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Volume 7729

Envelope Packets 244-250
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.

Pushing the Envelope No. 244
A Century of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

One of the directions Edgar Rice Burroughs envisioned for his life was to be a military man. And he had ample background for it, having graduated from the Michigan Military Academy and then serving in the 7th Cavalry, pursuing renegades in Arizona.

But illness, as we know, cut short his military career, although he continued to have an active interest in the armed services the rest of his life.

His father had been a major in the Union Army during the Civil War, so he certainly had a family background to stir his yearnings at an early age.

He did try, unsuccessfully, to enroll at West Point and also tried, later, to join up with Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.

He served as an officer in the Illinois Militia during World War I and he happened to be living in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, and watched the attack on Pearl Harbor through binoculars. He was in his late 60s by then and too old to serve in an active duty status but tried to help the war effort by serving in the Businessmen's Military Training Corps, a civilian group organized to help defend the islands in the event of a Japanese landing and invasion. But that didn't satisfy his desire to be where the action was, so he was able to get certification as a reporter and served as the oldest war correspondent in the Pacific Theatre, traveling about in tactical zones on Navy ships and Army planes.

His only other real experience in uniform was as a railroad policeman in Utah for a short time, one of many jobs he had tried earlier in life to support his young family.

From an early age, Burroughs had enjoyed drawing cartoons and writing fantasy stories to entertain family members. But he probably never actually considered becoming a professional writer until 1911 when he was managing a business that sold pencil sharpeners. While his crew of salesmen were out on the streets knocking on doors, Burroughs sat in the office and amused himself by reading adventure stories in pulp magazines, one of the major entertainments of the day. It is famously reported that he thought that if people could get paid for writing such rotten stories that he could write stories just as rotten.

So he began writing what he believed was a ridiculous story about a Civil War veteran, John Carter, who was mysteriously transported to the planet Mars where there were tall green men, multi-limbed beasts and, fortunately, people quite a bit like himself, including a beautiful princess who needed constant rescuing.

The story, "Under the Moons of Mars," was snapped up by The All-Story magazine and serialized in early 1912. He was paid $400 but, though he had little experience in such things, he was smart enough to sell only the first-publication rights to his "rotten story."

Enthused by the big money he had been paid, he wrote a second story, "The Outlaw of Torn," about adventure in Medieval England. It didn't sell as easily so he wrote a third story, "Tarzan of the Apes," for which he was paid $700 by All-Story. Things were looking up!

Burroughs continued to dream up fantastic stories and write and sell them. His stories were enthusiastically read by his new fans and thus eagerly sought by magazine and book publishers. Even "The Outlaw of Torn" finally got into print.

He continued to write Tarzan and Mars stories and invented an inner world, populated with people and dinosaurs, for yet more adventure sagas, and took his readers to the moon, Venus and to exotic islands where other pulse-pounding adventures awaited his heroes and heroines. He also wrote four westerns -- two traditional cowboy stories and two historical novels telling stories from the Native American perspective.

And because he was smart enough to maintain control of his intellectual properties by selling only first-publication rights, he was able to more than double his money on each new story by selling them first to magazines and then later to book publishers, and was able to sell his characters -- most notably Tarzan -- to movie makers.

And while other authors were making names for themselves in the usual ways, Burroughs had an idea to do something none of them had thought of: He incorporated himself.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., was created on March 26, 1923, and the company he founded recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of that landmark event.

ERB Inc., located on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, Calif., the Los Angeles area community which took its name from Burroughs's most famous character, is set back from the main drag and its presence partially obscured by trees and bushes. Even with the street address, some seekers have had difficulty finding it.

But its small but busy staff today continues to publish his books under the ERB Inc. imprint, another innovation Burroughs came up with later in his career, when he eliminated the middle man by no longer offering his novels to existing book companies, publishing his books himself. The first of these was "Tarzan the Invincible," which came out in 1931. These were finer editions, with mostly sturdy blue-pebbled binding and a uniform format.

ERB Inc. has also opened the door to new stories about the characters and settings ERB created, and has published them in two series: The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe.

