First and Only Weekly Webzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Over 1,200 Volumes
Collected From 1875 Through 1950
The surviving editions are held in trust in the archive of grandson Danton Burroughs
Collated and Researched by Bill Hillman
Shelf: S3
Sidney Smith 1877 - 1935
Andy Gump


Big Little Books
Chester Gump: At Silver Creek Ranch: Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1933
Chester Gump Finds The Hidden Treasure: Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1934
Chester Gump In The City Of Gold : Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing from 1935
The Gumps in Radio Land: 1937 Lehn and Fink  Advertising for Pebeco Toothpaste

Sheet Music
Andy Gump Fox Trot Sheet Music Words and music by Harold Dixon . Published by Dixon-Lane Music Pub. Co. 1923. 8.5" x 12.25"
Andy Gump Oh! Min Sheet Music Words by Ole Olsen and music by Isham Jones. Dedicated to Mrs. Sidney Smith. "Oh! Min." Suggested by Sidney Smith's famous cartoon running in Chicago Tribune. Published by Tell Taylor Music Publisher. 1918.

The Gumps: Original Medium: Newspaper comics  ~ Distributed by: Chicago Tribune Syndicate  ~ First Appeared: 1917 Creator: Sidney Smith
When a comics artist wants to indicate that a character is the heroic type, one of the visual cues available is to give the character a strong (i.e., large) chin Dick Tracy and the lantern-jawed Batman of the late 1930s through the early '60s being only two examples. Andy Gump, then, was just about the least heroic-looking character in comics, with the possible exception of A. Mutt. He had absolutely no chin whatsoever. His neck was stuck right into his upper lip, and his mouth, when seen, was merely a hole near the top of it. The basic idea for Andy and his family was supplied by Captain Joseph M. Patterson, the Chicago Tribune editor/publisher whose many contributions to the world of comics include Moon Mullins, Winnie Winkle and Little Orphan Annie. He envisioned a domestic comedy strip about ordinary people not too bright, not too rich, not too good-looking and their ordinary adventures. He even came up with the name, The Gumps, "gump" being a term he used for a member of the Uneducated Masses. He hired cartoonist Sidney Smith, whose major credit to date was a billy goat named Old Doc Yak, to write and draw the strip, which began on February 12, 1917. It was Smith who fleshed out the characters and made them come to life. Andy was as heroic as his chin indicated. In times of stress, he would holler "Oh! Min!" Min being his wife and pillar to lean on. They had a son named Chester, a wealthy Uncle Bim, and a maid named Tilda, who was absolutely insufferable. Smith started out just doing daily gags about life in and around the Gump household, but gradually moved toward longer and more complex storylines. Like Gasoline Alley (another strip Patterson strongly influenced, by the way), it became an early example of what later came to be known as a soap opera. A Sunday page was added on June 29, 1919. It was a popular strip right from the start. When, on June 16, 1919, Patterson launched The New York Daily News, The Gumps was the only Tribune strip that was in it right from the start. There, it attracted national attention among newspaper feature editors, a great many of whom wanted the strip for their own papers. It was to meet that demand, that Patterson formed The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate which, under the name Tribune Media Services, still distributes such comics as Broom-Hilda, Brenda Starr and Shoe. Soon as the strip achieved national distribution, the merchandising kicked in. Sheet music in 1919 and 1923, a board game in 1924 and a proliferation of toys were only a few of the Gumps paraphernalia that could be had. On June 5, 1920, Andy's Dancing Lesson, the first of dozens of animated cartoons about the characters, was released. In 1931, The Gumps became the very first comic strip adapted into a radio show, when Chicago station WGN began broadcasting their adventures. The strip's popularity increased as Andy ran for Congress in 1922, and for president in practically every election from 1924 until the strip ended one of a long succession of toon candidates for the Oval Office, beginning with A. Mutt in 1908 and eventually including Alfred E. Neuman, Betty Boop and Zippy the Pinhead. On April 30, 1929, a major character, Mary Gold, died another comic strip first and reader interest soared. All of a sudden, anything could happen. In 1922, Smith signed a highly publicized million-dollar contract $100,000 per year for ten years, a vast sum in those days and a pretty good hunk of change even today. And it only went up from there in '35, he signed a new contract, giving him $150,000 a year. It was on the way home from signing the latter that he wrecked his brand-new Rolls-Royce, killing himself in the process. Patterson hired sports cartoonist Gus Edson (who later co-created Dondi) to take over the strip, and Edson's work on it began appearing on December 16, 1935. Tho Edson made a reasonably successful attempt to continue it in Smith's style, his version of The Gumps wasn't nearly as popular as Smith's. Except for a few comic books from Dell and Big Little Books from Whitman (the latter featuring Andy's and Min's son, Chester), the merchandising dried up. The strip continued for a couple more decades, but circulation declined steadily. The plug was pulled on October 17, 1959. By that time, it was appearing in less than 20 paper

The Gumps was also a strip of firsts - it was the first comic strip to feature a character's death (the character was Mary Gold, in 1929), the first to spawn a radio show (in 1934), and the first to be presented in such a way that each day's strip told a new chapter of an ongoing story. This soap opera-ish technique had fans clamoring for more at the end of each strip, and undoubtedly helped perpetuate its popularity. It was also for The Gumps that the first million-dollar contract was signed for a comic strip. Sadly, just after signing this contract in 1935, Sidney Smith was killed in a car accident. His assistant Gus Edson took over, and though he did a fine job with the strip, there was a certain magic missing. So while the hi-jinx and hilarity continued for nearly 25 more years, the popularity of the family steadily declined.

