The Big List of Time Travel Adventures

 1933 to 1939

   “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 ]

   “To-Day’s Yesterday”
by Russell Blaiklock (as by Rice Ray)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1934

Cavanaugh, a movie’s sound engineer, realizes that the complex wiring on the movie set has transported a microphone to another time, and Cavanaugh’s assistant, Wilson, then transports himself to that time, too.



   “The First Chapter of the Radio War”
aka “The Missing Chapter of the Radio War”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Fantasy Magazine, Feb 1934

As we all know, the 1932 story, The Radio War, of how John Farley Pease fought the Siberians in the year 2000 involved no time travel. But wait! Just how did Ralph Milne Farley get ahold of the story of the future Pease’s war exploits? That story was told in the 1934 fanzine, Fantasy Magazine (published by megafans Julius Schwartz, Ray Palmer, Mortimer Weisinger, and Forry Ackerman) as a missing part of the first chapter of The Radio War.

 In addition to his various tricks of magic, this young Chinaman had another typically Oriental trait, namely that of being able to commune with his ancestors. 


   “The Time Jumpers”
by Philip Francis Nowlan
First publication: Amazing, Feb 1934

Ted Manley and girlfriend Cynthia hop back to 993A.D. (attacked by Vikings) and then to 1753 (where they are sightseers at the French and Indian Wars and say hi to George Washington).

   “The Retreat from Utopia”
by Wallace West
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1934

A newspaper reporter from 2175 describes his strict, puritan world where nobody is happy because nothing ever happens, and even the criminals off in Borneo refuse to rejoin that society, so the story’s 1934 narrator visits the future to set things right.

This NY Times headline from Jun 11, 1934, describes an American Rocket Society test flight; Schachner was one of the founding members of the society.   “The Time Impostor”
by Nat Schachner
First publication: Astounding, Mar 1934

Newspaper reporter Derek leaps into a time machine that has come back from the 9th millennium to rescue the condemned murderer Mike Spinnot because he’s worshiped as a hero in that future time.

   “The Time Traveller”
by A.M.Low (anonymously)
First publication: Scoops, 3 Mar 1934

When newspaper reporter Brant Emerson saves the life of the reclusive Professor Lestrange, the scientist offers to let Brant use a time machine—an offer which Brant accepts (hoping to get a scoop), and Brant soon finds himself in 2034 London where newspapers have been totally replaced by tv and radio (quite a good prognosis, even if Low didn’t think of the role the internet would play).



   “The Mentanicals”
by Francis Flagg
First publication: Amazing, Apr 1934

On a whim, the handsome Captain Bronson, adventurer and yacht captain for the multimillionaire Olson Smith, steps into the time machine of the quirky Professor Stringer and presses the Wellsian lever forward, whereupon he finds himself in a future world populated by stupid beastly men and smooth, cylindrical robots.

 Professor Stringer threw open the laboratory door and turned on the lights. We saw it then, an odd machine, shiny and rounded, occupying the center of the workshop floor. I had been drinking, you will recollect, and my powers of observation were not at their best. It was the same with the others. When I questioned them later, they could give no adequate description of it. “So this,” said Olson Smith rather flatly, “is a time machine.” The doctor walked about—a little unsteadily I noticed—and viewed it from all angles. “The passenger,” said the Professor, “sits here. Notice this lever on the graduated face of the dial; it controls the machine. Turn it this way from Zero and one travels into the past; throw it ahead and one travels into the future. The return of the lever to Zero will return the machine to the point of departure in time. The electronic flow. . . .” he went into obscure details. “Will it work?” demanded the Doctor. 


   “The Long Night”
by Charles Willard Diffin
First publication: Astounding, May 1934

Garry Coyne devises a way to move into the future via suspended animation, which (as we all know) is not time travel, but once he arrives in the future to fight throwback homoids and take shelter with the small band of normal men, he does have a moment where he slides back to the present for a brief communication with his trusted friend and a realization about the nature of time.

 Past, present, future—all one. And we, moving along the dimension called time, intersect them. I cant grasp it. But I cant deny it. If only there were proof— 


   “Invaders from Time”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Scoops, 12 May 1934

In retrieving objects from the future, Tom Lawton and Bill Richard manage to grab four brothers from 2534, and the brothers promptly take over London, announcing that they intend to make a utopia, but first they must kill half the population.

Scoops was a weekly British publication that lasted about half of 1934. This particular Fearn story was reprinted in the 1997 Fantasy Annual.

 Its a paradox. 


   “Voice of Atlantis”
by Laurence Manning
First publication: Wonder Stories, July 1934

Volking, a scientist, accidentally sends himself back to Atlantis where he reveals the eventual diluvian fate of the island and converses with an old man about the ills of our society and the closed nature of theirs.

   “Time Haven”
by Howard Wandrei (as by Howard W. Graham, Ph.D.)
First publication: Astounding, Sep 1934

Vincent Merryfield, the “alien” of his family for the sin of being a scientist, builds a time machine that takes him to the year 2443 where the rest of his family has died out and he is the sole owner of everything within sight of his seven-mile-high tower in Manhattan—but how did everyone know he was coming? Sadly, it may be that he never really traveled through time, but I had to put artist and writer Howard Wandrei into my list nonetheless. A later story, “The Missing Ocean” (May 1939), follows much the same time-travelless plot.

 Of course! It has always been known that you would ‘appear’ sooner or later. 


   “Inflexure”
by H.L. Gold (as by Clyde Crane Campbell)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1934

Some rogue object passing through the solar system manages to merge together all people from all times of Earth.

 Im over the Caroline Islands, longitude 158° 23´ west, latitude 8° 30´ north. Therere millions of people drowning all around me. What shall I do? 


H.L. Gold, Master Traveller

H.L. Gold wrote the earliest story of different eras living side-by-side because of some sort of time storm or, as he called it, an “Inflexure.” But even without that innovation, Gold would deserve an award for the volumes of time travel stories he published as the first Galaxy editor.





   “Twilight”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Nov 1934

In 1932, James Waters Bendell picks up a magnificently sculpted hitchhiker named Ares Sen Kenlin (the Sen means he’s a scientist, but Waters is just a name) who says that he’s trying to get back to his home time (3059) from seven million years in the future—a time when mankind has atrophied because of their reliance on machines.

