I thought it would be fun to
start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 81
This was a special cancellation, with special cover to match, done Sept. 14, 1990, in Tarzana, California. Since then it has had another special cancellation added, from the Dum-Dum June 18, 1999, 20 year ago. The Dum-Dum was in Woodland Hills but the cancellation was over at the Tarzana Post Office, not too far away.
There are lots of these "Open House" envelopes floating around in people's collections. Some collectors have used the extra space for the ERB stamp and the 2012 first-day-of-issue cancellation.
I'm not sure what the 1990 "open house" was, whether it was an event of the Tarzana Chamber of Coimmerce or something involving Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., itself. Perhaps someone "out there" knows.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 82
Ron Ely, Tarzan on TV from 1966 to 1968, is featured on this cover mailed Sept. 15, 2006. The Cover Monster of Ohio made this cover on his computer and his note inside said, "It's hard to find stamps that fit Tarzan covers."
Yes, it was just over six years before the Edgar Rice Burroughs-Tarzan stamp was issued, but I think The Cover Monster did well in his stamp selection, using a 29-cent Giraffe stamp from the Wild Animals booklet issued by the USPS on Oct. 1, 1992, along with a 10-cent stamp depicting a tourmaline sample, part of the four-stamp Mineral Heritage stamps issued on June 13, 1974. Tourmaline is one of the world's most popular gemstones and is easy to find in jewelry stores, as well as in the vaults of Opar in Tarzan's Africa.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 83
The late Charles C. Beery of Clarksville, Tennessee, made this "Tarzana Cal. Vine Flight" cover and mailed it to me on Sept. 17, 2005. The cover has another stamp and cancellation as well, Aug. 13 of that year from Elyria, Ohio, where Beery had gathered for a fun weekend with fellow members of the Art Cover Exchange.
He came home from the meeting with some Local Post stickers. LPs are fantasy stamps made by some collectors to use on their mail along with regular postage. This cover has three such LPs - Fort Findlay from a collector in Findlay, Ohio; an LP identified only as "Bobmail," and a Hispanico Island Local Post made by Charlie Delgado specifically to hand out at the event. The small print on the LP reads: "Flying High With ACE."
Most of Beery's covers are readily identifiable to fellow collectors with his custom of using designs with alternating sets of colored horizontal and vertical lines, as he does on this cover around his Tarzana "logo."
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 84
The Cover Monster was busy on Sept. 18 in two different years.
On that date in 2002 he used a "Tarzan the Mighty" poster image on a cover, mailed from Cleveland, Ohio, with the type of machine cancel then in use. For postage, he used a 5-center of Dr. Walter Reed, for whom Walter Reed National Military Medical center in the District of Columbia is named. The stamp was issued April 17, 1940. The other stamp is the Stegosaurus from the 15-stamp World of Dinosaurs sheet issued May 1, 1997.
The second cover was mailed on Sept. 18, 2007 with the newer type of machine cancel, the "spray-on" cancellation.
The cover was an image of the book club edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs's "The Land That Time Forgot." Stamps were of two super-size living creatures. One was of Tyrannosaurus Rex and the other of the Giant Sequoia tree.
The 25-cent Tyrannosaurus Rex stamp was from the four-stamp Prehistoric Animals sheet issued by the Postal Service on Oct. 1, 1989. On Aug. 29 of this year, the Postal Service turned loose four more Tyrannosaurus Rex stamps, from baby to bones. They should be available at your local post office.
The other stamp on the cover is the 13-cent Giant Sequoia with its scientific name, of Sequoiadendron giganteum, also printed on the stamp. It is from the four-stamp set "American Trees" issued by the Postal Service Oct. 9, 1978.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 85
After seeing a high school production of Disney's Tarzan musical, Charlie Delgado of Elyria, Ohio, used color markers to depict young Tarzan on this 6x9 cover. He mailed it to me on Sept. 27, 2014. Inside was the program from the production and Charlie also used a copy of the cast page from the program on the back of the cover.
