Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 6725r

Envelope Packets 221 - 228
by John Martin
My "other hobby," buying, exchanging, making and mailing postal art covers,
ties in with my Edgar Rice Burroughs hobby quite a bit.
I enjoy making covers featuring Tarzan or other ERB characters,
and friends of mine have made and mailed me such covers as well.

I thought it would be fun to start scanning and sharing such covers
on the anniversaries of the dates they were originally postmarked.


When Marti Schrock of Indiana visited a friend in Shelbyville last May she saw the mural which featured such famous citizens as James (Tarzan) Pierce and Marjorie (Ma Kettle) Main, and she made this #10 cover of photos of the murals and mailed it to me.

Earlier this August, some friends of mine, Brad and Marti Schrock,, spent their anniversary driving from their home in the Hoosier State to Shelbyville, Indiana, to visit the graves of James Hubert Pierce and his wife, Joan Burroughs Pierce.
James, of course played Tarzan in the last silent ape man film, “Tarzan and the Golden Lion,” in 1927. He married Joan, daughter of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, and they later played Tarzan and Jane in a radio show about Tarzan.
Marti mailed me a No. 10-size cover with photos of three headstones. The graves are in Forest Hill Cemetery. She also enclosed four photos in the envelope.
It’s pretty obvious that someone has taken particularly special care of James’s headstone, but Joan’s looks as if it could use a little T.L.C. as well. Maybe an ERB fan in the area will consider that. One of the photos shows a headstone to the left of James’s, that of Jennie M. Pierce, his mother.
James’s sister, Joanna M. Pierce, married into the Orem family.
James Pierce was born in August, on the 8th, 120 years ago. The emblem on his headstone indicates he was a member of the Masonic Shriners or a related organization.

Bill and Sue-On Hillman visited the gravesite several years ago and tell more about it here:


Shelbyville, Indiana, burial place of Tarzan actor Jim Pierce, now has an image of him in his over-the-shoulder loin cloth raising an arm in triumph on a large mural.
Pierce starred in the last silent film about the ape man, "Tarzan and the Golden Lion." He married Joan Burroughs, daughter of Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, and they also played Tarzan and Jane in a radio serial. Both are buried in Shelbyville:

Bill and Sue-On Hillman visit the Joan Burroughs and James Pierce Graves in Shelbyville
Pierce shares the mural work of art with other Shelbyites, including Marjorie Main in her recurring movie role as Ma Kettle.
The mural was erected in 2014 and was a cooperative effort of area artists.

More about the mural and the creation process, including photos and a video, is here:


This nice Disney Tarzan cover was created and mailed by Janet Faught of Utah. A page from a magazine article about the Swiss Alps was folded into an envelope and the Tarzan stickers applied in an eye-catching pattern, with two Tantors both looking inward at the ape man, and a "Raven Story" stamp applied. The three elements make for an attractive piece of mail art.


Carolyn Marks used her artistic talents to make this one-of-a-kind Bugs Bunny-Tarzan cover, using the Bugs Bunny 80th anniversary stamps issued in the summer of 2020.

The stamp sheet included 10 different designs. None of them had Bugs as Tarzan but one had Bugs in a Superman outfit so that one tied in best with the super ape man!

More of Carolyn's work is on ebay. He seller ID is bellastreasure.

See all of the postal covers in the "Pushing the Envelope" series (so far) at:


The Cover Monster of Ohio featured Gordon (Tarzan) Scott on this envelope he mailed to me in January of this year, the postage being paid by an Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp issued in 2012.

Scott is at the top of many fans' lists for his portrayal of the ape man in several Tarzan movies.
More ERB covers in the Pushing the Envelope series plus other ERB-related stamp articles:


This is the Year of the Tiger, just as it was a dozen years ago, when David Lemon sent me a cover with Steve (Tarzan) Sipek, lolling around in bed with one of his friendly tigers. It had that year's USPS Tiger stamp, canceled with a local first-day postmark in Findlay, Ohio.

Dave also sent one of the covers to Dennis Gelvin, Olympia. The cover he sent to Dennis was slightly different than the one he sent to me, as Dave had added a portion of the stamp sheet selvage to that cover.

