ERDNASE

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Roger M.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 27th, 2017, 5:15 pm

.....Indeed they'd be chewed to bits from non-stop handling of sharp metal pieces.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 27th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:So then, since he set type manually, his hands wouldn't be the velvety-smooth described by Smith to Gardner . . .

Roger M. wrote:.....Indeed they'd be chewed to bits from non-stop handling of sharp metal pieces.

Hahaha! That is too funny. You have no idea about typesetting. You abrade your skin more from playing card edges. Don't forget in your blind opposition to Gallaway, that there is a 12 year gap when Smith met Erdnase and when Gallaway stopped working as typesetter.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 27th, 2017, 8:57 pm

I'm not a young man Chris, and I've seen lots of typesetters hands.
Back in the day when government documents were printed daily when government was in session, and long before the advent of desktop printing.
I worked in government, and the hands of the guys I saw at the "Queens Printer" were pretty beat up.

It's often hard to respond to your posts without implying that you're either misinformed, representing yourself as an authority on something you aren't an authority on, or you're simply advancing untruths to further your personal agenda.

Whatever your folly, people who work with their hands on or around heavy machinery don't have baby soft hands that seem as if the owner puts lotion on them regularly - as Smith clearly recalled.

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magicam
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » October 28th, 2017, 1:36 am

lybrary wrote:
magicam wrote:The other problem with Chris' theory is that he's assumed that Gallaway exclusively (or at least primarily) set type by hand. But is there any evidence that this was indeed the case? By the time Gallaway was working as a typesetter, Linotype machines were in widespread use throughout the US, and even the smaller print shops that couldn't afford a Linotype machine would ship out copy to be set by Linotype and returned in galley form for layout.
Not at all the case. The time during which Gallaway did work as typesetter was from 1883-1889. The Linotype machine was invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1884 but it took until 1886 to have the first working model finished. It took several more years for the machine to spread around the country to be used in the way you describe. Once the Linotype machine was in widespread use Gallaway was already superintendent, proprietor, director, estimator, ...

My mistake, Chris. I erroneously thought that Gallaway did the bulk of his typesetting work in the 1890s.

lybrary wrote:Hahaha! That is too funny. You have no idea about typesetting. ...

I think I know a little about typesetting, but knowing your tendency to argue to the death even points that clearly undermine a favored theory, before my earlier post I spoke with six friends/acquaintances about the wear and tear on their hands. All of them have been composing and printing by hand for many years (in most cases decades), and what I wrote earlier came straight from them. The other thing they noted: when they work with oil-based inks, the solvents they use for cleaning leave their hands rough and dry. In essence, they didn't think it was really possible for a manual typesetter's hands to remain "soft and feminine."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 28th, 2017, 2:20 am

Chris also neglects the wear and tear that working in a circus would put on your hands. Even if Gallaway was a barker during "Showtime," when it came time to move from city to city, it was "all hands on deck." He would have been raising canvas and pulling ropes just like everyone else.

When Gallaway worked the Warren County Fair in 1896, one of the other acts was a boy juggler named Frank Mortimer. I suspect that this is him.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Marquardt » October 28th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: Even if Gallaway was a barker during "Showtime," when it came time to move from city to city, it was "all hands on deck." He would have been raising canvas and pulling ropes just like everyone else.


He wore gloves, maybe?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 29th, 2017, 10:21 pm

I brought this up on one of my blogs a couple of years ago, and somewhat in my Rethinking S.W. Erdnase, and I don’t think anyone every tried to dispute anything about it. I thought I might mention it here.

I think most would agree that a reasonable estimate of the specific date of publication of The Expert at the Card Table would be March 8, 1902. To me that date is not set in concrete, because I am left wondering what proof of actual publication there might be apart from the forms and paperwork. A broader statement would be that any date from (say) February 15 to (say) March 10 could be considered within a reasonable range. To some degree this would depend on the degree to which Erdnase followed all the technicalities relating to copyright.

We know that the book existed in March 1902. And okay, let’s assume that it was "published" during that month.

But that does not mean that Erdnase unleashed his marketing program around then, or that he distributed the book in any meaningful way at about that time.

Here is part of what I said in a blog post back in September 2015, somewhat revised:

So, now I will tell a fairy tale.

Let’s say Erdnase is at McKinney’s, and let’s say that the binding is being done somewhere else, and it will take a week or so to finish, but McKinney for some reason has 10 or so copies that he hands over to Erdnase. So Erdnase says, “Hey, send a couple of these to the Copyright Office for me, okay?” And McKinney puts a couple aside and mails them that afternoon.

So Erdnase now has 8 copies of the book, and he says to McKinney: “Jim . . . you don’t mind if I call you Jim, do you? I want you to have a copy of this book.” And he hands a copy to McKinney.  Then he hands one to McKinney’s brother. Then he hands one to Edward Gallaway.

