ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Richard Hatch
Posts: 1855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 1st, 2017, 3:24 pm

Incidentally, the issue of Marshall D. Smith's age is less concerned with how old he was when the illustrations were done, than with his age relative to a proposed candidate. Since Smith was born on December 10, 1872 and Milton Franklin Andrews was born on November 28, 1872. MFA is not even two weeks older than Smith, yet Smith recalled meeting someone at least a decade older (even older if the meeting with Erdnase was pre-1901). Edward Gallaway was born June 1, 1868, making him 4.5 years older than Smith. At Gardner's first meeting with Smith in December 1946, Smith tells Gardner that Erdnase was "about 40, 'not over 45'" (the latter apparently a direct quote from Smith). Later, in 1950, when Gardner presents Smith with the details of MFA from a police wanted poster, which gave MFA's age as 31 (his age at the time of the poster, not the time he would have met Smith!), Smith replies: "Age 31. I would say he was several years old, nearer 40. Could be wrong." I interpret the "could be wrong" statement as an acknowledgement by Smith that memory is malleable and fallible. But 31 is younger than he would have thought. In that same letter he places upper and lower bounds on the author's height as 5'7" and 5'5", stating categorically that he would not have confused 6'1.5" (MFA's height in his stocking feet) with 5'6" ("I would have had to look up to him and I'm certain I looked down."). He also responds to MFA's brother's recollection that MFA had large hands: "His hands were not large." So if Smith's recollection is accurate, he did not meet MFA. Of course, as Hurt McDermott and Chris Wasshuber have pointed out, eyewitness accounts are notoriously unreliable and here we are dealing with a 74 year old with vision problems (cataracts) trying to recall a relatively brief encounter at least 45 years earlier, to which he had likely given no thought since. But, in the absence of other compelling evidence, what else do we have to go on?

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 1st, 2017, 4:26 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:While the variant spellings should not be ignored, they should also not be considered exclusionary at this point. I am looking at a copy of the Illinois marriage certificate of Dalrymple's parents dated November 15, 1856 and the Henry Country Clerk has the bride's name as "Miss Delia M. Seeley" while the officiator (probably the minister) has her name as "Adelia M. Seely". The spellings Seeley, Seely, Seelye and Sealy are all common in the same family lines and must (alas) all be considered.

Richard was so kind and sent me the image of the marriage certificate, which I have inspected. I do not agree that the second instance of her name is spelled Seely. I think it is also spelled Seeley. Perhaps Richard can post the image here for others to take a look, too. After the l there is a piece which either is an e or the beginning of the y. When we look at how he writes Dalrymple and in particular how he writes the y, with a very narrow body, then it is clear that the stuff after the l is not a y, but an ey. Otherwise the y would be a completely differently written y than the first he wrote. So I think it is still Seeley only the body of the y is missing for whatever reason. The spacing in my opinion clearly shows that it is an e (same shape as the prior e) and then a y.

Richard Hatch wrote:I believe there were similar issues in your investigation of Gallaway (vs. Galloway). The variants can lead to false negatives as well as false positives.

Yes, names can certainly be spelled wrong. Gallaway was misspelled plenty of times as Galloway. Nevertheless, one can usually determine the true spelling once enough instances have been found. Just because Gallaway was misspelled Galloway doesn't mean he is suddenly related to anybody with the name Galloway. From the information I have seen the Dalrymple side is generally spelled Seeley while the Dollie side is typically spelled Seely. I agree that this is not enough to categorically exclude them, but at this point it is rather unlikely that they are related.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 2nd, 2017, 4:05 am

Chris, I had trouble uploading the image of the Dalrymple/Seeley marriage certificate, but you have my permission to give it a try (my version exceeded the Board's upload limit), so others can judge for themselves. I can see it both ways.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 2nd, 2017, 9:04 am

Attaching didn't work for me either, but I am hosting it on my website. Here is the link https://www.lybrary.com/DalrympleSeeleyMarriage1856.jpg
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
Zenner
Posts: 74
Joined: September 30th, 2008, 8:49 pm
Favorite Magician: Al Koran
Location: Derbyshire, England

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » October 2nd, 2017, 9:17 am

I may live to regret posting this today but what the heck - here goes.

Have you heard the expression "He who never made a mistake, never made anything"? Well, I admit, I made a mistake. Have you also heard the expression "The only way to be successful in any field is to be active in that field"? Well, I stayed active.

My quest for the identity of S.W. Erdnase started in April, 2013, when I purchased a copy of Erdnase Unmasked, edited by David Ben (2011). I wasn’t convinced by the candidates presented there, just as I hadn’t been convinced by the candidate presented by Messrs Whaley, Gardner and Busby in their The Man Who Was Erdnase (1991). I had a hunch that Mr Erdnase must have been known to the people behind the publication of The Sphinx. When The Expert at the Card Table was announced in September, 1902, no comment was made about the name ‘Erdnase’. Wouldn’t the editor have been curious about such an unusual name, unless he knew who it was?

