Ned Green

The famous collectors of yesteryear were a colorful group and none was more interesting than Edward Green. Ned was the son of Hetty Green who was called the “witch of Wall Street” but as far as being a mother was concerned you could have left out the Wall Street part. Hetty was the heir to a great Quaker whaling family and inherited $7 million in 1865 when her father died. She was a shrewd investor but so parsimonious that when Ned broke his leg she either refused to take him to a doctor or tried to do so on the cheap so that Ned’s leg eventually had to be amputated. She rarely washed and seldom changed her clothes and when she died in 1916 she left Ned $75 million. Ned was pretty good at making money himself, running railroads and investing in depressed bonds. But he lived lavishly, threw large and expensive parties and paid for the finest and fastest women. He also collected stamps. When the 24c inverted Jenny was discovered, Eugene Klein the famous Philadelphia stamp dealer sold the sheet intact to Green for $20000 (Green broke it up and sold pieces from it, but only because he knew that this was the best way to begin to increase the value of his investment). Stories abound of his philatelic largess. He would visit Nassau Street, the capital of philately in New York, weekly during the Great Depression and with his car and driver at the curb proceed to empty stamp dealer shops of any items that struck his fancy. Ned died in 1936. It is estimated that he spent over $500,000 a year on his hobby throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s and had amassed by the time of his death the finest stamp collection in the world.

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top