So now, get this. According to this fairy tale, Erdnase has second thoughts about taking on the chore of distributing the book. He has all sorts of family matters to attend to, maybe a sick relative somewhere distant.

So the next day he goes back to McKinney and asks him to please hang on to the rest of the books for a while. Erdnase says he will pick the books up in August. McKinney agrees.

True to his word, Erdnase returns in August and picks up a batch of the books. His first stop after this: The Sphinx office, where he gives a copy to Hilliar. Then he heads over to Vernelo and sells a bunch of copies to them. Hilliar’s mention of the book appears in the September issue of The Sphinx, and the Vernelo advertisement appears in the November issue.

That’s the end of the fairy tale.

Most would say, “That’s ridiculous.”

But which is the bigger fairy tale — the one immediately above?

Or the one that it seems just about everybody accepts, namely that the book was published routinely in February or March and went into general distribution then — and yet the first evidence of that did not appear till about six months later?

I don’t know the answer to that.

Again, I’m not addressing here what the legal formalities of “publish” or “publication” might be. I’m just addressing the question of when Erdnase seriously began distributing the book.

In short, I do not think we know when Erdnase actually began distributing the book seriously.

A related and better question is whether the delayed distribution (if such it was) has any implications for the candidacy of any of the candidates.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 29th, 2017, 11:50 pm

A copyright date could have preceded the actual distribution of the book by many months. Even an ad appearing in a magazine is no guarantee that the book was actually be shipped on that date. It could have been months later.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 30th, 2017, 12:51 am

Two deposit copies were received at the Copyright Office in Washington, DC on March 8, 1902. Assuming they were sent from Chicago, then at least two copies were off the press March 6th or earlier. That's about all we can say with any certainty, though it seems likely the author would have had more than those two copies printed and no reason to delay distribution. Still, it is strange that no mention of it is made in the Sphinx till six months later, the September 15, 1902 issue. And not advertised as available from Vernelo (publishers of The Sphinx) until the November 15th issue. I generally take this as a sign that the author wasn't part of the local magic community, or he would likely have pushed sales in that direction earlier, but that is only one possible interpretation...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 30th, 2017, 1:47 pm

It's interesting to speculate on what was going on in 1902 with the book. It says "Published by the Author". I've always taken that to mean that it was essentially the equivalent of a modern book that had been printed by a Vanity Press. Erdnase paid McKinney and once the books were printed and bound, it was Erdnase's job to sell them.

Did McKinney deliver several cartons of books to Erdnase? Did Erdnase try and sell them at retail level to individual purchasers, hoping that good word-of-mouth would be sufficient advertising? Supposing he did so -- If he tried that for a few months, and realized that he wasn't selling them very well, that would explain the delay in advertisements appearing from other vendors, and the eventual "remaindering" of copies from 1903 onward.

My own belief is that Erdnase sold them individually during 1902. Somehow, William Hilliar got a copy by Sep of that year and mentioned it in The Sphinx. Maybe he bought one directly from Erdnase, but since he didn't say where the book could be bought, I suspect that he saw another person's copy but didn't know where to get refer readers to buy one for themselves.

I think that by the following autumn, Erdnase got fed up with how difficult it was to sell books. Vernelo has an ad for them (at full price) in the Nov 1902 Sphinx. And then, based on discounted price ads, about Jan 1903 Erdnase started wholesaling batches of them to either one vendor, who then broke out lots to other retailers, or he sold batches of them to several retailers.

Atlas started selling them in Feb 1903 in Chicago (see ad in Feb 1903 Sphinx, and ads in Police Gazette in March), and Mahatma started in that same month in New York City. By Sept of that year, Atlas also has advertisements in Billboard for the book (again, at a discounted price).

In Aug 1903, the book shows up in the Publishers Trade List Annual Supplementary Index, and is listed as being published by Drake. So I think by now, Erdnase has wholly washed his hands of selling the book. He made some sort of deal with Drake where they got publishing rights, and all remaining copies of the first edition (note, however, that Stanyon's in England was still offering "original edition" copies well out into 1906). By 1905, their supply was running low enough that they decided to print new editions (hard and soft cover). As I've said elsewhere, people assume that they bought the plates in addition to the rights to the book, but I tend to think (and am willing to be shown otherwise) that they simple shot new plates from an existing copy of the book. For them to have gotten the original plates, they would have had to have gotten them from either McKinney (unlikely, given McKinney's bankruptcy), or Erdnase (which also strikes me as unlikely -- what vanity author wants the plates to his book?)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 30th, 2017, 1:57 pm

Don Fraser wrote:Originally the author started selling the book for $2.00 in 1902 and the next year it dropped to $1.00 and he sold the rights. Although the author did not renew the copyright.(Wikipedia/The Expert At The Card Table)