The company held an open house at its office on April 7, to celebrate the anniversary and has promised "more exciting announcements throughout the year."

As my fan contribution to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, I created this commemorative postal cover and arranged with the USPS to have my covers canceled with a Tarzana, Calif., postmark on Sunday, March 26, the 100th anniversary. I used the Edgar Rice Burroughs Forever stamp which was issued in 2012.

The cover shows a photo of Burroughs in his younger days, during the prime of his writing activity, and displays the covers of three of his books that were published in 1923.

Two days before Edgar Rice Burroughs set up his corporation, his ninth Tarzan novel, "Tarzan and the Golden Lion," was published.

A few months later, on August 10, 1923, "The Girl from Hollywood" was published as the last Burroughs novel to be copyrighted by him alone. The first book to have the "Inc." added to his copyright name was "Pellucidar," a novel about the inner world he created, which came out on Sept. 5, 1923.

"The Girl from Hollywood" was a contemporary novel which had no wild monsters for heroes to conquer, but rather the monster of drug addiction which a young starlet had to overcome with her own resolve. Burroughs used the setting of his own Tarzana ranch and the lifestyle of his own family as a backdrop for "The Girl from Hollywood."
March 26 is also the publication date for "Llana of Gathol," the last book to be published in Burroughs's lifetime and, at the time, the last volume in Burroughs's 10-book Martian series. "Llana" was published in 1948 and Burroughs died March 19, 1950, at the age of 74 and a half.

But Burroughs left several unpublished manuscripts behind and just over 10 years after his death, in the early 1960s, most of those stories began to see print, including two more Mars short stories, two Tarzan novels, an historical novel taking place during the reign of Roman emperor Caligula, and several other stories.
Note: A slightly edited version of the above account was printed and included inside each of the 100th anniversary postal covers I made.

Pushing the Envelope No. 245
Going Global with Tarzan and Jane

Disney made several different snow globe scenes among the many different Tarzan and Jane items it made to tie in with its 1999 animated version of "Tarzan." The one pictured shows the ape man and Jane both navigating a tree limb, with Disney jungle characters gathered outside.

There's no snow falling in the jungle, but shake the globe and you get a shower of glitter instead.

When the Postal Service issued its 2023 Christmas stamps on Sept. 19, the booklet of 20 stamps featured four different designs of typical winter or Christmas scenes. I took a picture of my own Tarzan snow globe and printed out several copies, then clipped them and glued them onto envelopes to obtain the first-day-of-issue cancellation on the stamps.


Pushing the Envelope No. 246
I made a trip to the Post Office this morning to obtain cancellations on these four postal covers on Buster Crabbe's birthday, Feb. 7.

These Buster Crabbe stamps are "Cinderellas," not good for actual postage, but I teamed each of the four stamps with a good USPS stamp that tied in a bit with the subject matter.

Each of the stamps is of Crabbe in his role as Tarzan, but I made just one Tarzan cover design, for his role in the 1933 serial, "Tarzan the Fearless." The other three covers celebrate his roles as Flash Gordon (with the Webb Telescope stamp), Buck Rogers (with a U.S. moon landing stamp) and his many, many roles in westerns, with a cactus flower stamp. (A few of these western covers used the Western Wear stamp instead).

Crabbe first played a wild jungle man, Kaspa, the Lion Man, in "King of the Jungle," and later in 1933 he took on the Tarzan role.

He made Flash Gordon serials in 1936, 1938 and 1940, and starred as Buck Rogers in a 1939 serial.

He also appeared as "Brigadier Gordon" in "Planet of the Slave Girls," a 1979 episode of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," which starred Gil Gerard in the title role.
He was the star of multiple westerns and also had a 1955-57 television series, "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion." Three of the 65 episodes were spliced together to make a movie, "Desert Outpost."



