ERDNASE

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Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 10th, 2017, 2:02 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:I'd welcome the specific references to the stylometry literature. Particularly since, again, Olsson has a table of the frequency of use of phrases containing personal pronouns on p. 51.

I am not seeing that table. On page 51 is a table for synonyms of 'learn', 'study', etc. No personal pronouns I can see.


I am referring to Table 5.3 on p. 51 of the 2008 edition of his book Forensic Linguistics (2nd edition, 2008). It includes statistics on phrases including "I", "he," "she," "we," and "they." I should have made it clear that I was referring to his textbook.

Read: D. L. Hoover, “Delta prime?,” Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 477–495, 2004, and D. L. Hoover, “Testing Burrows’s Delta,” Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 453–475, 2004.


Thanks for the references. But 24 hour rental on these papers is $42 each, so I'll take some time to get them through ILL.

"For example, if the document of interest is a novel written in third person, the distribution of pronouns will be radically different than that of a novel written in first person, not by virtue of an authorship difference, but simply from genre."


But we aren't comparing two novels written in different voices. We are comparing two books designed to give instruction to the reader (as I mentioned in the original discussion.) Erdnase uses the third person to refer to the reader, and Gallaway uses the second person. This isn't an issue of stylometry, it is an observation that the two writers, who are doing the same thing, do so in different linguistic styles.

However, the more fundamental problem is that function word analysis doesn't work for texts of such different subject and 25-30 years apart. Some authors do modify their style over time.


This is an argument against the analysis that Olsson did as well. If the author's style stays the same, you should be able to compare the works based on style. If it evolves, how do you account for it? As near as I can tell, Olsson's conclusions are based on the style being constant between 1902 and 1927.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 10th, 2017, 2:48 am

lybrary wrote:You have a completely flawed and incorrect understanding of what stylometry is and what it can do. What you have done is taken an author A (Gallaway), calculated some word frequencies, then taken the document/author in question X (Erdnase), calculated the frequencies of the same words, and then concluded that A is not equal X, or A is unlikely X, or some other statement about the likelihood of A being X.


What I have done is much simpler than that. I have shown that the author of Expert and the author of Estimating for Printers use language in different ways.

Either they are the same author, and there are reasons that they did so, or they are different authors. If they are the same author, two possible reasons for the difference in language are:
1. Authorial style changes over time. If this is the reason, I don't understand how Olsson controls for this in his analysis. Has he only measured time-invariant features? How does he know they are time-invariant?
2. The genre is different. Possible, but I tried to make sure that the facets of language I investigated would not obviously be sensitive to the topic of the work. If I had said, "Erdnase has a lot of words about fingers, and Gallaway has a lot of words about paper, they must be different authors", then this would be an obvious criticism. But there's no reason that I can see that the subject of card table artifice vs. printing would make a difference in addressing the reader in 3rd person vs 2nd person, or the relative usage of "that is," "i.e.," and "viz.", or whether the author refers to himself as "the writer" or "the author".

As far as "but for" and "[Erdnase] [transitive verb] "no" [object]", these strike me as examples of what Olsson called "markedness" in his text: "What we appear to have is simply an uncommon or unusual formulation rather than a non-standard one. [p. 51]"; and as such may be useful in analyzing text.

Here's another difference: the relative use of "center" vs. "middle". Gallaway uses "center" 16 times, and "middle" none. Erdnase uses "middle" over 50 times and "center" once.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 10th, 2017, 9:44 am

Bill Mullins wrote:What I have done is much simpler than that. I have shown that the author of Expert and the author of Estimating for Printers use language in different ways.

You are still not understanding the differences and challenges of the various methods used:

1) When you use function word stylometry you are dealing with a lot of noise and only a small signal. Take for example five works by Hoffmann, spread out over time and subject, and then calculate the function word frequencies in all of these books. What you will see is a fairly large variation in the frequencies of many function words, even though all of these books were written by Hoffmann. You can't just take a couple function words, note some variation, and then argue there is a difference. Of course, there is always a difference, even when you look at the same author. That is why one has to use many such words, often hundreds of them, to hope to be able tease out some signal from all that noise. And one always has to compare this against a group of authors, which you fail to do. Take your example with 'i.e.', 'viz', etc. and do the same analysis over a dozen other magic, gambling and print authors and then compare them. Unless you do that your numbers are meaningless noise.