 They stand about, little misshapen men with huge heads. But their heads contain only brains. They had machines that could think—but somebody turned them off a long time ago, and no one knew how to start them again. That was the trouble with them. They had wonderful brains. Far better than yours or mine. But it must have been millions of years ago when they were turned off, too, and they just hadnt thought since then. Kindly little people. 


John W. Campbell, Jr., Master Traveller

Campbell’s three time travel stories were published under his pseudonym of Don Stuart before he took over the reins of Astounding, and even together they would not justify the prestigious Master Traveller Citation. But the number of classic time travel yarns he brought to light at Astounding and Analog make him more than worthy.



   “The Time Tragedy”
by Raymond A. Palmer
First publication: Wonder Stories, Dec 1934

A judge who sentenced a man named William Gregory to death thirty years ago explains his theory on what has happened to his own son, an inventor also named William Gregory.

 Into the future she had gone, William said, and I had no reason to doubt him. The cat took the matter in a calm way and seemed in no wise injured by its uncanny transit. 




   Lux Radio Theater
aka Hollywood Radio Theater
First time travel: “Berkeley Square,” 9 Dec 1934

The long-running Lux Radio Theater (later renamed Hollywood Radio Theater to avoid commercial ties when it moved to the Armed Forces Radio Network) did productions of both Berkeley Square (with Leslie Howard reprising his movie role) and I’ll Never Forget You” (with Tyrone Power reprising his role). They also adapted other movies of interest such as the iconic The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 Greetings from Hollywood. Ladies and gentlemen: I think youll be as intrigued with our play tonight as I was when I discovered it was a most unusual love story, the story of a modern scientist in love with a girl whom he meets in another century. 

—I’ll Never Forget You



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Before the Dawn by Eric Temple Bell [viewing the past ]

   “The Prenatal Plagiarism”
by Mort Weisinger
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jan 1935

After the publication of Daniel Cartwright’s wildly successful novel, charges of exact plagiarism from a 50-year-old novel arise, even though he insists that he was the only author.



   Pre-Superman Comic Books
First time travel: New Fun Comics 1, Feb 1935

Comic books didn’t really take off until the introduction of the Man of Steel in Action Comics 1 (Jun 1938). Before that, many comics were compilations of strips similar to the Sunday funnies, and some of these had time travel. The earliest series that I found was the story of Bobby and Binks, two kids who at first time traveled through a Magic Crystal of History and later just viewed past adventures through the crystal. They first appeared in DC’s first comic book publication, New Fun Comics #1, February 1935, by Adolphe Barreaux. As I find other such series, I’ll add them to my time-travel comic book page. So far, the pre-1939 titles I've found are:
  1. New Fun Comics 1 (Feb 1935) Bobby and Bink
  2. Big Book of Fun Comics Annual (Nov 1935) Bobby and Binks reprints
  3. New Comics 1 (Dec 1935) Fritz the time traveler
  4. More Fun 7 (Jan 1936) Bobby and Binks
  5. The Comics 6-11 (Feb 1938 - Mar 1939) Mickey and Meg’s Enchanted Stone of Time

 Binks: Why—why—I can understand what theyre saying!
Bobby: So can I! Its that magic crystal that did it! 


The first story also appeared in this July 1973 reprint magazine.   The Time Control Stories
by Philip Jacques Bartel
First story: Amazing, Feb 1935

Two Russians (Khalin and Mikhailloff) and an American engineer (Earl Lyons) find a way to step outside of time, view the future, then step back into time at the very point that they left, thereby preventing bad things such as Mikhailloff’s murder (in “When Time Stood Still,” Amazing, Feb 1935) and an insult that’s intended to start a war (“The Time Control,” Amazing, Dec 1936).

   “Valley of the Rukh”
by Harl Vincent
First publication: Amazing, Feb 1935

Pilot Stanley Kent and his client, spoiled authoress Ruth Owens, find themselves in a piece of Venus that’s been transported from the past, whereupon they have exciting adventures.

   “The Prophetic Voice”
by Laurence Manning
First publication: Wonder Stories, Apr 1935

A voice, purporting to be from the future, warns mankind that they must all go into suspended animation or face extinction; mankind obeys, but when they wake up, the people at the other end of the future phone don’t know anything about the earlier message.

Brick Bradford #5,
Jul 1948


   Brick Bradford
by William Ritt and Clarence Gray
First time travel: 20 Apr 1935

Ritt and Gray introduced The Time Top as a short-lived separate topper strip on April 20/21, 1935, and it first appeared in Brick’s Sunday strip on Oct 17, 1937; thereafter, it frequently took the comic strip adventurer into the future (and occasionally the past).

Brick’s strips were reprinted as early as 1934 with two hardcover issues of Saalfield Comics (#1059 and #1309). He was reprinted in King Comics starting with the first April 1936 issue, and he headlined one 1938 hardcover Big Little Book (#1468, combining text with line illustrations). Some Ace Comics had reprints (1947-49), and he appeared in four issues of his own comic book: #5 (Jul 1948) to #8 (Jul 1949) that were possibly strip reprints. In the 60s, new Brick backup features appeared in some issues of The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician (at least #5, #6 and #10) and Flash Gordon (at least #14, #16, #17). They probably all used the top, but I don’t know for sure. All that was just in the U.S.: He was vastly more popular in Australia and New Zealand.

 Into the past . . . into the future . . . read on for another exciting adventure in time with Brick Bradford  

Brick Bradford and the Time Top 25, Australia




   “Alas, All Thinking”
by Harry Bates
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1935

Charles Wayland is tasked with discovering why his cold-hearted college buddy and all-around genius (I.Q. 248) physicist Harlan T. Frick has abandoned everything technical for mundane pursuits such as golfing, clothes, travel, fishing, night clubs, and so on—and the explanation may have to do with either Humpty Dumpty or Frick’s trip to the future with an average (but meditative) young woman named Pearl who is most curious about love.

 I showed her New York. Shed say, “But why do the people hurry so? Is it really necessary for all those automobiles to keep going and coming? Do the people like to live in layers? If the United States is as big as you say it is, why do you build such high buildings? What is your reason for having so few people rich, so many people poor?” It was like that. And endless. 


