Notes from the Past

Edward H. R. Green
Famous Philatelists Series

"Colonel" Green (1868-1936) was the closest that the United States ever came to possessing a national "Ferrary."  He was the son of Hetty Green, known as the "Witch of Wall Street."  His mother was so frugal that she delayed medical treatment for her son and he ended up with having his leg amputated.  He lived with a prosthesis thereafter.

Green was an accumulator rather than a student of philately.  It is doubtful that he ever acquired any significant philatelic knowledge.  He did have money, however, and bought everything in sight regardless of price.  Dealers were happy to accommodate his interests as he often bought whole collections.  A famous picture shows him reviewing a dealer's offerings brought to him while he sat curbside in his electric car.

It was Green who bought the 24¢ Inverted Jenny sheet for $20,000 from Eugene Klein, the Philadelphia dealer who reportedly paid George Robey $15,000 for the sheet he purchased at the Washington, D.C., post office for $24.  The sheet was broken up by Green.

Following Green's death, the mass of stamps he had accumulated came to the market and were sold in a series of 28 auctions beginning in 1942.  A total of about $3 million was realized which was a record at that time for the philatelic estate of a single collector.
 

- adapted from Kenneth A. Wood
This is Philately - Volume Two G-P
Van Dahl Publications 1982
Posted May 2, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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