very detrimental and fur-
thermore, would not bring in enough revenue. After
some discussion, pro and con, I finally suggested that
taxes be shared by every individual citizen in Ohio,
putting the burden on this advisory committee to work
out a plan to be shared by everyone.
In the meantime, I immediately organized a meet-
ing of the other cigar manufacturers and jobbers, and
explained the situation. I was made president of the
group. Sol Baer of Baer-Wolf, a cigar jobber, was
vice-president; and Irving Schwartz of Wall ace and
Schwartz was secretary. We widened our scope to in-
clude the wholesale grocers, representing a group of
400 salesmen. Each of these men was requested by
the executives to get signatures protesting the proposed
tax on tobacco.
I then went to Dayton, Ohio, to see the president
of the Leaf Tobacco Growers Association and showed
him the plan of action we had adopted in Cleveland.
I told him that since this tax measure would affect the
sale of cigars, and thus the farmers who grew Gebhard
and Zimmer filler tobacco, the growers should co-
operate in the execution of our plan. This they did,
SMOKE DREAMS 31

realizing it would be to their best interest. In fact,


other leaf tobacco associations followed in other towns,
since Ohio and Pennsylvania are known to grow the
majority of filler tobacco for domestic cigars.
In a short time, we had about 50,000 signatures
of protest to the impending tax. When the tobacco
tax was due to be brought up for action in the State
Legislature, the Cleveland jobbers chartered a special
railroad car, arriving at the capitol a day early to
properly organize and to be present en masse at the
legislative session.
The committee knew that we were there to pro-
test the pending measure. As I was president, I was
among the first to be called. Addressing so important
a group of lawmakers was a new departure for me.
My knees were trembling, but I managed to set forth
our case, stressing that the working man who, after
a hard day's work, finds comfort and relaxation in
smoking his pipe or stogie, should not be taxed and
penalized for the benefit of all others. I urged that
the committee work out a plan whereby all the people
of the State of Ohio would contribute and share in
such a tax. At the same time, I produced bundles of
protesting petitions. I stated that over 50,000 signa-
tures were on these petitions. Two or three other
speakers followed me, and the committee finally
realized that the tax would work a hardship on one
special group. This set the stage for the birth of the
37r general sales tax in Ohio. By-and-by, practically
every state in the Union adopted it.
VI

My Pilgrimages To Washington

During the depression years, many new laws were


inaugurated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's administra-
tion, such as social security, N.R.A. and the curtail-
ment of production of tobaccos, as well as of other
commodities.
One type of tobacco, known as Connecticut Shade
Wrapper, was gradually displacing the imported Suma-
tra wrapper. This was a better tasting and burning
tobacco, but was becoming scarce. This was caused
from the few large companies sending their brokers
into the Connecticut market and buying up practically
the entire crop. During the first few weeks of the sale,
I found myself and many other smaller companies
facing a problem. There was no Shade tobacco for
us, as everything was sold out, and commitments made.
SMOKE DHEAi\IS

I knew that curtailment of the production of this type


of tobacco would work a great hardship on the rank
and file of cigar manufacturers. I also knew that the
administration had made a serious el'!'or in curtailment
of ~h e ~obacco .
After the smaller manufacturers discovered that
they could buy little or none of the Shade wrappers,
some of them began to use substitute tobaccos for this
type; others simply gave up. A few of the large com-
panies, that had brokers in Connecticut where the
tobacco was being cut and processed, made their com-
mittments for their full requirements. Consequently,
they were not interested in complaining to Washing-
ton. This was their opportunity to squeeze out their
smaller competitors, which was happening to a marked
degree.
I decided to take a train to Washington and seek an
interview with Ohio's United States Senator, Honorable
Robert W. Bulkley. After I explained my predicament,
the interview was granted me. I asked Senator Bulkley
to make an appointment for me with President Roose-
velt, so that I might plead my case and give him first-
hand information. The Senator said the President was
indisposed that day and could not see me. In the
meantime, he suggested that Secretary of Agriculture
Wallace might help me, but I could not obtain an
interview with him because he was busy for a week
with other committments. The Senator promised to
explain the matter to Secretary Wallace, and said that
he would be in correspondence with me.
From Washington, I went to Connecticut to visit
with half a dozen of the principle packers of the Shade
tobacco to get another briefing on the situation. They
SMOKE DREAMS 35

all promised to write me in a few days, which they


did, advising me that there was not one available
bale to be secured.
Then, a few days later, I received a note from
Senator Bulkley, enclosing a letter that he had received
from Secretary Wallace. The letter stated that there
were over 5,000 bales of Shade tobacco available in
Connecticut, and that I should take this complaint to the
Tobacco Djvision of Agriculture. I was furious because
I felt that there had been a serious misunderstanding.
I returned to Washington to again see Senator
Bulkley. I took all the correspondence with me and
showed the Senator that there must be something
peculiar going on in the Agriculture .Cepartment, for
they certainly did not kn ow the facts. Senator Bulkley
called Secretary of Agriculture Wallace and told him
that I was in Washingbn and t!lat he would advise
him to see me for a few minutes. Secretary Wallace
then told Senator Bulkley to send me right over.
I arrived there in a taxi in about three minutes,
and the Secretary was waiting for me at the door. He
took me into his private office, where I explained who
I was and what my mission was. I asked him if I could
talk freely, and he said, " Go ahead." I opened my
portfolio and showed him the full-page letter that he
had written to Senator Bulkley and the letters from
Connecticut sayjng that there was not an available bale
of this tobacco. These naturally contradicted each
other.
Secretary Wallace said, "I don't recall ever writ-
ing this letter to Senator Bulkley," but he admitted that
the signature was his. I was disturbed, and I told him
36 SMOKE DREAM S