   “A Thief in Time”
by Vernon H. Jones (as by Raymond A. Young)
First publication: Wonder Stories, Jul 1935

A scientist sends gangster Tony Carponi to steal some radium, and only years later does Carponi realized that the caper involved time travel.



   The Bungle Family
by Harry J. Tuthill
First time travel: 23 Jul 1935

Father and husband George Bungle saw his comic-strip family through various adventures as early as 1918 (then called “Home, Sweet Home”) including a trip on his own to the year 7324 in the story that ran from July to October of 1935.

 Why anyone knows this is the year 7324. What did you think it was, old-timer? 


   “The Branches of Time”
by David R. Daniels
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1935

James Bell invents a time machine, sees the end of mankind in the near future, travels further to see man’s successor, returns to mankind’s end to save the species, and visits the Mesozoic, anticipating Bradbury’s Butterfly Effect.

   “The Kingdom of Thought”
by Lloyd Arthur Eshbach
First publication: Amazing, Aug 1935

Donald Stile is transported to the future by a Time Sphere where he finds two groups of giant brains (the good white brains and the evil black brains) battling—but what of the grey brain?

   “The Man Who Met Himself”
by Ralph Milne Farley
First publication: Top-Notch, Aug 1935

Among physicists, the most favored resolution to time-travel paradoxes is a world of one fixed landscape of time and its events. Time travel may be possible, but if so, the Karma will conspire to have only those events that have been written into the landscape to occur. Heinlein’s “—All You Zombies—” may be the pinnacle of such stories, but Farley’s is the earliest case that I’ve read to present a clear deterministic time loop along these lines. In the story, Boston stock broker Dick Withrick is on a 1935 tiger hunt in Cambodia when he runs into a strangely familiar (and slightly older) man who warns him, “As you value your freedom, do not touch the machine—” And yet, he does touch the machine, taking him back to 1925 so he (in the company of his Buddhist Abbot host) can relive the decade of financial turmoil.

 “It cannot be,” the Abbot asserted suavely. “The years from 1925 to 1935 happen only once in the whole course of eternity. You are not now living through a repetition of those ten years. Rather it is those same ten years. The events which you remember as having happened back in Boston, and the events which are happening here today, are happening simultaneously. Your ten years in Boston from 1925 to 1935, are one and the same ten years. It is only an illusion of your mind that they seem to be successive, rather than concurrent. And this illusion is not so different from the illusion of all mankind with respect to the flow of timel for Brahm, the Creator, sees all time and all space as once complete instantaneous event.” 


This story was reprinted in the Winter 1951 issue of Fantastic Story Quarterly   “The Reign of the Reptiles”
by Alan Connell
First publication: Wonder Stories, Aug 1935

Sanders is kidnapped and sent to a laboratory in the far past from which he escapes to find a civilization of intelligent, winged reptiles—possibly the first story of intelligent dinosaurs in our past.



   “Night”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don A. Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1935

Bob Carter takes a plane up to 45,000 feet to test an anti-gravity device, but instead it hurls him into the same future as the story “Twilight”—but whereas the earlier story had mankind who were dying out in 7,000,000 A.D. because of the ubiquity of machines, Carter finds himself billions of years beyond that, with both man and (most) machines long gone.

 Ah, yes, you have a mathematical means of expression, but no understanding of that time, so it is useless. But the last of humanity was allowed to end before the Sun changed from the original G-O stage—a very, very long time ago. 


   “The Fall of Mercury”
by Leslie F. Stone
First publication: Amazing, Dec 1935

Mort Forrest and his fellow explorer Bruce are headed for supposedly uninhabited Mercury when they are captured by Mercurians intent on taking over the solar system, but fortunately, a friendly Saturnian named Chen-Chak (with a ray gun that can momentarily transfer bad guys into the future) rescues them, tells them of the history of species from all the planets, and saves the solar system.

The story also appeared in Phil Stong’s 1941 anthology, The Other Worlds.   “The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator”
by Murray Leinster
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1935

Pete Davidson has inherited all the properties of an uncle who had been an authority on the fourth dimension, including the Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator that can pull copies of matches, coins, dollar bills, fiancées and kangaroos out of the past.

 Its produced another burnt match. Dragged it forward out of the past, sir. There was a burnt match at that spot, until the glass plate moved a few seconds ago. Like the girl and the banana peel, sir. The machine went back to the place where the match had been, and then it went back in time to where the match was, and then it brought it forward. 


   “Human Machines”
by J. Harvey Haggard
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1935

When the megalomanic and utopia-builder Lan Darth is opposed by Therm Sutner, Darth throws Sutner into a horrid future world that is populated by strange creatures that arose out of Darth’s eugenic and policies that banned sexual reproduction.



   “Time Found Again”
by Mildred Cram
First publication: Cosmopolitan, Dec 1935

Bart Henderson hates his life in 1935, longing for a daughter without painted fingernails and curled coxcombs, a son without bloodshot eyes at the breakfast table, a wife less jaded. Then his army buddy visits and suggests that nothing is ever lost in time, and it might be possible for the human mind to tear off the veils and return to a time such as the 18th century that Bart longs for.

It was fun to see both the advertisements and the innovation of Cosmopolitan to publish a time-travel story by the prolific Mildred Cram in 1935. The style reminds me of later Jack Finney stories of the 50s.

 He ran a few steps forward in the dark, stumbling. The syncopated, thudding hoofbeats broke rhythm, paused . . . And Bart Henderson found himself, in broad daylight, standing beside a fine carriage driven by a coachman in livery, drawn by two black horses with silver-trimmed harness. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The 32nd of May” by Paul Ernst, Astounding, Apr 1935 [parallel universes ]

“Relativity to the Rescue” by J. Harvey Haggard, Amazing, Apr 1935 [ftl ]

“The Worlds of If” by Stanley Weinbaum, Wonder Stories, Aug 1935 [viewing alternate pasts ]

“The Fourth-Dimensional Demonstrator” by Murray Leinster, Astounding, Dec 1935 [despite title, no time travel ]



   “In the World’s Dusk”
by Edmond Hamilton
First publication: Weird Tales, Mar 1936

Galos Gann, the greatest scientist whom Earth had ever seen and last man on Earth, vows than mankind will not perish.