2) When looking at books from two different subject areas, say magic and printing, you do not only have to account for obvious subject words, like your example of fingers versus paper, but you also have to account for industry and subject norms and phraseology. I haven't yet carefully looked at the use of synonyms, but some of the differences you noted could very well be caused by industry standards how things are typically called and not be a choice of the author. But studying synonyms is certainly an interesting area. I have shown that the use of single-/one- and double-/two- is more similar between Gallaway/Erdnase than between Erdnase and other magic and gambling authors. You always have to compare against other authors to get a sense of how significant that particular aspect is. You need to do that in your own examples otherwise they are meaningless.

3) The advantage of looking at rare words and phrases is that one sidesteps a lot of the noise problems, and high dimensionality problems function word stylometry has. With rare words the signal is large and their significance is much more robust against the influences of time and subject. The significance of each rare word can also be estimated. Olsson's Erdnase analysis is a mix of methods. He looked at usage patterns of rare words. He also looked at punctuation and conjunctions, but it is much more nuanced than simply calculating frequencies, setting up a high dimensionality space, and then trying to make a comparison in that space. He uses his sense for language and what he has learned over the decades is significant and what is not. He is not using computational stylometry.

4) Forensic linguistics and authorship attribution requires attention to detail, appreciation of nuances and subtleties. Small changes in any of the input parameters and boundary conditions can cause large changes in the results. Your approach so far is way too black and white, way too simplistic to be of any value. For example the influence of time is complex. Some authors can maintain their style over a long time. Others change it. The influence of different subjects can cause a number of things to change. Again, study the things you notice across a dozen other authors. That will give you an idea if you are looking at noise or if you have discovered a significant aspect. And even if you have found a significant aspect you then need to line up many of them to be able to formulate a strong argument against the already established findings by Olsson and myself that show that Gallaway writes much more similar to Erdnase than all other authors we have looked at.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 10th, 2017, 11:05 am

Bill Mullins wrote:This is an argument against the analysis that Olsson did as well. If the author's style stays the same, you should be able to compare the works based on style. If it evolves, how do you account for it? As near as I can tell, Olsson's conclusions are based on the style being constant between 1902 and 1927.

First of all, Olsson's analysis does not only look at style. The use of rare vocabulary doesn't have anything to do with style. The use of religious vocabulary in the prefaces of Erdnase and Gallaway is not an issue of style. It is an issue of background, how they acquired their vocabulary, what other books they were reading, what questions and subjects they were interested in. Very different from style. Some of his tests do include aspects of style, for example where he looks at certain conjunctions and conjunctions together with punctuation. But Olsson did carefully consider the impact of time. For example I remember a call where we were talking about punctuation and in particular the use of semicolons. One thought was to calculate the frequency of semicolons. Olsson noted that the use of semicolons strongly changed over time and is therefore not necessarily an author indicator, but simply reflects how the popularity of its use changed. In the 19th century semicolons were much more heavily used. Today it is quite rare to see them. That is for example why Olsson doesn't compare their use frequencies, which can be heavily impacted by how language changes over time, but he compares if the author used that feature or not. That aspect is much more robust over time.

That expert input and weighing of features and how they are evaluated is one of the important differences of a mechanic function word computational stylometry, where one simply dumps the text in at one end, and then hopes that some sensible result comes out at the other end, and an expert forensic linguist who has decades of experience, who thinks carefully about each feature and how it can or cannot be used.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 15th, 2017, 1:54 am

In Lybrary.com's most recent newsletter, Chris says
I was researching the company McKinney & Gallaway which is mentioned in an ad Richard Hatch sent to me. The ad appeared in 1903. There are also incorporation notices in the press about the same company in 1903. Some on the Genii forum argued that this wasn't Edward Gallaway but somebody else.

The "some" would be me; I brought up McKinney & Gallaway in 2008. The Secretary of State of Illinois reported on the incorporation in 1904 here. Note the discrepancy in the capital of the company; the newspaper item I mentioned in 2008 and the ad Chris reports say $2500; the Sec State report says $25,000.

Chris goes on to say
I found the incorporation and dissolution documents for the McKinney & Gallaway company which clearly show that the Gallaway mentioned in the company name is indeed the Edward Gallaway I am researching.


As much as I've criticized him and his theory in the past, it is appropriate now to commend him for putting to rest my earlier speculation. I hope he makes these documents available, as he did the McKinney bankruptcy documents.