Charlie is member No. 20 of the Art Cover Exchange (ACE), a group which puts designs on envelopes (covers) and mails them to other members. Charlie paid the postage for this with a meter strip obtained at the post office counter but added a 1-cent Tiffany Lamp stamp so he could get a bullseye local postmark on the cover as well.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 86
The Amazing Stories issue dated March 1941 carried "The City of Mummies" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Cover Monster of Ohio used the magazine's cover as the cachet on a postal cover mailed Sept. 30, 2003, 16 years ago today.
The novelette, in which John Carter teamed up with Pan Dee Chee and his granddaughter, Llana of Gathol, was the first of four other novelettes, also published in 1941, the action beginning in the city of Horz and moving on to other locales on Barsoom as the story continued. All four novelettes were collected and published under the title, "Llana of Gathol," the tenth book in ERB's Martian series, in 1948.
For the Red Planet cover, The Cover Monster used the 37-cent Red Bat stamp from the four-stamp American Bats series issued by the USPS on Friday, Sept. 13, 2002.
Background on "Llana"- and Full e-Text Edition
Summary of "Llana" by David Adams and Fredrik Ekman:
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 87
Cachet maker Bonnie Fuson made 10 of these Hal Foster covers for the Prince Valiant stamp issued Oct. 1, 1995, in Boca Raton, Florida, as part of the 20-stamp sheet of Comic Strip Classics. The wording on the cover notes that Foster "was commissioned to do the first newspaper adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan." By 1937, Foster had decided it was time to try his hand at launching an original creation." He came up with "Prince Valiant," which is illustrated today by well-known artists of all things Burroughs -- Thomas Yeates.
*** 1. 1996 stamp honored Hal Foster, first Tarzan comic strip artist and later creator of Prince Valiant.
*** 2. The 1995 Comic Strip Classics sheet of stamps, issued by the U.S. Postal Service, featured two Tarzan-related stamps. Prince Valiant was created by Hal Foster, first artist of the Tarzan comic strip, and Flash Gordon was a character portrayed on the screen by Buster Crabbe, who also was a film Tarzan.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 88
This cover was made and mailed on Oct. 2, 1992, 27 years ago today, by Dale Goble of Oregon, to Charlie Delgado. of Ohio. Charlie passed it on to me because its subject was Tarzan.
Both Dale and Charlie like to make their own stamps. These "stamps" are called LPs, or "Local Posts." They are of no actual postage value, or course, so real stamps must also be affixed to an envelope in order for the mail to go through.
For some of his creations, Dale uses the "Xanadu Local Post" designation. Charlie uses such names as "Mex Mail" and "Featherhead" (for the Cleveland Indians) and anything else that comes to mind. These four "stamps" were issued by Dale to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Tarzan, and they feature images well known to most fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan. He canceled it with a "Mailer's Postmark Permit" ((MPP) cancellation, a device anyone can obtain by going through an application process with the Post Office. He also applied a "First Day of Issue" rubber stamp to mean that Oct. 2 was the first day he used his Tarzan LPs.
As postage, Goble used a Dorothy Parker stamp which had been issued a couple of months earlier, in August.
A short-story writer and poet, Parker became the 10th addition to the Literary Arts Stamp Series, a series which would add author Burroughs in 2012. As a staff writer for The New Yorker, Parker's short stories were so popular that her later books and poetry became instant best sellers.
She was a founding member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table, and best known for her wit. Among her more memorable quotes are, “I don’t care what is written about me as long as it isn’t true”
Pictured are the cover Goble sent to Charlie along with an insert which showed larger images of his stamps and included a brief salute to ERB.
1. Dale Goble used a "first day of issue" rubber stamp on the first day he used his Local Post "cinderella" stamps honoring the 80th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan.
2. This flyer shows Dale Goble's four Tarzan "stamps" which he issued in October 1992 to honor the 80th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 89
This is an add-on cover. The lion image was added long after the cover itself was canceled, on Oct. 3, 1976, 43 years ago today. I grabbed this cover out of a discount box at a stamp show because of the words on the special cancellation, "Numaphil." I'm certain that the "Numa" had nothing to do with the name Edgar Rice Burroughs gave the lions in Tarzan's Africa, but rather had to do with the hobbies of Numismatics and Philately. So this was undoubtedly a special cancellation that was authorized for a coin-stamp show in San Jose, California.