 There are no living men and women in the world today. But what of the trillions of men and women who have existed on Earth in the past? Those trillions are separated from me by the abyss of time. Yet . . . 




   “The Shadow Out of Time”
by H.P. Lovecraft
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1936

During an economics lecture, Professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee’s body and mind are taken over by a being who can travel to any time and place of his choice, and during the next five years the being studies us, all of which Peaslee pieces together after his return.

Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi says that Lovecraft saw the movie Berkeley Square four times in 1933, and “its portrayal of a man of the 20th century who somehow merges his personality with that of is 18th-century ancestor” served as Lovecraft’s inspiration for this story.

 The projected mind, in the body of the organism of the future, would then pose as a member of the race whose outward form it wore, learning as quickly as possible all that could be learned of the chosen age and its massed information and techniques. 




   “The Land Where Time Stood Still”
by Arthur Leo Zagat
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1936

Modern-day Englishman Ronald Stratton and Arthurian damsel Elaise find themselves in a land with people from all ages and predators from the year 6000 A.D.

 All right. Skip it. Im having trouble understanding you, too. What year do you think this is? 


   “The Time Entity”
by Otto Binder (as by Eando Binder)
First publication: Astounding, Oct 1936

John Dakin considers paradoxes as he communicates by radio with his future descendant.



   Popeye the Sailor Cartoons
created by Elzie Crisler Segar
First time travel: 27 Nov 1936 (Sindbad)

Several early Popeye cartoons had plots that might only be explained by time travel, such as meeting Sindbad (played by Bluto) in a sixteen minute 1936 cartoon. However, for me, the real time travelin’ began in the 1960s television cartoon when the Professor had a time machine. Heres a list of episodes which I know of that might be explained by time travel. Send me others that you spot!
  1. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad (1936) to ancient Persia?
  2. Popeye the Sailor Meets Ali Baba (1937) time of 1001 Nights
  3. Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1939) evil vizier to present
  4. Popeye and the Pirates (1947) pirate ship to present
  5. Wotta Knight (1947) jousting tournament
  6. Pre-Hysterical Manb (1948) caveman times
  7. Popeye Meets Hercules (1948) to ancient Greece
  8. Robin Hood-Winked (1948) to Sherwood Forest
  9. Pilgrim Popeye (1951) Popeye as a pilgrim
  10. Big Bad Sindbad (1952) mostly reuse from 1936
  11. The Golden-Type Fleece (1960) to ancient Greece
  12. Popeye and the Dragon (1960) to middle ages
  13. Invisible Popeye (1960) future Martians
  14. Out of This World (1960) to the future
  15. The Glad Gladiator (1960) Roman gladiators
  16. Popeyed Columbus (1960) 1492
  17. Astro-Nut (1960) just time dilation
  18. Popeye’s Tea Party (1960) Boston Tea Party
  19. Time Marches Backwards (1960) caveman days
  20. Quick Change Ollie (1960) middle ages via magic hen
  21. Camel Aires (1960) to ancient Egypt
  22. The Black Knight (1960) Arthurian times
  23. Have Time, Will Travel (1961) prehistoric

 Huck-huck-huck-huck. There aint no such thing as pirates, Olive. Theyre only a fragamentation of the imagamentation. 

—Popeye and the Pirates




   Hairbreadth
by F.O. Alexander
First time travel: 29 Nov 1936

About midway (29 Nov 1936) through Franklin Osborne Alexander’s run with Charles Kahles’s character Hairbreadth Harry, the adventurer and his lady friend Belinda found themselves taken to the year 4936 by a magic hourglass where they are up against their arch-nemesis Relentless Rudolph Ruddigore Rassendale. I don’t know whether the characters and their hour glass had any other adventures in time.

 Harry! A mouse is in the trap and I havent the nerve to—OH!—youve knocked over the magic hour glass . . .! 


   “Trapped in Eternity”
by Ray Cummings
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1936

Alan Blair and his beautiful fiancée Dora are brought to the future by the lecherous Groat who cures her blindness and then proposes to start a new race with Dora.

   “Tryst in Time”
by C.L. Moore
First publication: Astounding, Dec 1936

Bold and bored soldier-of-fortune Eric Rosner meets a scientist who sends him skipping through time, always meeting the same beguiling girl with the smoke-blue eyes.

 I can transport you into the past, and you can create events there which never took place in the past we know—but the events are not new. They were ordained from the beginning, if you took that particular path. You are simply embarking upon a different path into a different future, a fixed and preordained future, yet one which will be strange to you because it lies outside your own layer of experience. So you have infinite freedom in all your actions, yet everything you can possibly do is already fixed in time. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Pre-Vision” by John Pierce, Astounding, Mar 1936 [visions of possible futures ]



   Myra North, Special Nurse
by Ray Thompson and Charles Coll
First time travel: 24 Jan 1937

My friend Art Lortie, science fiction historian extraordinaire, pointed me toward the unassuming Myra North, Special Nurse, who ran in the daily comics from 1936 to 1941. For the most part, she was nothing more than a special nurse, but some episodes, particularly in the Sunday strips, were more fantastic than others. Art told me of the 1937 appearance of a machine that saw into the future (“The Mechanical Eye” which concluded on 28 March 1937); a later story (“The Mystic Dragon”, 10 Mar 1940 to 13 Oct 1940) finds the nefarious present-day Zero back in the time of Scheherazade and Sinbad (although it’s never said whether he’s an actual time traveler).

Art Lortie's guide and scans include 141 pages of new and reprint material from comic books, too, although I didn’t spot any time travel therein.

 Now then, just visualize how important it might be if we were able to see what was happening a year from now! 


   “He Who Mastered Time”
by J. Harvey Haggard
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Feb 1937

After testing his time machine on mice, Richard Sauger himself travels to the far end of time with no plot other than that.