The 1908 Lakeside City Directory for Chicago has in its listings:
JAMES McKINNEY CO.
Successors to McKINNEY & GALLAWAY CO.
Printers and Binders
We run our plant night and day
Tel. Harrison-3854
79-81 W. VAN BUREN STREET

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 15th, 2017, 12:17 pm

Documents will be added to my ebook over the next couple of weeks. I found one other set of incorporation and dissolution documents for another company Edward Gallaway was involved with. Details will also be added to my ebook. Here is something for you guys to discuss. I believe that these $1200 (about $30k in today's money) Gallaway invested in McKinney & Gallaway company in 1903 could very likely be the profit from selling the stock and plates of Expert.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 27th, 2017, 5:14 pm

Chris continues to put new thoughts about Erdnase and Gallaway into his weekly newsletter.

From last week (9/21/2017):
"There are of course other authors who use the word 'subterfuge'. There are also other authors who use 'hard luck'. But so far I have not found one that uses both, besides Erdnase and Gallaway"

If you go to HathiTrust advanced search, and search for "hard luck" [as "This Exact Phrase"] + "subterfuge" [as "all of these words"] in "Full Text", you get 23,000 volumes returned to you. 12,000 of them are "full view", so you can look at them in their entirety. To be sure, many of these are duplicates of the same work. But the co-location of these two phrases in Gallaway and Erdnase is a coincidence.

I expect that Chris would say, but what about "end for end"? Add that to the search and you still get 790 works.

Without some sort of statistical controls, I don't take the presence of semi-scarce words and phrases in both Gallaway and Erdnase to be more than interesting. If you give me two books of comparable sizes to these, I'm sure that I can find examples of several words/phrases that are relatively scarce in English in general, but that appear in both books. Yes, the odds of finding the exact terms in question in both may be small, even vanishingly small, but you also have to account for how many possible pairs of such terms there may be. When calculating the odds, as Chris has tried to do, the former would be in the denominator, the term that makes the coincidence seem unlikely. But the latter would be in the numerator, and Chris has failed to account for that.

From this week: A speculative discussion of how much money Erdnase made from the book, assuming he sold out soon after the first printing, and before Drake took over.

In it, he assumes that Erdnase sold the plates along with copyright. There has been mention of the printing plates for years while discussing the book and the author. I think the plates are a red herring. The first discussion I see of them is in Gardner's article for "True" Magazine in 1958. We know that John Conrad "spiced up" the article; I believe that the reference to plates is speculative on Gardner's part and Conrad printed it as fact, and that all other discussions since then grew from that.

I doubt seriously that Erdnase ever owned them. Even if he did, given that the book sold so poorly early on (it was essentially remaindered soon after publication), there would have been no reason to keep them. The only reason you would keep plates is if you thought you'd need to go back to press for later printings. But all evidence indicates that there wouldn't have been any expectation to do so. The plates would have been heavy, and they'd have required a place for storage. They would have been a cost to keep and store and move. On the other had, if the author "needed the money", they'd have been melted for scrap value.

But he probably never had them. I'd bet a reasonable amount that soon after the book was printed, McKinney melted them down and reused the metal for the next project.

It would have been simple for Drake, when they started printing new editions, to take an existing 1st edition and shoot new plates photographically. Something I'd love to do would be to take a 1st edition and several of the early Drake editions, and (carefully!) make transparencies at 100% scale of several pages throughout the book from each; and then overlay the transparencies to see how well they match. If the Drake pages are slightly smaller or larger, that would be strong evidence that they did in fact shoot new plates.

Here is a contemporary illustration of what a printing plate would look like.

Chris speculates that he would have been able to get $1000 for the plates + copyright. This seems incredibly high for a book is being remaindered so soon after publication. Consider this: he speculates that wholesale value of the entire print run is $500 (1000 copies for fifty cents each; those numbers seem reasonable and I won't argue with them). What printer/publisher in his right mind would pay $1000 for what represents the rights and ability to print future copies, when no one wants to buy existing copies at full retail price, and all the wholesale copies are only worth $500? That suggests you'd have to do at least two more print runs to come out even.

Later on, when Drake sold out to Frost, a market for the book had been established, it had remained in print and gone through several printings, and it may have made sense to keep the plates and transfer them to the new owner. But I think that the plates that were used in the Winter of 1901/02 were scrapped soon after publication.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 27th, 2017, 5:36 pm

Print run was likely higher than 1000. I have used what I think is the lowest amount that makes sense. More likely I think at least 2000 or 3000 were printed, although not necessarily all bound. With that you can change the numbers around if you do not like the example I gave. If you take a print run of 2000 you would get $1000 for the books and about $500 for the plates/copyright.