that my little business was fully as important to me


as his position as Secretary was to him ; that I would
like to have some action on the matter. I told him
that I was not ready to give up business after putting
in all the years in the industry. He finally admitted
that he didn't recall the letter or its contents.
Evidently he had made the mistake of having placed
his signature on a letter without having read it. He
explained that he signed approximately 5,000 letters
over his signature every day, and it was impossible
for him to read them all. It appeared to me that the
administration was entirely uninformed on what was
going on in our industry. I told him that there were
no wrappers on the market, and added that he had
made a very serious mistake when he recommended
to the farmers to curtail the production of tobacco. I
suggested that this law should be reversed in Congress,
with the growing of tobacco reinstated as it was
formerly.
Secretary Wallace asked me if I would be willing
to make a statement before a meeting of the Officials
of the Farmers Association, if he called such a meeting.
I told him that I would be most happy to do so and
would come to Washington at my own expense. I told
him that no single person was smart enough and
informed enough about the intricate details of every-
one's business to be able to make new regulations
without first having an investigation. My suggestion
was that there should be a committee of smaller and
larger manufacturers from the industry to present
their cases before such decisions were made.
By this time, I had already been in consultation
with Secretary Wallace for half an hour. He told me
that I could work things out with the Chief of the
5MOKE DREAM S 37

Tobacco Division, who would meet me by the door


as I left. This he did, and we spent the greater part
of the day working out plans to organize an association
of all cigar manufacturers.
In visiting with the Chief of the Tobacco Division,
I suggested that if anything of importance were to arise
in the tobacco industry in the future, that there should
be an advisory committee appointed consisting of
smaller and larger manufacturers. He agreed with
this and recommended that such an association be
formed immediately, so that all matters pertaining
to the industry could be handled through it.
In about two weeks, Secretary Wallace and the
Chief of the Tobacco Division called a meeting of all
the leaf tobacco packers. The hall was so crowded
that people were standing.
The Chief of the Tobacco Division of the Agri-
culture Department, assistant to Secretary Wallace,
opened the meeting and explained my complaint . ..
that there was not enough tobacco available for the
smaller companies. I handed Mr. Hudson my letters
from the packers stating that there was no tobacco
available. He said, "Mr. Newman has been in business
for many years and cannot buy Shade tobacco. While
the administration is in sympathy with the farmer and
does not want over-production, causing the farmer to
sell at distress prices; neither should there be a short-
age, so that the manufacturer cannot get his supplies.
Now, Mr. Newman must have tobacco, so we may have
t o change our ruling on production."
There was little or no response from the audience.
Everyone seemed to hesitate to express himself. I
38 SMOKE DREAMS

asked for the floor and explained my position again.


I recommended that the law curtailing tobacco pro-
duction be lifted and that the farmer be allowed to
grow as much as he was able, since there was not an
over-abundance before the curtailment. In fact, after
investigation, I found that a large number of manu-
facturers had been forced to give up business due to
this shortage even before the law. I stated that I could
verify this statement by reports from the U. S. Internal
Revenue Department.
The Chief of the Tobacco Division told the group
to see that Mr. Newman got his tobacco, or else he
would have to lift the curtailment of tobacco produc-
tion completely. Although most of the leaf dealers
and farmers were very much annoyed with me, since
they all had such a price-fixing bonanza at the expense
of the manufacturer, they listened. The following
week, I went to Hartford, Connecticut, to visit some
of the dealers, and it seems that they had (regretfully)
tobacco to offer me at the regular prices.
Before the meeting was over, the presiding officer
ordered a committee of manufacturers to meet with
me to discuss the extent to which the curtailment should
be lifted. We stayed in Washington for a couple days,
discussing and arguing the percentage of increase the
farmer should produce. I wanted a 15 % increase;
they wanted an s c, ~ . We finally compromised on about
a 10' production increase. We presented our decision
1 ;

to the Agriculture Department, and Secretary Wallace,


in turn, presented it to Congress, with instructions to
immediately change the ruling to increase production.
From that time on, cigar manufacturers had entree
to all the tobacco houses, had the proper attention,
SMOKE DREAMS 39

and so had enough tobacco to meet their requirements.


I felt that this was a victory for the majority, but some-
what of a defeat for the minority who had in their
minds the plan to apply a squeeze-play.
After this entire matter was over, I could not help
but realize more than ever what a great country this is,
where Mr. Average Citizen like myself has the oppor-
tunity to plead his case in his own way before the high
officials of the country, who try to adjust his complaints
and to mete out justice. It filled me more than ever
with deep pride to be an American.
I was elected director of the National Cigar
Manufacturers' Association to represent some of the
smaller manufacturers. I had recommended to Secre-
tary Wallace in my conversation that as long as the
government was trying to make regulations for all
industries, it should first consult a committee of each
industry to secure factual data. In fact, afterwards,
I told Mr. Hudson, Chief of the Tobacco Division, that
this really should be applied to all industries for the
best interests of the country. When the Second World
War broke out, the government had no difficulty in
getting committees to sit on the War Production Board
from the various industries, because they were already
organized.
A few others and I were put on the War Produc-
tion Board representing the cigar and tobacco indus-
tries. We all worked conscientiously to achieve the
best possible results. I found through experience that
the majority of the smaller companies are always busy
with small details and that only a limited number of
companies take time out to become familiar with the
new trade regulaticns or to seek counsel to be kept so
advised. The large companies have watchful lawyers
40 SMOKE DREAMS

who keep them up-to-date on all regulations and who


are ready to protest any infringement on their progress
or curtailment of profits. In addition, they have lobby-
ists who also watch out for any handicaps i11 their
paths. This a large company can do, but a small
company is stymied.