I have a problem with that Wiki statement above. How exactly do we know "all that"? Because according to the Drake books with "copyright" dates of 1902, Drake was advertising the sale of The Expert for $1.00. The image below comes from Josephine Stafford's 1902 book, Patriotic recitations and readings:

Image


Don -- although the book you link to and quote from above (Patriotic Recitations) is copyrighted 1902, it is a later edition. The Drake Catalog in the back that advertises EATCT also has an ad for Hodgson's Low Cost American Homes, a book which is copyrighted 1905. So the scanned copy of Patriotic Recitations is a more recent edition.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 30th, 2017, 4:23 pm

Hi All,

I guess that what we are talking about at the moment, boiled down, is as follows:

1. What the reasonable theories are that would explain what might be referred to as the "six-month gap" between (a) the manufacture of the book and (b) the earliest evidence that copies were being distributed in any meaningful way.

2. What the impact of this gap is with regard to authorship theories.

As to item 1, I suspect that Bill Mullins’s theory, stated a couple of posts up, is the best theory, and the theory most likely to explain accurately the facts (though people might disagree on certain little details).

That raises the question of “how likely” it is that Bill’s explanation is correct. I suspect that the likelihood of that broad picture being accurate is somewhere between 40 percent and 95 percent. But I’m not really sure. If I had to pull a figure out of my hat, right now, I might guess that 75 percent is about right.

As to point 2, regardless of what the explanation is, the delay has a highly negative impact on the candidacy of certain people whose names have been forwarded. Two examples that come immediately to mind are Roterberg and Hilliar. Both of these guys had enough going on in terms of magic connections and the publishing world, that it is almost (but not quite) unthinkable that they would not have figured out something effective to do with the book, regardless of whatever emergencies might have delayed distribution for the typical candidate. In other words, those guys would have recognized the need for a salvage operation very early in the game. It would not have taken them until September or so to decide that something was wrong.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 30th, 2017, 4:54 pm

Something that I believe has not yet been discussed here, which I only stumbled across myself in early August while preparing my presentation with Jason England on Erdnase for Magic Live, is the probable connection between Vernelo and McKinney. On the page of the Sphinx where they advertise (for the first and only time from them) The Expert, there is also an advertisement for another book, In the World Celestial by T. A. Bland. This is a book of little to no interest to magicians (it is a romance novel involving spiritualism), the primary clientele of both Vernelo and the Sphinx. It is, however, a book that was in stock at McKinney in large quantity according to their bankruptcy records, and it looks very much like first edition copies of The Expert. My speculation is that after Hilliar, in his last issue (September 1902) as editor of the Sphinx, mentioned The Expert, without giving any ordering details, some readers, such as Adrian Plate in New York, contacted Vernelo to obtain copies. Initially, they were put in touch with McKinney (Plate's copy in the Houdini collection at the Library of Congress gives McKinney as the source), but when sufficient interest was shown (and orders lost to Vernelo!), Vernelo got in touch with McKinney to obtain copies for resale. Either they were then also talked into taking the Bland novel ("you can have copies of Erdnase if you also take copies of Bland...") or some copies of Bland were accidentally included with the copies of Erdnase, and they were advised to try to sell them rather than simply return them. Since neither book was ever advertised by Vernelo in subsequent issues, sales apparently didn't encourage re-ordering. Much of this is speculation on my part, of course, but I do think the fact that Vernelo advertises two books presumably printed and sold by McKinney in the November 1902 issue makes it very likely that Vernelo obtained copies of both from McKinney, rather than the authors of either book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 30th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Richard -- have you taken any steps to get the copyright application for Bland's novel? (would that require an in-person visit to the Library of Congress?)

I wonder if it is in Jamieson's handwriting.


Don Fraser wrote:What is your take on the S.W.E. Shift when the text states verbatim "our initials used" to give it a name?


Don --
First, that isn't "verbatim": the quote reads "We have not dubbed the following process with our initials because we wish to appear "big on the bills," but merely to give it a name."

Second, when the author says "our initials", I take it to mean that he, the author, S. W. Erdnase, is using his initials ("S W E") to name the sleight. David Alexander went through some gyrations about "shifting" the initials from SWE -> WES to support the candidacy of W. E. Sanders. I suppose that is possible, but that was an argument that I didn't find persuasive. I think the author is but one person who is using the Editorial We, and "our" shouldn't be taken to refer to more than one person; and since I tend to believe the reversal/anagram explanations for the pseudonym, I think that the real person who wrote the book and assumed the name Erdnase also had the initials SWE (although not necessarily in that particular order).

Note that this isn't the only place he named something after himself. He also speaks of the "Erdnase System" in reference to Blind Shuffles, Blind Riffles and Cuts, Stock Shuffling, Cull Shuffling, and Palming, and of two methods of "The Erdnase Shift".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 30th, 2017, 6:46 pm

It's a terribly obvious thing to say (and I almost feel guilty for saying it), but as his name wasn't Erdnase, he didn't really name anything at all after himself.

