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Re: ERDNASE

Chris, as you indicated, I think it is likely that Drake made his own plates and never received any plates from McKinney or Erdnase. Additionally, I think it is fairly well established that Drake did acquire, and sell, copies of the first edition that were printed by McKinney. As far as I know, the ...
by Tom Sawyer
12/22/14 Today 05:22 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: The Magic Circle

I visited The Magic Circle once, back in 1973. I was armed with a letter of introduction from John Henry Grossman, but I didn’t need it, because -- not at my request -- Elsie Findlay (J.B. Findlay’s widow) arranged with Francis White, for me to visit. (I’m sure I would not have dreamed of contacting...
by Tom Sawyer
12/22/14 Today 12:23 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Magic Circle
Replies: 13
Views: 614

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, In an earlier post, I used "32 pages" as the semi-conjectural number of pages in a typical signature or gathering in a certain Powner edition of The Expert at the Card Table . I just checked my "1905" Drake printing. The first signature is 32 pages, and it includes a blan...
by Tom Sawyer
12/19/14 11:16 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, If Drake received unbound copies, I wonder what he is supposed to have done with them. I suppose the implication of this is that he bound the copies in a "Drake" binding. If he did that, then I suppose it would be reasonable to assume that he removed the title pages and replaced th...
by Tom Sawyer
12/18/14 08:10 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Jon, the idea expressed in your second paragraph is a good idea, but I don't think anyone has attempted it. And I doubt whether it will ever happen, for many reasons, including the scarcity of a lot of the printings, their fragility, and the time-consuming nature of the task. Maybe the enquiry could...
by Tom Sawyer
12/17/14 08:06 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Bill, Well, obviously Drake may have acquired first-edition copies via the bankruptcy. But the main relevant thing we "know" is that Drake was selling copies of the first edition sooner or later. We don't really know how or exactly when he obtained those copies. Once the printing of the bo...
by Tom Sawyer
12/16/14 02:35 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, Well, I would like to make a few more comments in this post, relating to the matters recently discussed. I wrote almost all of this post before seeing Chris’s latest post, but I thought I would go ahead and post it anyway, because it sort of fleshes things out a little. I formerly owned a ha...
by Tom Sawyer
12/16/14 06:25 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, The following observations do not address every point mentioned by Chris. However . . . It has always seemed to me that the discussions of Drake receiving the McKinney plates are based on assumptions. I don’t think there is any real proof that Drake ever came into possession of the McKinney ...
by Tom Sawyer
12/15/14 06:57 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, As Bill notes above, the answers to the questions of who wrote what, and who is responsible for what, in The Man Who Was Erdnase , can be a bit unclear. The key passage in the book (relating to authorship) may be the bottom of page viii and the top of page ix. But it leaves one scratching hi...
by Tom Sawyer
12/10/14 11:26 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, I’ve been thinking about the Dalrymple-Erdnase connection that M.D. Smith mentioned. To me it isn’t completely clear what Erdnase told Smith. I assume that the most complete version is found in The Gardner-Smith Correspondence , but I think that does not add much (on that topic) to what was ...
by Tom Sawyer
12/10/14 07:02 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Professor Hoffmann and "Modern Magic"

Hi All, Those interested in “what Professor Hoffmann’s references were” in the writing of Modern Magic (which he basically wrote during the period 1872-1876) might want to check out the following link: http://lccn.loc.gov/34018843 It’s a link to an entry (which I just now ran across) for a German bo...
by Tom Sawyer
12/06/14 08:19 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Professor Hoffmann and "Modern Magic"
Replies: 0
Views: 166