 He stood on a flat plain that undulated gently. That much was understandable. The surface of the earth, if it really was changing rapidly, had become a mere blur to his senses. The solid ring of substance across the sky was the sun, traveling at a prodigious rate that kept pase with his transit through Time. The retina of the eye caught its image as a solid ring, so swift was the earths rotation. As the seasons altered the ring shifted lower or higher across the horizon, that was all. 




   The Sands of Time Stories
by P. Schuyler Miller
First story: Astounding, Apr 1937

Terry Donovan realizes that it’s possible to travel through time in 60,000,000-year increments, so naturally he travels back to the time of dinosaurs and visiting aliens.

The first story, “The Sands of Time,” was under Tremaine’s Astounding editorship (Apr 1937) but the sequel, “Coils of Time,” appeared under Campbell’s (May 1939).

 Incidentally, I have forgotten the most important thing of all. Remember that Donovans dominating idea was to prove to me, and to the world, that he had been in the Cretaceous and hobnobbed with its flora and fauna. He was a physicist by inclination, and had the physicists flair for ingenious proofs. Before leaving, he loaded a lead cube with three quartz quills of pure radium chloride that he had been using in a previous experiment, and locked the whole thing up in a steel box. 




   “Forgetfulness”
by John W. Campbell, Jr. (as by Don A. Stuart)
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1937

Millions of years after mankind raised various species and sent them to the stars, one of the species returns and believes that humans have fallen into a primitive existence. And the time travel? Partway through the story, there’s a power source that goes to the end of time and cycles back to the beginning of time. In addition, Fred Galvin pointed out to me that even though it takes the aliens six years to travel to Earth, when they return to their home planet, only one year has passed, apparently a complete undoing by Seun of Rhth of the alien invasion.

The story also appeared in Healy and McComas’s seminal anthology, Adventures in Time and Space, and it was made into a one-act play in 1943 by Wayne Gordon.

 In the first revolution it made, the first day it was built, it circled to the ultimate end of time and the universe, and back to the day it was built. 




   “Lost in Time”
by Arthur Leo Zagat
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jun 1937

While crossing the Pacific alone in a small boat, Jim Dunning runs into a storm that capsizes his boat. When he comes to, the only thing in sight is a spherical ship with one passenger: the beautiful (but unconscious) Thalma of the house of Adams, who’s been thrown into the past by her evil Uncle Marnota. When Thalma recovers, she pushes random levers which result in both her and Jim returning to her time and the clutches of Marnota.

 You just trust your Uncle Jim! Everythings going to be all right, sure as God made little apples. Just sit down over here, and powder your nose, or whatever they do in your time. Then you can tell me all about it. 


The story later appeared in this 1953 anthology.

   “Reverse Phylogeny”
by Amelia Reynolds Long
First publication: Astounding, Jun 1937

Eric Dale once again tells of an escapade of his friend, Professor Aloysius O’Flannigan—this time it’s about his quest to prove or disprove the existance of Atlantis via hypnosis and the recovery of ancestral memories. You’ll need to wait until the end for the tiny bit of time travel to be cast out.

 There are times, I reflected, when nothing else in the English language is so expressive as the single word, “Nuts.” But I said nothing, hoping that he would work off his enthusiasm by writing a letter to the magazine. I should have known better. 


   “Seeker of To-Morrow”
by Eric Frank Russell and Leslie J. Johnson
First publication: Astounding, Jul 1937

Explorer Urnas Karin and his crew of twenty return to Venus from abandoned Earth along with the body of a man who appears to have traveled from the ancient past—and then they revive him, whereupon he tells of his invention of time travel (to the future only) and subsequent journey from 1998 to the present day.

 I had set up my laboratory in the wilds of the Peak District in Derbyshire, in England, where work could be carried on with the minimum of interference. From this laboratory I had dispatched into the unknown, presumably the future, a multitude of objects, including several live creatures such as rats, mice, pigeons and domestic fowl. In no case could I bring back anything I had made to vanish. Once gone, the subject was gone forever. There was no way of discovering exactly where it had gone. There was nothing but to take a risk and go myself. 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
Time and the Conways by J.B. Priestley [visions of possible futures ]

“The Isolinguals” by L. Sprague de Camp, Astounding Sep 1937 [ancestral memory ]

“Past, Present and Future” by Nat Schachner, Astounding, Sep 1937 [long sleep ]
aka part of The Three Musketeers of Tomorrow

I Have Been Here Before by J.B. Priestley, 22 Sep 1937 [precognition ]

“City of the Rocket Horde” by Nat Schachner, Astounding, Dec 1937 [long sleep ]
aka part of The Three Musketeers of Tomorrow



   For Us, the Living
by Robert A. Heinlein
First written: 1938 (posthumously published in 2003)

I’m sad that I’ve now read all the extant Heinlein fiction, this posthumous (and first) novel being the last piece for me. It certainly held 3.5 stars worth of enjoyment for a Heinlein fan, but much of that was in seeing the nascent ideas of the writer that I would devour in my childhood. In the story, a military pilot from 1939 dies, and his consciousness is thrown forward to 2086 where social and economic aspects of society are hugely altered, though technological advances are more conservative (but, dammit, I want my flying car).

 “Let me get out of these furs.” She walked away while fumbling with a zipper at her throat. The furs were all one garment which slipped off her shoulders and fell to the floor. Perry felt a shock like an icy shower and then a warm tingle. 


Robert A. Heinlein, Master Traveller

Had Heinlein written nothing other than “—All You Zombies—”, he would still be a masterful Master Traveller.



   Hal Hardy and the Lost Land of Giants
First publication: Whitman Big Little Book 1413, 1938

Not surprisingly, Hal finds himself in the land of dinosaurs.

 The beast Hal saw looked like a rhinoceros, save for the horns. 






   The Once and Future King
by T.H. White
First book: 1938

Merlyn, who experiences time backward, is the traveler in this series, which was introduced to me by Denbigh Starkey, my undergraduate advisor at WSU and later a member of my Ph.D. committee.

The first four of these short books in the series were collected (with a substantial cut and revision to #2) into a single volume, The Once and Future King, in 1958. A final part, The Book of Merlyn written in 1941, was published posthumously in 1971.
  1. The Sword in the Stone, 1938
    —Arthur is crowned
  2. The Witch in the Wood, 1939
    aka The Queen of Air and Darkness (cut and revised), 1958
    —young King Arthur
  3. The Ill-Made Knight (1940)
    —Sir Lancelot
  4. The Candle in the Wind (1958)
    —the end of Camelot
  5. The Book of Merlyn (1977)
    —the final battle with Mordred

     EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY. 