As you may remember, I settled on Harry Stuart Thompson as a possible candidate and, unfortunately for me, everything I learned about Mr Thompson fitted the profile of Mr Erdnase. He was the right age and the right size; he was an expert in sleight-of-hand and had a background in printing and publishing. He was an acknowledged expert in printing inks and had one of the largest libraries of magic books in America. Everything fitted except for a connection with the name Dalrymple - and I couldn't find anything he had written to compare with the Erdnase text.

Then it occurred to me that, if Thompson had a friend with similar interests, that friend would probably have access to his library. I found such a friend about two years ago and have been researching his background ever since. Gentlemen, may I introduce my new candidate in the hunt for Erdnase --

EDWARD DOUGLAS BENEDICT

The first thing I did on September 6, 2015, was to search for Benedict's genealogy and I found a book on https://archive.org entitled The Genealogy of the Benedicts in America. Edward's birth in July, 1860, is noted on page 153 of Volume 1. Another search revealed that, on page 162, a Benedict married a Dalrymple!

Convinced that Edward was a likely candidate, I have been spending all my spare time trying to fill in the details of his life. He was born in Lansing, Michigan (i.e. east of Chicago) and would have been aged 41 at the time Expert was published. He was college educated, "attending school" at the time of the September, 1880, Census, when he was 20 (pace, David Ben) and had been a professional magician in the late 1880s and early 1890s.

By 1895 he had retired from the stage and was now a BOOK AGENT in Minneapolis. (Ever wondered how he distributed his books?) By 1902 he had an office in the Manhatten Building, in Chicago, and was advertising for book salesmen. (The Manhatten Building is still there, on the corner of South Dearborn Street and West Congress Parkway.) But on November 13, 1902, it was reported that he had gone bankrupt - "Liabilities $4,694.00; assets $1,561.00". (That's a difference of $3,133.00, which equates to $86,380.00 in 2017. No wonder he "needed the money"!) It was reported in The Chicago Tribune in January, 1903, that his bankruptcy had been discharged.

By December 23, 1902, Edward had moved to the Isabella Building and he was owed $45.85 when McKinney went bankrupt. (See The James McKinney Bankruptcy Files, pages 474 & 570. Thanks Chris!)

I have reasons to believe that Edward was Todd Karr's E.S. Andrews, the conman, for a while. Place names in Todd's research tally with places where Edward had family. For example, Edward's first wife was from Kokomo and he had an uncle with a family in Buffalo.

Edward obviously sorted himself out, got a job as sales manager with a couple of publishing companies and, for a time, The Western Mausoleum Company, and started writing articles for The Sphinx. He remarried and died in Chicago, at the age of 65, in 1926.

Would you like to read one of Edward's articles from The Sphinx? Try this for comparison's sake, from Volume 5, page 104 --

BACK PALMING OF COINS. By BENEDICT.

The above misnomer is used because it seems to be the technical term applied by all writers on the subject.

The writer, however, fails to find any explanation which will assist the beginner, as they are all too difficult to be used except by long and constant practice, and then, if the truth was known, one could not be sure of their hold on the coin.

One authority writes: ‘Coin is placed on front of hand, being gripped between first and fourth fingers. You now draw down the two middle fingers until the points rest behind the coin, by exerting a slight pressure on the lower part of the coin, it revolves between the first and fourth fingers and upon the performer now extending carefully (note the word carefully) the two middle fingers, these stretch out in front of the coin, which is now held in the same position as at first, except that it is at back instead of front of the hand.’

By the above method even an expert can not be sure of his work, when working fast enough to disguise the movement, unless needle points on the edge of coin are used and they have many disadvantages if used in continuous back and front work, also there are many times when one will perform with a borrowed coin. One little assistance is therefore necessary to simplify matters and that is the use of the thumb at the right moment.

At the moment of revolving the coin, the thumb seeks the front and assists in guiding the coin to the back of hand, at the same time a down and up movement of the hand prevents the audience seeing the change. Once on the back, it can easily, by the same movement be returned to the front and quickly palmed as hand is turned over showing fingers apart. By this last "palm" is meant the holding of coin by contraction of the palm proper.

Now for an easy method of continuous back and front palming; but before attempting this, it is imperative that the student should be able to hold coin by contraction of the palm showing back of hand with fingers apart; if he is not yet perfect in this move, which we will call No. 1, it is useless to try back work.

We will begin the explanation by numbering the four movements, (see drawings) No. 1, front palm, fingers apart. No. 2 coin resting on second joints of second and third fingers. No. 3 finger palm between first and second fingers, coin not visible from front. No. 4 coin held on back of hand by first and fourth fingers, with second and third fingers in front of coin.

Coin is first vanished by palm No. 1 and hand is lowered slightly, allowing coin to drop to No. 2 position and in the act of exposing front of hand, coin is pushed through first and second fingers with the assistance of the thumb, until out of sight and resting somewhat on second and third fingers as in No. 3. The little finger now reaches up behind and pushes lower edge of coin firmly against back of second and third finger as in No. 4, making everything sure for a return to palm No. 1, which is easily and quickly done by closing fingers while again exposing the back of hand. Practice will melt these four movements into one.

