Volume 1185

From the ERBzine News Clippings Archive
Collected from 20th Century North American Newspaper Files
Stanleigh Vinson
Dean of ERB Collectors
Part I
Clippings from the Bill Hillman Collection
April 1960 from the Jerry O'Hara Collection ~ September 22, 1957 from the Dale Broadhurst Collection

Millions of fiction readers are familiar with the name Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the "Tarzan" books, but probably no one person has maintained a more avid interest in his writings than Mansfielder Stanleigh B. Vinson. 

At his home, 1060 West Cook Rd., he has created an "Edgar Rice Burroughs room" which is filled .with all the author's first editions, and all but two reprints of his books; magazine stories, newspaper serials, movie posters and billboard' advertisements, oil- paintings of the author and book characters by'the original illustrator of the Burroughs books,and five complete Tarzaii films, including the first silent film, "Tarzan And the Apes," which starred Elmo Lincoln, and is a real collector's item.

SHARE INTEREST IN BOOKS -- Mrs. Vinson, who doesn't remember reading 
many of the "Tarzan" books, nevertheless has developed a deep interest 
in her husband's hobby of collecting the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. 
They are shown above in the "Burroughs" room of their home on Cook Rd.
(N.J. photos by Bill Graham)

Like others, Vinson read many of the Tarzan books as a youth, but his interest centrered chiefly on Burroughs' science fiction stories. Almost 15 years ago his interest was revied when he met a Baptist minister in Kentucky who collects "Tarzan" books. 

Soon Vinson was contacting book dealers throughout the country for wanted editions, corresponding with "Tarzan" fans in all sections of the couintry, and was launched on a new and fascinating hobby. 

He spent three years searching for a copy of a missing Burroughs story, "King of Beasts," written in 1915, which he finally discovered had been published in serial form under the title, "The Man-Eater" in a New York newspaper. He succeeded in getting photostatic copies of the five installments from "The Evening World Daily Magazine" and sent one set to the author at his home in Tarzana, Cal. There followed a long period of letter writting between the Mansfielder  and the famed author, until the latter's death in 1950. 

Vinson says there are three or four other large collections of Burrouighs' writings, including those of the Kentucky minister, a circus performer from Illinois, who comes to Mansfield occassionallly to see the Vinson collection, a salesman in Philadelphia, and an artist in Chillicothe. However, none has a collection as complete as the Mansfield man. 

There are hundreds of Burroughs' fans scattered throughout the couintry. The circus performer from Illinois publishes a Burroughs' fan magazine which has a mailing list of 1,000 subscribers, Vinson said. 

It has been nearly 20 years since the last "Tarzan" book was published, but Vinson says Hollywood movie producer Sol Lesser has just signed a contract with one of the major studios to produce one Tarzan picture a year for the next 15 years. 

Nearly five years ago Vinson began 

WITH PRIZED PAINTING -- Among the most prized items 
in Vinson's collection is the oil painting, above, of the famed 
author of "Tarzan" stories, Edgar Rice Burroughs. 
The painting was done by J. Allan St. John of Chicago, 
who did all the illlustrations for Burroughs' books, 
and is believed to be the only one in existence. 
The picture was painted for Vinson from snapshots 
and memory by the Chicago artist.

COLLECTS "TARZAN" BOOKS -- Stanleigh B. Vinson, 
whose collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs' writings is 
considered one of the largest in the nation, 
is shown above in his specially-planned "Burroughs" room. 
Above the desk is an oil reproduction of one of the 
Tarzan book jackets,  done by the original illustrator, 
J. Allan St. John, of the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

collecting original illustrations from the Burroughs' books, and has hanging in his "Burroughs room," all done by the original illustrator of the books, J. Allan St. John, a member of the faculty at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. 

His most recent and prized work of all is an oil painting of Burroughs by St. John which hangs above the fireplace. The painting was made from snapshots and memory by the Chicago artist and is the only painting ever done of the noted author. A pen and ink drawing which illustrated teh jacket of Burroughs' story, "Pellucidar," hangs in the lobby of teh Art Institute and Vinson has tried in vain to buy it for his collection. 

In addition to the drawing in Chaicago, Vinson also is seeking reprints of two Burroughs' stories, "The Lad and the Lion," and "Back To the Stone Age," both of which were published by Grosset and Dunlap, for his collection. He also is interested in adding a paperback edition of "The Return of Tarzan," which was reprinted for the armed services during World War II. 