Andy Gump Monument Robert Sidney Smith Estate: Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Robert Sidney Smith was the creator of the great American family epic 'The Gumps'. Smith was already almost forty years old when the first panel of this strip was published, in 1917. In 1908, he published his first comic, 'Buck Nix'. When he got hired by the Chicago Tribune the name changed to 'Old Doc Yak'. In 1919, Smith was forced to abandon this strip due to the immense popularity of 'The Gumps', which had greatly boosted the Tribune's circulation. The Gump family brought Smith fame and riches, which he spent on several houses and cars. The depression of the 1930s did not affect him, for he was able to sign a new contract with the Tribune that paid him a million dollars over the next three years, plus a brand new Rolls Royce as a bonus. Driving home after having closed the deal, Sidney Smith collided with another car and was killed instantly. After that 'The Gumps' were taken over by Gus Edson

Report Smithsonian Inst. (3 vol.) 1915  1919-1920
SMITHSONIAN Scientific Series
Calvin Coolidge Memorial Edition ~ 12-Volume Set, Limited to 1000 Numbered Copies from 1934: Inscription: "This copy (#402) is registered in the name of Florence Gilbert Burroughs to whom it was presented by her husband Edgar Rice Burroughs."

Florence Gilbert Burroughs ~ The second Mrs. Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBzine Biography:
Roy J. Snell
Skimmer and his Thrilling Adventures 1919 Albert Whitman and Co. ~ Illustrations: frontispiece on coated paper and three on plain paper. ~ Skimmer was created by Roy Snell and appeared in the two-book "Skimmer Series," which appeared in 1919 and began with Skimmer and His Thrilling Adventures. Skimmer was a teenaged soldier with the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War One and in northern Russia during the attempt to suppress the Reds in Russia after the War.

Skimmer, the Daring, in the Far North. 1919 Albert Whitman and Co.
Lost in The Air: 1920
The Galloping Ghost: Online eText Edition in PDF:
Hidden Trail: 1924
Silent Alarm: 1925
The Crimson Thread: 1926
The Gypsy Shawl: 1929.
Dark Treasure: 1926 Radiophone Boys Stories. Reilly and Lee Co.
ADVENTURE STORIES FOR GIRLS: A series, consisting of at least 13 volumes, was published by Reilly & Lee Co. between 1920 and 1939.
CURLIE CARSON: This eight volume series, also known as the Curlie Carson Stories, was published by Reilly & Lee between 1922 and 1928. Early editions used Snell's James Craig pseudonym.
FIGHTERS FOR FREEDOM SERIES: This eight book series, published in 1943 and 1944, includes titles from four different authors. Roy Snell wrote three stories (#1, 6 & 8). Other authors on this series were Gaylord Dubois (#2), Ruby Lorraine Radford (#3 & 4) and Gregory Duncan (# 5 & 7).
MYSTERY STORIES FOR BOYS: This 22 volume series was published by Reilly & Lee Company between 1920 and 1939.
RADIO-PHONE BOYS: This eight volume series, also known as the Curlie Carson Stories, was published by Reilly & Lee between 1922 and 1928. Early editions used Snell's James Craig pseudonym.

Fairmont Snyder (Ethel Fairmont Ryer)(Ethel Fairmont Beebe) (1881-1977)
Rhymes for Kindly Children
Fairmont Snyder: Author, animal welfare activist. Born Ethel Fairmont Ryer, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 24, 1881. She moved with her family to Denver in 1895, and in 1899 married William Snyder and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. The Snyders were divorced in 1921. In 1922, she married Murray C. Beebe, a former University of Wisconsin engineering professor, whom Ethel had met while a student there (1915-1916). Murray Beebe died in 1943. In Kansas City, Ethel founded the city's first animal shelter, beginning a life long career as an activist in the animal welfare movement, which was exemplified by her vegetarian beliefs and activities. She spent 1916-1917 in Japan, helping to establish the movement there. Active in various groups, she testified before the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in 1921 on proposed legislation to protect range animals. In 1916 her well know book of children's verse, Rhymes for Kindly Children, was published, followed by The Lovely Garden in 1919, under the pen name Fairmont Snyder. She also contributed numerous pieces of verse to periodicals and wrote a newspaper column, "The Listening Heart," for the Waterbury-Republican, and some art history. In addition to her year at the University of Wisconsin, she was a student in the Yale University School of Drama, 1926-27.She died March 17, 1977, in Westport, Connecticut.
Albert Soiland
The Viking Goes to Sea: Being an Account of the Honolulu Race of 1923.: 1924 Illustrated with photos of the yachts, the sea and the islands. Times-Mirror Press, Los Angeles ~ 126 pages ~ ERB toured aboard the Viking from August 8-11, 1924
The Soldier Boy -
SPEED, Nell   Molly Brown's Freshman Days
SPEED, Nell   Molly Brown's Sophomore Days
SPIEGEL BOM Bom und Zu Peckelsceim. Adventures of the U-202; An Actual Narrative. New York: The Center Company, 1917. (Narrative of U-boat mission.)
Transpacific Ocean Races & The Transpacific Yacht Club: 1937 Privately printed ~ Los Angeles: Frontis., illus., & folding map 205 pages
Soiland was Admiral of the Pacific Coast Yachting Asso. & Skipper of the Schooner Yacht, Viking IV.
(ERB toured aboard the Viking from August 8-11, 1924)
ABYSSINIA, S SOMALILAND, KENYA Colony, Zanzibar, the Camnoros, Madagascar. (NY, Century, 1925);