    —a sign at the ant colony
         (and also physicist Murray Gell-Mann’s description of particle physics)






   “Shuffled Symphonies”
by Basil Reynolds
First time travel: 1 Jan 1938 in Mickey Mouse Weekly 100

Shuffled Symphonies were short, illustrated fantasy stories in the British Mickey Mouse Weekly. Some of the episodes included time travel via Doctor Einmug’s time machine. The four that I know about include a trip to Stonehenge (1 Jan 1938), to visit Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I (12 Mar 1938), a visit to Shakespeare (6 Aug 1938), and a trip to a robotic future (26 Nov, 1938).

 A few more shivers and quivers, and the heap of gleaming metal sprang into life and bowled after the terrified Twin! 

Mickey Mouse Weekly 147, 26 Nov, 1938




   “Lords of 9016”
by John Russell Fearn
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Apr 1938

Dick and his scientist friend Ladbrook take a helicopter into the giant hole that has opened in the ground near two cities where all people and animals have disappeared, only to find giant ants from the future.

 Not ants of your time, however, but the rulers of the year ninety-sixteen, seven thousand of so years ahead of you—time enough for the busy creatures of your present day to have evolved into the significant might you see we have. 




   The Legion of Time
by Jack Williamson
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, May–Jul 1938

After two beautiful women of two different possible futures appear to physicist Denny Lanning, he finds himself swept up by a time-traveling ship, the Chronion, along with a band of fighting men who swear their allegiance to The Legion of Time and its mission to ensure that the eviler of the two beautiful women never comes to pass.

 But Max Planck with the quantum theory, de Broglie and Schroedinger with the wave mechanics, Heisenberg with matrix mechanics, enourmously complicated the structure of the universe—and with it the problem of Time.
With the substitution of waves of probability for concrete particles, the world lines of objects are no longer the fixed and simple paths they once were. Geodesics have an infinite proliferation of possible branches, at the whim of sub-atomic indeterminism.
Still, of course, in large masses the statistical results of the new physics are not much different from those given by the classical laws. But there is a fundamental difference. The apparent reality of the universe is the same—but it rests upon a quicksand of possible change.
 


   “The Invisible Bomber”
by Ralph Milne Farley (as by Lt. John Pease)
First publication: Amazing, Jun 1938

Here’s a new rule about what constitutes a time-travel story: If the author claims that there’s time travel in the story, then it’s a time-travel story. That’s the case for this story, which doesn’t feel like time travel to me, but in the afterward of The Omnibus of Time Farley says that the airplane bomber in this story becomes soundless and invisible via a “laminated” model of space-time in which a series of different worlds are stacked one on top of another, each just a short time in front of its predecessor. According to Farley, “time-traveling will carry the traveler, not into the future, but rather into an entirely different space-time continuum than our own.” The plane becomes invisible by traveling just a short distance toward the next world without reaching anywhere near it.

My thought on this is that the notion of time as a dimension does not have anything to do with the stacking dimension. In fact, I don’t think they can be the same dimension because that would imply that there is nothing to distinguish a point in our space-time continuum from a point with the same space-time coordinates in some other continuum.

P.S. I also didn’t care for the president’s solution to the story’s problem.

 We human beings live in a three dimensional space, or which time has sometimes been called the fourth dimension. But did it ever occur to you, Mr. President, that we do not extend in time. We never experience any other time than the present. Our so-called space-time existence is thus seen to be a mere three-dimensional layer, or lamina, infinitely thin in the time direction. There could exist another three-dimensional space just a second or two away from ours, and we would never know it. 


Part I of Asimov’s autobiography

   “Cosmic Corkscrew”
by Isaac Asimov
First publication: written in 1938, but unpublished

“Cosmic Corkscrew” was the first story that Asimov ever wrote for submission to the pulp magazines of the day. In the first part of his autobiography, he describes starting the story, setting it aside, and returning to it some thirteen months later. It was the story that he took with him on his first visit to John Campbell, inquiring about why the July 1938 Astounding was late arriving. Alas, the story was rejected and then lost, but it did have time travel!

 In it, I viewed time as a helix (this is, as something like a bedspring). Someone could cut across from one turn directly to the next, thus moving into the future by some exact interval, but being incapable of traveling one day less into the future. (I didnt know the term at the time, but what I had done was to “quantize” time travel.) 

In Memory Yet Green, Part I of Asimov’s autobiography


Isaac Asimov, Master Traveller

Even though Asimov’s first story was lost, I find it comforting that the story was about time travel, a theme that he returned to over-and-over again with far more variety than any of his other themes. My favorite Asimov story, given to me by my Grandpa Main in its original 1958 issue of Galaxy will always be “The Ugly Little Boy.”





   Language for Time Travelers
by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, Jul 1938

This essay convinced me to add at least a few nonfiction works to my list. After all, why not? De Camp interleaves a few fictional vignettes with thoughts on how language might change over the next few centuries. For me, it shows how well the time travel paradigm had been established by 1939.

As a bonus, this essay appeared in the very issue of Astounding that has the final installment of The Legion of Time and which caused all the trouble in my story “Saving Astounding.”

 Wah lenksh? Inksh lenksh, coss. Wah you speak? Said, sah-y, daw geh-ih. Daw, neitha. You fresh? Jumm? 


L. Sprague de Camp, Master Traveller

Even before de Camp produced the award winning Lest Darkness Fall, my Grandpa Main had identified him as a Master Traveller based on “Language for Time Travelers,” which was the first of many de Camp essays. Appropriately enough, de Camp’s enjoyable autobiography is titled Time and Chance.









   Fiction House Comics
published by Thurman T. Scott
First time travel: Jumbo Comics 1, Sep 1938

Fiction House was a major publisher of pulp magazines and comics through the 1950s. Their comics came out of a pulp tradition with stories of jungle heros (Sheena, Queen of the Jungle), air aces (Wings Comics), westerns (Cowgirl Romances), science fiction (Planet Comics), and, of course, Jumbo Comics (Action! Adventure! Mystery!).