I'll use any excuse to tie in a new stamp with Edgar Rice Burroughs characters and worlds and the Love stamp is an easy choice as Burroughs loved a good romance as well as a macho adventure, and once Tarzan and Jane were hitched he found others to come into the jungle and fall in love in other Tarzan stories.
I had some stickers left over from the Disney Tarzan era and made these envelPoes out of construction paper to loosely match the border backgrounds on the images. The additional images of tropical birds and flowers were also from the sticker sheets.

These stamps should still be available at your post office. If you want to make your own ERB-related covers, send your envelopes here and request the first-day postmark. You have until May 5.

FDOE - Love 2024 Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Dr., Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

Pushing the Envelope No. 248
When the Postal Service issued the 2024 Love Stamp, it did so in Romance, Arkansas. Carolyn Marks, Minnesota, learned there was a 1918 silent film titled "The Romance of Tarzan" and thought it would make an excellent tie-in for a first-day cover. So, she made this design on an envelope, obtained the Romance first-day cancellation, and mailed it to me for my collection


Pushing the Envelope No. 249
Coaching Tarzan
Denny Miller would have loved the John Wooden stamp

    Denny Miller is pictured as Tarzan on lots of first-day covers for the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp; now he's on at least one for his role as a college basketball player.
Before stepping onto the screen to play the ape man in 1959, Denny and his brother Kent played basketball for the UCLA Bruins, coached by John Wooden
Wooden was honored with a commemorative stamp issued Feb. 24 in Los Angeles, where the Bruins play at nearby Pauley Pavilion in Westwood.
    I made two different covers for the first-day of issue. One shows Coach Wooden with Denny and Kent Miller and has the pictorial first-day cancellation, with diagram of a basketball court. The other highlights Wooden's "Pyramid of Success" and has the round, bullseye first-day cancellation.
    In 1948, Wooden created the triangular diagram and called it the “Pyramid of Success.” It wasn’t about basketball only, but represented a path to becoming a better person, not only for success in sports but for life in general.
    While being interviewed in 2012 for his role in the Postal Service issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs stamp, Denny mentioned his old coach and said, "He deserves a stamp, too."
In his biography, "Didn't You Used to be What's His Name?," Denny spoke highly of Wooden:
"Coach was an amazing man! He was a father figure and a leader. He was first a teacher. His most important lesson was that you are a winner if you do your best ... a lesson he hoped would stick with you throughout your life. Winning had nothing to do with the game score. It was all about how well you played and about the great feeling you got when you knew you had done your very best. That's what Coach called success!
"Coach Wooden led by example ... being mentally and physically fit. He was a flashback to the Golden Age of Greece. He wasn't macho in a macho world. No four letter words! If you heard him say, 'Goodness gracious, sakes alive!' you knew he was angry," said Miller.
"When I am asked about Coach, I always say, 'He was a poet in the locker room.' He was a soft-spoken man and was always positive, even in negative situations. He was a prince in the gym. The rules of the game were just that, rules -- not to be broken or bent. That did not mean he didn't want you to play hard. If you dove on the hardwood floor for the ball and came up with bloody knees, he'd be there to pat you on the back. If you punched someone in the nose, you would be sitting next to him on the bench. Coach always kept the ship afloat with sportsmanship."
    Wooden's teams won 10 NCAA national championships. His "pyramid" highlighted principles which he worked to instill in those who played for UCLA.
Anyone wanting to buy the stamps at their post office and make their own covers for either cancellation can do so up until June 23 by mailing them, along with a return envelope with adequate postage, to
FDOI -- John Wooden Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Dr., Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

Pushing the Envelope No. 250
Eclipses Feature in ERB Yarns

The occurrence of an eclipse has been used many times as a plot device in works of fiction. Edgar Rice Burroughs employed eclipses in two of his stories.

One time was in a short story, "Tarzan Rescues the Moon." Burroughs had written five full-length Tarzan novels by 1916. For the ape man's sixth outing, Burroughs went back in time to Tarzan's youth and wrote 12 short stories which were published monthly in The Blue Book Magazine from September 1916 to August 1917, before being collected and republished in book form as "Jungle Tales of Tarzan."
The twelfth story was "Tarzan Rescues the Moon," in which Tarzan, impressed by a native warrior's bravery, had freed him from capture by the ape tribe. The apes were upset and wanted nothing more to do with Tarzan, but later, frightened by a lunar eclipse in which darkness appeared to be devouring the moon, they summoned him back and Tarzan reassured them by shooting arrows at the "devourer," and as the eclipse passed was given credit by the creatures for the "rescue."'