But the Burroughs collector in me prompted me to pay 25 cents for this cover, and later I clipped an image of a lion from a magazine and glued it onto the cover. Thus, a cover that started out as a simple souvenir of a stamp show, is now officially a Burroughs cover!
Numa looks quite pleased at being added.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 90
Take any stuffed Teddy bear and provide it with a loin cloth and you, too, can have a Tarzan bear. The one on this cover, made and mailed on Oct. 5, 2006, 13 years ago today by Ralph Calabrese of Berkeley Heights, N.J., appears to be a Steiff brand bear. They are available here and there on the internet. The bear's name is apparently Johnny and he comes with a small stuffed monkey named Jocko, two names with which Tarzan movie fans are familiar.
The occasion for this cover was the availability of the new Holiday Snowflakes stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service and this cover bears the first-day-of-issue postmark from New York.
More info: HERE
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 91
Carolyn Marks of Bella Cachets added this scene to a first-day cover with a 37-cent Scarlet Kingsnake stamp. The stamp, along with stamps featuring four other crawly creatures, was issued Oct. 7, 2003. The scene is based on a segment of Disney’s 1999 animated “Tarzan.”
The other cover is from 2016, when the Postal Service issued a sheet of four different Wonder Woman stamps on the 75th anniversary of her first appearance. I used one, along with an Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp, with an image plucked from a Mad Magazine illustration of Tarzan (or is that Melvin of the Apes?) with a Wonder Woman lookalike.
The wording of “Tarzan and Diana of the Jungle” had a double meaning, since Diane Prince was Wonder Woman’s secret identity and Diana was also the name of a mythical Roman huntress. Burroughs applied that name to Jane, who had to use jungle skills on her own without Tarzan, especially in a chapter titled “Diana of the Jungle” in Burroughs’s epic novel, “Tarzan the Terrible.” The first day of issue for the Wonder Woman stamp was Oct. 7, 2016.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 92
Edgar Rice Burroughs fans will instantly know the book on which these two postal covers are based, both having images of the Fred Arting design for the jacket and frontispiece of the first edition of “Tarzan of the Apes.”
First to arrive in my mailbox was one on a 5 ½” by 4 ¼”-size envelope from Kristen Maki Hermanny of Illinois, who created the classic silhouette showing the original price on the spine as well as the lion which roamed the landscape on the left side of the wraparound dust jacket. She added postage from the four-stamp “Hudson River School” paintings series, issued by the Postal Service in 2014. This one, called “Sunset” by Frederic Edwin Church, has colors complementing the ones she used on the cover. She mailed it Oct. 16, 2015
A cover with a similar design was painted two and a half years later by Uwe Youssoupoff of Florida, and mailed May 7, 2018. His featured a “Mailer’s Postmark Permit” cancellation on a stamp honoring Burroughs. His design, on a 6 ½” by 3 ½”-inch envelope, showed parts of the tree that Arting left out.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 93
Dennis Gelvin of Olympia used both side of a Tarzan trading card for this cover, mailed Oct. 23, 2006. Each card in the 66-card series, made by the Philadelphia Gum Company, featured a brief summary of a segment of a Tarzan adventure. The card says:
"Racing against time, TARZAN plunged from the government land survey plane toward toward the river below. He hoped to land between the boat and the ocean, preventing the pirates from escaping. Surprise was his best weapon."
This was card 42. If, however, you think you'll find out what happens by reading the back of card 43, forget it! That card shows Tarzan trying to escape from the tentacles of a giant man-eating plant! You had to imagine the "before and after" the adventure snippet on each card.
To see what all the cards look like and what they say, go here:
The stamp on this cover, nearly hidden by the machine cancellation image, is a Holiday Snowflakes stamp. Four different designs were issued Oct. 5, 2006, in New York, just a couple of weeks before Dennis made this cover.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 94
Charlie Delgado of Elyria, Ohio, used a ticket to a local Disney Tarzan production along with some Disney Tarzan stickers, to put together this cover, which he mailed on Nov. 4, 2016, postmarking the stamps with his Mailers Postmark Permit cancelling device. Stamps are the 5-cent grapes cluster definitive stamp issued in 2017, the 8-cent U.S. Flag-White House stamp, issued in 1971, and the Frida Kahlo self-portrait, issued as a 34-cent stamp to honor the Mexican folk artist in 2001.