During World War II, the government made


arrangements to take about 30'; of total cigar pro-
duction. The business was divided fairly on a per-
centage basis. Each factory was to furnish the alloted
amount, with the exception of those small companies
that had no facilities or knowledge of how to make
shipments ready for overseas. In fact, the government
had inspectors visit the factories, checking to see that
regulations were being followed and that all com-
panies received their fair percentage of orders from
the government. All of this worked out systematically
and efficiently. The government tried to be fair to all
the factories supplying them with products. Tobacco
consumption was considered to be a great morale
builder for the soldiers.
After the war was over, the government found
itself the possessor of millions of cigars made by
different manufacturers. The individual manufacturers
of the brands were notified that the government had
possession of these cigars, and the manufacturers who
wanted to take their merchandise back could do so
at cost. Otherwise, the cigars would be sold at what-
ever price the government could get. Tl-:e factories
that wanted their brands protected to safeguard their
SMOKE DREAMS 41

distributors in their respective territories would take


their cigars back and mail the government payment.
We found that there was considerably over half-a-
million of our own brands of cigars in different parts
of the world. We took them all back at a loss, but
we were perfectly satisfied to do so.
About this time, fortunately, both of my sons and
my son-in-law returned from the Army, and like most
of the boys away from the business four or five years,
they had to begin all over again. I was grateful that
they were among the lucky ones to return home. In
the meantime, I redrafted them into our business.
THE BlG THREE
J. C. e w111a11 and son , M illard W ., ( lefl ) ancl ' Lanford J.
Newman. Taken on thei r return to c ivilia n ]i fc afte r four yea rs
ser v ice in the Army A ir Corps.
VII

( hemistry and Smoking

About 1935, while the country was recovering


slowly from the depression, I was seeking to develop
something entirely new in the industry.
I wrote to the Agriculture Department in Wash-
ington, which was doing research in different lines,
asking what new developments, if any, could be made
in the process of the manufacture of cigars. I received
some suggestions, but was unable to use any of them.
Next, I went to the United States Patent Office
and spent the day, as I understood that records of
patents of German chemists were available there.
These records and the information they contained
seemed too complicated to decipher.
I then made an appointme11t with the head of
the Chemistry Department of Western Reserve Uni-
44 SMOKE DREAMS

versity in Cleveland, Dr. Lankelmo, to consult with


him to see if he could devote part of his time doing
experimental research on tobaccos. He in turn recom-
mended a man who recently had obtained his Ph.D. de-
gree in agricultural chemistry. I engaged this man, and
together we installed a laboratory in our plant. For
eighteen months, he devoted all his time to discovering
methods of extracting nicotine from tobacco. He then
left for a connection with one of the governments
abroad, but since I wanted to continue with this
research, I secured another agricultural chemist with
a Doctor's degree, Dr. J ackson, who worked with us
part time. The balance of his time he spent as a
professor at Western Reserve University.
We finally accomplished our mission of acquiring
the knowledge of how to extract nicotine from tobacco
so that we could make a cigar with less than one
percent nicotine content. We had these cigars tested
in a commercial laboratory and, finally, in government
laboratories.
We made our first de-nicotinized cigar under the
name of "Nicosan." We could announce with authori-
tative backing that this cigar contained less than one
percent nicotine. Our discovery also gave us the
knowledge of how to control the nicotine content in
all our production. This was a completely new
development.
In 1950, the United States Tobacco Company, one
of the largest tobacco companies in the country, pur-
chased a brand called "Sano." After investigation,
we entered into an agreement with them to manufac-
ture the Sano de-nicotinized Havana cigar with a
guarantee to them that it would contain less than one
SMOKE DREAMS 45

percent nicotine and that we would make this type of


cigar for them exclusively. These cigars are analyzed
by us monthly and confirmed by a reputable commercial
laboratory company for verification of the percentage
of nicotine content.
To the best of our knowledge, we are the only
firm that does this experimental work, developments
which took us fifteen years to accomplish. This required
patience and perserverence to achieve our goa1. We
find that many doctors are recommending the Sano
cigar to their patients for reasons of health.
This was the fulfillment of my dream. All the
difficulties of my experimental work were forgotten in
the joy of achievement . . . to have actually done
something for the cigar industry and, also, for the
smoking public.
---'

Professor J ackson. left, agricultural chemist of Western RescrYc


U niversity and 111ysclf, in the process of analyzing to baceo.
vm
I~

Milestones ...

About 25 years ago, my wife and I were enter-


taining a customer and his wife at dinner at a country
roadhouse near Cleveland, when I saw a group of men,
all of whom I recognized as wholesale tobacco dis-
tributors from different parts of the country. They
were seated at one big table and appeared to be hold-
ing a meeting which was led by a jobber from J ersey
City, New Jersey, by the name of Joseph Kolodny. I
excused myself and went over to their table to greet
them. I invited the entire group of men to come to
our home for refreshments, and a continuation of the
meeting later in the evening. This suggestion they
readily accepted. In the meantime, I went back to our
table, explained to my wife the invitation I had ex-
tended. She fell in with the plan, and telephoned
home to our maid to have the four children dressed
48 SMOKE DREAM S