Chris L. Adams, who has devoted some of his literary and artistic talents to the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs, painted a scene of Tarzan rescuing the moon and gave me permission to use it on one of my eclipse covers, postmarked April 8, 2024, with a Tarzan, Texas, cancellation.
Chris wrote, "I enjoy painting scenes from stories; this is another one based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan novel, Jungle Tales, a collection of stories about the adolescent Tarzan. In this story, a lunar eclipse was occurring. Tarzan's ape tribe feared the moon, an object of worship they referred to as Goro, was being devoured by lions. They called upon Tarzan to rescue the moon; answering the call, the boy-Tarzan scales a tall tree and fires into the night sky.... It was a fun project, and maybe the first time I'd used masking paint (to hide Tarzan and his tree while I painted a fiery blood moon)."

Chris has also written an authorized novel, "Dark Tides of Mars," based on adventures on Burroughs' version of the red planet, and is going to be turning out other stories in that series.
"Tarzan Rescues the Moon" was also one of the "Jungle Tales" stories put into illustrated form by Charlton Comics, so I used a couple of scenes from that story on another one of my covers.

The other eclipse in Burroughs's books was a permanent eclipse in the land of Pellucidar, the world inside the Earth where dinosaurs and primitive people still roam today. Since Pellucidar's sun is always suspended in the sky in the center of the world; the sun is always at noon, so there was no real way to tell time.

But this "eternal noonday sun" also had a satellite -- a moon which was suspended just one mile above the land surface of Pellucidar -- blocking out the light of the sun over that particular region, which the Pellucidarians referred to as The Land of Awful Shadow.

Throughout Burroughs's seven-book Pellucidar series, the first novel of which appeared in All-Story Weekly in 1914, no adventurer ever managed to figure a way to visit what was called "the pendant word" or "the dead world." However, in some stories authorized later by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., other authors have been allowed to write fiction speculating on what types of beings might reside there.

The postmarks on these covers is Tarzan, Texas, which was in the path of totality of the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse which was visible in many states from Maine to Texas.

I did one other with the Tarzan postmark, showing the design of a T-shirt which heralded the Tarzan location. Over in Paris, Texas, a regular special cancellation was being offered for the eclipse and I made a slightly different Tarzan eclipse shirt cover for that.

Because eclipses do not occur that often they are often the stuff of legends.

I remember seeing cowboy movies where the hero was tied to a stake in an Indian village and about to be cremated. But fortunately, the cowboy had read the almanac and knew an eclipse was about to occur so he managed to escape by warning the uninformed natives that he had power to shut off the sun if they didn't let him go. Worked every time it was tried!!

The first movie to feature a solar eclipse was the 1907 silent film, "The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon."

1. Art of Tarzan rescuing the moon was done by Chris L. Adams.
His picture depicted a lunar eclipse to tie in with the solar eclipse
which occurred April 8, 2024, with Tarzan, Texas, in the path of totality.
2. Sam Glanzman was the artist for Charlton Comics unauthorized comic books
which adapted stories from "Jungle Tales of Tarzan."
Here's part of his art from the lunar eclipse story, "Tarzan Rescues the Moon."

1. Edgar Rice Burroughs designed the concept of a permanent eclipse with the moon
below the eternal noonday sun of Pellucidar
shading the area known as The Land of Awful Shadow.
2. T-shirts and other memorabilia were designed and sold for the April 8, 2024, eclipse.
This nice blue shirt notes that Tarzan, Texas, was in the path of totality

1. This black T-shirt was one of several versions offered for sale in various locales
to tie in with the April 8 eclipse. The cancellation was from Paris, Texas.
2. Charlie Brown spotted in crowd watching eclipse from Tarzan, Texas.


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