The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1920 to 1933


No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Ape-Woman” by John Charles Beecham, Argosy All-Story Weekly, 30 Oct 1920 [despite title, no time travel ]



   If
by Lord Dunsany
First performance: 1921

John Beal, a London businessman, is given a magic crystal that allows him to go back in time and change one act; he is happy with his current life, so he decides to merely go back to catch a train that he was annoyed about missing ten years ago—but the resulting changes are more than he ever expected.

This is the earliest story that I’ve seen where the hero goes back into his earlier body and relives something differently. Some of the later stories of this kind have no actual time travel, but merely give knowledge of an alternate timeline (e.g., Asimov’s “What If?”); others live out the two timelines in parallel (e.g., the 1998 movie Sliding Doors, also set in motion by a missed/caught train); and some, like If, are couched in terms of time travel (e.g., the 1986 movie Peggy Sue Got Married).

 He that taketh this crystal, so, in his hand, at night, and wishes, saying ‘At a certain hour let it be’; the hour comes and he will go back eight, ten, even twelve years if he will, into the past, and do a thing again, or act otherwise than he did. The day passes; the ten years are accomplished once again; he is here once more; but he is what he might have become had he done that one thing otherwise. 




   “The Time Professor”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 1 Jan 1921

It’s not clear whether the man Tubby and his professor friend are time traveling or not, but in the end, I figured they are because in the matter of a few minutes they travel from 9pm in New York to 9pm in Chicago to 9pm in Denver and on and on.

 Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. 




   A Connecticut Yankee
in King Arthur’s Court

adapted by Bernard McConville (Emmett J. Flynn, director)
First release: 14 Mar 1921

I may never see this first movie adaptation since only three of the eight reels are known to still exist. The hero in this comedy version is a 1921 man who has just read Twain’s book and then travels by dream to the time of Camelot without the political carnage that was in the original story.



   “The Devil of the Western Sea”
by Philip M. Fisher
First publication: Argosy, 5 Aug 1922

I was always drawn to the idea behind The Final Countdown (1980) where a modern warship is thrown back to World War II, but the execution of that idea was weak in the made-for-tv movie. Here is a story, predating the movie by 58 years, in which a destroyer, Shoshone, shows up amongst a fleet of Spainish galleons near Panama in the year 1564. The story is well-written, but the captain’s behavior seems unrealistic to me.

 Twelve of them I counted, twelve ships in a fleet. Men of war? Surely not—not men of war. Men of war in this day do not carry sail. And yet—merchantmen? Merchantmen do not go to sea in peace times in groups of twelve. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Man from Beyond by Harry Houdini and Coolidge Streeter, 2 Apr 1922 [long sleep ]

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Collier’s, 27 May 1922 [backward aging ]



   The Clockwork Man
by E.V. Odle
First publication: 1923

A peculiar man with mechanical mannerisms appears at a cricket match spouting nonsense and later causing headaches throughout the village until Dr. Allingham finally talks to him and discovers that the origin of the man with clockwork devices implanted in his head is some 8000 years in the future.

 “Perhaps I ought to explain,” he continued. “You see, Im a clockwork man.” 


   The Collapse of Homo Sapiens
by P. Anderson Graham
First publication: 1923

The narrator longs to see history develop over centuries, so when a Being offers to take him into the future, he agrees and is taken to a dystopian world of 2120 A.D. when mankind is on the verge of extinction.

 Autumn had passed into winter before I mustered courage to get into communication with the Being to whom I had previously had recourse. 




   Not in Our Stars
by Conrad Arthur Skinner (as by Michael Maurice)
First publication: 1923

After some scientific mumbo-jumbo, Felix Menzies wakes up in a jail cell on the day before his execution for murdering the man he wrongly thought was his wife’s lover, and then he starts waking up on each previous morning, whereupon he begins to think he can cheat Destiny by not murdering the guy.

 If he did meet Savile, he was prepared to shake hands with him in the old way, and to realize what a neurotic fool he had been: also that Destiny had made an idiot of itself with the careless blundering born of the knowledge that nobody would ever know, nobody, that is, except himself; and, of course, Destiny safely relied on the assumption that nobody would believe him. 




   Torpeda czasu
English title: Time Torpedo (translated from Czech)
by Antoni Słonimski
First publication: circa 1924

Torpeda czasu is important enough to list even though I’ve read only summaries, I’ve never found a translation, and I’m uncertain about the date. The notes accompanying this particular cover indicate a 1923 publication date, but elsewhere the date of 1924 is common, and Wikipedia has 1926. Never mind!

The short novel’s heroes—Professor Pankton and his beautiful daughter Haydnee, historian Tolna, and journalist Hersey—set out from the year 2123 to change the Napoleonic Wars, starting with the French Revolution and aiming to fix matters so that mankind can advance intellectually without the hindrence of war. But the outcome, I am told, is even more miserable than the original bloody history.

Should I ever track down a copy, I shall need help from my Polish colleagues in computer science to translate the story to English.

 Nie zapominajcie, że to Francuzi, najwaleczniejszy naród europejski, że to są ludzie, których brawura i dzielność oślepia.

[Do not forget that the French, bravest among all the European nationalities, are a people blinded by their very own braggadocio and past prowess.] 




   The Man Who Mastered Time
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 12 Jul to 9 Aug 1924

At a meeting of the Scientific Club, a chemist and his son, Loto, describe how they were able to view a captive woman in the future, so now Loto is going to use his time machine to rescue her.

 “Time,” said George, “why I can give you a definition of time. Its what keeps everything from happening at once.” 

—from the opening line of the book, although Cummings wrote a similar line in Chapter 5 of his earlier work, The Girl in the Golden Atom (in the same setting of the Scientific Club), which had no time travel, but only different rates of time passage.



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Pikestaffe Case” by Algernon Blackwood, Tongues of Fire and Other Sketches, 1924 [people-trapping dimensions ]



  
 The World Below #1
The Amphibians: A Romance of 500,000 Years
by S. Fowler Wright
First publication: 1925

After two time travelers head to the far future and never return, the story’s narrator pursues them and encounters one monstrous being after another, including, of course, the Amphibian himself, all as a setting to write about morality.