If the performer will avoid using the above work as a single trick, reserving these moves for use in combination coin tricks; such as ‘The Shower of Money’, etc., he will find that they add much to the mystery and leave his audience more in doubt as to his methods, while if used alone he will create only momentary surprise by his cleverness.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 2nd, 2017, 10:01 am

Peter, you are half way there. First name is correct.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 2nd, 2017, 10:26 am

Zenner wrote:
Then it occurred to me that, if Thompson had a friend with similar interests, that friend would probably have access to his library. I found such a friend about two years ago and have been researching his background ever since. Gentlemen, may I introduce my new candidate in the hunt for Erdnase --
EDWARD DOUGLAS BENEDICT

Peter, could you elaborate on your process of drawing the line from having access to Thompson's library - to being a candidate for Mr. Erdnase?

Nice presentation, I look forward to more information on Benedict.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 2nd, 2017, 11:14 am

Very interesting! Welcome back, Peter!
Zenner wrote:By December 23, 1902, Edward had moved to the Isabella Building and he was owed $45.85 when McKinney went bankrupt. (See The James McKinney Bankruptcy Files, pages 474 & 570. Thanks Chris!)


I find that $45.85 listed under "Accounts Receivable" for McKinney. Doesn't that mean he owed that amount to McKinney (which actually makes more sense to me if he was Erdnase and "needing the money" hadn't paid his printing/binding bill)?

Although the passage quoted doesn't jump out to me sounding like Erdnase, I do note that Erdnase also calls "The Back Palm" a "misnomer" in the first sentence of his description of the corresponding card sleight.

I'd say if Peter can establish that EDB is Todd's ESA, we'd have to consider the case effectively closed. Assuming this E. D. Benedict in the Isabella Bldg actually is the same Edward Benedict, the magician (David P. Abbott gives one of his slate tricks in Behind the Scenes with the Mediums, describing him as "a magician, Mr. Edward Benedict of Minneapolis". Wasn't Thompson originally from Minneapolis?), then we have a magician "at the scene of the crime" in dealing with McKinney. Is Benedict's connection to the family of Louis Dalrymple close enough that he would likely have known of it (to make it a plausible point of conversation with Smith)?

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 2nd, 2017, 1:00 pm

There is a photo of Edward Benedict in Teller's edition of David P. Abbott's books, published by Todd Karr. It appears that Abbott's article on slate writing mentioning "magician, Mr. Edward Benedict of Minneapolis" first appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Psychic Research, Vol. I, no. 9 (see p. 427), dated September 1907.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 2nd, 2017, 3:08 pm

Welcome back, Peter.

Any thoughts on how Benedict would have come to use "S W Erdnase" as a pseudonym?

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 2nd, 2017, 3:44 pm

The Back Palming article was signed only "Benedict" and there were other magicians with that last name during the era. Are you sure this is by Edward?

There is a photograph of Ed Benedict on p. 138 of the Feb 1907 issue of The Sphinx. He has dark hair.

There is a Del Adelphia connection -- The Sphinx of Sept 1913 says that in a Kansas City show, Adelphia was using apparatus designed by Benedict.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 2nd, 2017, 6:04 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:The Back Palming article was signed only "Benedict" and there were other magicians with that last name during the era. Are you sure this is by Edward?

There is a photograph of Ed Benedict on p. 138 of the Feb 1907 issue of The Sphinx. He has dark hair.

There is a Del Adelphia connection -- The Sphinx of Sept 1913 says that in a Kansas City show, Adelphia was using apparatus designed by Benedict.


That photo seems to be the same one Todd Karr used in the Abbott book. Harry Thompson of Chicago is also depicted in that photo montage and was clearly (from this and other Sphinx references) a good friend of E. D. Benedict. Assuming the "Benedict" who contributed tricks to the Sphinx is this fellow, do we have enough to make a linguistic comparison, as done for Gallaway and some other candidates?

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7688
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 3rd, 2017, 10:18 am

Thanks for the link to the 1902 book about magic - which includes some interesting comments about DeKolta's larger birdcage vanish and a trick with an apple's shadow. ;)

What brings you to nine authors for the "swerdnase" text?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 3rd, 2017, 8:43 pm

The italics on the cover have been noted before, as has assorted text formatting and style throughout the book (small caps, etc).

But your definition of the purpose of reverse italics is far too narrow.

Reverse italics can indeed be used for ships names ... but they can also be used where there is a style requirement for italics within italics, they can be used to indicate internal thought or internal dialog, they can be used to indicate a flashback, they can be used for foreign words used in text written in a "local" language ... and they can be used for other things as well.

The bottom line is that reversed italics don't have any fixed, or singular purpose, as confirmed by the Chicago Manual of Style (amongst others).

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 3rd, 2017, 11:49 pm

lybrary wrote: If after nearly two decades no evidence for a relationship has been found any honest researcher would use phrases like "it is highly unlikely that they are related", or "it appears they are unrelated", rather than suggesting it is likely that they are related.

This makes it sound like 19th century genealogical research is much easier than it really is.

First of all, there's a lot of ground to cover. If you have a person in 1901, and you want to look at their family through 1st cousins, you have to go back in time and find 4 grandparents, and then find all of the descendants from those people. You have to find all the people those people married, and identify in-laws for two whole generations. Families were bigger then, so you could easily be talking about several dozen people. If you want to go through 2nd cousins, square that.