It does make one wonder what on earth he was planning to do with his chosen pseudonym "Erdnase" though?
In his use of that name beyond simply being the author of the book, taking the use of "Erdnase" and the initials S.W.E. into the realm of naming numerous sleights after "himself", it seems he could have had (future?) intentions for "Erdnase" beyond simply authoring the book?

(Unless David Alexander has had it right all along, and those uses of S.W.E. and the assorted Erdnase sleights within the book are indeed intentional clues left by the author for the benefit of the curious sleuths among us).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 30th, 2017, 7:48 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Richard -- have you taken any steps to get the copyright application for Bland's novel? (would that require an in-person visit to the Library of Congress?)

I wonder if it is in Jamieson's handwriting.


I haven't looked into it. That would be interesting, though the first edition was published in 1901 and may not have been printed by McKinney (though the publisher, Plymouth Publishing in Chicago, may, as you have noted privately to me, had some connection to McKinney).

Anyone in the DC area care to make a trip to the Copyright Office to check?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 30th, 2017, 7:50 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Second, when the author says "our initials", I take it to mean that he, the author, S. W. Erdnase, is using his initials ("S W E") to name the sleight. David Alexander went through some gyrations about "shifting" the initials from SWE -> WES to support the candidacy of W. E. Sanders. I suppose that is possible, but that was an argument that I didn't find persuasive.


Bill--I wonder why you don't find Alexander's argument persuasive. Both initials are identical with the exception of the "S" shifted to the other side. That makes sense since the maneuver in question is a shift.

Demarest pointed out in his article that Sanders frequently identified himself with the initials W.E. It's interesting that throughout the book, Erdnase employees the same two letters when referring to himself.

The printer's error "Charlies Pass" for the Charlier pass in the Legerdemain section is an interesting peculiarity. Sanders had a tendency in his cursive handwriting to make his end "r" look like an "s". Working from a handwritten manuscript, the typesetter could have mistook that "r" in Charlier for an "s"--if he was working from Sanders' manuscript.

Do typesetters work from handwritten manuscripts? If not, did they at one time?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 30th, 2017, 8:09 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: I tend to believe the reversal/anagram explanations for the pseudonym, I think that the real person who wrote the book and assumed the name Erdnase also had the initials SWE (although not necessarily in that particular order).


Richard Hatch pointed out that what I said above would rule out reverse anagrams such as E S Andrews (initials ESA). He's right; credit me with staring too long at a computer today. I think the author's name was E. S. Andrews, or an anagram thereof; the initials SWE come from his pseudonym and not necessarily from his authentic name.

Roger -- I agree with what you are saying. The author, the real guy, didn't name anything after his real name. But to the extent that S W Erdnase was his name for the purposes of the book, within that book he did name sleights and systems after "himself".

Leonard -- "I wonder why you don't find Alexander's argument persuasive." Because it feels contrived (I know, an odd criticism to make in a thread where every thing is contrived . . .). It feels like an argument tacked on after you've come up with W. E. Sanders for other reasons, and want to make him fit. "Hmm. The initials are SWE, my guy is WES. If I just shift the letters once in the cycle, they get to SWE -- and there's an SWE Shift in the book!"

In other words, if you read the book without having W. E. Sanders in mind, it seems like a huge unsuggested leap in an arbitrary direction to say "The name of this sleight tells me to take the author's initials and scramble them to WES." Why shift them to WES? Why not shift them to ESW? Is there a person named E. S. Wanders running around in 1901? Or SEW? Or WSE? The text doesn't tell me to do that. (And I'm not saying that Alexander was being dishonest -- if it told him to do that, good for him. It's just not persuasive to me.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 31st, 2017, 9:24 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Richard -- have you taken any steps to get the copyright application for Bland's novel? (would that require an in-person visit to the Library of Congress?)

I wonder if it is in Jamieson's handwriting.

What would that tell us? If there are other copyright forms in Jamieson's hand then he was the designated form filler. That wouldn't change anything. If there is a form with other handwriting then perhaps they had more than one to fill out these forms. That wouldn't change anything either. One would need several such forms, and only if all but the one for Expert are in different handwriting than Jamieson's, only then would you have new information telling us that Jamieson must have had some special relationship with Erdnase.

Before I found the James McKinney bankruptcy forms I looked for such copyright forms. I did not do an exhaustive search but I tried to find the forms for a few McKinney printed books without success.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 31st, 2017, 9:54 am

When I asked the question, I didn't realize that there was an earlier edition than the one that was most likely printed by McKinney (scroll back to the front cover of this 2nd edition; it is in green cloth with the title printed in gold, like first editions of Erdnase). Since the copyright was registered with this first edition, the odds of Jamieson having filled out the form are slim (unless Plymouth Publishing was some how tied up with McKinney and Jamieson).

