Copyright 2000-2020 John N. J. Lupia, III

Photo of Ernest Hack about age 24 circa 1913. Courtesy of his grandson.

Ernest Hack was born "Ernest Polczynski" (1889-1971), owner of Eagle Stamp and Coin, Detroit Michigan. Active c. 1900 to 1940.

He was born on May 14, 1889, in Detroit, Michigan, son of Joseph Polczynski (1856-1891), and Valeris Clara Pyszora (1868-1937), both Polish-German immigrants. After his father’s death on September 5, 1891, his mother remarried to Louis G. Hack (1867-1939), and he took on his adopted father’s name being known as Ernest Hack. Ernest only completed the 3d grade Elementary School.

His business letterhead in 1912 says he was established in 1900 as a dealer in stamps, coins, curios, paper money and Indian relics at 1362 Baldwin Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. At that time he worked for McGraw Stamp Company and as we have seen had his own business at 1362 Baldwin Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. He finally left McGraw Stamp Company opening shop in 1914 at 206 Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Michigan, selling stamps, coins and paper money. He moved his shop to 1269 Baldwin Avenue, but was forced to relocate in 1915 due to fire, when he removed to Granger Street, Detroit.

Also, in 1914, he married Mary Bradke (1888-), who was also born of German immigrant parents. They had three sons and five daughters.

From 1917 - 1920, he was working as a punch press operator at Burrows Adding Machine Company, Detroit.

He was a private in the Michigan National Guard. According to his Draft Registration Card he was of medium height and build and had grey eyes, and light brown hair.

Ernest Hack correspondence with F. E. Ralston, Kansas City, Missouri, postmarked Detroit, Michigan, January 13, 1930. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

About 1930 his store was located at 5762 Baldwin Avenue, Detroit, Michigan. His 1930 U.S. Census report lists him as a punch machine operator at an adding machine factory.

He was an active member of the Detroit Museum and made many donations of artifacts gathered on various trips around.

He was a member of the Detroit Coin Club and donated a copy of Hazlitt, The Coinage of the European Continent, to the Library on December 18, 1930.

In 1940, the U. S. Census says he was unemployed living at Granger Street.

In 1942, according to his Draft Registration Card, he was still unemployed and lived at 2584 Garland, Detroit, Michigan.

He was an electrical engineer by trade and patented an electric mail box in April 18, 1917, Serial No. 163058.

In his retirement he lived at St. Clair Shores, Macomb County, Michigan.

He died on September 21, 1971, at Romeo, Macomb County, Michigan.


Thanks to Daniel Sheffer, grandson of Ernest Hack who corresponded with me in September 2009 providing some details and the photo otherwise inaccessible.

Work :

Eagle Stamp and Coin, Retail Price List No. 1, of U. S. and Foreign Stamps, Coins, and Paper Money. 33 pages. Copyright July 2, 1917

Bibliography :

Bulletin of the Detroit Museum of Art 1908

Philatelic West, Vol. 53, No. 3, October (1911) : 3 half-page display ad

McKeel’s Weekly Stamp News, Vol. 28, May 30, (1914) : 200.

Electrical World, Vol. 47, No. 6, Part 1 (1919) : 336.

The Numismatist, Vol. XLIV, No. 2, February (1931) : 137