Early Abyssinia and Ethiopia postcard views 1931
Nell Speed (Emma Speed Sampson)
Molly Brown's Freshman Days - 1912 A.L.Burt
Molly Brown's Sophomore Days - 1912  illustrated by Charles L. Wrenn.  Hurst; A.L. Burt.
The Molly Brown Series has eight titles, originally published by Hurst from 1912 to 1921. It was reprinted by A. L. Burt. The author is listed as "Nell Speed," but according to "The Girls' Series Companion," Nell died after writing the first four titles, and her sister, Emma Speed Sampson, took over the writing of this series. Emma continued to use her sister's name as her own pseudonym when she wrote The Carter Girls and The Tucker Twins series. The first four titles are college romances, set in Wellington College near New York City. With the fifth title, and the change in authorship, the stories move right down south to Kentucky, although Molly and her friends visit France and Great Britain in #s 6 and 7. Similarities to the Carter and Tucker series include a "May-December" romance, this one between Molly and Professor Edwin Green, who is 29; emphasis on women's rights, and (for a southern writer especially) a certain lack of racial stereotyping. Despite the fact that the servants' words are written in dialect, they are much more real than contemporary presentations in the Nancy Drew or Bobbsey Twins series, for example. It is difficult for a reader of today to read: "The old woman, [Aunt Mary] having been a most energetic and tireless person in her day, could not understand that the whole world of darkeys could not be as she had been." However, Aunt Mary is a real person; she is fully drawn and full of warmth and humor. In her depiction of people of color, Speed Sampson is a step ahead of  any other series writer. It's interesting to compare her writing with that of Annie Fellows  Johnston, who penned The Little Colonel series. Of course, Johnston even has her Little Colonel speaking in southern dialect -- despite the fact that she was raised by a Yankee mother in New York!  Characters from this series appear in Speed's other two series, and Zebedee (Page Allison's
 'December' beau from the Tucker Twins) shows up in the final Molly Brown title, "College Friends."

Others in the Molly Brown Series:
Molly Brown's Junior Days - 1912 Hurst, A.L. Burt
Molly Brown's Senior Days - 1913 illustrated by Charles L. Wrenn - Hurst, A.L. Burt
Molly Brown's Post-Graduate Days - 1914 - illustrated by Charles L. Wrenn - Hurst, A.L. Burt
Molly Brown's Orchard Home - 1915 - illustrated by Charles L. Wren - Hurst, A.L. Burt
Molly Brown of Kentucky - 1917 - A.L. Burt
Molly Brown's College Friends - 1921 - illustrated by Arthur O. Scott - Hurst

Miss Minerva Series
Billy and the Major (1918)
Miss Minerva's Baby (1920)
Miss Minerva on the Old Plantation (1923)
Miss Minerva Broadcasts Billy (1925)
Miss Minerva's Scallywags (1927)
Miss Minerva's Neighbors (?)
Miss Minerva Goin' Places (1931)

The Carter Girls Series:
The Carter Girls 1917 Hurst
The Carter Girls' Week-End Camp 1918 Hurst, A.L.Burt
The Carter Girls' Mysterious Neighbors 1921 Hurst, A.L. Burt
The Carter Girls of Carter House - 1924 A.L. Burt

Mary Louise at Dorfield 1920
Mary Louise Stands the Test 1921
Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman 1922
Josie O'Gorman 1923
Josie O'Gorman and the Meddlesome Major  1924

The Edith Van Dyne series proved nearly as popular as the Oz books, so upon Baum's death the publishers employed Emma S. Sampson to continue the  stories under the familiar pseudonym.
Baron Spiegel, Von und Zu Peckelsheim ~ (Later commander of U93)
The Adventures of the U-202 (An Actual Narrative)  - 1917  NY The Center Company (Narrative of U-boat mission.)
Ed's Book plate
A good narrative, but fake U-boat number (for WWI anyway) Research shows that the U-Boat number was actually U-32. This information was obtained from the memoirs of Admiral Scheer. The Admiral was in command of the German High Seas Fleet from 1916.
See the B Shelf under Baron for more



The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site
Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
Burroughs Bibliophiles
ERBzine Weekly Webzine

Bill Hillman

 ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2008 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.