Mr. F. Maynard Sundman, innovator of the stamp approval business died October 31st 2007, in Littleton, New Hampshire at the age of 92. Mr. Sundman, a well-respected and admired figure in the philatelic world has even been called «a giant in the hobby» by Mike Laurence, former editor-publisher of Linn’s Stamp News. Mr. Maynard patriarch of the Littleton-Mystic companies was in the business for over 70 years, and we all owe a lot to his passion for stamp collecting.
He started his first company in 1935 after finishing high school with $400 and help from a stamp dealer in Boston. Though he had to shut down when the war started, he re-started his business in 1945 after returning home. He had a golden touch when it came to marketing, knowing exactly how to get the most impact. He introduced stamp collecting to millions, especially in 1952 when he offered a free stamp series showing Adolf Hitler. Over half a million orders came in, completely exhausting the world’s supply of the stamps. Mr. Maynard pioneered the stamp approval method, trusting in the fundamental honesty of people to send back what they wouldn’t purchase. That method is still widely used today.
In the 20th century, two men tower above all others in terms of what they did to promote stamp collecting. Those two men are H.E. Harris and F. Maynard Sundman.