My starting point was the $1200 Gallaway invests in McKinney & Gallaway. I am speculating that this was his profit from Expert. However the break out in terms of copies and copyrights/plates, a total profit of about $1200 seems plausible to me, and that was the point I was trying to get across.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 27th, 2017, 6:09 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:If you give me two books of comparable sizes to these, I'm sure that I can find examples of several words/phrases that are relatively scarce in English in general, but that appear in both books.

Then I suggest you take a book of your favorite counter example Houdini. Let's take "Paper Magic" which is about the size of Gallaway's book in terms of number of words, and it also deals a lot with paper. Its first edition was published in 1922 not too far away from when Gallaway published his book. Please show us all the rare words and phrases that are the same with Erdnase, and then let's compare this to the situation with Gallaway and Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 27th, 2017, 6:50 pm

From approximately March of 2015 through to today, Chris has floated his candidate as Erdnase in a manner that could only be described as "desperate and very aggressive", with Chris responding to any perceived slight with anger.
Unlike discussion about other candidates ... the discussion around and about Gallaway hasn't been particularly pleasant.

In that time, I don't recall reading a single post in this thread that provides even rudimentary support for Chris's candidate.

At some point, a guy has to face up to the fact that he's a voice of one, and that much - if not all of what has been proposed as being in support of Chris's candidate has also be quite strongly rejected by those to whom the evidence has been presented.
Indeed, much of what Chris presents is simply a highly personal opinion wrapped up and presented as an unassailable fact.

I see the ongoing push from Chris in support of his candidate in two different ways. First I see it as a "good thing" in that it keeps this thread moving and alive - and may indeed (as Richard has alluded to in another post) bring about onging investigations bringing forth previously unknown candidates for the title of Erdnase, those new candidates to be investigated and put through the investigative rigors, and hopefully something factual coming to the surface.

Secondly though, I see the ongoing effort to "sell" Gallaway as Erdnase as simple desperation to remain relevant.
I don't expect Chris will let it go any time soon, but without a single knowledgeable and confirmed voice in support, the seeds of completely removing Gallaway from consideration as having written EATCT have to be seen as firmly planted.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 28th, 2017, 1:15 am

I definitely do not have a horse in this race, although I've followed the thread with interest. I do, however, believe in freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to espouse any view, however outlandish it might seem to others at the time, and as long as it is not hate speech or incitement to violence. I do not believe anyone should be silenced or stifle their right to express themselves at the behest of anyone else. It is noteworthy that many of the most illustrious explorers, innovators and inventors in the world were originally laughed at and scorned for the beliefs they held, and/or the hypotheses and theories they put forth, until...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 28th, 2017, 2:15 am

That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s got absolutely nothing to do with the contents of my post.
Chris is free to post as he sees fit to post, only the forum mods can influence that.

I’m equally free to dispute or otherwise question what’s posted, as others are free to dispute or otherwise comment on the contents of my own posts

That’s the function of an Internet forum, so I’m afraid your straw man that attempts to imply I suggest somewhere that Chris shouldn’t post is just that, a straw man.

Indeed the substance of my comments relates to Gallaway, and how he should be viewed in light of the evidence presented. If you choose to be offended on behalf of Gallaway, “OK”!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 28th, 2017, 9:13 am

Don Fraser wrote:Hello all. Lybrary mentioned Houdini's book on Paper Magic. I found the book in Google books as linked below. If you open the link and scroll down to page 104, I do believe you will find something of interest to yalls Erdnase mystery. It's what a linguistic forensic Investigator would identify as a "fingerprint".
-Donny

https://books.google.com/books?id=5hQLAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=houdini+paper&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjj7oTq2cbWAhWH4SYKHdGYDtcQ6wEIJjAA


Hi Donny, that's an interesting claim. Please quote the text in question and cite a reference for testing a quote for containing a "fingerprint".

"My cat walked around that page of the book twice last full moon so it has to be ..." kinda lost it back in high school history class when the teacher graded papers that way.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 28th, 2017, 10:09 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:If you give me two books of comparable sizes to these, I'm sure that I can find examples of several words/phrases that are relatively scarce in English in general, but that appear in both books.

Then I suggest you take a book of your favorite counter example Houdini. Let's take "Paper Magic" which is about the size of Gallaway's book in terms of number of words, and it also deals a lot with paper. Its first edition was published in 1922 not too far away from when Gallaway published his book. Please show us all the rare words and phrases that are the same with Erdnase, and then let's compare this to the situation with Gallaway and Erdnase.