The answer won't prove anything, and the question isn't particularly important. But if you pull on a lot of strings, sometimes something unravels. Jamieson was involved (peripherally) in the production of Expert, so he's a string. I've found another copyright document from an earlier book (1900) that appears to be in his handwriting, from another Chicago publisher. I'm trying to get scans of the file. It may lead nowhere.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 31st, 2017, 3:31 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Jamieson was involved (peripherally) in the production of Expert, so he's a string.

I actually think he was more intimately involved than generally stated here on the forum. I have a theory that I am not yet ready to share, but it would explain a key question.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 31st, 2017, 3:38 pm

lybrary wrote: I have a theory . . . .


So did Miss Ann Elk.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » October 31st, 2017, 6:57 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Do typesetters work from handwritten manuscripts? If not, did they at one time?

I believe that typewriters were in common use around the turn of the 20th century, so Erdnase's book could well have been in typescript, in which case it would seem unlikely that a compositor would mistake the "r" for an "s." But in that era, I wouldn't be surprised if Erdnase's text was handwritten (perhaps the text was cobbled together on the road?) and typeset therefrom.

"Charlies Pass" could be a compositor error, but if the type for Expert was set by hand, and if the "lay" of the type cases followed tradition for English type, then the location of the "s" box isn't even close to the location of the "r" box (the lower case "s" is three rows up and one column over from the lower case "r"), thus making it unlikely that a compositor would absentmindedly pull from the wrong type box. But that doesn't rule out an instance of "foul case," i.e., when type was distributed an "s" was inadvertently put in the "r" box, so when the compositor pulled from the "r" box he pulled the foul case "s" and didn't catch it.

If the type was set by Linotype, a typing error seems unlikely because the "r" is two rows down from the "s" on the Linotype keyboard (although both letters are in the 2nd column in from the left-hand side of the keyboard).

In the hand press era (ca. 1450 to ca. 1830), type was always set from manuscript for first editions, although it might have been from a "fair copy" manuscript (i.e., not the author's original manuscript, which could be very messy, but from a handwritten copy of the final draft, perhaps in a more legible hand). For later editions of a book, type was often set from an earlier printed edition, with perhaps annotations to the printed text to provide revisions.

The corruption of an author's manuscript text in the course of printing and publishing is legion, and interestingly we see that problem in 1722 in Henry Dean's Whole Art of Legerdemain.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » October 31st, 2017, 9:31 pm

Or auto-correct? (of the human variety...)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 31st, 2017, 9:39 pm

Thanks Magicam! Not sure I understood the typesetter technical explication, but from your response, it is clear that the typesetter for The Expert could have indeed been working from the author's handwritten manuscript.

Your last paragraph also made it clear that throughout the history of printing, typesetters have misread the original manuscripts they worked from.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 1st, 2017, 2:58 am

Hi Leonard,

Here’s the upshot on the more technical stuff: if the Expert typesetter was working from Erdnase’s typescript, then I think it more likely that the erroneous “Charlies Pass” came from Erdnase, i.e., it wasn’t a mistake by the typesetter.

You noted that Sanders’ cursive "r" could look like an "s". Let’s assume that’s true, and also assume that Erdnase wouldn’t have made such a careless spelling mistake, i.e., he would have correctly written “Charlier Pass” for his book. If these two assumptions are correct, this may suggest then that Erdnase’s book was typeset from a manuscript, because in the case of a typescript, it’s unlikely that a typesetter who read “Charlier Pass” in the typescript would have mistakenly substituted an “s” for an “r.”

Perhaps it’s been discussed before, but how many blatant errors like “Charlies Pass” are in Expert? I would think that if Gallaway were the author, such mistakes would have been more likely to be caught at the proofreading stage. However, in the case of an absentee author (i.e., not Gallaway), such mistakes might have been less likely to be caught.

Clay

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 1st, 2017, 6:55 am

I think there are several lists of mistakes in The Expert at the Card Table, and I suspect that the best one is in Marty Demarest’s edition (or editions) of the book.

Clay makes a particularly good point about mistakes being more easily spotted by the author than by anyone else. But it occurs to me that the fact that there are relatively few mistakes in the book might suggest that the book was proofread by the author. I don't think I had thought about that argument before.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 1st, 2017, 11:58 am

Something I am putting up for discussion: We know that Edward Gallaway was very much interested in religious questions. His daughter-in-law said so directly: “He wasn't a religious man but he had a lot of books on all religions and was very well read on the subject.”