and ready for company, while we shopped for great


quantities of food which we knew we would need
later.
When we neared our house, we recognized the
amateur strains of violin music which told us that our
young son was entertaining the company awaiting our
arrival. My wife set the big table in the dining room,
loaded it with food and drinks-what a night it was !
Business discussion was soon set aside and voices were
blended in song. So, amid the strains of "Sweet
Adeline" and "Old Black Joe" at two in the morning,
the jobbers decided that they had all had a good time,
plus much profitable interchange of thought and ideas,
and it would be a good idea for them to repeat the
meeting often. So, without realizing it, the now
famous National Association of Tobacco Distributors
was born with Mr. Joseph Koloclny, its honored
Executive Director.
Their meeting grew into conventions, held once
a year. Thousands of interested persons now attend.
Two years later when my wife and I attended one of
these Conventions in Chicago, Mr. Kolodny suggested
that the men extend an invitation to their wives to
come with them, and asked my wife to plan a Con-
vention Auxiliary for the women. Thus, out of this
suggestion grew the Women's Division of The National
Association of Tobacco Distributors, famous the coun-
try over. She was for many years the President and
is still a director of the women's organization.
In many sections of the country the cigar and
tobacco dealers have monthly meetings and luncheons
called "The Tobacco Table" at which time the condi-
tions of the tobacco industry are discussed. I was
elected president of the Cleveland organization about
Louis B. ehze r, Editor .i n Ch ief of the Clevcla1Hl Press, presenting
plaque to J. C. Newman as an award by the Cleveland Tobacco
Table. re presenting fifty-six years of service-on the occasion of
h is seventy-fifth birthday, May 26, 1951.
SMOKE DREAMS 49

1942. At one of the meetings during my term of office,


the mayor of the city, and afterwards the governor of
Ohio, came to address this group of businessmen, as
they wanted to extend their friendship before my
retirement as president of the Table.
In 1945, I was honored with a testimonial dinner
on my birthday, which was also the golden anniversary
of my being president of our company. Over a hun-
dred business executives and suppliers of the industry
from all parts of the country attended. I was presented
with a portrait of myself and a hand-illuminated
plaque signed by all those present. I was deeply
touched.
In 1949, a national organization called Standard
Brands, Inc., honored the individual companies who
had branded articles on the market for fifty consecutive
years. There were about twenty-seven firms in Ohio
receiving these honorary awards. The individuals
selected for this honor were seated at the speakers'
table. The late Mr. Holliday, president of Standard
Oil Company of Ohio, had the history of each company
and its accomplishments over the years before him.
To my surprise, he spoke about me first, and I was
more than amazed to hear the history of my business
from the very beginning. In his talk, he said that any
company that merchandised a branded article on the
market for fifty consecutive years must be giving the
public a good item, must be a manufacturer of high
integrity and must be headed by a man of whom the
whole community could be proud. The gold plaque
with the embossed words, "A True Pioneer in the
Cigar Industry," was presented by the national vice-
50 $MOKE DREAMS

president, who later became president of the Kellogg


Company of cereal fame. He and his secretary posed
with me during the presentation.
During World War II, when the government
appealed to every citizen to buy government bonds
to support the war effort, I developed a plan whereby
our firm could sell a million dollars worth of bonds
to the public in our city of Cleveland. In recognition
of this effort, I was presented a certificate of honor
from the treasurer of the U nitecl States.
Receivin g an award by the Brand N ames Founflation in 1949 al
th e Union Club in Cleveland for havin g a branded article on the
marke t for fift y consecutive years. L eft to right-Vice President
of the Kellogg Company, h is Secre tar y, a n d J. C. Newman.
IX

Smoke Dreams Realized

During the last fifty or sixty years, greater changes


and developments were made in all types of manu-
facturing than were made during the previous one
hundred and fifty years.
We used oil lamps in our first factory, then gas
burners and finally electricity. Our original equip-
ment was a cigar table, costing about $2.00; a cigar
board, $1.00; a cigar blade, 25f . You could make
cigars with the above equipment, plus tobacco, man-
power and a packing press costing $1.50.
Today, a cigar machine costs between eight and
nine thousand dollars; a stripping machine, one
thousand; a Cellophane machine, between eight and
nine thousand. A wrapping pliofilm machine, which
seals and wraps the boxes, costs between four and five
thousand dollars. If a factory has forty or fifty ma-
52 SMOKE DREAMS

chines or more, it is necessary to have a complete


machine shop, including a lathe for the manufacture
of machine parts and highly skilled mechanics and
engineers.
Repercussions in business began with the end of
World War II. The rest of commodities and labor con-
tinued to increase, and it was more and more difficult
to increase prices of our cigars because they were
marketed at a set price of 10 ~", 2/25 ~' and 15(
Even the larger companies were beginning to feel
the pinch on profits. They began to consolidate or
to buy out other companies, thus avoiding competition
and saving expenses. Hundreds of long-established
firms had to leave the business, both those who did
not foresee the importance of having a mechanized
plant and those who manufactured lower-priced cigars.
The price of materials and labor continued to rise
every year, and with the exception of some of the fac-
tories that specialized in higher-priced cigars, where
there was more profit, most were out of luck. It seemed
to be a losing proposition.
After making a careful survey of the various
priced products, I observed that the cigars at 20 to
25 ~( were on the increase, especially those made in Cuba
and Tampa, Florida. I finally concluded that we would
have to make some kind of a change in the location
of our plant.
After considerable deliberation, we decided to
move our factory to Tampa, where higher-priced
products were being manufactured. In Tampa, the
atmospheric conditions are most adaptable to the
manufacturers of high-priced cigars, as tobacco re-
quires humidity and a certain amount of heat in order
The presen t factory fou n ded in Tampa, F lori tl a )n 195 1 Th e
h o me of the La nclard Cigar Compan y and the \T & Cigar
.'\Ianufa<"lurcrs. I nc.
SMOKE DREAMS 53

for the tobacco leaf to be kept in a pliable condition.