Re: ERDNASE

Bill, thanks for posting that information on copies of the first edition. There is a "first edition count" on the Everything Erdnase site which mentions 16 copies, mostly in the United States. On December 20, 2006, Richard Hatch (I believe it was him) mentioned that he knew of about 80 cop...
by Tom Sawyer
12/05/14 03:53 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, I’m glad Jonathan has been fairly persistent on this topic, because I find that whole question quite interesting -- and of course it is always possible that information on the distribution of The Expert at the Card Table will have some significance in determining who Erdnase was. I’ll make a...
by Tom Sawyer
12/04/14 02:29 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Roger, thanks for giving credit to my book of long ago. You make some interesting observations regarding Erdnase and Drake. I remember that comment in The Man Who Was Erdnase regarding the number of copies of the first edition in Britain. I’m not sure what they meant by “Britain,” and I suppose they...
by Tom Sawyer
12/03/14 05:14 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Bill, I see such a meeting as something that "may" have happened. If a meeting between Drake and Erdnase took place, it could easily have taken place (as you indicate) at any time during 1902, 1903, 1904, or 1905. If I had to guess, I might prefer something like 1903. Presumably, Drake's s...
by Tom Sawyer
12/02/14 07:25 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, One of the things Marty Demarest mentions (a number of posts back) is his skepticism over the existence of “any direct, personal connection” between Frederick J. Drake & Co. and S.W. Erdnase. I agree with that, based on what I have seen. Of course, any demonstrable connection between Dra...
by Tom Sawyer
12/02/14 04:12 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Marty, thanks for the kind words in the post right above Leonard's. Much appreciated. You raise some excellent points about methodologies that have been applied so far. Without commenting on W.E. Sanders, it is easy for me to agree that (potentially) the evidence that a person is Erdnase can readily...
by Tom Sawyer
12/01/14 01:39 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, I've been thinking about S.W. Erdnase, and the whole authorship controversy. I was thinking of writing a very brief assessment of the present status of “the Erdnase investigation,” with emphasis on the recent discussion on this thread -- as an introductory segment to this post. I started wri...
by Tom Sawyer
11/19/14 10:09 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, The following ties in with some of the discussion above. At least in the early days, a lot of Drake’s books dealt with “performance-related” subjects, including magic, card-sharping, hypnotism, fortune-telling, and recitations. This applies at least to the period 1905 and before. If you look...
by Tom Sawyer
11/16/14 04:41 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All,

Regarding the "similar prefaces" hypothesis discussed above, it might be noted that "our" Frederick J. Drake passed away in 1912. That date is clear from The Publishers' Weekly.

--Tom Sawyer
by Tom Sawyer
11/14/14 05:29 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, One of the better-known publishers of The Expert at the Card Table is the Gambler’s Book Club, in Las Vegas. I looked at their website, and it appears as though the version they are now selling is a Dover version. Back in the olden days, like the early 1970s, I would occasionally visit the G...
by Tom Sawyer
11/08/14 02:32 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, It is definitely useful to be familiar with the term "confirmation bias," if one is going to talk about possible weaknesses in the things people say about "who Erdnase really was." On the other hand, it appears to me that the mere fact that arguments or facts resulted fro...
by Tom Sawyer
10/29/14 05:23 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, When I wrote S.W. Erdnase: Another View back in 1991, my attitude on this specific issue was basically as follows: S.W. Erdnase's real name was probably Andrews, but it didn't have to be "E.S. Andrews." I think I got drawn into that last part by arguments that had been made relatin...
by Tom Sawyer
10/28/14 01:57 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, In view of the first two paragraphs of Chris Wasshuber's follow-up post (above) about the word "Erdnasen" (October 25), the whole “Earth-nose” or “Earth-promontory” idea has now gained much more plausibility in my mind. I suppose it will take some time for all that to become furthe...
by Tom Sawyer
10/27/14 04:29 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Oh, and by the way, I thought Chris Wasshuber's comment above about "Erdnasen" was quite edifying. I do not remember seeing that pointed out by anyone else. I believe that the focus heretofore has mainly been on "Erdnase," not "Erdnasen," though the existence of the lat...
by Tom Sawyer
10/25/14 06:56 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, Well, this has been a particularly interesting group of recent posts! The series does "round out" better several of the arguments that have been raised in the past. Actually, though, to me it is more notable for the insights it provides into the different ways different people thin...
by Tom Sawyer
10/24/14 04:21 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Quiz Question (No prizes. The answer is below.) What is the title of a 1911 magic book that has about thirty references to The Expert at the Card Table ? Answer: Our Magic , by Maskelyne and Devant. The Erdnase book is referred to many times in Professor Hoffmann's "Bibliographical Index of Ca...
by Tom Sawyer
10/17/14 04:16 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Leonard-- Well, after your post, I delved into the color change again. Based on a quotation of the pertinent part of the Victor Farelli article (on the Magic Cafe, in a discussion by Hideo Kato in 2007), it appears to me that Farelli’s understanding was that Houdini invented it. His article was base...
by Tom Sawyer
09/26/14 08:37 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, I’ve been thinking a little about the possible dates for the meeting between S.W. Erdnase and M.D. Smith. In his Genii article on Erdnase, David Alexander focused on December 14 or 15, 1901. However, one assumption David made, which may not have been very solid, was that the hotel room was u...
by Tom Sawyer
09/23/14 10:38 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, Regarding the origin of the color change . . . The following post by Jeff Pierce quotes from an earlier post of Jeff's, which stemmed from a post by Richard Hatch on a different thread. Richard had discussed an item by Victor Farelli in The Magic Wand -- in which Farelli discussed what Houdi...
by Tom Sawyer
09/17/14 02:21 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Marty, thanks for the kind words about my current S.W. Erdnase blog a few posts ago. The index (as portrayed on Amazon.com) to your new edition looks amazingly detailed. I'm sure that John Bodine will have a better answer regarding page 5, but I have a copy with one page of advertisements in the bac...
by Tom Sawyer
09/08/14 03:09 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

