The NEWMAN-STERN CO. was one of the nation's largest and best-known sporting-goods stores. The company began as the Electro-Set Co., organized in 1915 by brothers Arthur S. and JOSEPH S. NEWMAN and Arnold L. Stern, which specialized in radio parts and electrical toys for boys. Located in a small store on E. 4th St., the company soon became Cleveland's first supplier of radio parts and began a national mail-order parts business. The firm changed its name to the Newman-Stern Co. in 1917, and after the federal government banned the manufacture and sale of wireless equipment during WORLD WAR I, the company turned to sporting goods to bolster dwindling electronics sales.

With sporting goods its major business after the war, the company briefly occupied quarters in the Leader Bldg. at E. 6th St. and Superior Ave., before moving into the new Newman-Stern building at E. 12th St. and Walnut Ave. in 1921. With Arthur Newman's death in 1950, Joseph Newman sold his family's interest in the firm to department store owners Nathan Marcus and Allan Kramer. Under new management, Newman-Stern opened 2 suburban branches. By 1965, however, the store located in the Shoregate shopping center in Willowick, Ohio remained the only branch store. In 1963, Gateway Sporting Goods Co. of Kansas City acquired the company and 4 years later, moved Newman-Stern's downtown store to 634 Euclid Ave. When Gateway encountered serious financial problems in the spring of 1973, it closed the remaining downtown and Southgate stores. In the meantime, the Newman family had organized the Newman-Adler Co. in 1967 to sell camping and outdoor equipment. By 2004, the camping equipment business, known as InterGreen Outfitters, operated a single location in CHAGRIN FALLS, and was still owned by the Newman family.

Joseph Newman Papers, WRHS.

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