The first time travel that I tracked down here was an adventurer named Stuart Taylor who teamed with Dr. Hayward and his beautiful daughter Lora (later Laura) in many issues of Jumbo Comics. For me, it was exciting for two reasons: (1) It’s some of the earliest time travel in a comic book that I know of; (2) At least the first few stories were drawn by Jack King Kirby (as by Curt Davis). Time travel probably occurred in 1-4 (“The Experiment of Kromo’), as well as in 5-14, 17-78, 84-139, plus a reprint in 140. (Numbers 15-16 had no time travel; I think 79-83 are shorter, with no Stuart Taylor, and Stu disappeared after 140.)

Their science fiction comic, Planet Comics, had at least one bout of time travel when a chronoscope brought dinosaurs and such to The Lost World of heros Hunt and Lyssa (Planet Comics 41, March 1946); it also short, 2-page stories, at least one of which was time travel (“Lost World of Time” in Planet Comics 7, July 1940).

 My name is Stuart Taylor. Do you mind if I ask what seems a silly question! What year is this? 

—from Jumbo Comics 13




   If—You Were Stranded in Time
by Jack Binder
First publication: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Dec 1938

Comic book artist Jack Binder wasn’t as well known among science fiction readers as his two brothers Otto and Earl, but Jack did series of what-if comics for “Thrilling Wonder Stories, including this

 Suppose some fourth-dimensional phenomenon catapulted you back to the days of Caesar, with the possibility of a return to your own twentieth century entirely removed. Equipped with an elementary understanding of various sciences, how would you capitalize on your knowledge of future events and discoveries? Could you, with a head-start of two thousand years, earn a living? 



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“Island of the Individualists” by Nat Schachner, Astounding, May 1938 [long sleep ]

“The Dangerous Dimension” by L. Ron Hubbard, Astounding, Jul 1938 [just teleportation ]

“Through the Time-Radio” by Stanton A. Coblentz, Marvel Science Stories, Aug 1938 [viewing the past ]

“Time for Sale” by Ralph Milne Farley, Amazing, Aug 1938 [differing time rates ]



   The Ship That Flew
by Hilda Lewis
First publication: 1939

Four children and a ship—a time traveling ship, that is, which takes Peter Grace and his three siblings back to the time of ancient Egypt, Robin Hood, Norse gods, and more.

 It was lovely in the magic ship, lovelier than any one could possibly have imagined. The wind sent their hair streaming backwards. Birds flew past with movements scarcely less graceful that those of the ship. The children sang for joy in the keen, fresh air. The song that they sang had no words, it just came out in trills and rhythms because they were so happy. 




   A Traveller in Time
by Alison Uttley
First publication: 1939

While staying with her aunt in Derbyshire, sickly young Penelope Taberner Cameron is swept back to the sixteenth century where she is caught up in the Babington plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I.

 I flung open the door, and I fell headlong down a flight of stairs. I had dropped into the corridor where I had seen the servants pass with their jugs and tankards. For some time I lay half-stunned with surprise, but unhurt, for I had fallen silently like a feather floating to the floor. I looked round at the door, but it had disappeared; I stared at the low whitewashed ceiling and the carved doorways, and I listened to the beating of my heart which was the only sound. Then life seemed to come to the world, distant shouts of men, the jingle of harness, and the lowing of cattle. A cock crew as if to wake the dead, and I sat up trying to remember . . . remember. . . . 






   DC Comics (Anthologies)
First time travel: Dectective Comics 23, Jan 1939

Like all the other publishers, DC also published anthologies of weird stories (as opposed to continuing characters) in the 50s, but even before that, they had anthologies of adventure stories. The earliest time travel that I’ve found so far are from 1939: a two-part story of Slam Bradley and his sidekick traveling to the year two billion, A.D., in Detective Comics 23 and 24; and a five-part story, “A Playboy in King Arthur’s Court,” starting in in Adventure Comics 37. As for the 50s weird stories, the first one I found there was an H.L. Gold tale, “The Endless War,” in Strange Adventures 2. As I find others, I’ll list them in my time-travel comic books page.

 History runs wild when Columbus, Napolean, and Cleopatra journey through time from the past to the present! 

—from the cover of Strange Adventures 60




   The Shadow
created by Walter B. Gibson
First time travel: 1 Jan 1939

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of time travelers? I found one time-travel episode of The Shadow: the Jan 1, 1939 NBC radio broadcast of “The Man Who Murdered Time”:

 My machine bends the staight track of time, curves it, curves it, so that the time track forms a perfect circle! 






   Alley Oop
created by V.T. Hamlin
First time travel: 5 Apr 1939

The caveman’s first exposure to time travel was in the 5 April, 1939 daily strip, shortly before Dr. Wonmug brought the insignts of the boisterous Alley Oop to the 20th century and elsewhere in time.

The image to the left is from Alley Oop 12 from Standard’s 1947-49 run of nine comics (10-18) that reprinted strips. The first one had pre-time-travel strips, but all of the rest probably included some time travel. The time machine picture to the right is from Dragon Lady Press strip reprints in the 1980s.

I’ve also found one Alley Oop take-off called Irving Oops in an the EC comic Panic 8, May 1955—which makes me wonder whether that other Irving of the comics, Irving Forbush, ever time traveled.

 By golly, kid, I’d swear that thing wasn’t there a while ago! I’m gonna see what— 

—Alley Oop watching a camera from the future dissolve away, 5 Apr 1939






   Fox Features Syndicate Comics
published by Victor S. Fox
First time travel: Wonder Comics 2, Jun 1939

Fox Comics had one of the earliest lineups of anthology comic books with continuing characters. Their earliest time travel that I found was by the recurring character Don Quixote, who appeared in the second issue of Wonder Comics. (The first issue starred Will Eisner’s superhero, Wonder Man, but he was quashed by a DC lawsuit.)

My favorite Fox time traveler was the Sorceress of Zoom. She was a female anti-hero along the lines of the Submariner, but her realm was not in the sea, it was the cloud city of Zoom. She had at least one time travel adventure in Weird Comics 7 (Oct 1940) when she gets the best of Morgan Le Fay in Camelot.