Ever since the Disney Tarzan film of 1999, local productions of the musical have taken place all over the U.S., mostly in high schools. I don't know if anyone has a record of how many there have been. Participating in a play is a memorable experience and one that participants usually remember all their lives. My daughter was Lucy in a high school Peanuts musical and retained a fondness for the character thereafter. One of my brothers still remembers the character he played in high school, Mr. DePinna in "You Can't Take It With You," especially since his role was to pose as a toga-wearing ancient discus thrower and he had to stand in the pose on one foot throughout an entire act as the action went on around him
I haven't been in a lot of plays, but I remember playing the bear in a kindergarten play. So these folks who are in the Disney Tarzan productions will likely have a long memory of these characters, too, and some of them, as well as members of the audiences, may eventually become fans of ERB's real Tarzan.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 95
On this date, Nov. 5, 1999, The Cover Monster dropped this in the mail. His 32-cent stamp from the World of Dinosaurs stamp sheet, issued by the USPS in 1997, was postmarked with the local bullseye cancellation in Elyria, Ohio. In his letter inside, The Monster wrote: "Here is another Tarzan cover and some Tarzan address labels. Hope you can use them." They were probably labels like the one he used to mail the cover. I must have used them all up by now!
The stamp depicts the Edmontonia (no relation to Ed Burroughs).
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 96
Cartoons from The Far Side and other comics always make great images for postal covers. Dave Lemon of Ohio found one of Gary Larson's many takes on Tarzan, clipped it out and glued it on, while repositioning the caption, for this cover mailed Nov. 6, 2017. He used a 1-cent Bobcat stamp along with a 48-cent Niagara Falls stamp to equal the then first-class rate of 49 cents.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 97
Julia Buchanan, member 520 of the Art Cover Exchange, likes to feature "the little girl in me" on the postal art covers she sends out. Here, the little girl meets Tarzan himself!
Julia affixed a Bonsai tree stamp, issued Jan. 23, 2012, the same year at the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp, and mailed it on Nov. 12, 2013, a day after the US Veterans Day holiday.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 98
The Cover Monster probably didn't realize it, but he not only sent me two nearly identical covers four years apart, but he also mailed them on the same date -- Nov. 21!
The first cover was mailed just three months after the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp was issued (Aug. 17, 2012) and mailed with a hand-cancel from the Vermilion, Ohio, post office, just a few miles from The Cover Monster's lair. The date is not visible on this postmark. However, the letter inside is dated Nov. 21, 2012, so it was likely mailed the same day, or perhaps on Nov. 22.
The Cover Monster had laid in a good supply of ERB stamps and he used another one four years later to mail another cover, this one with a spray-on cancel from Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 21, 2016.
Both covers fefture the ERB stamp along with a cachet of Taz as Tarzan.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 99
Neal Adams's "Tarzan of the Apes" cover art was used by Leroy in Washington state for this cover sent to me in 1999. This one escaped without a postmark, but the letter inside was written on Nov. 29, 20 years ago today. Leroy added a 3-D lion sticker to the scene.
Postage was 33 cents back then and he paid for the piece of mail with a 32-cent Superman stamp, issued Sept. 10, 1998, as part of the Celebrate the Century stamp series, commemorating events of the 1930s, and a 1-cent definitive stamp showing an inkwell and feather pen with the words: "The ability to write -- a root of democracy." Certainly, Edgar Rice Burroughs was free to write and, once he got started with stories such as "Under the Moons of Mars" and "Tarzan of the Apes," he wrote freely for four more decades.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE NO. 100
The Cover Monster enjoys asking trivia questions on some of his covers, and all ERB fans know the answer to this one. However, in the event there are any who do not, The Cover Monster conveniently supplied the answer at the bottom of the cover.
This one was franked with the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp which had been issued three and a half months earlier and mailed on Dec. 4, 2012.
The Story Behind the Stamp by John Martin
John Martin's Fun with First Day Covers
The Stamp Story by John Martin
ERBzine Stamp Dedication Ceremony Coverage in Tarzana
First impressions of the Stamp
Tarzan Stamp Previews
Read All The John Martin Features in ERBzine
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