The work was reprinted in 1930 as the first part of The World Below along with a second part (later called The Dwellers.

 Its true enough, what theyve told you, as far as we can tell it. As to theories of time and space, I know no more than you do. I used to think they were obvious. Ive heard the Professor talk two nights a week for three years, and Ive realised that it isnt all quite as simple as it seemed, though I dont get much further. But the next rooms a fact. We lay things down on the central slab, and the room goes dark, and we go back in two minutes, and it gets light again, and theyre still there. And the Professor says hes projected them 500,000 years ahead in the interval, and they dont look any the worse for the journey. 






   Felix the Cat
created by Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer
First time travel: 23 Aug 1925

Perhaps the first time travel in cartoons is Felix in “Trifles with Time,” where the silent, surreal cat negotiates with Father Time for a trip to a better age. After appropriate payment, Father Time obliges and Felix goes back to a stone age with dinosaurs.

 A cat cant live nowadays—turn me back to a better age, just for a day. 




   The Road to Yesterday
adapted by Jeanie MacPherson and Beulah Marie Dix (Cecille B. DeMille, director)
First release: 15 Nov 1925

Although Dix was one of the writers of this silent movie, I didn't see much resemblance between the movie and Dix’s earlier play of the same name. In the movie, bickering newlyweds Kenneth and Malena Paulton are thrown back to previous lives in Elizabethan England where they are a knight and a gypsy.

 I know I love you, Ken! But today—during the marriage service—something seemed to reach out of the Past that made me—afraid! 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Dream by H.G. Wells [just a dream ]

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald [just a wish ]

from the 1946 production by the Progressive Players Amateur Drama Company (Gateshead, England)

   Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston and Jack C. Squire
First performance: 6 Oct 1926

Based on Henry James’s The Sense of the Past, Balderston’s play follows modern-day American Peter Standish who exchanges place with his American Revolution ancestor. Leslie Howard starred in the 1929 Broadway run. Some sources list Jack C. Squire as a coauthor.

 [The same room, at the same time, on the same day, in 1928. Most of the furniture remains, but the tone of time has settled upon it, and there are some changes.] 

—from the stage directions


   “The Assault on Milagro Castle”
by J.M. Hiatt
First publication: Weird Tales, Nov 1926

The narrator, visiting Count Ramon Nuñez in Spain hears a story of a group of attacking Moors who simply disappeared 700 years ago, a story he doesn't believe until the same group reappears and continues the attack.

   The Strange Inventor
by Mark Powell Hyde
First publication: 1927

Young Johnny Devlin falls in with Mr. Merlin who first sends him on adventures with various inventions, then sends him to Arthurian England (where Mr. Merlin is Merlin), and finally sends him to the future (where Mr. Merlin rules the world).

   “The Lost Continent”
by Cecil B. White
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1927

Mad scientist Joseph Lamont builds a time machine to prove his brother’s theories about Atlantis, and then he takes a passenger ship back 12,000 years.

   The Time-Raider
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Weird Tales, Oct 1927–Jan 1928

Our narrator, Wheeler, and a great scientist, Landin, listen to Cannell’s story of being abducted and rapidly taken forward three years in time by a shapeless form, and when Cannell is again taken, they build a time machine to follow him.

 Held in its shapeless form were men, who hung helpless in its grasp. 


   “The Astounding Discoveries of Doctor Mentiroso”
by A. Hyatt Verrill
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1927

Professor Feromeno Mentiroso of the Universidad Santo Tomas argues with his friend about the time-traveling effects of rapidly traveling through many time zones.

 Don Feromeno nodded and smiled. “Then let us assume that your purely imaginary aircraft is capable of traveling at the rate of 24,000 miles per hour or that, in an hour's time, you can circumnavigate the earth. In that case, starting from Lima at noon on Monday, and rushing eastward, you would arrive in Barcelona at 6.30 P. M. on Monday, though your watch would show it to be 12.15 P. M. You would reach Calcutta at 1 A. M. Tuesday, although still only 12.20 on Monday by your watch. At Hawaii you would find time had leaped back to 7.30 A. M. Monday, despite the fact that your watch showed 12.45 of the same day, and at 1 P.  on Monday by your watch you would be back in Lima where the clocks would prove to that it was 2 P. M. despite the fact that you had been absent only one hour. 


   The Dancing Cavalier
by Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown and Kathy Seldon (Roscoe Dexter, director)
First release: Soon after the Oct 1927 release of The Jazz Singer

Of course, this shouldn't be in my list, because Cosmo himself says that it’s all just a dream, but when my friend Jim pointed out that The Dancing Cavalier (née The Dueling Cavalier) was a dream-based time-travel movie, I couldn’t resist putting it on my list.

 Hows this? We throw a modern section into the picture. The heros a young hoofer in a Broadway show, right? Now he sings and he dances, right? But one night backstage, hes reading A Tale of Two Cities, in between numbers, see? And a sandbag falls and hits him on the head, and he dreams hes back during the French Revolution, right? Well, this way we get in the modern dancing numbers—♫Charleston, Charlston♫—but in the dream part, we can still use the costume stuff! 


   “The Isle of Lost Souls”
by Joel Martin Nichols, Jr.
First publication: Weird Tales Dec 1928 - Feb 1929

In search of a lost Russian treasure, Dr. Trask sends himself and his compatriots back and forth between the 1920s and the present day, 2014 A.D.



  The World Below #2
The Dwellers
by S. Fowler Wright
First publication: 1929

After the monster-fest of The Amphibians, the narrator is captured by the rulers of the far-flung future: superintelligent beings who dwell underground.

This second part of the story was combined with The Amphibians in 1929 and published as a single volume called The World Below. In 1954, it was published on it’s own as The Dwellers.

 I know from what you have shown me already, that you come of a race which has lived only on the earths surface, and any cave or tunnel by which you enter it implies the approach to a confined and narrow space, so that when you attempt to visualise the condition of a race which lives under the surface, your imagination is of a cave, and not of a country. 


