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B. Max Mehl, Master Mailer, Part I

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger

Author: Frank Van Valen / Friday, April 01, 2016 / Categories: Exonumia Corner

​One of my recent Exonumia Corner blogs about a B. Max Mehl good luck charm caught the eye of a reader who owned an old B. Max Mehl envelope with all its contents. The envelope was addressed to the reader's grandfather and was intact with all its many inserts after many decades. We negotiated a fair price and I added the group of Mehl items to my personal collection.

B. Max Mehl (1884-1957) was born in Lithuania and came to America with his family when he was 12 years old. In 1903 Mehl placed his first ad ever, a small buy ad placed in the pages of The Numismatist. A year later he began advertising in the Fort Worth Telegram. In 1906 Mehl left his position in the family shoe business and opened an office across town in Fort Worth, Texas -- and the rest was history as they say. Mehl's career covered six decades and helped usher in a new era in numismatics with his intensive ad campaigns and mailings.

The Mehl package I purchased was chock full of advertising and numismatic information and included six different Mehl items. Among them is the original cover letter to the collector on Mehl's letterhead; a slightly tattered but complete Star Coin Book, Second Edition; his Coins and Paper Money Price List #36, copyright 1925; a flyer advertising commemorative coins for sale on one side and books on the other; a flyer with testimonials and guarantees; and, of course, a return envelope. All this in an envelope with a 1½ cent brown Harding stamp for postage.

The original mailing envelope, cover letter, and return envelope are featured in this installment – the other goodies will be featured in a not too distant Part II. I can't wait to share the prices in the Star Coin Book and Price List #36!