Records are missing. The whole 1890 census was lost in a fire, and is gone. If the people involved lived in the South, many courthouses were burned in the War Between the States, and the records they held are lost.

Records are wrong. It is not at all unusual to find names misspelled and dates wrong. Enumerators would cut corners, and get information from neighbors so names would be spelled on a "sounds like" basis instead of getting information directly from the family in question. When you search these records, you aren't actually searching the original documents. You are searching an index that has been generated by someone or some computer doing OCR, and that transcription process often has errors. And that's just record keeping -- names themselves weren't standardized the way they are now.

Records aren't available. While censuses have been transcribed and indexed and online, many other records exist only as paper documents in courthouse basements and other archives, and can only be searched by going to them and inspecting them in person. Not only can this get expensive, you've got to know that they exist in the first place in order to go look at them. Many birth and death and marriage certificates aren't online.

Records may not have ever existed. While there is plenty of documentation of rich people or prominent politicians, most 19th century people weren't rich or famous. Branches of my own family were subsistence farmers in the mid-1800s, and owned no property, so there are no records of them in tax rolls.

The further back in time you go, you have less information available in censuses. In 1840 and before, children aren't listed by name in the census. You just get a number that says how many there are.

When girls grow up and get married, there's nothing obvious in the census, nor any standardized way in other records, to know what their married names become. Likewise, when chasing adult women back into their childhoods, there's no easy way to find out the maiden name of a married woman so you can investigate her ancestors.

All this is to say that just because information about a family link between Edwin Andrews and Louis Dalrymple (or, for that matter, Edward Gallaway and Walter Gallaway) hasn't been found, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. It may only mean that the information that confirms (or even disproves) it isn't easy to find.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 4th, 2017, 12:43 am

This next is more of a comment than a criticism. Chris's ebook, in the chapter on Edward Gallaway's brother, says about the town of Ft. Payne, Alabama "Wealthy investors from the East, mostly from Massachusetts, started to poor millions of dollars into Fort Payne in the hopes to turn this small town into the ‘Pittsburgh of the South’."

1. To an Alabamian of ca. 1890, someone from Massachusetts would have been from the North, not the East (the words "carpetbagger" or "damyankee" might come into play here.)
2. The investors would have been a little late establishing a "Pittsburgh of the South," as one had already been established. The town of Battle Creek Mines, TN was renamed South Pittsburg in 1876, and is only 30 miles north of Ft. Payne It had access to rail and the Tennessee River, and was near coal mines to the north (up the Sequatchie Valley) and iron ore to the south (Birmingham area). Investors built foundries and blast furnaces at South Pittsburg to establish an iron industry. Most all that remains of the industry is the Lodge company, which makes cast iron skillets in South Pittsburg.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 4th, 2017, 9:19 am

Bill Mullins wrote:This makes it sound like 19th century genealogical research is much easier than it really is.

In the case of Dollie Seely the family history is pretty clear, and documents are readily available, partly because of the book "History of Whiteside County, Illinois" which has her line of grandparents documented. We have checked up to second cousins, per Richard Hatch's standard of what he considers a close enough relationship, and there is no relationship to Adelia Seeley the mother of Louis Dalrymple. Here are some details:

The history of Dollie's family -father=Solomon; grand-father = Ebenezer; great-grandfather = Jeduthan (1778-1836) - indicates that her great-grandfather and all of his descendants were in Illinois by 1836. None of Jeduthan's other sons appear to have had a daughter named Adelia, Delia. And census records consistently show that Adelia/Delia was born in NY in April 1840 (ish) - after Dollie's ancestors were in Illinois.

This means the closest common relative could potentially be a great-great-grandfather, but given the spelling of the second name it is very unlikely. We have the data and there is no relationship.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 4th, 2017, 3:47 pm

This means the closest common relative could potentially be a great-great-grandfather, but given the spelling of the second name it is very unlikely.


Jeduthan Seely's (1778-1836) father is Ebenezer Seeley (1756 - 1798), and Eb's father is David Seelye (1731- sometime after 1777). Three spellings in three generations. Don't be too sure.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 4th, 2017, 5:34 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Jeduthan Seely's (1778-1836) father is Ebenezer Seeley (1756 - 1798), and Eb's father is David Seelye (1731- sometime after 1777). Three spellings in three generations. Don't be too sure.

Then please show us. After two decades you have to present more than spelling variations of second names.

The other real problem with E.S. Andrews, husband of Dollie Seely, is that any relationship to Dalrymple would be via two in-law connections. It is not his bloodline who would be related, but his wife's. And his wife would not be related to a Dalrymple but to a Seeley, an in-law of Dalrymple. I am not sure what the custom was back then in the US, but where I grew up nobody would call this 'I am related to'. Even with just one in-law connection my father would never say he is related to say my second cousin from my mother's side. He would always say "my wife is related to" or "my wife's family". Now imagine that this isn't my second cousin but the spouse of my second cousin. That would make it even stranger for him to say: "I am related to". Perhaps a cultural difference between Austria and the US, but it strikes me as odd that anybody would actually say 'I am related to' in such a remote non-bloodline case. And that is assuming there is a connection. The whole argument makes no sense anymore. It was ok in the early days of exuberant excitement, but today it is bad research to say anything more than "most likely they are NOT related".
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 4th, 2017, 9:18 pm

"Related by marriage" is a thing. When some tells me that they are related, and it turns out they are speaking of their in-laws, it doesn't seem strange in the least.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 4th, 2017, 9:44 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:"Related by marriage" is a thing. When some tells me that they are related, and it turns out they are speaking of their in-laws, it doesn't seem strange in the least.

