About Littleton Coin Company's Founder

Maynard Sundman 1915-2007

A Decent Boldness

The heart-warming tale of courage and inspiration of Littleton Coin Company’s founder! Buy the book

Video: Humble beginnings - How Littleton Coin Company got its start.

Littleton Founder Maynard Sundman’s passion for collecting started with stamps in 1927. His entrepreneurial spark was ignited in 1935 when, after graduating from Bristol (CT) High School, he launched a mail order stamp business from his family’s home. After an honorable U.S. Army discharge in 1945, he and his wife, Fannie, moved to Littleton, NH. There, a modern postal facility occupied nearly the entire first floor of a new federal building in the downtown.

That December, from a modest one-room office, the couple launched their catalog business with a revolutionary approach to advertising. Instead of hobby or trade periodicals, Maynard placed ads in comic books, Sunday newspaper supplements and general-interest magazines, plus bubble-gum wrappers. In the consumer-driven post-war years, his approach proved hugely successful. The company was soon shipping orders at a rate of 25 mailbags a day.

In 1954, the company’s name changed to Littleton Stamp & Coin, reflecting the complementary relationship between philately and numismatics, and a coin-collecting interest Maynard shared with his son, David. Another name change occurred in 1974 with purchase of the Mystic Stamp Company and the merger of Littleton’s philately division into the company managed by another son, Don.

In 2002, his two sons established the Maynard Sundman Lecture Series at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. It annually features talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting. Separately, David and the Littleton Coin Company established the Maynard Sundman Lecture Series held each year the World’s Fair of Money convened by the American Numismatic Association.

In 2004, Maynard received two separate 50-year membership awards that recognized his contributions to and life memberships in the American Philatelic Society and the American Numismatic Society.

Littleton Coin Company's beloved founder, Maynard Sundman, passed away on October 31, 2007. His devotion to family, friends, customers and employees will forever be an inspiration to us.

Read more:

November 2007

Dear Valued Customer,

With sadness, but also with respect and appreciation for a life lived fully and lived well, I am writing to inform you of the recent passing of my father, Maynard Sundman, who along with my mother Fannie founded Littleton Coin Company over 60 years ago. Soon after Dad’s discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945, following service with the Fifth Army in North Africa and Italy during World War II, my parents moved to Littleton, New Hampshire, where they founded our company in a small one-room 2nd floor office on Littleton’s Main Street.

Over the next several decades, growing the business and raising a family became their passion and their joy. Through innovative personal service, along with a broad inventory of coins in a wide range of grades, Dad introduced many new collectors to the fascinating and rewarding hobbies of stamp, coin and paper money collecting.

For many years, my father was our only U.S. coin buyer. One time around 1958, Dad was advertising to buy “key date” 1909-S VDB Lincoln cents, offering something like $15.00 for Fine to Very Fine condition. A woman from California sent us an entire roll of 50 coins in Uncirculated condition! Dad wrote her back to say he couldn’t buy them because they were worth more than what he was paying. After she insisted that he pay her exactly what he had advertised, Dad went ahead and paid her more anyway! I’ll never forget the thrill of holding that roll of 1909-S VDB cents in my hands, something few have ever seen.

Today, we have a full staff of expert coin buyers, and Littleton Coin provides employment to over 350 area residents. My father was proud of this development, but his true legacy among our staff over the years was his sincere respect and appreciation for the contributions of each and every employee. Dad understood that our firm is a “partnership” among everyone involved, especially regarding our relationship with you.

My father was a very generous, and usually anonymous, contributor to many local, regional and statewide charitable causes and organizations. He was always pleased to give, but he never sought recognition for it, and we’re proud to continue that community-oriented tradition.

Dad loved the collecting hobby and the business and couldn’t wait to get to work each day. He was making it to the office nearly every day until a month ago. Even then, he continued to work from home.

Our family and our staff will miss him greatly. His enthusiasm for work and life will always be an inspiration to us, and we look forward to continuing to share this enthusiasm for the hobby with you for many years to come.


David M. Sundman,