I think that would be a waste of time on my part. I could take the trouble to edit a copy into a clean machine-readable format, make a concordance, search through it for words/phrases that stand out, compare that list to one for Erdnase and find common words/phrases, and reprint it here. And then you would find some reason to reject it, or say I've done it wrong, or say it doesn't matter, or otherwise discount it. That's what you've done with every other argument that shows that Gallaway was not Erdnase. You don't want to engage the subject, your mind is made up.

The best example of this is Marshall Smith's description of the author. When Smith's recollections match Gallaway, you score this in your candidate's favor. When they don't, you say Smith was wrong, or ignore it, or make something up to account for the disrepancy. For example:
Smith said Erdnase was about 40. Gallaway was 33. You say Gallaway was bald in 1901, making him look older.
a. There is no evidence that Gallaway was bald in 1901.
b. I suggest that baldness makes people look younger. See Patrick Stewart, for example, who looks much younger than 77.
Smith said that Erdnase came from the East, but Gallaway was from the midwest.
Smith said Erdnase was between 5'5" and 5'7". You analyze Gallaway to have been about 5'3" - a full 3 inches shorter, yet you state "we know . . . that Gallaway falls within Smith’s height recollections."
Smith said Erdnase had soft hands, "like a woman's". You don't address this, but Gallaway had spent his adult life to this point working in print production houses and circuses. While not full-on manual labor like ditch digging, these would have required a fair amount of physical effort, and it is unlikely his hands would have been this soft.
Smith did not think Erdnase was a Chicago man, but Gallaway was indeed a Chicagoan.
Smith said Erdnase claimed to be related to Louis Dalrymple. You decide, on no evidence whatsoever, that Erdnase really said "Gallaway".

Gallaway isn't much of a match to what Smith described. You say "There is nothing that offers any clear mismatch to the man Smith describes."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 28th, 2017, 11:35 am

Bill, you should study the Smith Gardner correspondence more carefully:

1) On height you need to remember that Gardner had his giant 6' 3" MFA which he needed to fit into Smith's memory. So Smith was defining the upper bound and Gardner tried to push him as high as he could. For example Smith writes: "He was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’6”. About my build, but not as tall." He goes on: "I would say he wasn’t over 5’6” and quite slight, toward the dainty type. I’m certain I looked down. I think this fellow was about 5’6”, at most 5’7”. Could be he was 5’5”." He never defines the lower limit because that is not what Gardner is interested in. My height estimations from the photos are estimations. They come with their own error margins. The two estimations, using two different methods, came out to be 5'4" and 5'2". If we add error margins of 2" my estimations cover the range of 5'6" to 5', clearly overlapping Smith's lowest number of 5.5". But how low would have Smith gone if Gardner would have pushed him low?

2) On age Smith writes: "He was about 40, “not over 45.”" When Gardner asked about age 31. "I would say he was several years older, nearer forty. Could be wrong." Smith himself writes "could be wrong", because he knows that age estimations are subject to errors. We do not have a photo of Gallaway from 1901 when he was 33, so strictly speaking you are correct, we do not know how Gallaway's hair looked like in 1901. But we do have photos from when he was 55 which shows him with classic male pattern baldness, the top of his head almost without hair. It is therefore plausible to assume that he had early onset of male pattern baldness which already showed during his 30s. One of my nephews has early onset of male pattern baldness and he is consistently misjudged as being about a decade older. You have to ask yourself how a younger person in their 30s looks with male pattern baldness, not how an old man looks without hair. I agree that for old people a bald head could help them look younger. But when you are in your early 30s it doesn't make you look younger if you have hair missing on the top of your head.

3) Not a Chicago man. We do not know on what observation Smith based this conclusion. Was it the way he dressed? The way he spoke? Anything else? He doesn't specify it. While Gallaway lived since about 1895 in Chicago he was all over the place before that, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, Wisconsin, who knows where he traveled to with circuses and during being a traveling compositor. So I would say that he was for the most part not a Chicago man at that time, because he only lived there for about 5 years. Additionally that was simply Smith's opinion. Doesn't mean that it was correct. Same thing with Smith's statement that he thought Erdnase came from the East. None of these opinions of Smith need to be correct.