Most of my early listings without quotations are based on reviews in Bleiler’s Science Fiction: The Early Years.   The Time-Journey of Dr. Barton:
An Engineering and Sociological Forecast Based on Prestne Possibilities

by John Lawrence Hodgson
First publication: 1929

Dr. Barton travels to the year 3927 where the world’s population has grown to an unimaginable eight billion, but fear not! The utopian society has elimated waste from poor economic systems of the past, and all inhabitants now work (by choice) for but one month per year.



   “The Hounds of Tindalos”
by Frank Belknap Long
First publication: Weird Tales, Mar 1929

Chalmers, a man of mysticism but also of science, sends his mind back to the origin of the Earth and beyond where beings he calls the Hounds detect him and pursue him back to the present.

 “Then you do not entirely despise science.”
   “Of course not,” he affirmed. “I merely distrust the scientific positivism of the past fifty years, the positivism of Haeckel and Darwin and of Mr. Bertrand Russell. I believe that biology has failed pitifully to explain the mystery of mans origin and destiny.
 




   Cuddles: A Flapper in King Arthur’s Court
by Charles Forbell
First publication: Kay Features, 4 Mar 1929

After a car crash, Cuddles, our favorite flapper, finds herself in Camelot where she is unflappable.

 P-p-peace! Ye half d-d-d-dressed dragon! Ye wot not w-w-what ye good Kynge Arthur will think of such an t-t-t-tantalizing reflection of c-c-cr-creation! 


   “The Shadow Girl”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Argosy, 22 Jun - 13 Jul 1929

In the year 7012 A.D., scientist Poul and his beautiful (shadowy) granddaughter Lea construct a tall tower that can travel throughout time in the area that is presently Central Park in New York City, but an evil mimic creates his own tower from which he conducts time raids (most often involving Lea), and counter-raids ensue.

Lea is but one of the prolific Cummings’s many girls! You can also have the Girl in the Golden Atom, the Sea Girl, the Snow Girl, the Gadget Girl, the Thought Girl, the Girl from Infinite Smallness, and the Onslaught of the Druid Girls.

 No vision this! Reality! Empty space, two moments ago. Then a phantom, a moment ago. But a real tower, now! Solid. As real, as existent—now—as these rocks, these trees! 


The first of the three stories was reprinted in the Sep 1968 Amazing.   The Paradox Stories
by Charles Cloukey
First story: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Summer 1929

In the first story, Hawkinson receives a manuscript written in the hand of his friend Cannes and detailing how to build a time machine, which he does in order to send Cannes into the future to learn how to build a time machine and, thus, send the manuscript back to Hawkinson. More paradoxes (not to mention Martian plans to blow up the Earth) abound in the two sequels.
  1. Paradox (Summer 1929) Amazing Stories Quarterly
  2. Paradox+ (Jul 1930) Amazing Stories
  3. Anachronism (Dec 1930) Amazing Stories

 Cannes told of his life in that far future year, of his mystification at the circumstances surrounding the origin of that manuscript, which was used before it was made and could not hae been made if it hadnt been previously used. He told us of the grandfather argument, and also of the time when he was actually and physically in two different places at one and the same time. 

—Paradox+


   “Rays and Men”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly Summer 1929

Our narrator, Dr. Atwood, goes into a long sleep (because of an experimental anaestetic) and wakes in 2180 where everyone is peaceful living under an autocratic government that forbids strong emotion and says no to the doctor marrying the nurse he falls in love with, at which point he is disintigrated and reawakens in his own time.





   Stories of Addison, Time Traveler
by Henrik Dahl Juve
First story: Air Wonder Stories, Aug 1929

After wandering around the fourth and fifth dimensions for some time, 20th century scientist Theodore A. Addison rematerializes himself in a 28th century filled with many amazing inventions and a war between the west and the Occidentals. In his review of the story, Robert Jennings notes that “Every few paragraphs in the story everything stops as the protagonist inquires about the science behind some future marvel.” In all, three stories were set in this world, although only the first two (“The Silent Destroyer” and “The Sky Maniac”) featured Addison; the third (“The Vanishing Fleet”), according to Everett F. Bleiler, was an adventure set against the same background.

Apparently, Juve and his wife lived just down the road from me (in Moscow, ID) while I was bean’ edicated in Pullman, but I didn’t know of him then.

 As they watched, paralyzed, the building and air barge fell apart and hurtled toward the earth. The entire train had been split from end to end. The attacker now swung back and the then darted away. 

—The Sky Maniac


   “The Time Deflector”
by Edward L. Rementer
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1929

When Professor Melville’s theories on time travel are generally ridiculed, he reacts by sending his daughter’s suitor to the year 6925, where he finds a culture that has taken all the worst features of the 1920s to extremes.

 The reader will have come to the conclusion the world of 6925 was inhabited by fools, or madmen. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Seventh Generation” by Harl Vincent, Amazing Stories Quarterly, Winter 1929 [just a dream ]



   Last and First Men
by Olaf Stapledon
First publication: 1930

Time travel plays only a tiny role in this classic story of the history of men over the coming two billion years—in that the story itself is transmitted through time into the brain of a 20th century writer.

 This book has two authors, one contemporary with its readers, the other an inhabitant of an age which they would call the distant future. The brain that conceives and writes these sentences lives in the time of Einstein. Yet I, the true inspirer of this book, I who have begotten it upon that brain, I who influence that primitive being's conception, inhabit an age which, for Einstein, lies in the very remote future. 


   “Into the 28th Century”
by Lilith Lorraine
First publication: Wonder Stories Quarterly, Spring 1930

A man is pulled into the future year of 2730 where Iris, a beautiful young woman, takes him on a tour of their eutopia.



   “Creatures of the Light”
by Sophie Wenzel Ellis
First publication: Astounding, Feb 1930

I think this was the first time-travel story that Astounding ever ran, although the time travel is incidental to the story in which handsome Northwood pursues an artificially created superman who can jump just a few moments into the future.

 Before Northwoods horrified sight, he vanished; vanished as though he had turned suddenly to air and floated away. 