Among the hardest to locate of the Burroughs' work have been his children's books, Vinson says. At the present time he has a list of the "wanted" books filed with more than 400 book dealers throughout the country. 

His collection also includes nearly 30 editions of Burroughs books in foreign languages, including editions from France, Spain, Great Britain, Meixo, Germany, Poland, Italy, China, Japan, Argentina, India, Norway, and also in Hebrew. 

Vinson says the Tarzan movies are extremely popular today in Russia.

The Vinson collection also includes complete files of both daily and Sunday comic strips featuring Tarzan. 

Some books in Vinson's collection came from unexpected sources, the owner says. In addition to books Vinson also collects stamps, and some time ago he received a letter from a Japanese youth requesting a stamp exchange. Vinson sent him the stamps he requested, and in turn asked for the outh to send any Tarzan books he could find in his home-city, Hiroshima. Not only did the youth find some Tarzan books, translated into Japanese but also sent him an original stature of Tarzana nd a lion, created by one of that country's greatest sculptors. The latter was a personal friend of the youth's father, who is one of Japan's leading architecdts. 

Tarzan books written in Norwegian, which are included among Vinson's collection came from a business acquaintance in Norway. The Norwegian industrialist had written to the ideal Electric Co. of which Vinson is secretary-treasurer, inquiring about equipment manufactured at the local company. 

Vinson, through his business association, inquired about the possiblity of locating some of Burroughs' books from Norway. When the bopoks were sent here, the Norwegian industrialist refused payment, as Vinson, knowing that coffee was rationed there, sent him American coffe. Vinson was happy to get additions to his collection, and the Norwegian was more than happy to have American coffee which he termed "far superiior to any they had in Norway."

Mansfielder Searches Heavens 
With 8-Inch Telescope He Built
Mansfield, Ohio News-Journal
Sunday September 22, 1957 ~ Page 9

Taking Aim: Amateur astronomer Stanleigh Vinson 
swings his eight-inch reflector telescope into range.
He's looking at the rim of the moon through
a 100-diameter lens.
Note small "sighting" scope
mounted just above eye-piece.

Star gazing has come a long way since the days of Galileo. What was once a basic, mysterious venture for new scientists, a pastime of poets and philosophers, is now an enriching hobby for the average man. 

Astronomy these days as well within the reach of anyone with enough interest, and mechanical ambition.

Take Mansfielder Stanleigh Vinson, for instance. By day he is a businessman, president of Ideal Electric & Mfg. Co.

But on clear evenings when the planets are ripe for viewing, when constellations and moon glimmer through a cloudless sky, Vinson sets up his home made eight-inch reflector telescope. And like amateur astronomers the world over he takes a rightful pride in discovering for himself the millions of twinkling secrets piped down to earth by the heavens.

The sky yields only what man has the ingenuity to go after. People like Vinson make the search interesting. Since high school Vinson has taken a more-than-passing interest in astronomy. He and his pals once started building a six-inch reflector type telescope, but never finished it. Five years ago he decided to build another one -- a larger viewing unit to be mounted on a six-by-six post in the front lawn at his home on the corner of Cook and Trimble Rds. Normally a unit of this type takes some six months to finish. But with Vinson's busy schedule the building of a telescope with 100 and 250 diameter lenses, was done whenever he had the time. It's possible to buy a complete eight-inch telescope at prices ranging from about $300 to $1,000.

"But most of the fun and satisfaction is found in doing the job yourself." Vinson claims. He ground and polished the eight-inch mirror, manufactured the castings on which the scope is mounted, calculated and constructed the turning mechanisms, and mounted the small "aiming" telescope which brings a particular star or planet into exact range for viewing. He did it at an approximate cost of $70.

What are some of the things Vinson can see with the help of his miniature "observatory"? The rings of Saturn for one; the colorful face of Mars, the four major moons of Jupiter, double stars, and of course, the weird mountains and craters of our own moon. 

Vinson, who once took a course in astronomy at Ohio State University, also has a library of 100 or so books on the subject. Besides this he subscribes to a magazine containing charts which list the seasonal positions of the various spacial elements. 

