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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 45, November 4, 2007, Article 2

LITTLETON COIN COMPANY FOUNDER MAYNARD SUNDMAN, 1915-2007

Maynard Sundman, founder of the Littleton Stamp and Coin
Company (and father of NBS Secretary-Treasurer David Sundman)
died this week at the age of 92.  Our thoughts and condolences
go out to the Sundman family. Below are excerpts from an article
on Sundman published in the Union Leader of Manchester, NH.
-Editor]

"Fascinated by postage stamps as a young boy and resolved
to turn his passion into his life's work, Maynard Sundman
parlayed his earnings from magazine subscription sales and
raising rabbits into two of the world's largest stamp and
coin companies.

"Sundman, founder of the Littleton Stamp Co. and the
Littleton Coin Co., died Wednesday at the age of 92 in
the hometown he adopted more than 60 years ago.

"'Here was a man who took a hobby and turned it into a
huge international business,'' said Littleton Selectman
Brien Ward. 'He could have made his living anywhere, but
he wanted to live in the North Country.''

"Maynard Sundman is remembered for his innovations in
mail-order advertising, particularly through newspapers
and magazines, in an era when his competitors simply advertised
in stamp collecting publications. He also gave his customers
a chance to look over their stamps at home before they
purchased them.

"'He was an expert on mail-order response,' said fellow
numismatist and longtime friend Q. David Bowers, co-chairman
of Stack's of New York City and Wolfeboro. 'He was most
skilled at that.''

"Maynard Sundman continued to be active at the Littleton
Coin Co. until shortly before his death. He used a 1948
Royal typewriter to keep in touch with collectors from
around the country.

"'He was a nice person,'' Bowers said. 'He was kind to
everyone he met -- he never had a bad word about anyone.
He was well-liked and a good example of what a business
person should be.'"

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story
[A more extensive article was published in the Caledonian
Record.  Many thanks to Dave Bowers for forwarding it.
-Editor]

News of Sundman's death saw "many dazed people, and a lot
of tears," on the floor of the Littleton Coin Company,
said longtime employee and friend Edward Hennessey.

Until very recently, Sundman had continued to come to
work at the coin company almost daily. "He worked for 91 1/2
of his 92 years," said Hennessey. "He'd been suffering from
congestive heart failure, so he had stopped driving about
three or four months ago."

"He was in his 90s, but we still wanted him more," said
Kathleen Hennebury, administration assistant to the Littleton
Area Chamber of Commerce. "The thing about him and his generation
was that he was always giving back, how could he do more for
the community, how could he do more for his employees. It is
definitely a loss for the community. He was such a good soul."

"Until recently, Dad came to work nearly every day here
at Littleton Coin," said David Sundman. "He used his trusty
1948 Royal manual typewriter to answer correspondence from
friends and collectors around the country."

The stamp company's first home was a one-room office in
Tilton's Opera Block on Littleton's Main Street. The
Sundmans lived in a small apartment above the A & P Store,
across from the post office. "Once customer orders began to
arrive, it was Maynard's daily routine to walk across the
street to the post office to pick up the daily mail and carry
it in a shoebox a few blocks down the street to the office,"
the family stated. "Today the mail for Littleton Coin Company
arrives daily by the thousands in large trucks, and is the
largest postal customer in northern New Hampshire."

Between the two companies, some three million orders each
year are fulfilled for stamp and coin collecting customers.
In 1995, a book about Sundman had been published called,
"A Decent Boldness: The Life Achievement of Maynard Sundman
at Littleton Stamp & Coin Company."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

David Sundman writes: "Dad went to two just coin shows in
his whole life, so very few dealers knew him except by mail
order dealing, or trips to Littleton.  Dad was our first U.S.
coin buyer. I can recall that he told me he had to turn down
bags of Indian Head cents offered to him in the early 1950s
at $150.00 a bag (3 cents a coin) because he did not have
the money.  In those days, a bag of Indians would include
every date except 1877 and 1908-S and 1909-S.  I remember
because I used to sort the bags — starting at around age five
or so.  Dad loved the hobby and the business and couldn’t
wait to get to work.  He was just amazed at how large the
coin trade had become over the nearly 60 years he witnessed.
Dad was making it to work nearly every day up to a month ago.
Our family and our staff will miss him greatly."

[Again, our heartfelt condolences to the Sundman family and
Littleton for their loss.

Arrangements and care have been entrusted to Ross Funeral
Home of Littleton, 282 West Main Street, Littleton, NH,
telephone 603-444-5377.  Email rossfhlittleton@aol.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Littleton
Regional Hospital Charitable Foundation, 600 St. Johnsbury
Road, Littleton, NH 03561 or
www.littletonhospital.org/lt.nsf/View/Foundation_Mission.
-Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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