   Astounding’s The Readers’ Corner
edited by Harry Bates
First letters column: Astounding Stories of Super Science, Mar 1930

Before modern-day blogs and online fora, before Astounding Science Fictions Brass Tacks letters’ column, there was The Readers’ Corner of Astounding Stories of Super Science, where at the leisurely pace of once a month, readers vehemently mixed it up about all topics—including time travel.

 Dear Editor: Thus far the chief objection to time traveling has been this: if a person was sent back into the past or projected into the future, it would be possible for said person to interfere most disastrously with his own birth. —Arthur Berkowitz, 768 Beck Street, Bronx, N.Y. (Mar 1932)

Dear Editor: I write this letter to comment, not on the stories, which satisfy me, but on a few letters in the “Corner” of the March issue; especially Mr. Berkowitz’ letter. . . . Since he brought up the question of the time-traveler interfering disasterously with his own birth, I will discuss it. . . . Back he goes into time and meets his grandfather, before his fathers birth. For some reason John kills his grandfather. —Robert Feeney, 5334 Euclid, Kansas City, Mo. (Jun 1932)

Dear Editor: I read and enjoyed Mr. Feeneys interesting letter in the June issue, but wish to ask: Why pick on grandfather? . . . This incessant murdering of harmless ancestors must stop. —Donald Allgeier, Mountain Grove, Mo. (Jan 1933)
 


   “An Adventure in Time”
by Francis Flagg
First publication: Science Wonder Stories, Apr 1930

When a small time machine appears in Professor Bayers’s lab, he builds a larger copy and travels to the future, which is ruled by Amazon women.



   “Monsters of Moyen”
by Arthur J. Burks
First publication: Astounding, Apr 1930

When the U.S. is attacked with monsters and combination submarine/aeroplanes by the Asian demagog Moyen, it's up to Professor Mariel to find a way to save the country, possibly even through the manipulation of time!

 In this, I have even been compelled to manipulate in the matter of time! I must not only defeat and annihilate the minions of Moyen, but must work from a mathematical absurdity, so that at the moment of impact that moment itself must become part of the past, sufficiently remote to remove the monsters at such distance from the earth that not even the might genius of Moyen can return them! 




   “The Atom-Smasher”
by Victor Rousseau
First publication: Astounding, May 1930

We've got the evil Professor Tode who modifies an atom-smasher into a time machine that travels to the paleolithic age and Atlantis, a fatherly older professor, his beautiful young daughter (menaced by evil Tode), casually written racist pronouncements (by Rousseau), and our hero scientist, dashing Jim Dent. But my favorite sentence was the brief description of quantum mechanics, which I didn’t expect in a 1930 science fiction tale.

 The Planck-Bohr quantum theory that the energy of a body cannot vary continuously, but only by a certain finite amount, or exact multiples of this amount, had been the key that unlocked the door. 


   “The Time Ray of Jandra”
by Raymond A. Palmer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jun 1930

Sylvester Gale, shipwrecked on the west coast of Africa, discovers a long lost civilization and finds himself back there, but unable to interact; when the civilization’s scientists manage to set off a lava explosion, Gale is thrown forward, but overshoots his original time of 1944 by 13 years.

This is the first published story of fan, writer and long-time editor Raymond A. Palmer.

   “The Time Valve”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1930

In an earlier story (“The Fitzgerald Contraction”), survivors of the sinking of Mu (or Mo, as they called it) travel into space at relativistic speeds only to return to Earth some 200,000 years later. That, of course, is mere time dilation rather than time travel; but in this sequel, the Moans along with present-day beauty Vayill continue even further into the Earth’s future where trouble ensues until Vayill’s aged father comes to the rescue with a real time machine in an airplane.

   The 20,000 A.D. Stories
by Nat Schachner and Arthur Leo Zagat
First story: Wonder Stories, Sep 1930

Tom Jenkins heads into the “Vanishing Woods” to prove that there’s nothing dangerous about them, but he doesn’ return until six months later, and he refuses to talk about where he’s been and what he’ seen—but fortunately for us, the titles of the two Wonder Story stories (“In 20,000 A.D.” in Sep 1930 and “Back to 20,000 A.D.” in Mar 1931) gives us a big clue, although it doesn’t tell us that the world he visits is divided into cold-hearted Masters and their four-armed, giant human Robots.

The use of the word “robot” had not yet evolved from Čapek’s meaning of a humanoid laborer to the modern usage as a purely mechanical being.

 True, he says, the Masters are far advanced, an able to do lots o thingsas a result. Theyve learnt everything there was to be learnt, they can live on the earth, in the air, in the water, or underground; they can travel to the other stars; they know how the world come about an when its ending, they think great thoughts anthings I couldnt even understand, but, he says, what about the Robots? 




   “The Man Who Saw the Future”
aka “The Man Who Saw Everything”
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1930

Henri Lothiere, an apothecary’s assistant in 1444 Paris, must face charges of sorcery at an inquisition into his supposed disappearance and subsequent return from 1944 Paris.

 Then the car rolled swiftly forward, bumping on the ground, and then ceased to bump. I looked down, then shuddered. The ground was already far beneath! I too, was flying in the air! 


   “The Pineal Stimulator”
by Inga Stephens Pratt and Fletcher Pratt (as by I.M. Stephens and Fletcher Pratt)
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1930

Maddish scientist Jimmy Casmey first gets his college buddy to experience ancestral memories of a Civil War soldier and then a paleolithic man, at which point Casmey realizes that his device can also allow experiences of future descendants.

   “The Time Annihilator”
by Edgar A. Manley and Walter Thode
First publication: Wonder Stories, Nov 1930

When genius Larry Stenson disappears into the future, his two friends follow him to the year 2418 where the world is ruled by cruel, giant superhumans—a fate for Earth that the trio discovers cannot be changed, even with a time machine.

 We have purposely allowed our time travellers to become known to the people of the eras that they visit, for in this way the great drama of the story becomes apparent. 




   “The Uncharted Isle”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Weird Tales, Nov 1930

A man, adrift in the Pacific, washes up on an island where none of the men (or the giant ape) see or interact with him, which leads him to conclude that part of him is in the bygone past.