In 2022, Gelvin carried his cover to the Galvin, Washington, post office, on the first day of issue of the new Year of the Tiger stamp, and added one to the cover along with a Galvin first-day postmark. He then mailed it to me.

So now I have two -- the original sent to me by Lemon and the dual cancellation cover from Gelvin.

Also shown is the 2010 Tarzan-Tiger cover I made with a special first-day cancellation from Galvin.
I haven't yet made any first-day covers of my own for the 2022 Tiger stamp but I'm still well within the grace period, and will.

Sipek, who used the name Steve Hawkes for his foreign Tarzan films, later owned an animal sanctuary in north Florida until one of his tigers, Bobo, escaped in 2004 and was killed.
Hawkes died in 2019.
More about Steve Sipek:
More ERB covers in the Pushing the Envelope series plus other ERB-relaed stamp articles:


Tarzan takes down a tiger in this postal cover made by Robin Sparrow in New Zealand and mailed with stamps picturing scenery from the great outdoors. Over the years, the ape man had to deal with big cats like lions and leopards but eventually had some encounters with tigers toward the end of the canon.

This art appears to be from a British Tarzan Annual or similar book. The 343 designation on the cover is my membership number in the Art Cover Exchange, a club whose members send each other mail art. For more information, see:

More ERB covers in the Pushing the Envelope series plus other ERB-related stamp articles:


Imagine going into Walmart and finding shelves filled with products you didn't know existed and brand names of which you've never heard. But you knew that if you looked long enough and hard enough you might eventually find what you sought.

That's the way I sometimes feel when browsing around at a philatelic show, with dozens of dealers offering postage stamps and other postal collectibles from countries you didn't know existed. In all that mass of material, how do you zero in on exactly what you want -- if it even exists among all the boxes full of stamps and postal covers?

It was something like that for me at the Great American Stamp Show in Illinois in August 2021, when the American Philatelic Society, the American First Day Cover Society and the American Topical Association teamed up to host the huge get-together. The U.S. Postal Service was there as well, offering first-day cancellations for its latest stamps.

I bought some of the new stamps (celebrating Backyard Games) and obtained first-day cancellations, and bought some covers from the AFDCS booths but had no idea where to start looking for other things among the many dealers.

Finally I noticed one man who had several tables filled with plastic tubs full of covers, too many to look carefully through all of them. So, I chose one box, found a chair, and started going through it. About halfway through, I saw a cover with exactly what I was looking for -- an Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp! It had been added to a cover with other stamps and neither those nor nothing else on the cover seemed at first to have much to do with ERB, but I set it aside anyway. Then, I spotted another cover -- and another and another. Some of them had more obvious ERB themes. In all, there were about eight of these covers, all different but all apparently done by the same cachet maker. I grabbed all of them and paid the dealer a buck each for them.

Closer inspection showed me that the ERB stamp on each cover had been canceled in a unique way. Each had a series of perforations arranged in the shape of the initials "H.N." This, I soon learned, was the mark which identified these covers as the work of man named Hideaki Nakano, who produced a large range of different cover designs, starting in 1980, with many themes, including humorous, bizarre, photos, protest, political commentary and more.

He used a variety of cover-making methods throughout his career but in the latter part he went to using large envelopes, some with many stamps and cancels from all countries. The ERB stamps he made use of were issued in 2012 and so that stamp had to have been added to these covers, and the perforations used, in that era.

Foster Miller, director and chair of the Membership Committee of the AFDCS, recalled that "Hideaki Nakano was one of the more interesting characters in cachet making."

Hideaki Nakano's first cachet were for the 1980 Coral Reef and the 1981 stamp honoring Illinois senator Everett Dirksen. "He advertised his covers as the only true cachets, the only cachets of value, and better than everyone else's," said Miller. "Nakano did his Super Cachets (many times on oversize envelopes) for over 1,000 issues from 1981 until shortly before his death. On his first day covers, the new stamp almost always had his HN perfin."

