Littleton Coin Company
Stamps started it all – Littleton Coin Company
Over 70 years of Building Collections via the Mail
—Maynard Sundman, reflecting upon seeing his friend’s stamp collection in 1927.
For over 70 years, Littleton Coin Company has brought the excitement of collecting by sending stamps, coins and paper money to customers through the mail. Since 1945, from our Littleton, New Hampshire headquarters, we’ve provided customers with friendly, knowledgeable and dependable service. Today, thanks to the U.S. Postal Service, thousands of collectors across the country have shopped at Littleton Coin to begin collections, add to existing ones or to find unusual items to share with their friends and families. But Littleton’s history of bringing the “coin store to a customer’s door” via packages in the mail, goes back even earlier than that.
It all began in 1927, when rain forced 12-year-old Maynard Sundman and his friend inside. Billy showed him his stamp collection. From then on, Maynard was hooked. Although he received stamps through the mail from businesses far away, he spent hours studying ads offered by various companies. The same year the stock market crashed in 1929, setting off the Great Depression, Maynard turned 14. That year he noticed an ad for a free H.E. Harris stamp catalog and sent away for it. Inside he found an article: The Future of the Stamp Business. He had been selling penny stamps to other student collectors for a few years, and that article fueled the dream of starting his own business.
1935-41 The Maynard Sundman Stamp Company
After graduating from high school in the summer of 1935, he opened the Maynard Sundman Stamp Company with a $400 order he made from H.E. Harris. (Later Harris would serve as his mentor, teaching him key lessons about the mail order business.) Working from a table in his parents’ kitchen in Bristol, CT, he sent stamps on approval through the mail to customers across the country. With stamps on approval, he placed his trust in his customers, believing that if they saw the stamps to “approve” before they paid for them, they would be happier with their purchase in the long run. Maynard’s business blossomed that first year, even during the depression, and he hired four neighbors to help fill orders.
The Army Calls
About a year later, he met his future wife, Fannie Kasper, and they married in April 1941. WWII was in the news and the expected draft letter arrived, which eventually sent him overseas. With that, Maynard put his business on hold while he was away.
Although he served with the 5th Army in Italy, he still dreamed about his future business, and asked Fannie to scout for locations in northern New England to reopen it after the war ended. In 1944, she visited towns in New Hampshire, looking for spots to relocate the company and raise a family. Littleton’s friendly people and large post office won her over.
“Thank you for all you are doing to help me. I am very happy with all the coins I have received.
It is like waiting for Christmas morning every time I get a package from you.”
St. Augustine, FL
1945 – 1954 Littleton Stamp Company New Beginnings
New beginnings in Littleton, New Hampshire
After receiving an honorable discharge in October 1945, Maynard returned home. Several weeks later the couple journeyed north from Bristol, CT, and in early December, that same year, Littleton Stamp Company opened. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he decided to advertise in non-trade hobby publications – offering 10 free Hitler stamps from Bohemia-Moravia. These bold ad campaigns fueled an increase in business and growth.
1954 Littleton Stamp & Coin is Born
The coin and stamp hobbies were very popular in the ’50s and ’60s, so drawing inspiration from the Tatham Stamp Company, based in Springfield, MA, Maynard decided to send coins on approval through the mail. Littleton’s mail-order business continued to grow, and by 1972, Maynard’s eldest son David joined the company full time. A few years later, Littleton sent out its first direct mail piece.
1974 Mystic Stamp Company is Purchased
In 1974, Maynard decided to purchase Mystic Stamp Company and his youngest son, Don, agreed to oversee operations. By the end of the 1980s, Littleton moved its entire stamp inventory to Mystic. Now Littleton would focus on selling only coins, and when Maynard stepped aside, David became president.
Today under David’s guidance and a talented management team, Littleton Coin is an American success story, serving collectors across the nation through the help of the U.S. Postal Service. Under his leadership, the company’s product line continues to grow and expand. As one of the foremost providers of quality coins, bank notes and collector merchandise, the company continues to bring the excitement of collecting to a wide audience via the mail, making the coin hobby fun and easy.