The unnamed owner of a newsstand in the Taggart Terminal. Twenty years ago he owned a cigarette factory but it went under, and he's been working at his newsstand ever since. He is a collector of cigarettes, and knows every brand ever made. He occassionally chats with /DagnyTaggart
when she comes by. On one occassion (/SectioN132
), after Dagny asks him about his collection, he bemoans the fact that there are no new brands and the old brands are all disappearing. Later (section?) he shows her a new brand that he found, that he had never seen before. It carried the sign of the dollar.
In his first appearance, /NewsstandOwner likens the fire of a cigarette to the fire of the mind. This alludes to the Greek myth of Prometheus, who gave mankind the gift of fire, allowing it to raise itself up and become civilized. In AtlasShrugged, it is the mind of man that raises mankind. Thus the cigarettes become symbolic of the men of the mind. The disappearance of the old brands represents the disappearance of the men of the mind, and /NewsstandOwner's discovery of the new brand foreshadows Dagny's discovery of a new kind of men of the mind.