Newman, Joseph S. (Joseph Simon), 1891-1960

Alternative names
Birth 1891-12-06
Death 1960-11-10

Biographical notes:

Founder and president of Newman-Stern Co., lyricist for the City Club of Cleveland's Anvil Revue, writer of light verse and scientific articles under the pen name Dr. Si N. Tiffic, and chairman of the Progressive Citizens Committee of Cleveland.

From the description of Papers, 1887-1960. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 17645071

Joseph S. Newman (1891-1960) was founder and president of the Newman-Stern Company, lyricist for the City Club's Anvil Revue, and writer of light verse. Newman was born December 6, 1891, in New London, Ohio, to Simon and Hannah Newman, who moved to Cleveland shortly thereafter. Newman developed an interest in chemistry and electrical technology, particularly the wireless telegraph, before his graduation from Central High in 1909; he attended the Case School of Applied Science the following year.

Family finances required Newman to leave school in 1910, whereupon he traveled selling vacuum cleaners, then worked six months as a research assistant for the National Carbon Company. In January 1911 Newman was hired by Stearn and Company (formerly Levy and Stearn) as manager of their electrical, photographic, and sporting goods department. He was store manager by the time he left Stearn and Company three years later. With partner R. K. Becker, Newman founded the Electro-Set Company in 1914 to sell electrical experimental apparatus for boys. When the government halted the sale of wireless telegraph apparatus during World War I, the company added a line of sporting goods and became the Newman-Stern Company. Joseph Newman remained president of the company until he sold it in 1950.

Newman was well known in Cleveland as a writer of light verse. He began writing poetry before the age of twelve and had published poems by age twenty-one. As Dr. Si N. Tiffic he was a regular contributor to Ted Robinson's "Philosopher of Folly" column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer . From 1925 to 1958 Newman was lyricist for the City Club's Anvil Revue . His first book of poetry, Poems for Penguins, was published in 1941, followed by I t Could Be Verse (1948), Perishable Poems (1952), and Verse Yet (1960). In 1952 Newman began writing a weekly column, "It Could Be Verse," for the Cleveland Press, adding a daily column, "Joe Newman's Frying Pan" in 1957.

In 1913 Joseph Newman married Babette Weidenthal, daughter of Maurice Weidenthal, publisher of The Jewish Independent.

click here to view the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry for Joseph Simon Newman

From the guide to the Joseph Simon Newman Papers, 1887-1960, (Western Reserve Historical Society)


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  • Humorous poetry, American
  • Sporting goods industry--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Jews--Social life and customs
  • Humorous poetry, American--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Jews--Ohio--Cleveland--Social life and customs
  • Radio supplies industry
  • Radio supplies industry--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Political satire, American
  • Sporting goods industry
  • Political satire, American--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Musical revue, comedies, etc.--Ohio--Cleveland
  • Revues
  • Newman, Joseph Simon, 1891-1960


not available for this record


  • Ohio--Cleveland (as recorded)