Edgar Rice Burroughs fueled the imaginations of many with his pulp characters, like Tarzan and John Carter
That’s where a struggling Chicagoan named Edgar Rice Burroughs sold pencil sharpeners. Because business was slow, he had plenty of time to daydream of towering four-armed warriors called Tharks and a beautiful Martian princess, Dejah Thoris.
Part of Burroughs’ job was to check the ads in pulp magazines, which were otherwise filled with lurid tales of adventure and romance. He decided his daydreams were even more thrilling, and began writing them down on the backs of old letterheads.
Readers in 1912 enjoyed John Carter so much that Burroughs followed up later that year with a yarn about the child of an English nobleman orphaned in the African jungle. He wrote “Tarzan of the Apes” surrounded by the urban jungle of the Loop, in an office at 5 N. Wabash, during downtime at another dead-end job.