This was a tremendous decision, but after all the years
of experience, I felt that this move was vital for the
survival of our business, if we wanted to stay in the
industry.
We not only moved the machinery, the supervisory
organization, including the superintendent, foreman,
engineer and mechanics, but we planned a policy of
breaking in our own organization. We secured one
of the largest cigar factory buildings in the city, with
the cooperation of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
We spent a great deal of money in modernizing it and
made it one of the most up-to-date factories in this
part of the country. It has every comfort and con-
venience for the employees, including an emergency
first aid room with a trained nurse in attendance.
We had more applicants for work than we could
use, and our operations became completely mechanized
with the very latest machinery. This move was really
a gigantic undertaking. In the face of great discour-
agement, however, I had faith and confidence in our
experience and ability to manufacture a good article.
This location was particularly favorable, being near
Havana, Cuba, where the finest tobacco in the world
is grown.
I wanted to be in a position to buy tobacco directly
from growers, thereby being able to select the type
and grade best for our product. Most of the no1thern
manufacturers had been buying from importers in
New York and were forced to take what was offered
them, selecting from samples. By being on the spot
where tobaccos were actually grown and processed,
I would have a much better opportunity to see the raw
product and to make my own selection.
54 SMOKE DREAMS

I found that I had to do some additional research


and study, and that it was again time to learn some-
thing new in the further production of really fine
Havana cigars. To my surprise, I discovered that even
in Cuba there was a great variation in the grade of
tobacco grown on the different farms, and I wanted
to find out why. So, this is the story.
The tobacco plant itself grows to about a height
of six feet. The leaves which are shortest and most
delicate grow close to the ground. The first three rows
from the ground which grow all around the plant, about
four leaves to the row, are called Libra p/ a. These
leaves are picked first. The next three or four rows
are called No. 2 Secos and are longer and sounder,
but not quite as sweet as the Libra p/ a. As you pick
further up, you come to the No. 1 Secos, a sounder
and larger leaf used mainly for binders. 1"he next
section in the middle of the stalk is called Lagera.
This tobacco has the best flavor, but it is heavier. The
next few rows, Media Tempo, are still finely flavored,
but even heavier. The top leaves are not used in the
manufacture of the cigars for the American market,
because of the strength of this tobacco. I had to learn
the names of the different leaves which grow on a
plant, their characteristics and the uses to which each
could be placed.
My next study was the Cuban farms. I was curious
to know why some farms produced better tobacco than
others, so I decided to investigate for myself and find
out how the finer tobaccos were grown. I found that
some farms had modern methods of irrigation and
some had little or no irrigation. Some farms used
fertilizer, some used more and better fertilizer, and
SMOKE DREAMS 55

then some just seemed to have a special blessing from


the land and produced naturally fine tobacco. Still
others had a deeper top soil and used better seed.
The next step in my search was to visit ware-
houses. Some of them were right on the farms, and
others were closer to the city of Havana.
My first experience in buying new tobacco in Cuba
occurred when I met a packer who owned farms.
My first purchase from him was about 2,000 pounds.
The packer took me over to his warehouse and showed
me my tobacco, which had been set aside and which
had begun to process. This processing operation would
take about six months, I was told.
I examined the tobacco and told the packer that
it wasn't being handled satisfactorily. He called over
his superintendent and several of the foremen and
repeated my complaint in Spanish. They all had a
gleam in their eye when they heard my criticism.
The packer translated further that there had not
been enough water applied to the tobacco to sweat it
properly and that it would never generate sufficient
heat. I took five pounds of tobacco and placed it on
the floor, then sprayed it with water from a hose and
showed them how much water should be applied.
The superintendent expressed his irritation say-
ing, "I have worked in these tobacco warehouses all
my life, my father also, and my grandfather before
him. Now, a fellow comes from the north who knows
nothing about Havana tobacco and tries to tell me
how to prepare it."
56 SMOKE DREAMS

So, I told the packer that I would like to illustrate


my point with a story. About forty-five years ago, I
had a customer in Canton, Ohio, who was in the whole-
sale cigar business, the harness business and operated
a blacksmith shop. I called on him one day and asked
him how business was. He answered, "Not so good.
The automobiles are making a dent in my horseshoe
business." I suggested that he sell automobiles, as
well as harnesses. But he said, "No. My father and
grandfather were in this business just this way, and
they were happy and successful. I am going to do the
same." However, by holding onto this policy of only
selling harnesses, he was out of business in a few
years.
I continued to explain to the packer that just as
times had changed for the harness maker, so condi-
tions of some operations had changed for the tobacco
farmer. The farmer couldn't get enough natural
fertilizer, consequently, different processing of tobacco
was required. I further suggested that he take half of
my lot of tobacco, apply plenty of water, so that each
leaf was sufficiently dampened, cover the pile with
canvas and leave it until I returned in two or three
weeks.
I came back and looked over the tobacco and
found it was in fair condition. The thermometer I
inserted in the center of the pile showed a temperature
of 80 , which was not quite hot enough for curing
purposes. I explained that I would like to have the
pile of tobacco repacked by taking the top and side
layers and setting them aside after spraying them
again. For the rest of the pile, I advised a little less
water, since the center showed higher fermentation. I
also showed the superintendent that when he repacked
SMOKE DREAMS 57