You also say that when it is your 3rd cousin in-law with two in-law connections? You might then as well say I am related to everybody, because at some level we are all related.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 5th, 2017, 12:15 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:"Related by marriage" is a thing. When some tells me that they are related, and it turns out they are speaking of their in-laws, it doesn't seem strange in the least.

You also say that when it is your 3rd cousin in-law with two in-law connections? You might then as well say I am related to everybody, because at some level we are all related.


If it's an analogous situation, yeah, I'd say it. Dalrymple had some small level of fame in 1901. Maybe most people wouldn't know who he was, but a commercial artist in Illinois would know, Dalrymple being from the same state -- "local boy makes good". Dalrymple had been working for Judge since 1884, and Puck since 1886. These were prestigious gigs.

There would have been plenty of time for small talk while Smith was drawing Erdnase's hands. It makes perfect sense for Erdnase to talk about artists with Smith, and mention, "Hey, that guy who drew the centerfold in Puck last week? We're related. He's a cousin of my wife." They probably talked about the weather, the White Stockings (who had just won the inaugural AL championship in 1901), politics, and other things.

In general, I don't talk much about my 3rd cousins, or those of my wife. But they aren't famous. Dalrymple was.

(And by the way -- your new update to Hunt talks about the trains in Chicago and calls them "trams". The were and are called the "el", for elevated train.)

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 5th, 2017, 12:36 am

lybrary wrote: The other real problem with E.S. Andrews, husband of Dollie Seely, is that any relationship to Dalrymple would be via two in-law connections. It is not his bloodline who would be related, but his wife's. And his wife would not be related to a Dalrymple but to a Seeley, an in-law of Dalrymple.


Seeley was not an in-law of Louis Dalrymple, it was his mother.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 5th, 2017, 7:36 am

Bill Mullins wrote:"He's a cousin of my wife."

But he isn't as far as we can tell.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 10th, 2017, 2:47 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:My own standard of proof (and I use that word loosely) is that, short of a smoking gun (like a signed contract, or a reliable contemporaneous statement that so-and-so wrote Expert) a candidate should be shown to have skill with cards, and a reason to use the pseudonym "S. W. Erdnase".

These are not particularly good criteria in my opinion. Many people had 'skill with cards'. Most people played cards during that time. Successful cardsharks do not advertise their skill. Writing about moves and actually doing them are two different things. While it is apparent that Erdnase must have been pretty good with cards, how good exactly his sleight-of-hand was isn't so clear. Since we have no film or other detailed account of his actual skill with cards, it is a rather imprecise standard to use. Perhaps Erdnase was a lot better than his book makes him out to be, or perhaps he was a lot worse. Have you never seen somebody from whom you only knew his writings and then been either positively or negatively surprised about their actual skill with cards?

Erdnase could very well appear to us like somebody without any particular skill with cards. Erdnase himself writes about this. As soon as you appear to have skill the possibility to cheat is over. Why do you then expect that the historical record would show that a cardshark had or did not have skill with cards? In most cases this would be entirely unknown. Thus it is for the most part a useless standard, because no detailed data is available.

A reason for his pseudonym is not at all necessary. We do not know how Erdnase chose his pseudonym. Maybe he had a good reason for it, maybe he didn't. The fact that S.W. Erdnase gives reversed a possible name E.S. Andrews doesn't help, because you are still left with the question why E.S. Andrews? Could be his name, could be his mentor's name, could be a random name from the newspaper or his recollection, could be a made up name, could have some other meaning or not, or S.W. Erdnase could have been formed in several other ways and the reversal into a plausible name is only a coincidence.

The only real 'fingerprint' that is detailed enough which can be subjected to objective and scientific scrutiny is the text, the 52.000 words Erdnase has left behind. A less specific standard is his ability to write in general and the fact that he chose to self-publish his book and had it printed at James McKinney & Co. Those are in my opinion much more important standards because data is in most cases available and the data is rich and detailed enough that there is hope to actually derive a statistically meaningful and confident answer.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 10th, 2017, 5:07 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:My own standard of proof (and I use that word loosely) is that, short of a smoking gun (like a signed contract, or a reliable contemporaneous statement that so-and-so wrote Expert) a candidate should be shown to have skill with cards, and a reason to use the pseudonym "S. W. Erdnase".

These are not particularly good criteria in my opinion. Many people had 'skill with cards'.


I should have written "minimal standard of proof"; that is, these are necessary, but not necessarily sufficient.

