Frederick Maynard Sundman (or "Maynard" as all knew him) was one of the most successful and innovative stamp dealers of the twentieth century. Born in 1915, Sundman was a stamp dealer from the age of twenty, beginning a small mail order company which he operated out of his home. Sundman joined the army at the outbreak of WWII and was sent to North Africa where he won the Bronze Star which was given for “meritorious achievement in a war zone.” Coming back to the United States in 1945, he renewed his interest in stamps and continued as a stamp dealer.
No American philatelist has had more influence on our hobby than John Walter Scott. Scott became involved with stamps at a very early period and by the late 1860s was publishing a price list that he later expanded into a worldwide stamp catalog. Scott was originally a seller of stamps, and it was only in the late 1890s that his publishing business became more profitable than his stamp selling business.
Stamp dealers generally divide into two broad groups—dealers and publishers. Most of the great American publishers—Scott, Minkus, and Harris among them—began as traditional stamp dealers selling stamp
There were two great waves of philatelic giants—the founders and the consolidators. The founders were the Big Five present at the creation of our hobby. Philatelists such as J. Walter Scott, Stanley Gibbons, Moens in Belgium, John Luff, and Heinrich Kohler—these five philatelists created, shortly after 1850, the catalogs and the albums that essentially defined the hobby of stamp collecting and made it into the academic collecting hobby that it is today. Without our catalogs and literature, philately is little different from any other collecting hobby, and it was the Founding Five who created the literature and the structures that we still use today and that makes philately different from button collecting.
Henry Ellis Harris was born in 1902 and became a stamp dealer at the age of 14. Stamp collecting was a very popular hobby in the early twentieth century, and Harris combined his love for the hobby with modern merchandising techniques to greatly popularize the hobby of stamp collecting. In the process of creating a very successful and profitable business, Harris forever changed the way people collected stamps. 1880-1930 was the era of catalog sales and mail order. Companies like Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward modeled their businesses to use the US Post Office to deliver their products to every home in America. With increasing mobility and automobile ownership after WWII, the mail order model fell off as shopping centers and malls proliferated. But
Deciding what to do with a loved one’s stamp collection is a daunting task for most people. The person who made the collection knows best what they have, what they have spent, and has some idea how to best go about disposing of the stamp collection that they made. Family members and heirs often are brought in when the collector has died or is infirm or just can't make the decision to sell philatelic property that they own, even though the funds from such a sale could certainly be better used elsewhere. Coming into the stamp selling process as a non-collecting family member is confusing, but there are some guidelines and ways to go about it that can minimize the time you spend selling the collection and more importantly maximize the value that you receive for it.