Vinson has always had a basic interest in cosmology, the study of the formation of the universe. A hobbyist of no small endeavor, he is an avid science fiction fan, having met such notables as Ray Bradbury, Willie Ley (who wrote Conquest of Space) and Forest Ackerman, a west coast science fiction movie man. 

His earlier interest in Edgar Rice Burroughs books is one of the interests which brought him to the science fiction world. Burroughs at one time wrote a series of "Mars" stories, and of course the famed Tarzan creation bordered on science fiction. Vinson has probably the largest collection of Tarzan lore in the world. His den is filled with rare Tarzan books, some in foreign languages. The walls are adorned with original paintings by J. Allan St. John, who illustrated the Tarzan volumes; and Vinson also has some of the original artist's comic strip drawings, as well as a pile of full-length Tarzan movies, some from t he silent screen era. 

His Tarzan hobby is still the big one. But since he mounted his telescope and called it "finished" three weeks ago, Vinson will be spending at least an hour each clear evening studying the heavens.

Demonstrating the power of his telescope, Vinson one afternoon trained it on the pale silver of the moon showing by daylight. Through the 100 diameter lens, the rim of the moon was close enough to touch. Thirty seconds later it had moved out of the lens range, showing the relative speed of its flight at that magnification. 

Vinson doesn't expect to discover any comets, or flying saucers just yet. But who knows what hobbies can lead to?

37 Years . . . . . . . At Ideal
Stanleigh B. Vinson
An April 1960 article from the Jerry O'Hara Collection

This month's Idea News is proud to present our President, Mr. Stanleigh B. Vinson (better known as Stan) as we continue to present our senior employees.

Mr. Vinson started at Ideal on July 2, 1923, at the age of 14. He worked during summer, Christmas, and spring vacations, while attending high school and college. 

During this interval, he worked in various areas of the company which included: Stock Room, Test Floor, Panel, and Drafting Depts. Stan states his beginning wage at Ideal was a mere 12 1/2 cents per hour.

Having attended Ohio State University, Stan holds an Industrial Engineering Degree from this school While at Ohio State he was President of Pi Tau Pi Sigma. The Signal Corps Fraternity; President of Student Society of Industrial Engineers; and President of the Ohio State Rocket Society.

After graduation from college, Stan spent his first summer at Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, assisting with the installation of a new Ideal generator and the rebuilding of an existing control panel. Both the generator and control are used for the lighting of this famous cavern.

Upon return to the home office, Stan worked in various departments such as Design, Sales, and Advertising. He spent most of the World War II years in Purchasing and Payroll with Mr. Howard McDaniel.

Mr. Vinson is very much civic minded. His activities include Past President of Men's Garden Club, Treasurer of Friendly House, member of Library Board, Advisory Board member of Mansfield General Hospital, Advisory Board Member of the First National Bank. He is also a member of the Citizens Committee for Regional Planning, The Manufactures Council, The University Club, and the Kiwanis Memorial Foundation.

As for hobbies, Stan lists Astronomy and Tarzan. We might add that Stan has an avid interest in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the famed author of the "Tarzan" series. He has built up one of the largest and most complete Tarzan collections in the nation. This unique collection includes, the original paintings by J. Allen St. John, who illustrated many of Burroughs books and magazine stories. This collection also includes many foreign editions and first editions which are autographed by the author himself. 

Stan has one daughter, and a son. The Vinsons reside at 1060 West Cook Road, in Mansfield.

Pictured above is the sensational collection the Tarzan series, 
which was recently displayed at The Book Shop, on North Walnut St. in Mansfield. 

Meet Boss Committees
Monday, September 16, 1963
Mansfield News Journal ~ Mansfield, Ohio
Stanleigh B. Vinson, President of  Ideal Electric, started work at Ideal at the age of 14, working during the summers while attending high school and. college. He holds an Industrial Engineering Degree from Ohio State University. 

Mr. Vinson (better known as Stan) and his wife, Grace, live at 1060 West Cook Road. They have a son, S. Bradleigh Vinson,who is a Mississippi scientist, and a daughter, Beverleigh (Mrs. Ronald Hamlin).

Mr. Vinson is very much civic minded. His activities include Treasurer of Friendly House, Past President of Men's Garden Club, member of  Library Board, Advisory Board member of Mansfield General Hospital, Advisory Board Member of the First National Bank. He is also a member of the Citizens Committee for Regional Planning, The Manufactures Council, The University Club, and the Kiwanis Memorial Foundation,and President of the Richland County Astronomical Association. 