Nakano was born March 23, 1935, in Detroit.
"I've seen a reference that his father emigrated from Japan and lived in New York State," said Miller. He regularly traveled to stamp shows with his sister, who may have been a retired college professor. The philatelic community learned of his death in 2019 from a Detroit area stamp dealer, when a post card advertising a local stamp bourse was returned to sender marked "deceased." Nakano lived in a seventh story apartment and had multiple storage units full of covers.

So how did the ERB covers make the trip from his apartment to my ERB cover collection?

Miller said that in September 2019, an anonymous Detroit area dealer purchased 80 large (40 gallon size) plastic tubs of Nakano's covers from the estate. The following week, he sold all the covers to Pennsylvania dealer Wayne Gehret (the person from whom I purchased the Nakano covers at the Great American Stamp Show). On October 4-6, 2019, at the INDYPEX stamp show in Noblesville, Indiana, Gehret told Mark Goodson (big first-day cover collector from Indiana) and Miller that he had bought Nakano's stock. "There were tens of thousands of HN Local Post first day covers that we never knew existed. Most were one or few of a kind. Most had multiple cancels (sometimes up to six or more), sometimes years apart. While some of the multi-cancels took awhile to figure out (some never made sense), most showed an amazing creativity," Miller said.

“How he kept track of the covers we don't know. We believe that the one of a kind covers were done for his personal collection. As far as we know, few if any of the HN Local Post covers were ever marketed. It was only when he died that we found out about them. At INDYPEX, between Mark Goodson and myself, we probably purchased 1,000 covers and I purchased several hundred more at shows in October and November 2019.”

The estate then contacted Gehret, who made several trips to Detroit and purchased the remaining contents of the storage units. "Wayne tells me that he ended up purchasing about 200 of the plastic tubs. At the Fairfax, Virginia, bourse later in 2021, he told me he still has at least 75 tubs of material."

That adds up to a lot of covers. And if I found eight ERB covers while going through a single box on Gehret's table, it could mean there are a lot more Nakano ERB covers waiting to be found!

I suspect I'll be visiting some other stamp shows. Maybe Gehret won't be at them, but other dealers who have purchased covers from his huge stock might be.

Are there stamp shows in your neighborhood? Might be worthwhile for you to go to one and find someone who has boxes full of old postal covers for you to sift through!
More ERB covers in the Pushing the Envelope series plus other ERB-related stamp articles:


Laurence G Dunn keeps track of things and one of the things he keeps track of is when the calendar reaches the 100th anniversary of the births of Tarzan and Jane movie stars. One of them was Dorothy Hart, who starred as Tarzan's Jane in "Tarzan's Savage Fury" with Lex Barker. Hart was born in 1922 and passed away in 2004.
Laurence made a postal cover and mailed it to me with an April 4, 2022, postmark from the Royal Mail Croydon Mail Centre on the 100th anniversary of her birth, which was April 4, 1922.

In addition to an image of the poster for "Tarzan's Savage Fury, (1952)," Laurence included images on the cover of posters for some of her other movies, "Undertow" (1949); "Gunfighters," (her first movie in 1947)," and "Take One False Step" (1949) Dorothy Hart's last screen role was as a guest star in an episode of television's "I Spy" in 1955.

Barker made five films playing Tarzan, and a different actress played Jane in each one. Besides Hart in his fourth outing as Tarzan, Barker's Janes were played by Brenda Joyce in "Tarzan's Magic Fountain," by Vanessa Brown in "Tarzan and the Slave Girl," by Virginia Huston in "Tarzan's Peril," and Joyce McKenzie in "Tarzan and the She-Devil."
Brenda Joyce had also been Jane in the last three Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films, prior to Barker taking over the role. Brenda had replaced longtime Jane actress Maureen O'Sullivan.
Thanks for sending me that great cover, Laurence!
The Five Lex Barker Films are covered in ERBzine starting at:
ERBzine's Dorothy Hart Photo Collage


Read All The John Martin Features in ERBzine


Visit our thousands of other sites at:
All ERB Images© and Tarzan® are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work © 1996-2022 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.