I found Marty Demarest's post of earlier today to be of high fascination, in part because I have been intrigued by the possibilities of variations within the first printing of The Expert at the Card Table . As I mentioned on my blog, John Bodine provided me with information regarding the verso of th...
by Tom Sawyer
09/04/14 06:40 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, Bill Mullins makes a very good point about other hotels, and there were undoubtedly yet others in the general area as well. The State Hotel (or Bartl's Hotel) looked like the best candidate, and maybe it still is, even though it turns out to be a little further away from the intersection of ...
by Tom Sawyer
09/02/14 03:31 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, To my way of thinking, any Chicago publisher which was operating in that city around the time The Expert at the Card Table was first published (in 1902) should be of some interest -- at least, if they published magic books. One Chicago publisher which many magicians know is the Max Stein Pub...
by Tom Sawyer
09/02/14 12:05 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Bill McCloskey . . . I can’t remember having heard that idea before. It seems like quite a good idea, too, though as you say it seems pretty unlikely that a subscriber list from The Sphinx (or, say, Mahatma ) in those days would have been preserved -- but maybe such exists somewhere. Also, it seems ...
by Tom Sawyer
08/28/14 06:13 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, One of the reasons Bill Mullins’s most recent post on this thread is so interesting is that the presence or absence of indices on the fronts of the cards is an objective way of discriminating between different types of drawings in The Expert at the Card Table . In that sense, it is somewhat ...
by Tom Sawyer
08/22/14 09:20 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Bill, great questions. I’m not what I would call an expert on playing-card evolution, but I do discuss certain playing cards of the latter part of the nineteenth century on my card-game booklet blog (not my Erdnase blog), largely because of my interest in questions like, “What kind of playing cards ...
by Tom Sawyer
08/20/14 05:00 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, I've been thinking some about the writing of The Expert at the Card Table , and about how little is really known about the process of writing that book. Although the writing may have been spread over a number of years, it seems semi-accepted that Erdnase probably relied to some degree on a b...
by Tom Sawyer
08/19/14 06:26 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Hi All, Well, it has been over two weeks (I think) since I have talked here about my new S.W. Erdnase blog. This is a little update. The most recent nine posts have discussed the illustrations in The Expert at the Card Table -- so even those of you who may have burned out on the authorship issues mi...
by Tom Sawyer
08/18/14 01:23 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221

Re: ERDNASE

Bill, that's an interesting list. If the E.S. Andrews who was a publisher had been located in Chicago -- bingo! (Not really.) Another E.S. Andrews was one mentioned by John Bodine in a post back in 2010. Here is the link John posted (or a similar link): http://books.google.com/books?id=-0t-O5ZIHIYC&...
by Tom Sawyer
08/17/14 09:12 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3039
Views: 1372221
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