In a German bible from 1899 - the old testament was already published in 1894 ("Textbibel des Alten und Neuen Testaments", Emil Kautzsch, Karl Heinrich Weizäcker) one can read: "da bildete Jahwe Gott den Menschen aus Erde vom Ackerboden und blies in seine Nase Lebensodem; so wurde der Mensch ein lebendiges Wesen." Basically it says that god mad the human from earth (Erde) and blew life into his nose (Nase).

Don't know if this might have anything to do with the Erdnase name, but wanted to get some reactions.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 1st, 2017, 12:30 pm

And since we are on the subject of the name S.W. Erdnase here another observation for discussion. S.W. Jamieson, the one who filled out the copyright form for expert, was in 1902 a publisher but in the 1910 census already a farmer. He later moved to California and farmed Avocados. Exactly when he became a farmer is not clear, but it could have been right after Jamieson-Higgins went bankrupt in 1903. A farmer has a lot to do with soil and earth. Similar like the English expression "green thumb" the German "Erd-Nase" could express that somebody has a 'nose' for 'soil'. In other words is good with planting things.

On this website http://www.labbe.de/zzzebra/index.asp?t ... hemaid=244 I found this comment: "Du kannst auch deine Nase in die Erde stecken: Meistens riecht Erde süß." Which recommends that you literally put your nose into the soil and smell it. It often smells sweet.

Since both initials S.W. are the same for Jamieson and Erdnase, isn't it possible that S.W. Erdnase refers to S.W. Jamieson one who was interested in and good with planting stuff? Of course, we know that S.W. Jamieson was too young (about 21) - at least if one believes Smith. What if he was perhaps a student of the author of Expert, or a very good friend, or perhaps even more than that, couldn't have the author of Expert somehow honored his student/friend/... by using a pseudonym which referred to him?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 1st, 2017, 12:53 pm

^^^ Chris, my reaction is that you raise an interesting point re "erde" and "nase." But for it to be a potentially significant point, I'd want to know that Gallaway actually possessed such books.

Tom, re mistakes being more easily spotted by the author than by anyone else, I suspect we could divide them into two general classes: those that would normally be spotted by any proofreader (e.g., punctuation and grammatical errors, and the misspelling of common English words), and those that would require more technical or specialized knowledge (such as knowing that "Charlies Pass" should have been "Charlier Pass"). It seems to me that the latter category would have required the author's proofreading.

So the question I'd have is what portion of the known mistakes in Expert fall into each class? The answer to that question might allow us to do a bit of oddsmaking on how much the author (vs. a general proofreader) played a role in proofing his text.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 1st, 2017, 2:08 pm

As an author of 40 years, I would say that mistakes are LESS likely to be spotted by the writer than by proofreaders.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » November 1st, 2017, 2:12 pm

would an author be more likely to catch a typo when skimming through the book for corrections?

my limited published oeuvre suggests, no.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » November 1st, 2017, 2:29 pm

It depends more on the person than if he is the author or not. In general I agree with the above, because the author becomes 'blind' to his own errors. And after first writing the manuscript and then perhaps reading it a few times authors don't have the energy to proof read it again in detail. But I have worked with some very meticulous authors and they do find most of their own errors. So it really depends on what type of person Erdnase was.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 1st, 2017, 5:28 pm

In looking at the above comments (regarding proofreading) by Clay, Richard, Brad, and Chris, I think all of the remarks make sense, even though in part some statements may seem to contradict others.

It’s fairly well-known (at least, it’s not a secret) that someone in New York (that is, not Professor Hoffmann) did the initial proofreading of Hoffmann’s Latest Magic. Later, Hoffmann found a number of mistakes that had been missed. (I think this all is dealt with by Hoffmann in probably multiple letters to editors, listing errors.)

In my own books, I am usually quite obsessive in my proofreading, and they have very, very few mistakes. One of my proofreading methods is to make a pen-mark by or on every word. It’s hard to miss typographical errors when using this method, though it takes forever. (This is a modified version of a method I learned about in a Cyril M. Kornbluth short story, “The Little Black Bag.”)

Some of the mistakes that get past me are the kind which I could read fifty times and not notice.

Of course, I treat different writings in different ways. On my blogs, I am not necessarily super careful in proofreading, since I can easily make changes at any time. But once a book is printed, it's printed. On my Genii-forum posts, I am normally extremely careful. Before I post this, I will have (a) run a spell-check on it, (b) read carefully the "preview," and (c) had my computer read it to me out loud. If anything survives that, fine!

Overall, if I had to guess, I would say (regarding the Erdnase proofreading):

(a) the typesetter was the first line of defense, and probably corrected any mistakes he noticed, regardless of kind (though much of Erdnase reads something like Greek, and there were likely few if any non-grammar [including spelling and punctuation] mistakes that he would have noticed); and

(b) Erdnase proofread the entire thing (and maybe even mostly went through each sleight according to his instructions, in an effort to make certain they "worked").