the pile, he should put the top and sides of the former
pile into the center of the new one. The bottom of the
pile should also be part of the new center, thus giving all
parts of the tobacco pile a chance to ferment evenly.
The other half of the original pile was now treated
according to my instructions. The fermentation pro-
cess caused heat and broke down the tobacco molecules
in a shorter time than the natural process took. After
trying out this tobacco, I found the curing time had
to be extended to about eighteen months before it
could be worked into cigars for the American market.
I had learned some years before that tobacco that seems
to have a mild taste in Cuba becomes stronger by the
time it reaches New York. This is largely due to the
humidity and heat in Cuba.
Cuba is divided into six provinces which are com-
parable to our states, and is subdivided into districts,
similar to our counties. One of the districts in the
Las Villas province is called Remedios, and another
district in this province is Santa Clara. Most of the
tobacco imported in the States comes from these two
districts. This tobacco is aromatic and strong and is
used with domestic tobacco for flavor blending.
I was interested in learning where to find the
tobaccos used in the manufacture of cigars costing as
much as a dollar apiece. I found that this particular
type of tobacco is grown in Pino del Rio province,
as well as in Oriente. In the districts known as San
Luis and San Juan, the tobacco is mild and sweet. I
further learned the names of the farms, the methods
of irrigation and fertilization and the depth of the
top soil, which is over 2 feet.
58 SMOKE DREAMS

It is amazing how many and how varied are the


steps in the process of preparing the tobacco before
it is ready for manufacture into cigars. To make a
blend of fine tobacco is one step, and even after it is
already prepared in the warehouse and is shipped to
the factory, it must again go through another step.
The tobaccos of several different farms are mixed
together in a batch of about one thousand pounds, so
that one tobacco draws from another, causing still
further fermentation with resulting smoothness of
smoking. Few realize the many intricate steps and the
work and study that go into the production of a cigar,
with only a small return for all this effort. This is
applicable to every branch of the industry, and it is
no wonder that only a limited number of firms survive
in the business. While I made millions of cigars, many
people I know made millions of dollars in other lines
with much less effort and study.
Nevertheless, it is a challenge, and the few who
have survived are filled with the pure joy in having
established a going business. Uncle Sam becomes your
best salesman, as most of the orders for your product
come by mail.

I find a few rules to remember m building a


business to be:
1. Establish a personal relationship with your
employees.
2. Establish a definite preliminary plan for mar-
keting your product.
3. Start at once to build a credit rating.
Plan all this and maintain a study of ways and
means to improve the manufacture of your article to
Gloria Ccdar~kn )ayC('C Palma
SMOKE DREAMS 59

meet the new trends, which are upon us every few


years.
The most important of these phases is the article
itself; its quality and eye appeal. You, yourself, must
like the article and must be convinced that it is out-
standing. You must realize from the start that you
cannot accomplish all the many intricate details of
manufacturing personally, and you must allocate and
divide responsibility by securing personnel who will
carry out your plans and ideas faithfully and well.
You must stand behind your product at all times
with a guarantee of its marketability, quality, etc.
One of the foundations of any business is the
establishment of a credit rating and a good name. In
order to build proper confidence, a cost accounting
system has to be installed with monthly inventories
taken and the books have to be audited at least once
a year by a Certified Public Accountant, so that a
statement can be available of your financial status
should any banker or creditor wish to have this
information.
In promoting, selling and advertising, you can
guide yourself by the arrangements made for financing.
I have seen many firms go under from lack of proper
information as to the extent to which they can expand.
This applies to all types of business. To keep alert
and to study current conditions of the country is of
the utmost importance. The amount of capital and
credit should determine the extent of business you do.
Many businessmen have failures due to expansion
beyond their capital, particularly those companies that
start operation with a small amount of money. It is
60 SMOKE DREAMS

slower, but safer, to keep a close check on yow current


capital. My experience has taught me not to expand
during prosperous years because the inventories,
buildings and equipment are all more costly during
these periods. You spend in good years, but you have
to pay in lean years.
This gamble of too great expansion takes its toll
not only in financial loss, but also in its drain on
physical and mental health. This does not pay, for
peace of mind is one of life's greatest assets for health
and happiness. For example, during the Gay Nineties
the city of Cleveland was the heart of the garment
manufacturing industry, and there were many large
companies flourishing, suddenly, following the First
World War there was a great industrial crisis with
a 75 j; drop of inventory values in the market. The
larger the company, the harder it fell. Many were
completely liquidated. Many of those that survived
were swept away during the depression because they
did not have a backlog of sufficient liquid assets.
We find that the Biblical scene of the lean years
devouring the fat years every so often still repeats
itself today. For this reason, we must safeguard our-
selves against such possibilities in order to prosper.
Faith and determination are watchwords in business
management. Faith in the Lord and faith in yourself
are the bases for continuous progress.
Early in my life I realized that to grow in mind
and stature, we must have congenial association, so
I became a "joiner." My first important affiliation was
with the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, who when I
had been a half century member, presented me with a
plaque, commemorating the occasion. This, I most
sincerely appreciated. I heard of the high principles
SMOKE DREAMS 61