 Is there a part of the Pacific that extends beyond time and space—an oceanic limbo into which, by some unknowable cataclysm, that island passed in a bygone period, even as Lemuria sank beneath the wave? And if so, by what abrogation of dimensional laws was I enabled to reach the island and depart from it? 


The story also appeared in this 1935 collection.   “The Man Who Lived Backwards”
by Algernon Blackwood
First publication: World Radio (broadcast guide), 12 Dec 1930

Professor Zeitt posits that all of time always exists and he should be able to break the usual serial traversal of time in order to influence his earlier self to not get into a bad marriage.


No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Phantoms of Reality” by Ray Chandler, Astounding, Jan 1930 [parallel universes ]

The Royal Four-Flusher by Arthur Hurley (Murray Roth, director), 16 May 1930 [secondary world ]
Sadly, I haven’t found a copy of this early talkie with possible, but unlikely, time travel. I say “unlikely” because the hero is transported to a land of kings and queens and fair maidens, but it could be a fantasyland as much as a time in the past. According to imdb, the soundtrack included “Here We Are”, although that song was also sung earlier by Annette Hanshaw for a 1929 animated film, Sita Sings the Blues.

Just Imagine by Buddy G. DeSylva, Lew Brown, et. al. (David Butler, director), 23 Nov 1930 [long sleep ]

  Via the Time Accelerator”
by Francis J. Brueckel, Jr. (as by Frank J. Bridge)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1931

Mathematician and physicist Anton Brookhurst takes a trip 1,000,000 years into the future in a machine that was inspired by H.G. Wells and explained (in this story) by a series of official-looking equations, but, unlike in The Time Machine, Brookhurst’s machine resides in an airplane, and Brookhurst himself examines various paradoxes, such as: Would he have been brave enough to embark on the journey had he not first seen himself safely return?

 
T  =  t
 √ℓ - v²/c²  
 


   “A Flight into Time”
by Robert H. Wilson
First publication: Wonder Stories, Feb 1931

Ted Storrs is inexplicably transported from 1933 to 2189 (I almost thought, Hooray! Not a round number of years!—but it turns out to be 28 years into the future) where he is amazed by the air traffic congestion, beamed atomic power, casual nudity, interplanetary travel, and more.



   “The Meteor Girl”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1931

When a meteor lands on the beachfront airfield of our narrator and his partner Charlie King, Charlie realizes that it provides a portal through space-time through which they view the death-at-sea of Charlie’s ex-fiancée.

 A terrestrial astronomer may reckon that the outburst on Nova Persei occurred a century before the great fire of London, but an astronomer on the Nova may reckon with equal accuracy that the great fire occurred a century before the outburst on the Nova. 


Jack Williamson, Master Traveller

In the 1930s alone, Williamson had five classic time travel stories culminating with “The Legion of Time,” to be followed by what has to be the first of the let’s-kill-Hitler stories and another seven decades of unmatched science fiction.



   “The Empire of Glass”
by Frank Miloche
First publication: Wonder Stories Quarterly, Spring 1931

A present-day man puts on a helmet that lets him view the future where a scientist named Nebor outlines his plans to save mankind from giant insects by transporting all men to either the distant past or the far future.

   “An Adventure in Futurity”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Wonder Stories, Apr 1931

Conrad Elkins, an scientist from 15,000 A.D. who hopes to find a solution to the problem of too many male babies in his time, strikes up a friendship with Hugh in present-day New York City, eventually inviting Hugh to return with him to a future of infinite leisure where Venusian slaves with Martian overseers outnumber humans five-to-one.

 And do you ever think that present-day New York will some time be as fragmentary and fabulous as Troy or Zimbabwe? That archaeologists may delve in its ruins, beneath the sevenfold increment of later cities, and find a few rusting mechanisms of disputed use, and potteries of doubtful date, and inscriptions which no one can decipher? 




   The Exile of Time
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Astounding Stories, Apr–Jul 1931

George Rankin and his best friend Larry rescue an hysterical Mistress Mary Atwood from a locked New York City basement only to find that she believes she’s come from more than 150 years in the past, chased by a crazy man named Tugh and his mad robot, Migul.

 Lets try and reduce it to rationality. The cage was—is, I should ay, since of course it still exists—that cage is a Time-traveling vehicle. It is traveling back and forth through Time, operated by a Robot. 




   A Connecticut Yankee
adapted by William M. Conselman (David Butler, director)
First release: 6 Apr 1931

At the beginning, this version of the story borrows a bit from Frankenstein (a mad scientist) and H.G. Wells (who invents a time machine), but in the end, poor Hank Morgan (actually, Hank “Martin” in this case, portrayed by Will Rogers) still ends up at the round table predicting an eclipse.

 Think! Think of hearing Lincolns own voice delivering the Gettysburg address! 




   “Worlds to Barter”
by John Wyndham (as by John B. Harris)
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1931

In Wyndham’s first published story, Jon Lestrange (the distant descendant of the world’s foremost inventor) comes back to the moment of his ancestor’s greatest invention with a story of how his own time was invaded by the people of the 5022nd century, demanding to change temporal places with the people of Lestrange’s time.

 It is a difficult situation, but I hope I shall convince you. Very few men can have had the chance of convincing their great-great-great grandfathers of anything. I am now an anachronism. You see, I was born in the year A.D. 2108,—or should it be, I shall be born in 2108?—and I am—or will be—a refugee from the twenty-second century. I assure you that you will be married shortly, but I cant remember when—I think I told you I was bad at dates. 


Louise Fazenda (top)
and friend


   Blondes Prefer Bonds
by Lewis R. Foster (Foster, director)
First release: 15 May 1931

I decided to include this movie in the list in the hopes that someone will point me to a copy of the talkie that stars Louise Fazenda and Arthur Hoyt as a married couple who in the hopes of rekindling their vows are thrown back to the time of their courtship.



   “The Man from 2071”
by Sewell Peaslee Wright
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1931

Special Patrol Service officer John Hanson (hero of ten Wright stories) stumbles upon a mad inventor who has traveled many centuries to Hanson’s beachfront Denver in order to obtain knowledge that will let him become the absolute, unquestioned, supreme master back in the 21st century.

