THE COLONIAL COIN & STAMP COMPANY
The E-Sylum (10/10/2010)
I've enjoyed Harvey Stack's stories about the coin business in New York. In his list of dealers active there during the 1930s he mentioned all those well known today, but he omitted one name that was prominent at the time and since forgotten.
When I was researching my book on coin boards, one of the publishers was Colonial Coin & Stamp Company of NYC. These were the Cadillacs of coin boards, with clear cellophane backings that showed both sides of the coins. The owner of CC&S Co. was Leiser W. Schnelling. While NYC directories of the years 1935-40 included all of the dealers mentioned by Harvey, the largest ads and the only ones featuring graphics in addition to text were those of Colonial.
Schnelling was evidently a big buyer and seller at the time, but he entered the Army in 1942 and seems to have been never again connected with the coin business. He died in 1981, completely forgotten by the hobby until my book resurrected his name. I wonder whether Harvey has any recollection of Schnelling or Colonial.
I'm attaching a couple photos that show the company's location at 505-507 Fifth Avenue in 1940, one block east of Stack's. Number 507 has a white arrow pointing to it, while 505 (to the right of it) has the company's name and logo painted in the second story windows. The blowup reveals the Colonial Coin & Stamp Company logo of the Statue of Liberty, which also appears on its coin boards.
Though I was not active in the coin business as a full time dealer until 1947, I did have the opportunity to know many of the old-timers prior to that date. While I was still going to school, especially in the late 1930's and l940's, I worked part time (virtually every Saturday and Holiday that I didn't have school work to do), and I am sorry to say I do not recall a Colonial Stamp and Coin Co in NYC, located at 507 Fifth Avenue. As the address indicates that the location of the firm was near 42nd Street in NYC,, and Stack's in the early 1940's was located on 46th Street, near Fifth Avenue. I do not remember the Colonial name, nor the proprietor Leiser W. Scnelling.
There were a number of stamp and coin dealers in NYC and I wonder though it was called Colonial Stamp and Coin, if their specialty was Stamps and Stamp albums (a big business at that time.
The only Colonial Stamp and Coin Co. that I remember during the post World War II period was located in Cleveland, Ohio.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: HARVEY STACK: HOW NEW YORK BECAME THE COIN CAPITAL (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n40a08.html)