Maynard Sundman introduced millions to the once exclusive worlds of philately and numismatics and became, in essence, one of the great marketers of and for philately in its entire history. His story is legendary—beginning with his founding of his Maynard Sundman Stamp Company in 1935.
A stamp collector since his childhood in Littleton, New Hampshire, Sundman started the Littleton Stamp Company, in 1915, after returning from Army service in World War II. He dramatically expanded the practice of shipping items “on approval”—something made essential to philately by H.E. Harris of Boston in the 1920s.
His gigantic business grew because of, quite simply, the inherent dedication of his family’s involvement—especially from his fi rst wife, Fannie. Their business began in their home with stamps and stamps piled high on card tables and hundreds of approval selections going into the mails daily.
It wasn’t long before the Littleton company was solidly preeminent in both the stamp and coin hobbies. Today, well into the 21st century, the Littleton Coin Company continues its leadership as one of a handful of top businesses in the numismatic hobby. The company employs about 350 people and occupies 85,000 square feet.
His sons David, president of the Littleton Coin Company, and Donald, president of the Mystic Stamp Company, have endowed a lecture series in his name at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and another at the World’s Fair of Money, the American Numismatic Association’s annual convention.
Should someone ever ask what this hobby needs more of, a natural answer to that question would be, “More Maynard Sundmans!”