Dickens started A Tale of Two Cities with, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . .”

I suppose we can say, “The author is the best of proofreaders, the author is the worst of proofreaders . . . .”

Sorry to get all literary.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » November 1st, 2017, 6:03 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:As an author of 40 years, I would say that mistakes are LESS likely to be spotted by the writer than by proofreaders.


And as someone who did proofreading for a living (ugh) for a decade or so I would heartily agree with that.

................................................................................................................

PS - Also, based upon said professional experience, it is very much not the typesetter's or printer's job to correct what they perceive as mistakes. The copy says "Charlier", you print "Charlier".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » November 1st, 2017, 8:08 pm

Hi All,

Concerning the “P.S.” in the previous post, I quote the following from my 2015 book Rethinking S.W. Erdnase. I have placed in boldface some of the more relevant portions:

One of the topics I have long found of interest is that of the role of printers (of a century or more ago) in seeing to it that the final, printed product was acceptable, even when it flowed from a substandard manuscript. Regardless of the writing skills of an author, a printer was often expected to convert the writer’s work into something that was well-written.

As to Erdnase, even if his manuscript was a shambles, still the printer, or those in the printer’s employ, could have made his book into what it was. The compositor and the printer’s proof-reader were sometimes expected to do a fair amount of what we might call “copyediting.” In The American Bookmaker, November 1892, in an article entitled “Proof Reader and Author,” on page 139, it is said (regarding proofreaders—apparently the proofreaders employed by printing houses):

Authors and literary men have at best only a faint idea of the value to them of a first-class reader. The literary salvation of an overworked editor is in the hands of the reader. Yet what thanks or kudos does the latter get? None at all. Bad manuscript, worse punctuation, unhappy choice of terms, haphazard paragraphing and a thousand and one other blemishes go to the proof reader for correction, and it may be remarked here, once for all, that a strict definition of proof reading includes none of these things.

A proof reader’s business “is to verify by copy and not to edit;” but, little by little, the carelessness or ignorance of authors, the lack of time or laziness of editors, have made it imperative that in addition to his typographical knowledge the proof reader shall possess a thorough knowledge of English, a nice conception of the relative value of terms, an acquaintance with literature which in any other position would be deemed wide, an intimacy with the whims and peculiarities of several dictionaries and a smattering of dead and living languages. Nor is this all that is frequently required of a reader in a large house of any repute. Were it possible to mention names the writer could give facts which would be a revelation to the reading public.


As I understand it, “to verify by copy” means to check the printed proof against the “copy” (generally, the manuscript). And in theory, a “proofreader” would not correct perceived mistakes in the copy (but might well draw attention to them). In keeping with this, typesetters were typically expected to set the type without deviation from the copy. Sometimes they would be expected to correct obvious errors. But, as is clear from the quotation above, in practice, at least in some circumstances, the printer would improve upon the original copy, and I suspect that often this resulted in a published work that was significantly different from the original.

What does all of this mean regarding Erdnase? Maybe Erdnase was a solid writer—one whose writing clearly needed no editing. But here is the problem: we don’t know whether the book in its pre-publication form needed editing or not. We can say that the printer, or his staff, may have improved the manuscript substantially.

I realize that the foregoing quotation addresses the proofreading process. But it is my impression that, although the typesetter in theory was required to adhere to the copy, in practice, common sense often prevailed, at least during the era in which The Expert at the Card Table was printed.

Also, in a blog post a long time ago, I discussed an advertisement of The Gothic Printing House, a company with which James McKinney was connected at around the time of the advertisement. They advertised: "Catalogs, Pamphlets and Advertising Booklets are our specialty–We make them typographically correct.” (I substituted a dash for a fleuron.) In my post, I said the following:

The key part is the bit about “typographically correct.” This could mean one of two things:

1. We lay the project out according to the highest artistic standards, or

2. You can submit a manuscript to us that is a complete shambles, rife with every type of error in spelling, grammatical construction, and general appeal, and we will make all necessary corrections.


I lean toward the second meaning, or a combination of 1 and 2.

In any event, it would not be at all surprising if McKinney carried over to James McKinney and Company a lot of the methods and theories that had been applied at The Gothic Printing Company.

Certainly the advertisement shown above is comparable in style to that of the cover of the first edition of The Expert at the Card Table, in its use of fleurons and spacing.

Boiled down, this supports the concept that the printer was capable of shaping Erdnase’s manuscript, even if it was in need of significant work.