of The Knights of Pythias, so soon, was inducted into


the Deak Lodge No. 344, where I have been a member
for over fifty years. Also, I was presented a life mem-
bership card, which was presented to me in 1956.
Forty-nine years ago, I became a Mason, in the
Forest City Lodge No. 388, and of this, I have always
been very proud.
When I was quite young, most of my early com-
panions were members of a Hungarian Social Club,
called, "Hungarian Benevolent Social Union," so I
joined too, and am still a member after fifty years of
pleasant association.
x Growing Up - To 81
My favorite pastime as a young boy
was walking and playing barefoot with
my companions in the woods and on
the farm in Hungary. I could hardly
wait until school was out when I could
pull off my boots and run freely in the
tall grass.
You can imagine how closed in I
felt when we arrived in Cleveland and
I had to wear shoes all the time. H ow
I missed the wide open spaces.
These could only be memories, for I
realized I had to learn how to earn a
living at a sitting down job which
afforded no exercise and no play. After
constant application to this job for
about three years, I found myself feel-
ing ill, so I went to the Free Dispensary
for an examination. The doctor advised
me to join a gymnasium to get exercise.
Following their advice, I joined a
German Turnverein, where I learned
to exercise with ropes, parallel bars,
Indian Clubs and dumbbells. This program was fol-
lowed by community singing and beer drinking, which
resulted in giving me a physical and social boost. I soon
regained my health under this regime. I kept at it
until I started my own business when I was 19 years
old, at which time I found myself too busy to go to
classes.
H owever, I continued my exercising at home with
the use of a punching bag and Indian Clubs. But my
many interests gradually took my mind off athletics.
64 SMOKE DREAMS

It wasn't until after the panic of 1921 when I


realized that as long as I retained my health and spirit,
I would never be completely whipped, and would have
a chance for a comeback. I bought a handball, arose
at six in the morning, and tossed it against the wall
until I worked up a physical glow. Added to this, I
practiced setting-up exercises which I continue as part
of my daily life even to this clay.
I augmented these exercises with a daily walk of
a mile or two. Later, as I grew older and had to cur-
tail some of the more strenuous exercises, I lengthened
my walks. Even at my present age of 81, I find myself
walking a couple of miles every day before sitting
down to my evening meal. To make my walks more
interesting, I gave myself the incentive of looking for
four-leaf clovers in the summer. I was successful in
finding them so many times that nearly every book I own
has at least one of them pressed between its pages.
Many times passers-by would stop me as I pursued this
hobby and offer to help me look for whatever I had lost.
Since I have moved to Tampa, Florida, where they have
no four-leaf clovers, I spend the time greeting my
neighbors as I walk on my daily rounds.
I also augmented the reduction of the strenuous
setting-up exercises by dancing. After reaching sev-
enty, I began to spend part of the winters in Florida,
where dancing is part of the vacation routine. I soon
found myself a member of a dancing class learning
some new Latin routines. To my surprise, my wife and I
received a cup for winning a dance contest. I practiced
these lessons whenever I had the opportunity, and even
at 81, dancing is still one of my favorite diversions.
Another of my pastimes is keeping up with polit-
ical activities. As stated in this book, I began my cigar
SMOKE DREAMS 65

career by selling cigars in saloons, which were fre-


quented by many would-be precinct and ward bosses.
Many were the extravagant promises to be heard there,
but seldom were they carried out.
The first politician I became interested in, was
Mayor Tom L. Johnson, who became known throughout
the country for his sponsorship of the three-cent fare.
I solicited votes for him as I made my rounds. Included
in his regime was a young man by the name of Newton
D. Baker, who was appointed Law Director, and Ma11-
uel Levine, who was Prosecuting Attorney. Years
later, Baker rose to be Mayor and then was appointed
Secretary of War in Wilson's cabinet. Levine was
elected later as Judge of the Cuyahoga County (Cleve-
land) Common Pleas Court, and finally judge of the
Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio.
Both of these men were friends of mine until they
died. In fact, Judge Levine was scheduled to be the
best man at my wedding, but he eloped the clay before.
Tom Johnson and Newton Baker were two of the
many Cleveland mayors who rose to national acclaim.
Another mayor was Harold C. Burton, whom I first
knew as a neighbor and member of the East Cleveland
School Board. He later became a U. S. Senator and
finally was appointed Chief Justice of the United States
Supreme Court.
At this writing, I am proud to have been one of
the sponsors of another Cleveland Mayor, Frank J.
Lausche, who was elected Governor of Ohio for five
successive terms and at present is starting his first term
as United States Senator. I am looking forward with
confidence, to seeing him reach still greater heights.
66 SMOKE DREAM S

My political affiliations went beyond the bounds


of Cleveland with Warren G. Harding, who was U. S.
Senator from Ohio at the time I opened my plant in
Marion. We were both members of the Marion Club;
and, since I knew him and his close associates well,
I took it upon myself to organize the first "Harding
Republican Club" in the United States long before the
National Republican Convention. After he was nomi-
nated, I visited him at his home and after election I
got the big thrill of being invited to the Inaugural Ball.
Later, my wife and I were his guests at the White
House.
One of my favorite hobbies, that of trying to
acquire new knowledge, comes from an innate desire
for self improvement. I received my formal education
as a child in a Hungarian Public School which corre-
sponded to the American Elementary school in that
I learned the 3 R's, history and geography. In addition,
I took summer courses in German.
As soon as I arrived in Cleveland, I attended night
school to learn English and American History. I
never again had the opportunity of attending day
school. With the first money I saved when working
for myself, I took out a life scholarship in the Euclid
Avenue Business College for the colossal sum of $75.00.
I paid for this in installments, partly with cigars.
I attended this school for a two hour session about
three times a week. Here I studied Business English
and Bookkeeping. I expected to keep on taking lessons
indefinitely, when to my sorrow, the business manager
of the school, did not practice his own philosophy and
the school folded up for lack of funds, just after I
had made my final payment.
SMOKE DREAMS 67

