: ERB BIO FEATURE 6
Gleanings from the ERB Timeline Bio: August 1900-1929
1900: August 8: James Hubert Pierce is born ~ future son-in-law
and movie/radio Tarzan actor.
1903: Ed and Emma take many romantic walks along the river.
His brothers possibly feel he is not carrying his own weight in the company.
After a possible quarrel with George, Ed and Emma load their belongings
and a collie dog, Rajah, on a freight wagon and leave to join brother Harry's
gold dredging operation at Parma, on the Snake River. Ed gambles away his
money ($40) at Hadley and Harry has to fund the remainder of the trip.
1904: The Burroughs brothers, having experienced failed businesses
in Idaho, have all returned to Chicago. George has taken over the presidency
of American Battery Company upon his father's retirement. Harry, after
recovering from a serious eye injury, takes a job with a telephone company
and later with Automatic Electric as assistant to the manager. Coleman,
whose Minidoka store had burned, works as sales manager of Hawtin Engraving.
1908: Ed leaves his success and security at Sears to go into
business for himself. He and a partner start an advertising agency based
upon a correspondence course aimed at preparing students in salesmanship:
Burroughs & Dentzer, Advertising Contractors. It fails. Ed writes the
poem "Poverty!" and pawns Emma's jewelry.
1909: Ed accepts a position as office manager for Dr. Stace's
Physicians Co-Operative Association selling Alcola, which is publicized
as a cure for alcoholism. Ed turns down an offer to come back to Sears
to start a business with Stace in which they train salesmen - a part of
their training involved the selling products for the company.
1909: August 12: Birth of son Hulbert. Ed and Emma start an
elaborate baby book with art, poems and photos: Your pop came prancing
home one night ~ Upon the Lake street "L" ~ And Mamma met him at the door
~ Some gladsome news to tell. ~ "Oh, papa dear, look here, look here! ~
"And skip around in joy, ~ "For I've been down to Hillman's store ~ "And
bought a baby boy."
1911: Ed's pencil sharpener business fails and he goes to work
for brother Coleman who owns a stationery manufacturing company - the Champlain-Yardley
Co. He uses his new office to complete the first half of his Mars story
- working titles include "My First Adventure on Mars" and "The Green Martians."
1911: August 14: Ed submits his unfinished, 12-chapter,
43,000-word, 180-page manuscript to All-Story Magazine. He decides to use
the title Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess by Normal Bean. The return address
is that of the Champlin-Yardly Company, 222 West Kinzie St., Chicago and
typing appears to have been done by the company secretary. After November
11 his return address is the home address of 20098 Park Avenue.
1911: August 24: Ed receives a letter of tentative acceptance
of the manuscript from the managing editor of All-Story Magazine, Thomas
Newell Metcalf of the Frank A. Munsey Company in New York.
1912: Ed spends much of the month writing a sequel to
Under the Moons of Mars. Tarzan of the Apes has been accepted by All-Story
who are preparing it for publication in the October issue.
1913: Ed returns from a meeting with Metcalf of All-Story Magazine
in New York.
1913: August 13: New Story's third installment of The Return
of Tarzan features a cover painting by N. C. Wyeth. The original painting
found its way to the Graham Gallery in New York.
1913: August 15: Ed accepts New Story's $500 offer for The Outlaw
1913: August 16: He starts writing The Mucker
1913: August 20: Rand McNally decline first book publication
rights to Tarzan of the Apes.
1913: Late August: Ed starts plans to take his family
to California for the winter. The sole means of support for the family
of five is now the income from Ed's writings
1914: August 8: A letter from ERB is printed in All-Story-Cavalier's
"Heart to Heart Talks" column under the heading: "Tarzan Burroughs Outlines
His Plans For The Future."
1914: August 17: The Cave Man is completed and mailed to Davis.
1914: August 21: Ed starts writing: Sweetheart Primeval
1915: Ed joins the Author's League of America. Beyond
Thirty is rejected by Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and American Magazine.