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is that the typical post here is not a full-fledged and scientific exposition. And, yeah, I might be wrong on any or all of the foregoing, but now you know some of the basics on which I relied.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » November 1st, 2017, 8:44 pm

Tom Sawyer wrote:Hi All,

Concerning the “P.S.” in the previous post, '''
the printer was capable of shaping Erdnase’s manuscript, --Tom Sawyer


A full service printing house, as opposed to just a jobber, would employ proofreaders to look over the writer's work before it goes to the actual printer/compositor/word processor/whatever the technology might be. The proofreaders would make sure - within limits - that the writer's copy is correct in grammar & spelling; pretty much anything beyond that, proofer circles the problem area and draws a line out to a big ? in the margin. The most a proofreader would do is write, e.g., "Should this be 'Charlie's?'"

Things might have been different in nineteen oh whatsis, I don't know, I slept through the History of Proofreading class @ university.

But I thought the Erdnase book's printer was some sort of very bush league jobber anyway? (Apologies if that's incorrect, I haven't read all the posts in this thread.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 2nd, 2017, 12:00 am

Proofreading, a series of essays by Horace Teall. Published by The Inland Printer, 1899, in Chicago.

Teall wrote a column on proofing for The Inland Printer.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 2nd, 2017, 1:40 am

Tom Sawyer wrote:It’s fairly well-known (at least, it’s not a secret) that someone in New York (that is, not Professor Hoffmann) did the initial proofreading of Hoffmann’s Latest Magic.

I was ignorant of that tidbit (or perhaps I should say “titbit” in honor of the Professor!), and find it fascinating. Thanks for that, Tom.

I think most of us can agree that a good chunk of Expert is highly technical, yet interestingly the secrets are conveyed in fairly plain language, i.e., someone reading Expert can actually understand the English words at first reading, unlike, say, a doctoral thesis on quantum mechanics. So far as that point goes then, if Erdnase’s original manuscript was decently written, it might not have been a difficult book to “proofread.”

So why use “proofread” in quotes? Because our modern sense of proofreading is very different from the traditional roles played by printers in the hand printing era. At least until the very early 1800s, it was assumed by authors that compositors (typesetters) would “normalize” their text. Such “normalization” included adding punctuation, correcting spelling, capitalizing words, and breaking sentences into paragraphs, among other things. In addition to actually setting the type, the compositor was essentially what we’d now call an editor.

I have not studied in depth the compositorial practices of the 19th century, but from what little I’ve read, the compositor as editor role was still a significant factor in 19th century book publishing, a point which would appear to be supported by the excerpt Tom quoted from The American Bookmaker in 1892:

Authors and literary men have at best only a faint idea of the value to them of a first-class reader. The literary salvation of an overworked editor is in the hands of the reader. Yet what thanks or kudos does the latter get? None at all. Bad manuscript, worse punctuation, unhappy choice of terms, haphazard paragraphing and a thousand and one other blemishes go to the proof reader for correction, and it may be remarked here, once for all, that a strict definition of proof reading includes none of these things.

A proof reader’s business “is to verify by copy and not to edit;” but, little by little, the carelessness or ignorance of authors, the lack of time or laziness of editors, have made it imperative that in addition to his typographical knowledge the proof reader shall possess a thorough knowledge of English, a nice conception of the relative value of terms, an acquaintance with literature which in any other position would be deemed wide, an intimacy with the whims and peculiarities of several dictionaries and a smattering of dead and living languages.[/b] Nor is this all that is frequently required of a reader in a large house of any repute. Were it possible to mention names the writer could give facts which would be a revelation to the reading public.

The author’s manuscript “blemishes” described in The American Bookmaker would have been exactly the same, and the role of the compositor exactly the same, back in 1692 and 1792. Here is an excerpt from Joseph Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises on the Whole Art of Printing, published 234 years ago (the text of which I’ve modernized a bit for easier reading):

It is necessary that a compositor be a good English scholar at least, that he know how to spell English words, that he have so much sense and reason as to punctuate his sentences properly and capitalize words, and know when (to render the sense of the author more intelligent to the reader) to set some words or sentences in italics …

When one compares Moxon’s words with the words in The American Bookmaker, it seems that little had changed. In other words, compositors in both 1683 and 1892 were accustomed to having to clean up an author’s crappy writing.

So, as Tom aptly put it, “What does all of this mean regarding Erdnase?” Well, until we hear from someone who has studied and is well-versed in ca. 1900 book printing and publishing practices in the U.S., and possibly even regional practices such as where Expert was published, and possibly further the practices of McKinney’s shop, we have no clue what, if any, “proofreading” was done for Expert, and who might have done it. But based on that American Bookmaker quote, and older, traditional compositorial practices in the U.K. and U.S., it seems reasonable to acknowledge the possibility that Erdnase’s original text was in considerable need of (what we’d now call) editing, and that such work was considered a part of the compositor’s job when doing the typesetting.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » November 2nd, 2017, 6:09 pm

could charlies be the result of someone who had heard it pronounced (char-lee-ais) but just didn't know how to spell it correctly? (char-li-es)

perhaps our earth nose doesn't know how to properly parse parley vous?


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