 I could not help wondering, as we settle swiftly over the city, whether our historians and geologists and other scientists were really right in saying that Denver had at one period been far from the Pacific. 


   “The Man Who Changed the Future”
by R.F. Starzl
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jun 1931

When Park Helm laments about the state of gangster-overrun Lakopolis, his friend, Professor Nicholson, sends him into the future to observe whether things will get better, but somehow Helm manages to do a lot more than just observe, eventually becoming the future boss man, gaining a lovely wife, and generally righting wrongs.

   “The Time Flight”
by Miles J. Breuer
First publication: Amazing, Jun 1931

Widower Ezra Hubble hatches a scheme to deprive his stepson of an inheritance by taking the money with him to the future.

   “The Raid of the Mercury”
by A.H. Johnson
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1931

A seer projects our narrator into the world of 22,000 A.D where a pirate airship fuels a revolution against the wealthy.

   “Rebellion—5000 A.D.!”
by Garth Bentley
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1931

During an experiment with a new radio technology, Professor Crewe’s assistant (and our narrator) is flung to a post-apocalyptic 5000 A.D. where an authoritarian, largely urban civilization has arisen and a group of rebels are expecting a man from the past to lead them.



   “The Port of Missing Planes”
by Capt. S.P. Meek
First publication: Astounding, Aug 1931

Capt. Meek’s hero, Dr. Bird (an agent of the Bureau of Standards), had at least one minor run-in with time travel in this story of underground molemen (who excavate their tunnels by time travel) who have been duped by the evil Saranoff into serving as a base for Saranoff’s attacks on the southwestern United States (as well as an attack on Dr. Bird’s brain, which is in peril of being sent back in time).

 “I wish I could remember how that time machine was built and operated,” said Dr. Bird reflectively, as he sat in his private laboratory in the Bureau of Standards some time later, “but Jumor did his work well. I cant even remember what the thing looked like.” 


   “The Time Hoaxers”
by Paul Bolton
First publication: Amazing, Aug 1931

Four men and a woman travel from 2030 to 1930, hoping to advance civilization, but everyone believes that the resulting newpaper stories of their arrival are all fakes.

 They said we could hope to be received only as impostors and fakirs. 


   “The Time-Traveler”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Weird Tales, Aug 1931

Mathematics professor John D. Smith rues the day he saved his college room-mate from drowning only to have the ungrateful cad thwart his every career move for the next decade. Oh, if only Smith could redo that fateful day!

 If I could go back into the past, there is one event which I should most certainly change: my rescue of Paul Arkwright! 


   “After 1,000,000 Years”
by J.M. Walsh
First publication: Wonder Stories, Oct 1931

Beautiful time traveler Leela Zenken, searching for atomic power to save her people of the future, is aiming for 1985, but hits 1935 instead where hiker John Harling tries to help her.



   The Stone from the Green Star
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Amazing, Oct–Nov 1931

Jack Williamson’s college buddy Dick Smith is transported a couple million years into the future where he meets a blind scientist, falls in love with the scientist’s beautiful daughter, fights the evil lord of the Dark Star, seeks the fountain of youth, wantders through the galaxy, and eventually transmits a manuscript of his adventures back in time to Williamson.

 “That is a space-port where the ships come in from the stars,” the girl said. (Of course, all conversations recorded in Smiths notes have been translated into our English—if they were not, no one would be able to read them.)
   “Ships from the stars!” Dick ejaculated.
 


   “Emperors of Space”
by Jerome Gross and Richard Penny
First publication: Wonder Stories, Nov 1931

Being chased by the Chinese, Luke Raliegh (scientist extraordinaire) and his pal Harry build a giant gyroscope that spins so fast it takes them into the future where they cure the yellow rot and save the world.

In 1946, the serial was released as a novel.

   The Time Stream
by John Taine (aka Eric Temple Bell)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1931–Mar 1932

In this dated sf classic, four like-minded men from 1906 are swept into the time stream via a mental exercise, taken to the land of Eos in a far-off time (possibly in the past, possibly in the future) where they encounter Cheryl (who may or may not be the Cheryl that they know in their own time) and consider how personal freedom may or may not be abrogated.

 No man or woman of Eos has the authority to direct, check, or in any way influence the free decision and impulses of another without that others full and intelligent consent. We demand the right to follow the natural inclinations of our characters. We demand the right to marry. 


   “The World of the Red Sun”
by Clifford D. Simak
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1931

Harl Swanson and Bill Kressman leave Denver in their flying time machine, aiming to travel five millennia, but they end up some five million years later in a desolate world ruled by the evil and cruel brain Golan-Kirt.

I read this in Asimov’s anthology Before the Golden Age, which was the first SFBC book to arrive in my mailbox after going to college in Pullman in the fall of ’74.

 The twentieth century. It had a remote sound, an unreal significance. In this age, with the sun a brick red ball and the city of Denver a mass of ruins, the twentieth century was a forgotten second in the great march of time, it was as remote as the age when man emerged from the beast. 


Clifford D. Simak, Master Traveller

“The World of the Red Sun” is the first of Clifford D. Simak’s many time travel contributions which spanned a total of 56 years.




No Time Travel.
Move along.
“No Traveller Returns” by John Collier [parallel universes ]

“The Fifth-Dimension Catapult” by Murray Leinster, Astounding, Jan 1931 [parallel universes ]

“Hell’s Dimension” by Tom Curry, Astounding, Apr 1931 [differing time rates ]

“The Man Who Evolved” by Edmond Hamilton, Wonder Stories, Apr 1931 [sped up evolution ]

Jack Williamson   “The Moon Era”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Wonder Stories, Feb 1932

Stephen’s rich inventor uncle sends him on a trip to the moon in an antigravity capsule without realizing that a side-effect also sends the capsule back to when the moon was young, green, and populated by the evil Eternal Ones and the last of the Mothers.

 Time was a fourth dimension, he had said. An extension as real as the three of what we call space, and not completely distinguishable from them. A direction in which motion would carry one into the past, or into the future. 




