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Written by James Payne

Monday, 11 May 2009

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diamond crownjc newman
profiles


Hi and welcome back to another installment in our series of Puff Profiles, where we not only take a look at some of the best cigar lines in the industry, but the men and women behind them. In our previous article we looked at Alec Bradley; in this one, we will be looking at the prestigious American company, JC Newman and a few of their top notch cigars, including the best of the lot – the Diamond Crown.

 

It is hard not to like, or at the very least, appreciate a cigar company such as J.C. Newman. Not only are they the oldest remaining tobacco firm in America – a company that remains the last standing out of the 40,000 that were operating when it began, but they managed to overcome every obstacle thrown their way; the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Cuban Embargo, and the decline of the cigar industry in the 90’s. On top of being a survivor, they are also quite charitable, and through there co-op situation with the Arturo Fuente Family, have donated millions to worthwhile charities and organizations. Top that off with some of the finest premium handmade cigars in the biz and well, you get the picture.

 

In this article, I’ll be using my typical rating scale of 50-100 for this article, with the majority of the cigars falling in the mid 80’s to low 90’s. But before we get there, let’s look at the history of this great company.

 

The JC Newman Cigar family is the oldest cigar maker in America, being founded in 1895. The family moved to America shortly before 1890 and put their son, Julius Caesar Newman, to work as an apprentice. He was only fourteen years old at the time and the family paid a teacher $3.00 a month to train him.

 

After finishing his training, J.C. decided to start his own company with nothing more than a few pieces of wood that he crafted into a table and a fifty dollar loan. His first cigar was the A.B.C. and his first order was for five hundred perfecto cigars.

 

By the time he was 25 years old, J.C.’s company boasted an impressive 75 employees, and several year’s after that, the company grew to over 700. After many years and surviving the Great Depression and several mergers, J.C. relocated the company to Tampa, Florida, which at the time was a central hub for Cuban tobacco imports.

 

J.C. Newman passed away in 1958, and his son Stanford took over the family business. Four years later another tragedy would strike the family, as the Cuban Embargo took hold, and the Newman’s were left without the premium Cuban tobacco they had long relied on.

 

It did not take Stanford long to find a suitable replacement however, and he is generally accredited with introducing the Cameroon Wrapper to the United States, which became a big hit.

 

The company is currently being run by the third generation of Newman’s and has entered into a cooperation with the majestic Arturo Feunte Family. In addition to being the subject of several museums, the company also holds the unique distinction of having the only smoking club in a Major League Baseball stadium.

  






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