In other words, no matter how many interesting coincidences we may find between a known person and what we presume to know about Erdnase, unless that known person can be shown to have skill with cards (and not just an experienced bridge player, but someone who is a sleight of hand magician, or a card cheat) and can be shown to have a reason to have used "S. W. Erdnase" as a pseudonym, it simply isn't convincing to say that the person was Erdnase.

I realize that these may be impossible to meet. It may be that there are not sufficient records about Erdnase, whoever he was, that we will ever be able to prove his identity. My own belief is that none of the major candidates so far meet these standards (and I also believe it is doubtful that we will ever identify Erdnase, at least so convincingly that it will generally be accepted as correct.)

The only real 'fingerprint' that is detailed enough which can be subjected to objective and scientific scrutiny is the text, the 52.000 words Erdnase has left behind. . . . Those are in my opinion much more important standards because data is in most cases available and the data is rich and detailed enough that there is hope to actually derive a statistically meaningful and confident answer.


At one time I was optimistic about being able to compare a sample piece of writing with Expert, and saying with certainty that they both were written by the same author, thus identifying Erdnase. But the more I read about they various people who attempt to do this, and the methods they use, the more I doubt that "certainty" is a word that should be used. The methods used by Olsson are different than the methods that Wiseman and Holmes used, which are different than the methods used by Don Foster. Which are best? How do you know?

I would truly like to see, before some process claims to support one author has having written Expert over another, that process put to test. It should identify works written by the same author, and it should reject works written by different authors. If presented with a group of ten books written by nine different authors (one author having written two of them), can the process identify the two works by the same author? If two books written by the same author are added to a group of six more books written by six different authors, can the process identify the two books by the common author? And the books should be from various topics and of various purposes -- not simply a collection of murder mysteries, for example.

That's what it will take for the attribution studies to rise to the level of "objective and scientific scrutiny." Repeatable, blind (or even double-blind) studies, with controls. Until something like the above happens, it is difficult to say that the conclusion of an author attribution study is anything other than the opinion of the person executing the study.

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 10th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:My own belief is that none of the major candidates so far meet these standards (and I also believe it is doubtful that we will ever identify Erdnase, at least so convincingly that it will generally be accepted as correct.)

If you are using badly selected standards then you can be certain to never find the true Erdnase.

Bill Mullins wrote:
The only real 'fingerprint' that is detailed enough which can be subjected to objective and scientific scrutiny is the text, the 52.000 words Erdnase has left behind. . . . Those are in my opinion much more important standards because data is in most cases available and the data is rich and detailed enough that there is hope to actually derive a statistically meaningful and confident answer.


At one time I was optimistic about being able to compare a sample piece of writing with Expert, and saying with certainty that they both were written by the same author, thus identifying Erdnase. But the more I read about they various people who attempt to do this, and the methods they use, the more I doubt that "certainty" is a word that should be used. The methods used by Olsson are different than the methods that Wiseman and Holmes used, which are different than the methods used by Don Foster. Which are best? How do you know?

I would truly like to see, before some process claims to support one author has having written Expert over another, that process put to test. It should identify works written by the same author, and it should reject works written by different authors. If presented with a group of ten books written by nine different authors (one author having written two of them), can the process identify the two works by the same author? If two books written by the same author are added to a group of six more books written by six different authors, can the process identify the two books by the common author? And the books should be from various topics and of various purposes -- not simply a collection of murder mysteries, for example.

That's what it will take for the attribution studies to rise to the level of "objective and scientific scrutiny." Repeatable, blind (or even double-blind) studies, with controls. Until something like the above happens, it is difficult to say that the conclusion of an author attribution study is anything other than the opinion of the person executing the study.

Here we have finally something I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with Bill. That is why I continue to study the linguistics and try to find more rigorous methods which work across subject and time spans. I am not saying that Olsson's analysis is the end all be all, or that it is the final word. It is the opinion of one expert. But it was a detailed and honest analysis, regardless of how you interpret his results. Olsson himself qualifies his results that with new information and new texts the results may change. I would add that with new and better analysis methods the results may change, too.

Since you mentioned Wiseman and Holmes. I am in email contact with them and we are in heated debate. I have made essentially the same argument you are making here. I want them to show that their method works across time and subject. My suggestion was to add books by Hoffmann who spans decades of writing and writing across various subjects including fiction. So far they haven't done that. There are many issues with stylometry which are glossed over. Anybody who reads the classic Mosteller-Wallace paper on stylometry will see that they spent a lot of time on investigating which words to use, and they measured their respective frequency distributions and other things to decide if they are good discriminators or not. Wiseman and Holmes simply took a list without questioning the validity of their list. On top of that I demonstrated to them that they actually counted several function words incorrectly. (For example, some authors use "No." as abbreviation for the word "Number" but their analysis would count it as function word "no". Similar problems exist with components which are labeled 'a', 'b', 'c', as some magic authors do. The label 'a' was counted as the function word article 'a', which is wrong. And perhaps their biggest counting error was with all those 'in-jog' and 'out-jog' instances in Expert which their tokenizer split into 'in', 'jog', and 'out', 'jog', and both 'in' and 'out' are function words they used - again calling in question their results.) And those are just simple counting errors. There are more fundamental problems with this type of stylometry.