   “The Queer Story of Brownlow’s Newspaper”
by H.G. Wells
First publication: Ladies’ Home Journal, Feb 1932

A copy of the Evening Standard newspaper makes its way from 1971 back to one Mr. Brownlow in 1931, and the narrator relates to us the queer happenings from forty years in the future. Would that the political aspects of his world would have materialized!

 It means, I take it, that in only forty years from now the great game of sovereign states will be over. It looks also as if the parliamentary game will be over, and as if some quite new method of handling human affairs will have been adopted. Not a word of patriotism or nationalism; not a word of party, not an allusion. But in only forty years! While half the human beings already alive in the world will still be living! You cannot believe it for a moment. Nor could I, if it wasn't for two little torn scraps of paper. 


   “When the Earth Tilted”
by J.M. Walsh
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1932

After a passing comet throws the earth’s axis out of kilter, the survivors, searching for a habitable spot to live on the planet’s surface, stumble upon a colony from the lost continent of Mu, whereupon war breaks out (after all, there’s limited land available now) and the Muians have a time-travel trick up their sleeves.



   Dangerous Corner
by J.B. Priestley
First performance: 17 May 1932 at London’s Lyric Theatre

I need you to tell me whether the conclusion of this play involves time travel or not. I claim it does. But regardless of that, it’s worth reading Priestley’s first play, which follows the dire consequences of a chance remark at the start of Act I. The play was also filmed as a 1934 screenplay and later as a Yorkshire Television Production.

 For the last few seconds the light has been fading, now it is completely dark. There is a revolver shot, a womans scream, a moments silence, then the sound of a woman sobbing, exactly as at the beginning of Act I. 




   “Omega”
by Ameila Reynolds Long
First publication: Amazing, Jul 1932

Via hypnosis, a professor sends a convicted murderer throughout the circle of time until he eventually visits the very omega of the universe.

 I, Doctor Michael Claybridge, living in the year 1926, have listened to a description of the end of the world from the lips of the man who witnessed it; the last man of the human race. That this is possible, or that I am not insane, I cannot ask you to believe: I can only offer you the facts. 


   “The Time Conqueror”
aka “The Tyrant of Time”
by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
First publication: Wonder Stories Jul 1932

Evil scientist Koszarek kills Ovington and uses his brain to view the future, which is dominated by the Brain who ruthlessly kills each of his servants that Koszarak inhabits.

 Beyond the fourth there is a fifth dimension. . . . Eternity, I think you would call it. It is the line, the direction perpendicular to time. 


   “Flight into Super-Time”
aka “The Letter from Mohaun Los”
by Clark Ashton Smith
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1932

Eccentric millionaire Domitian Malgraff and his Chinese servant Li Wong head off in a time machine, first to adventure into the future, but if that fails to hold there interest—says Malgraff in a letter to his ex-fiancée—there is always the past.

 You have always considered me a hopeless dreamer; and I am the last person who would endeavor or even wish to dispute your summary. It might be added that I am one of those dreamers who have not been able to content themselves with dreams. Such persons, as a rule, are unfortunate and unhappy, since few of them are capable of realizing, or even approximating, their visionary conceptions. 


   “Beyond the Veil of Time”
by B.H. Barney
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Fall/Winter 1932

Mathematician Richard Nelson, Andean Indian Huayan, and engineer Dan Bradford who try to capture images from a pre-Incan city in the Andes, but instead are blown back in time and have a series of high adventures.

The story—Barney’s only publication—was a plagiaristic hodgepodge of elements from the work of A. Merritt, although Everett Bleiler’s review notes that there were imaginative and ingenious original elements.

 A. MERRITT, WHO IS WELL KNOWN TO MANY OF THE READERS OF AMAZING STORIES, HAS CALLED OUR ATTENTION TO MANY SIMILARITIES IN DESCRIPTIONS, CHARACTERIZATIONS AND SITUATIONS IN THE STORY "BEYOND THE VEIL OF TIME" BY B.H. BARNEY, PUBLISHED IN THE FALL-WINTER ISSUE OF AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY, AND DESCRIPTIONS, CHARACTERIZATIONS AND SITUATIONS IN HIS TWO BOOKS "THE MOON POOL" AND "THE FACE IN THE ABYSS". MR. MERRITT OBJECTS PARTICULARLY TO THE UTILIZATION OF THE CONCEPTION AND THE NAME OF "THE DREAM-MAKERS", WHICH FORMED AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HIS "FACE IN THE ABYSS". 

—an announcement in the June 1933 Amazing Stories


   “Chicago, 2042 A.D.”
by Paul Bolton
First publication: Wonder Stories, Oct 1932

The U.S. in the 1950s is ruled by the Jerry Ratoni of the Chicago mob, which Wakefield plans to infiltrate, but things go wrong when Ratoni, Wakefield and Ratoni’s secretary are transported to 2042, where the mob still rules.

   “The Man Who Lived Twice”
by William Kober
First publication: Amazing, Nov 1932

In a dire time of war, a man from the Bureau of Standards in look of new weapons visits Professor Dane who claims he can travel to the future, which our man from the Bureau does, but he finds an alien invasion instead of great new weapons.

   “The Time Express”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1932

Under strict rules against smuggling technology, time-travel tourism is permitted to the residents of 2124 A.D., but, of course, when a tour guide tries to take modern technology to the nontechnical time of 4600 A.D., our man Denton Kels must bring the dastard to justice.


No Time Travel.
Move along.
The Gap in the Curtain by John Buchan [visions of possible futures ]

“The Einstein See-Saw” by Miles J. Breuer, Astounding, Apr 1932 [monster-filled universes ]

“The Finger of the Past” by Miles J. Breuer, Amazing, Nov 1932 [viewing the past ]

   “Ancients of Easter Island”
by F. Stanley Renshaw
First publication: Amazing, Apr 1933

Archeologist Harvey Manly and crew visit Easter Island where they participate in a sacred ritual with the indiginous people, and the ritual seems to take Harvey back to a time when he, as leader of the ancient Lemurians, lived the legend that gave birth to the ritual.