However, I still felt the need for education, so


once, when I came across an attractive pamphlet adver-
tising a Correspondence Course in Selling, I enrolled
in this course for $50.00 a year. The pamphlets came
thick and fast, much faster than the time I could spare
to devote to them. In the meantime I had become
so engrossed in my business and my babies that I had
little time left to study the lessons. In fact, occasionally
the children got at them first, and I had trouble
locating them when I wanted them. It is no wonder
then, that when it came time to take the examinations,
I found that I could not answer the questions properly.
This annoyed me to such an extent that I decided to
take the course over again, so I sent another $50.00
and this time acquired enough knowledge to pass the
examination.
However, even though you may know the rules
of how to sell yourself and your product, it takes a
certain amount of experience before one can over-
come his natural shyness. I thought I was well
equipped until one day when I was called upon to
address a sales force of 75 men, I found my knees
shaking to such an extent that I had to hold on
to the chair. I made a deal with a wholesale
Grocery House in Chicago, and was invited to attend
the company's sales meeting to meet the salesmen.
When I arrived there, I found myself sitting on
the platform with the executives. All of a sudden I
heard the President introducing me, with the explana-
tion that they had been given the exclusive rights of sale
in Illinois and northern Michigan and that I, as the
manufacturer, would explain the fine points of my
product. When I got up and saw all those strange eyes
looking at me, I forgot what I wanted to say and spoke
a few words, sitting down quickly.
68 SMOKE DREAMS

Later I decided that I had missed an opportunity


because of my self consciousness, and made up my
mind never to be caught short again. One day,
among my correspondence, I came across a circular
describing the Dale Carnegie Course, designed to im-
prove your self confidence. I decided to enroll in
their classes, so that I could develop the poise I
had found lacking when in Chicago. Arriving for my
first lesson, I looked around and found that aJl the
rest of the members of the group consisted of profes-
sional engineers, all college graduates. At first, I felt
overwhelmed by their knowledge, but to my surprise,
I found them just as fearful of addressing the group
as I was. One man was so nervous that he tore a paper
into bits, another sneaked out the back entrance. After
a while, we got used to each other, and we clamored
for an opportunity to speak and to show what we had
learned.
I continued to go to these classes for a couple of
seasons. There was only one objection which was that
I had to recite my lessons aloud, as it was hard for
me to keep awake and concentrate after a clay's work.
In the meantime, my children had grown to high school
and college age, and objected to my reading aloud for
they claimed they had difficulty doing their own home-
work. So I gave this up for the time being.
Later, after they had grown up and left home,
I sought out other sources of self-improvement. I came
across a brochure from the National University Society,
which was conducted by Louis Marchand. The course
of instruction was carried on in the following manner :
The teaching staff would travel from city to city
holding intensive 10 day seminars on business psy-
chology and outlines for successful living, after which
SMOKE DREAMS 69

the instruction was continued by mail. After the com-


pletion of the course, one was given a diploma.
Both my wife and I attended the seminar which was
extremely popular, and when I completed the course
in 1937, I was presented with a diploma. The lessons
that we learned were of great value to us both.
All these hobbies have kept me physically healthy
and emotionally stable through times of stress.
After all, one cannot look into the crystal ball
of the future without realizing that the future is made
up only of the structures of the past.
It has been my privilege to have lived a long and
active life, experiencing every phase, through which
an individual can pass, the valleys and the hill tops,
the lean days and the lush days, the bitter and the
sweet.
Out of this, a great love of life surges through
me, for I learned that work brings joy of achieve-
ment. I see success in life, by whatever measure it
is judged, depends solely on one person, "you." You,
I say, with the help of every human being with whom
you come in contact, for to grow, you must be con-
stantly nourished by the wisdom gathered and filtered
from those who pass your way.
Within each human being are the tools for great-
ness, unlimited potentialities, a pattern drawn by our
Maker for a completely rounded life. Whether or not
we follow this pattern determines success or failure.
The last laugh, the last impression, the last stroke of
the brush paints the picture.
~~~- ...
. ~ ---~- ---~,.,......--.,.;-~~-- - ... . . ~ .

tells how a competitor stole his 18-


dollar-a-week salesman away for a
$4-a-week increase. He tells how a
bunch of rough saifors helped him
maneuver his first cigar order to a
saloon-keeper, Little Patsy Riley. At
28 he had the biggest cigar factory
in Cleveland but most of his troubles
had j us.t begun.
J. C. Newman's life in the cigar
business is a good history of the
cigar business as well as a stimulating
lesson in basic economics-for the
cigar business has been one of the
most brutal tests to the ingenuity of
American business. The cigar lover
and the businessman alike will appre-
ciate the account of cigar merchan-
dising through the years, from A-B-C
brand to RIGOLETTO, and the revo-
lutionary effects in the advent of the
cigar making machine. Newman's
experiences in politics vs. cigars
spice his .story.
This is not the story of a man
trying to blow his own horn. It is
the story of a man who feels almost
humble and often quite amazed tpat
a foreign boy could come to this
Country, start with nothing, and
become one of America's largest cigar
manufacturers.
Above all this is the story of a
successful attitude.
H.H.M.
~-
.._ -
~--
c---' .3'
-l')
~

'
~.~"
11111') /
---.
. 1
,/
l \
If~ ~
'

DREA~/.
? /.( '"'.

''SMOU is a story of tlie ortsiin,


1
growth a-rid development of the Cigar I~ustry in oiv
country. . ,, .., ~ 1 f

interwo~n
It is with the industr' life streaht
experience of n rly two-tbirds o a century o~ t e
~d
author, whose vis on of the futu e soared beyond t e
horizon, and to whom a cigar / eans more than j st

( I'\ \,.J
a smoke. ~ /

~ / 'y/(

w~

. ....

Related Interests