As I find more, I’ll list each character’s first time travel here and the details will be on my time-travel comics page. (Sadly, I never spotted any time travel by Marga the Panther Woman, who appeared alongside Cosmic Carson in Science Comics.)
  1. Don Quixote (Jun 1939) Wonder Comics 2
  2. Flick Falcon (Dec 1939) Fantastic Comics 1
  3. Cosmic Carson (Jul 1940) Science Comics 6
  4. The Sorceress of Zoom (Oct 1940) Weird Comics 7

 Ill project the City of Zoom into the past where it will be safe for the time being! 

Weird Comics 7


   Pete Manx and the Time Chair Stories
by Henry Kuttner and Arthur K. Barnes (as by Kelvin Kent)
First story: Thrilling Wonder Stories, Aug 1939

Captain Marvel’s time chair got scooped by Dr. Horation Mayhem who sent Pete Manx into dangerous hijinks in the past in the pages of Thrilling Wonder Stories.
  1. Roman Holiday (Aug 1939) Kuttner and Barnes
  2. World’s Pharaoh (Dec 1939) Kuttner
  3. Science is Golden (Apr 1940) Kuttner and Barnes
  4. Knight Must Fall (Jun 1940) Barnes
  5. The Comedy of Eras (Sep 1940) Kuttner
  6. Man about Time (Oct 1940) Kuttner
  7. The Greeks Had a War for It (Jan 1941) Barnes
  8. Hercules Muscles In (Feb 1941) Kuttner
  9. Dames Is Poison (Jun 1942) Kuttner
  10. De Wolfe of Wall Street (Feb 1943) Barnes
  11. Grief of Bagdad (Jun 1943) Barnes
  12. Swing Your Lady (Winter 1944) Kuttner

 “Yes, my boy. I understand your aversion to making any more trips into the historical Past. You have been a—um—lodestone for violent trouble . . .”
“Something always happens to me!” exclaimed Pete. “What if I shd get bumped off in the Past? Nix. No more o that stuff for me.”
“Quite right, my son. And yet—” Mayhems benign tone and dreamy stare at the ceiling were pure ham. “I would never have invited you here again, Pete, knowing it to be a place of strange memories, except that occassionally in our lives there arise demands that transcend all selfish personal considerations. Do you follow me?”
 

—“Grief of Bagdad”




   Arch Oboler’s Plays
by Arch Oboler
First time travel: 9 Sep 1939

Arch Oboler was a prolific radio playright from the mid-1930s, starting with NBC’s Lights Out radio show. One of the stories in the 1939 Arch Obolers Plays series was “And Adam Begot,” which told the story of two men and a woman thrown back into prehistoric times. The story appear in print in a 1944 anthology, was reprised for the 1951 Lights Out tv show, and formed the basis for a 1953 Steve Ditko story in the Black Magic comic book.

 The young dramalist expects to face his biggest casting problem in filling the roles of the two Neanderthal men which he has written into “And Adam Begot.” He wants a voice, he explains, which will instantly suggest a cave-man to the radio listener. With that in mind, he conducted a survey of what people expect in a Neanderthal voice. “A cross-section of the answers,” Oboler says, “suggests a bass voiced prizefighter, talking double talk with his mouth full of hot potatoes.” 

—The Lima News, 9 Sep 1939




   All-American Comics
aka “A Thousand Years a Minute”
by Carl H. Claudy
First time travel: All-American Comics 8, Nov 1939

Before being bought by DC, All-American Publications had a 102-issue run with All-American Comics, which among other things introduced the Green Lantern and had an adaptation of Carl H. Claudy’s A Thousand Years a Minute in issues 7 through 12. However, the episode in #7 was actually more the wrapping up of an earlier serial (also by Claudy and under the umbrella of Adventures in the Unknown) called “The Mystery Men of Mars,” and the actual time-traveling began until issue 8.

 If you stepped off this platform youd be cut in two just as if you stepped off a fast moving train! You cant be in two different “times” any more than you can be in two difference places at the same moment! 

All-American Comics 9




   Lest Darkness Fall
by L. Sprague de Camp
First published as complete novel: Unknown, Dec 1939

During a thunderstorm, archaeologist Martin Padway is thrown back to Rome of 535 A.D., whereupon he sets out to stop the coming Dark Ages.

 Padway feared a mob of religious enthusiasts more than anything on earth, no doubt because their mental processes were so utterly alien to his own. 




   Top-Notch Comics
by Otto Binder and Jack Binder
First publication: Dec 1939

The first two issues of Top-Notch Comics had a feature called “Scott Rand in the Worlds of Time” written by science fiction staple Otto Binder and drawn by his older brother, Jack (rather than Earl). Rand first drove his time car back to Rome in 200 A.D. where he picked up Thor. In the second episode, they went to New York in 2000 A.D. Jack Binder continued the episodes of Rand and Thor in Top-Notch 3, heading to Mars of the future, but I don’t yet know whether there were any other stories.

This title morphed into Top-Notch Laugh Comics, and was then acquired by Archie Comics. I don’t know whether there were any further adventures in time by Rand or others during the Top-Notch run.

 The time car is working perfectly! We can go anywhere . . . the past or the future! 

—Dr. Meade in Top-Notch Comics 1



No Time Travel.
Move along.
“The Gnarly Man” by L. Sprague de Camp, Unknown, Jun 1939 [immortality ]

“Stolen Centuries” by Otis Adelbert Kline, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Jun 1939 [long sleep ]

“City of the Cosmic Rays” by Nat Schachner, Astounding, Jul 1939 [long sleep ]

“Greater Than Gods” by C.L. Moore, Astounding, Jul 1939 [visions of possible futures ]

“Lightship, Ho!” by Nelson S. Bond, Astounding, Jul 1939 [FTL ]

The Hidden Universe by Ralph Milne Farley, Amazing, Nov–Dec 1939 [differing time rates ]

“Into Another Dimension” by Maurice Duclos, Fantastic Adventures, Nov 1939 [parallel universes ]

“City of the Corporate Mind” by Nat Schachner, Astounding, Dec 1939 [long sleep ]

 


107 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)