As for hobbies, Stan lists Astronomy and Tarzan.

EVENT: 1963 November: Burroughs Bibliophiles gathered at Vice-President Stan Vinson's house to chat and to view his collection

News Jounal Mansfield. Friday, March 26, 1965 

Stanleigh B. Vinson, 1060 West Cook Rd.,who has the world's largest collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs books and related materials, will give a talk and display some of his collection tonight at 8:30 at the Rowfant Club in Cleveland.

His subject will be "Edgar Rice Burroughs, Paradox," which will include the story of Burroughs' most famouscharacter, Tarzan. 

Vinson, who is president of the Ideal  Electric & Manufacturing Co., has an extensive Burroughs collection including foreign editions of books and  magazines, autographed copies of books, original paintings and drawings used to illustrate the Burroughs works, Tarzan films and hundreds of other souvenirs and mementoes relating to the famous author and to Tarzan.

Stanleigh B. Vinson, resident of Mansfield, Ohio is a man of truly amazing energy, ability, and diversity of knowledge. He is president of The Ideal Electric & Manufacturing Co. He is also president of a Realty company and the Richland Astronomy Club; vice president of the Mansfield Public Library Board; Director of a Bank, a General Hospital and Junior Achievement. He lives on and operates a four hundred acre farm on the edge of Mansfield. 

Finally, Mr. Vinson is a Collector. He has the world's largest collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Beginning with books, including the foreign editions, he has expanded this collection to include original paintings of the illustrations in the first editions, novels, comic magazines, and Hollywood movies. 

Mr. Vinson will bring some of this material to display in Rowfant Hall when he talks on "Edgar Rice Burroughs, Paradox" -- The Tarzan story, present and past.

At the Sign of the Candle
Friday, March 26, 1965 -- 8:30 P.M.

EVENT: 1965: Dum-Dum speakers included Stan Vinson, Jim and Joan Burroughs Pierce, Frank Brueckel, Ed Wood,  Darrell Richardson, H. Hardy Heins, Caz, Michael Resnick, and Alan Howard.

"Tarzan" Talk
Tuesday, February 17, 1970
Mansfield News  Mansfield, Ohio
Stanleigh Vinson, a Mansfield civic leader and long-time member of Mansfield University Foundation, will present a lecture about Novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs and his famous character, Tarzan of the Apes, at Mansfield - OSU at noon Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Free of charge and open to the public, the lecture will deal with Burroughs' background, the development of the Tarzan character and how Tarzan is known around the world. 

PASSING: April 6 1982: Stanleigh Vinson died on April 6, at age 73.  The world lost a truly dedicated Edgar Rice Burroughs admirer. 
It all began with Burroughs
By Sean Hosley ~ Special to The Eagle ~ Photos by Patric Schneider
Updated June 4, 2004
Bryan-College Station Eagle
S.Bradleigh Vinson stands by one of artist John Allen St. John’s paintings that he has in his house.“You can become an expert at anything, if you put your mind to it, in 10 years.”  Those words were the beginning of an odyssey that has lasted more than six decades. That simple statement began a treasure hunt that continues to this day, having passed from one generation to the next, and which has led to the amassment of one of the finest art collections in the Brazos Valley. That controversial statement, made by Stanleigh B. Vinson during a friendly debate, spawned a bet in which Vinson promised to become the world’s authority on Edgar Rice Burroughs. Though the details of the bet have become obscured by time, the outcome has not. Vinson won the bet. He did, in fact, become an authority on Edgar Rice Burroughs.

He amassed an incredible collection of Burroughs memorabilia, including first edition texts, original artwork, toys, newspaper clippings and movie posters. He also befriended James Allen St. John, the artist responsible to illustrating more than half of Burroughs’ books. From that friendship sprang a wealth of collectibles, oil paintings that were the original cover art for such Burroughs books as “Tarzan,” “The Warlord of Mars” series and “At the Earth’s Core.”

It also forged a bond between the two men, borne of the mutual admiration of both the artwork and the text that it represents. The bond was so strong, in fact, that when St. John died, Vinson paid the living expenses of St. John’s widow, Ellen, and visited her often. 