1915: August - mid: The synopses, "The Lion Hunter," (a five-page
comedy) and The Mucker are written to be submitted as film ideas.
1915: August 16-17: "His Majesty, The Janitor," a seven-page
synopsis is written at 414 Augusta Street, Oak Park.
1915: August 24-25: "The Prospector", a synopsis expansion of
"For the Fool's Mother" is written for film.
1916: August 7: Start of the Burroughs family harrowing
month-long, cross-country auto trek to California.
1917: Ed and family vacation at Coldwater, Michigan.
1917: August 11: The Moving Picture World magazine reports that
National Film's Los Angeles studio is preparing for the production of Tarzan
of the Apes and is making ape costumes.
1918: ERB contributes the article, "The Creator of Tarzan,"
to the Book News Monthly and he receives $1000 from the Red Book Corporation
for the motion picture rights to "The Oakdale Affair." World Film Company
produces it as a five-reeler, one year later. The Land That Time
Forgot ("The Lost U-Boat") is published in Blue Book.
1918: McClurg's Bulletin promotes the Tribe of Tarzan club by
reporting the rules and purposes of the club. They also note that the Tribe
is successfully selling Liberty Bonds and is working in the Red Cross Thrift
1918: August 12-25: Ed joins his militia company in training
at Camp Steever, Geneva Lake, Illinois. He is later promoted to major and
to the command of the First Battalion, Second Infantry of the Illinois
1918: August 31: "A National Reserve Army Proposal" appears
in the Army-Navy Journal.
1919: John A. Shea is hired as secretary. Ed receives a painting
of the Burroughs family crest which contains a griffin and a tree with
deep roots. The motto is ADDAX FORTUN JUVAT which I interpret as "To inspire
and give fortune, luck, happiness and wealth in youth"
August 1920 - 1929
Ranch undergoes major renovations: central heating, a three-car garage,
servants rooms, darkroom, workshop, a study that doubled as a home school
room. Ballroom/movie theatre/playroom, projection booth, swimming pool,
golf course, lion and monkey cages, riding trails, hen house, hog pen,
dairy barn and horse stalls maintenance, etc.
1920: August 14: Ed starts writing Tarzan
the Terrible Munsey will buy it for $3,000.
1921: Great Western Producing Company complete The
Adventures of Tarzan with Elmo Lincoln - which they advertise
as "picturized" from the concluding chapters of The
Return of Tarzan.
The month's schedule of films shown in the Tarzana Ranch Ballroom Theatre
(short) ~ The Fire Cat
~ Tee Time ~ Society
1921: August 17: Hulbert and Jack contract mild cases of polio
and the Burroughses decide to try educating the children with a tutor for
one year. He writes the Hollywood School for Girls to tell them he was
satisfied with Joan's education there but the daily commute was getting
too hard to handle. He also requested that the tuition he had paid for
Hulbert and Jack's attendance there be refunded since they did not plan
1921: August 23: German publisher Tauchnitz requests permission
to publish Jungle Tales of Tarzan, instead of Tarzan
the Terrible which has strong anti-German content.
1922: Ed makes use of the Ediphone and dictates much of his
writing into the machine.He contemplates writing a series of articles based
on the Central American exploits of the soldier-of-fortune, General Lee
Christmas. He abandons the necessary research trip to Guatemala when he
can not obtain a guaranteed sale of the project.
1922: August 9 - 31: "Beware"
is written. The 24,000-word story is rejected by Argosy, Blue Book, Detective
Tales & Weird Tales, Weird Tales, and Detective Book. It is accepted
by Fantastic Adventures, July 1939 ($245) where it is changed into a SF
1922: August 24: Ed applies for a loan to cover the ranch losses
incurred over the last few years. He is considering subdividing 50 acres
of the ranch land into business and residential lots.
1923: Emma has an appendectomy. ERB turns the subdividing of
Tarzana over to a land developer. Secretary Shea is replaced by G. L. Young.
