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Before They Were Famous
A History Lesson
by Doug Hawley

Eddie Jones ran a team of mules hauling grain from the Sacramento Valley to the Bay Area in the late 1800s. He didn’t make much money, but had a lot of time to read while driving his team to drop off his cargo in San Francisco and other cities in California where it was processed for feeding the residents, particularly the vast Chinese population which favored the staple they had eaten in their homeland.

Although Eddie never got out of California, he absorbed fiction and non-fiction from far off lands. He didn’t have much education, but thought up wild stories of exotic lands. He even imagined travelling through space to distant planets.
From his fantasies he wrote stories to match the things that he had thought about.  He believed that his name didn’t sound like the name of a writer, so he at first tried the name of his transport company, “Eddie Rice Burros”. When that still didn’t sound quite right, he changed it again to the classier “Edgar Rice Burroughs” when he finally submitted “Tarzan” and “John Carter Of Mars.”
The Wright Brothers are well known as the originators of heavier than air manned flight, although some French and maybe some Russians may disagree.  It is well known that the Wrights built bikes before airplanes.  What is not so widely known, is that between bicycles and airplanes, the tried their hands at another manufacturing project.

Their interest in exotic women’s wear is not well known.  After succeeding with bicycles, the brothers spent months in Tahiti.  They were very much taken with the sensuous clothes worn by the native women.  After returning and spending seven months setting up their knitting mill, they began their business between bikes and planes – “Two Wrights Make Sarong”. 
They did better with planes.