As Vinson’s health declined, he decided to donate some of his collection to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Corp. in Los Angeles. Run by Burroughs’ family, the corporation planned to put together a museum, but after several years the donated collectibles remained in a warehouse, and some had been sold. A few years later, Vinson died, and what remained of his collection was willed to his two children, one of whom was then a young professor of entomology at Texas A&M University, S. Bradleigh Vinson. Neither child had much interest in the inheritance, however, and the collection went into storage.

Then about 10 years ago, Vinson convinced his sister to sell him the other half of the collection, and he was amazed at what he found. Going through the boxes with one of his father’s old collecting buddies, the younger Vinson became hooked, much as his father had so many years before. He picked up where his father left off, and has managed to amass what he considers the most comprehensive collection of St. John/Burroughs artwork in the world. Whereas the elder Vinson could visit the publishing houses 60 years ago, collecting today is a much different task, with its own set of difficulties. Vinson has a list of the items he still desires, but much of the list is simply unavailable. It is in the hands of other collectors, who have no desire to part with it or, sadly, it has been lost forever or destroyed. 

Ironically, although “Tarzan” might make up the largest part of his collection, it is “The Warlord of Mars” series that takes up the largest part of his heart. “I got interested in Edgar Rice Burroughs more because of the science fiction than because of Tarzan,” Vinson said. “I like all the weird animals.” Not a surprising statement, considering he spends his professional life studying, and teaching about, bugs. Vinson says that his affinity for bright colors is quite likely the root of his love of insects. Indeed, it has been a lifelong fascination, as he notes with a smile, “My mother always told me my first word was not ‘mother’ or ‘father,’ it was ‘ant,’ and I wasn’t talking about Aunt Nancy, either.” So it is also not surprising that he would be drawn more to the visual aspects of the collection, whereas his father was more stimulated by the reading.

“ My father got into collecting because he loved the stories, I got into it because I like the artwork,” he said. While his father concentrated on collecting books, newspaper clippings about Burroughs and St. John paintings, Vinson has expanded the collection to include other artists of Burroughs’ work, such as Frank Schoonover, and has recently added a whole new branch of the Tarzan genre to his collection, Disney. With the 1999 release of the animated “Tarzan,” a whole new set of memorabilia flooded the marketplace, and Vinson eagerly began scooping it up. Toys, books, posters, even a light switch cover, Disney’s marketing campaigned covered all the bases, and soon that part of his collection filled an entire room.

Burroughs collectors have regular conventions, called “dum dums,” where they can meet with one another, view each other’s collections, and trade pieces. These conventions owe their moniker to Tarzan’s ape language, in which “dum dum” translates to “a meeting of apes.” 

Today’s collector also has technology to aid his never-ending quest. “EBay changed things,” Vinson said. “The first days were tough. A few people were out there, willing to buy at any price.” Consequently, the prices for rare memorabilia reached outrageous levels, and much of the most sought-after material was consolidated into a few collections. Vinson further notes that while the bidding on rarer items can be fierce, the collectors are friends, so it never gets too heated. The fact that many of the collectors take different routes also eases competition somewhat. 

He is one of the few Burroughs collectors who also collect the Disney memorabilia, and his collection of foreign material makes his collection unique. He has Disney promotional merchandise from Mexico, India, Russia and Southeast Asia. He worries that now that the Disney movie is five years old, and with seemingly no new “Tarzan” coming out, the next generation will not be interested in Burroughs’ work.

He does not view his collection as an investment, however. So no matter what the monetary value may be, it will always be collecting that holds the most value. “I come from a family of collectors,” he said. “I am a collector, my father was a collector, my grandfather was a collector.” As for the future of his pieces, he’s not sure whether his son will want to continue with the collecting. Vinson plans to donate his collection to a Burroughs museum in Chicago and a library in Louisville, but keep the ownership within the family. He doesn’t want to see his collection sold off piece by piece, as some of his father’s was back in the 1960s.

“ Sometimes I think I’m buying back my father’s stuff,” Vinson said of some of his collection. “I’ve learned some lessons."

One of artist James Allen St. John’s paintings 
was used for the Edgar Rice Burroughs “Tarzan” comic book series. 
St. John is responsible for illustrating more than half of Burroughs’ books.


Mansfield High School, Class of 1927 (as Sophomores)


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