Nevertheless, I think studying the linguistics of Erdnase is our best hope to identify him. At least it is much better than arguing about his reason of using S.W. Erdnase as his pseudonym.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7688
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 10th, 2017, 10:03 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:My own belief is that none of the major candidates so far meet these standards (and I also believe it is ..., I think studying the linguistics of Erdnase is our best hope to identify him. At least it is much better than arguing about his reason of using S.W. Erdnase as his pseudonym.


Are there some measures (and then metrics) to gage how typical/trendy/information rich a text is compared to other texts from that environment?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

User avatar
lybrary
Posts: 843
Joined: March 31st, 2013, 4:59 pm
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 10th, 2017, 10:18 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Are there some measures (and then metrics) to gage how typical/trendy/information rich a text is compared to other texts from that environment?

With the Google Ngram Viewer you can see how popular a certain word or expression was over time in books.
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1438
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 10th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:But are they really clues? or was he just doing a "Bible Code" extraction of data that wasn't really there?


I believe they can be. Alexander wondered why there are two titles:

The first anomaly on our journey to find Erdnase is the question of why there are two titles to his book--one on the spine (The Expert at the Card Table) and one on the inside title page (Artifice, Ruse, and Subterfuge at the Card Table), the latter being the title the author chose to copyright the book under. Why two titles? Why one in clear and unambiguous English and the other stilted and archaic even for 1901? Is there any significance in this violation of normal publishing protocol?

According to Alexander, that apparently clumsy title on the title page contains the clue that puts us on the path to his true name.

Brad Henderson
Posts: 3573
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » October 11th, 2017, 9:56 am

i can't imagine anyone who didn't have intense familiarity with the proper means of means of performing the sleights described could have described them with the exacting detail which erdnase does.

my experience, that i know others have also had, is that in studying erdnase as a practical guide one often finds themselves realizing that what erdnase has written is precise but at a level that requires extensive understanding to recognize said preciseness.

i cannot imagine someone who couldn't perform those moves flawlessly being able to describe them in the manner he does. Further, the psychological and philosophical content of erdnase clearly comes from experience, deep experience.

you don't come to his conclusions and admonitions without having deep experience and understanding. while it is possible to have deep understanding without skill, it is a rare occurance UNLESs erdnase was a close student of those who did have great skill - in which case we should be able to put him in proximity
of those who did.

erdnase writes with the voice of experience behind him. It's hard to imagine someone could understand what he teaches so deeply without having talent.

to that end, being able to put a deck of cards in his hands is a critical bit of evidence that would go a long way - without it i don't think any case made would ever be fully conclusive.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 11th, 2017, 5:56 pm

Has this film been mentioned here before? I don't think so . . .

http://www.erdnase-film.com/

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 11th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Has this film been mentioned here before? I don't think so . . .

http://www.erdnase-film.com/

Thanks for the link Bill, I'd not seen anything at all about this film prior to clicking it.
Looks like they're presently looking for investors to get the film off the ground.
I hope they succeed, as their take seems a bit different than expected, and it's a film I'd like to watch.

... not that I'd necessarily agree with the contents.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 12th, 2017, 2:17 pm

Edwin S. Andrews's wife Dollie was a card player:

"Mr. and Mrs. Sol Seeley gave a reception on Saturday evening to their daughter Miss Dollie and her friend, Miss Elsie, of Chicago. The evening was spent in dancing and card playing, singing and playing on musical instruments. Some forty guests were present. The wants of the inner man were carefully looked after, Mr. and Mrs. Seely serving the company with an elegant repast. The occasion was Miss Dollie's birthday. The two young ladies returned to Chicago this morning."

Sterling IL Evening Gazette 2/6/1888 p 3

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4494
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 15th, 2017, 6:15 pm

Edwin S. Andrews was related (by marriage) to Louis Dalrymple.

Credit to Richard Hatch for much of this research.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 15th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Holy Smokes Bill!

For long time readers of this thread, you will recall that in March of 2011, Bill also put a deck of cards in E.S.Andrews hands with the research described in this post:



Re: Erdnase
by Bill Mullins » 10 Mar 2011 19:34

Milton Franklin Andrews has been the "standard" candidate for having written The Expert at the Card Table for a long time. Other people have been proposed as the author, but the advantage that MFA has always held is that he was known to be familiar with a deck of cards. Other prominent candidates have had interesting circumstantial similarities to the author (usually because of a similarity of their name to "S. W. Erdnase"), but most of them don't have any known associations with or interests in playing cards. I know, for example, that one reason David Alexander spent so much time researching W. E. Sanders' private papers was looking for evidence of skill with the pasteboards.

I'm pretty familiar with what is known about who I consider to be the top three other candidates for having written Expert: W. E. Sanders (proposed by David Alexander), Edwin Sumner Andrews (proposed by Richard Hatch), and the con man E. S. Andrews (proposed by Todd Karr); and I have made modest contributions to what is known about each of these three individuals. Mostly of my research has been done by searching through digitized full-text databases free ones like Google Books and Google News Archives, and subscription ones like ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Newspaperarchive, and others. Content is being added to most of these databases all the time, so it is productive to revisit past searches occasionally.