1923: August 10: The Girl from Hollywood is published
by The Macauley Company - a deal set up by Bob Davis. Reviews were highly
critical. The semi-autographical story is illustrated by P. J. Monahan.
1923: Ed enrolls Hulbert and Jack at the Urban Military
Academy in Los Angeles and iIn preparation for a career in theatre, Joan
enrolls in the Cumnock School of the Theatre in LA.
1924: The Golden Gate Oil Company has drilled to a depth of
1,300 feet in their search for oil. Only traces were found and they abandoned
their lease in the fall of 1926.
1924: August 22 - September 1: "Notes on Trip to Mono Creek and
Porpoise Lake" - a 10-page description of a fishing excursion with
his sons into the Sierras is written. The famous Doodad is created during
this trip. Ed shows early symptons of heart trouble.
1925: Ed rents offices in the Commercial Exchange Building in
downtown Los Angeles and in the Hohm Building at Sixth and Western. He
numerous bottles of Prim from a St. Louis lab (Prinm Oil: herbal bee pollen
mixture appears to have many qualities: deodorant, vitamins, aids for hardening
of arteries, heart, PMS, MS, inflammation, release of sex hormones, lowering
cholesterol, etc.) (In his quest for health, fitness and longevity Ed was
very aware of health and fitness aids and is even rumoured to have tried
injections of monkey glands at one time).
1925: August 7: General Hamas Carrillo of the Mexican Army pays
$1,000 for Ed horse Brigadier Rex in a public auction at the Breakfast
Club polo field.
1925: The Burroughs family drives to and from Grand Canyon on
a 1,400-mile camping trip and return home in time to celebrate Ed's 50th
1926: Joan meets future husband, James Pierce, on a blind
date at an El Caballero Country Club swimming party. Ed thinks he would
make the perfect Tarzan. The family completes their move from 674 South
New Hampshire, LA, back to Tarzana
at 5245 (later changed to 5046) Mecca Avenue where Ed has built a cottage
on Lot 76 of his tract 5475. He also moves his office to 5255 (later changed
to 5135) Avenida Oriente in Tarzana.
Hulbert and Jack commute daily to the Los Angeles Coaching School. Jack
starts writing and illustrating his own stories.
1927: The Tarzana
Bulletin - "an aid to the development of Tarzana" is published. The
editor is Ed's new secretary, Ralph Rothmund. The "Building Notes" section
reports the construction of a new store and office building at 18352 Ventura
Boulevard. There are also references to the "beautiful old walnut tree
in the center of the yard" and Ed's study.
1927: August 4: Ed starts writing The
1927: August 28: A Charleston, Illinois English teacher writes
Ed to compliment him on his writing, but goes on to list sections in Tarzan
and the Golden Lion which should could have corrected before publication.
He suggests that she read his new novel, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle,
which is about to start in Blue Book.
1927: August 28-September 4: In commemoration of their 1916
cross-country trip, the family travel to the Grand Canyon North Rim. Ed
noted that they had slept out in four states: California, Arizona, Utah
and Nevada and both he and Emma had lost seven pounds during the seven-day
tour. His 52nd birthday was spent in Arizona, as were his 21st and his
50th: "The Eleven Year Itch," a 6,000-word article is written
to describe the event.
1928: August 8: Joan and James Pierce wedding day
is also Pierce's Birthday. Pierce is now working as a coach at the University
of Arizona. Hulbert makes plans to enroll as a senior in Van Nuys High
1929: Ed forecloses on the El Caballero and gets back the Tarzana
buildings and much of the land. The Illustrated Tarzan Book No. 1
is published by Grosset and Dunlap. Ed is very happy with Harold
Foster's work Ed makes plans to take the boys on an auto-camping
trip to the Ensenada area in Lower California. The family also travels
north to Grant's Pass, Oregon in two Pullman Aerocoaches.