   “The Man from Tomorrow”
by Stanton A. Coblentz
First publication: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Spring/Summer 1933

An apparent madman, James Richard Cloud, pops in on Professor Ellery Howard of Gotham University, and the professor is about to dismiss Cloud’s claims of building a machine that can see all of time and retrieve objects from time, when the professor’s assistant arrives and recognizes a certain sensibility in the madman’s mathematical notes, all of which leads to a personal viewing of the machine, which hiccups and kidnaps a man from the 23rd century who insists on being shown around nighttime New York City.

 You know some of the modern theories about the fourth dimension. How Einstein and others suppose that the fourth dimension of sapce is time. Well, I dont want to claim any one elses laurels, but that was my view even before the name of Einstein was heard of. Ive been working at it for thirty-five years. Its my belief too that the fourth side of space is time, and that, in a sense, all time exists simultaneously and eternally—although on some other plan than ours—just as all space exists simultaneously and eternally. 


   “The Third Vibrator”
by John Wyndham (as by John Beynon Harris)
First publication: Wonder Stories, May 1933

Hixton tells his fiancé the reason why he destroyed his death ray: He’s been back to ancient Lemuria and Atlantis and seen with his own eyes the effect it had.

Although the mechanism of the weapon differed from the atom bomb, it still feels as though Wyndham anticipated the capability for world destruction that would soon be upon us.

 Miles away the ground split from a center in radiating crevasses. I saw men far beyond it halt in dismay and turn back. A violent shaking of the ground sent me to the floor. 




   The Golden City
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Argosy, 13 May–17 Jun 1933

Back in 1932 in The Radio War (which is not related to Farley’s more famous Radio Man stories), we heard the story of the author’s grandson John Farley Pease, who fought the Siberians in the year 2000, but mostly* without time travel. Now we hear from John Farley Pease’s uncle’s friend who did time travel, disappearing through time to the long-lost Pacific island of Mu, only to reappear unaged some decades later.

*although The Radio War had no time travel, a lost section of the first chapter, published in 1934, does involve some chrono-atypical shenanigans. Please see the related stories link.

 Furthermore, this young man cant possibly be Adams Mayhew! Why Mayhew would be nearly eighty, if he were alive today, and this man is still in his twenties. 


   “The Intelligence Gigantic”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Amazing, Jun-Jul 1933

There’s just a smidgen of time travel in this story—possibly so that every known science fiction trope is covered. The jump through time occurs when an artificially created human who uses all of his brain (instead of the tiny amount that we use) jumps forward in time to start his world domination.



   Berkeley Square
by John L. Balderston, Henry James and Sonya Levien (Frank Lloyd, director)
First release: 15 Sep 1933

Leslie Howard reprises his dual role of Peter Standish(es) from the 1929 Broadway version of the Balderston’s Berkeley Square, which in turn was based on Henry James’s unfinished novel.

 How many of us have wished that we might escape from the dull reality of the present into the glamor and romance of yesterday?
But if we could journey back into the mystery of the past, should we find contentment—or unhappiness?
 


   “Theft of the Washington Monument”
by Robert Arthur, Jr.
First publication: Amazing, Oct 1933

In order to exact revenge for the ridicule that his theories on time have endured, Professor Green decide to transport the Washington Monument to the future for a few days, and in the process, they see the eventual fate of our planet.

   The Oliver Kent Stories
by Joseph W. Skidmore
First story: Amazing, Nov 1933

I’m not sure how often the super-scientist Oliver Kent showed up in Skidmore stories, but at least twice Kent administered drugs that allowed the heroes to be thrown back in time, living in other bodies (“The Beetle in the Amber,” wherein Donald and Joane Cromwell are sent back to prehuman bodies in the time that an amazing beetle came from, and “The First Flight” in which aviator Donald Calvert flies a pterodactyl).

 From the looks of the Brontosaurus  . . . we are in the Pleistocene period. 




   The Tyme Stories
by A. Fedor and Henry Hasse
First story: Wonder Stories, Nov 1933

In a series of two Wonder Stories tales, Tyme (our man from the future) visits science fiction editor B. Lue Pencil who first has Tyme committed to an insane asylum (“The End of Tyme” in Nov 1933 ) and then decides to not commit suicide because Tyme shows him future sales figures and tables of contents for his magazine (“The Return of Tyme” in Aug 1934).



   “Ancestral Voices”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1933

Time traveler Emmet Pennypacker kills one ancient Hun and without realizing who will disappear from the racist world of 1935.

This is the first issue of Astounding that lists F. Orlin Tremaine as editor, although he began that job two months earlier, and I think this is the first time-travel story that he published.

 The year of grace 1935! A dull year, a comfortable year! Nothing much happened. The depression was over; people worked steadily at their jobs and forgot that they had every starved; Roosevelt was still President of the United States; Hitler was firmly ensconced in Germany; France talked of security; Japan continued to defend itself against China by swallowing a few more provinces; Russia was about to commence on the third Five Year Plan, to be completed in two years; and, oh, yes—Cuba was still in revolution. 


   “Island of Science”
by B.S. Keirstead
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1933

An Englishman is shipwrecked on an island of brilliant Italian scientists who, among other things, take him back to ninth century England and the time of King Alfred.

The story also appeared in the third volume of Williamson’s collected stories (Sep 2000)   “Terror Out of Time”
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1933

Until I started reading these 1930s pulps, I didn’t realize how ubiquitous were the scientist with a beautiful daughter and her adventurous fiancé. This story has Dr. Audrin, his machine to project the brain of a present-day man forty million years into the future and possibly bring another mind back, his beautiful daughter Eve, and her manly fiancé, Terry Webb, who agrees to be the test subject for the machine.

 I must have a subject. And there is a certain—risk. Not great, now, Im sure. My apparatus is improved. But, in my first trial, my subject was—injured. Ive been wondering, Mr. Webb, if you— 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Fifth-Dimension Tube” by Murray Leinster, Astounding, Jan 1933 [parallel universes ]

“Across the Ages” by Allen Glasser, Amazing, Aug/Sep 1933 [just a dream ]

 


108 items are in the time-travel list for these search settings.
Thanks for visiting my time-travel page, and thanks to the many sources that provided stories and more (see the Links and Credits in the menu at the top). —Michael (
main@colorado.edu)