I just (yesterday) found something I consider to be pretty exciting not up there with Bill Woodfield's 1949 telegram to Martin Gardner saying that Milton Franklin Andrews is "definitely our man", but it is clear evidence that one more of the major candidates was in fact a card player:

San Francisco Call 1/13/1911 p 4
MYSTERY OF THE "PIPPINS" SOLVED

Ed Andrews Can No Longer Dodge Session by Trip to Watsonville

EDWARD ANDREWS of the Pere Marquette has always boasted of a method, all his own, of being able to escape a game of cards when he does not feel so inclined. His excuse has always been that he had to journey to Watsonville and see about a shipment of "Pippins." A few days ago friends from the other side of the bay saw him in Market street conversing with several young women. It happened that there was to be an evening at cards in an Alameda home that very evening and when Ed reached home he was requested over the telephone to join in the games. "Very sorry," he said, "but I am going to Watsonville in about an hour to see about a shipment of 'Pippins.'" "How about the three 'Pippins' you were seen talking to this afternoon?" was returned to him over the 'phone. When the story came out at the club yesterday afternoon William F. Schmidt of the Missouri Pacific, who makes frequent trips to Watsonville, remarked that it was funny that he had never thought of Andrews' idea.


LINK

There is a minor error in the article Edwin is referred to as "Edward". But this is the same person that Richard Hatch identified over a decade ago. Edwin was in fact working for the Pere Marquette railroad at this time. He lived "on the other side of the bay", in Oakland CA. He is known to have travelled to Watsonville. He ran in the same circles as William F. Schmidt (they were both members of the "Transportation Club", a social organization of railroad executives).

Although the article talks about Andrews ducking a game of cards, it is clear that the other participants expected that he would be able to join them he must have been a regular player. I submit this as strong evidence that Edwin Sumner Andrews played cards at a recreational level. It is no smoking gun, and there is much that isn't said here that would be good to hear. There is no evidence that Andrews cheated, or knew any sleight of hand moves. We have no knowledge that he was familiar with card magic, or even that the card game in question was a gambling game. But we know at least that he played cards, which is more than we know about either W. E. Sanders or the con man E. S. Andrews.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 15th, 2017, 7:32 pm

In 2011, in an article Richard Hatch wrote in his article for Magicol (pg. 23) ... Richard wrote of his original candidate, E.S. Andrews:

"In my opinion, if the relationship between Dollie Seely and Louis Dalrymple's mother could be established and shown to be close enough that they would have know of it (first of second cousins, for example) I would have a very hard time not believing the this particular E.S. Andrews was the author of The Expert at the Card Table.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1438
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 15th, 2017, 7:45 pm

Roger M. wrote:Holy Smokes Bill!

For long time readers of this thread, you will recall that in March of 2011, Bill also put a deck of cards in E.S.Andrews hands with the research described in this post:

Re: Erdnase
by Bill Mullins » 10 Mar 2011 19:34
Although the article talks about Andrews ducking a game of cards, it is clear that the other participants expected that he would be able to join them he must have been a regular player. I submit this as strong evidence that Edwin Sumner Andrews played cards at a recreational level. It is no smoking gun, and there is much that isn't said here that would be good to hear. There is no evidence that Andrews cheated, or knew any sleight of hand moves. We have no knowledge that he was familiar with card magic, or even that the card game in question was a gambling game. But we know at least that he played cards, which is more than we know about either W. E. Sanders or the con man E. S. Andrews.


In September 2011, Marty Demarest discovered decks of cards in the hands of W.E. Sanders. Sanders purchased six brand new decks among the dry goods when he went on a 10 week trip to the Rocky Mountains in 1896. They were brand new decks, not grubby old cards for poker playing with other miners.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 15th, 2017, 7:50 pm

David Ben, writing in Magicol #180 gives the following conditions for finding Erdnase to a factor of the 90% required by criminal law in the U.S.:

1) In Chicago in pre-1902 (E.S. Andrews was indeed in Chicago at that time.)
2) That his wife be related to Dalrymple (just now confirmed by Bill and Richard H.)
3) That a deck of cards be put in his hands (confirmed by Bill in the post above, and of such import that a newspaper wrote about it)
4) Not alive to renew the copyright in 1930 (E.S. Andrews passed away in 1922)

And as we all know, his is the name that simply reverses from E.S. Andrews to S.W. Erdnase.

Based on the above, with Bill and Richards confirmation of the relationship of Seely to Dalrymple, it would seem to be the first time that all of the requisite conditions applied by various Erdnase researchers over the decades have been met by a single candidate.

Congratulations to Richard Hatch and Bill Mullins (and David Ben for committing to a very early position on Andrews) for if not discovering the author of Expert at the Card Table, then advancing E.S. Andrews as a candidate to the point where one would seem to have to now prove that Andrews wasn't S.W. Erdnase rather than be obliged to prove he was.

Roger M.
Posts: 1244
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 15th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Edwin S. Andrews was related (by marriage) to Louis Dalrymple.

Credit to Richard Hatch for much of this research.


In all my years, I never thought I'd actually see a "smoking gun" as relates to Erdnase ... and yet Richard and Bill find one!


Return to “General”