4) Soft hands. The print industry is filled not only with folks who stand at the printing machine and get their hands dirty, or who do lots of manual labor moving paper, type, and plates around, but with a lot of 'desk jobs' where they would not get their hands dirty. If you study Gallaway's work history you see that he is for the most part not the laborer. Yes, he learned the printers trade when he was 15 but already with 17 he wrote editorials. And with 21 he started his own newspaper where he had to write a lot more. The years starting with about 1895 Gallaway is involved with a number of print companies where he is investor or director or superintendent or estimator or salesman. None of these require manual labor. Just to give you one example, in 1903 he invests $1200 in McKinney & Gallaway and is voted a director. Do you really think he will stand at the printing press or do any kind of manual labor? When he traveled with circuses around 1891-1894 he was the sideshow orator. Doesn't mean that he would be doing any manual labor. The orator would probably be in the advance group who parades or does other marketing and PR functions to get the people excited while others setup the circus and do the physical labor type of thing. With Gallaway's print history I would imagine he might also handle all the printed matter, playbills, tickets, etc. and negotiate with various local print houses.

5) Dalrymple. There is plenty of evidence and research that people's memory can be faulty. The one example I like to quote here is from the Unabomber case. The only eyewitness, who saw the Unabomber place one of his early bombs, described him in a first sitting with a sketch artist very accurately. So accurately that Kaczynski went into hiding for six years. 10 years later the eyewitness was asked again to sit down with a sketch artist and again describe how the Unabomber looked like. The remarkable thing that happened is that the person she described the second time around was completely different than the first time. She actually described the appearance of the first sketch artist. So somehow in her mind the looks of Kaczynski were replaced with the looks of the sketch artist. Why and how that happened I don't know, but it is a wonderful example how the mind can play tricks. And this is just 10 years after the event, certainly a much more important event for that lady than the meeting of Erdnase for Smith. And one would expect that the image of a face would be much harder to misremember than simply a name. It is therefore definitely possible that 45 years later Smith mixed up Dalrymple, the more famous illustrator, with Walter H. Gallaway. Again, you make it sound like this is completely impossible, and that the Dalrymple recollection MUST be true. It ain't so. Study the research on memory.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 28th, 2017, 11:47 am

That's a good find. As it happens, "(?)" and similar have a long history going back to inline annotations by copyists and marginalia.
Here's an example of a stylebook which recognizes the practice:
https://books.google.com/books?id=j_01A ... es&f=false
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 28th, 2017, 2:17 pm

Chris -- my point is not that Smith's recollection, or Gardner's reporting of it, was 100% accurate in all cases. It was that you are strongly biased when discussing it. In cases where Smith's memories match what we know about Gallaway, you assume him to be correct. In cases where they don't match, you either say he was wrong or restate what he actually said to make it match Gallaway. This is not an evenhanded way to look at evidence.

If Smith was a reliable reporter, we have to admit that there are things about his story that don't correspond to what we know about Gallaway. If, on the other hand, he was not reliable, then we shouldn't credit the similarities so strongly in favor of Gallaway.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 28th, 2017, 2:29 pm

Has it been established who ghostwrote PAPER MAGIC for Houdini? Walter Gibson? Gibson was only 5 when Erdnase was published, so he out, plus he's the one who led Martin Gardner to Edgar Pratt in the search for Erdnase saga. And when Gibson wrote Sid Radner's 1957 book HOW TO SPOT CARD SHARKS AND THEIR METHODS, he identified "James Andrews" as Erdnase...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 28th, 2017, 2:46 pm

@Roger M: "...Indeed the substance of my comments relates to Gallaway, and how he should be viewed in light of the evidence presented. If you choose to be offended on behalf of Gallaway, 'OK'!"

OK, my apologies, no offense intended, nor taken.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 28th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:Has it been established who ghostwrote PAPER MAGIC for Houdini?

I've seen it suggested that the dedicatee, John William Sargent, was certainly the editor and compiler, and most likely the actual author.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 28th, 2017, 3:21 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Chris -- my point is not that Smith's recollection, or Gardner's reporting of it, was 100% accurate in all cases. It was that you are strongly biased when discussing it. In cases where Smith's memories match what we know about Gallaway, you assume him to be correct. In cases where they don't match, you either say he was wrong or restate what he actually said to make it match Gallaway. This is not an evenhanded way to look at evidence.

If Smith was a reliable reporter, we have to admit that there are things about his story that don't correspond to what we know about Gallaway. If, on the other hand, he was not reliable, then we shouldn't credit the similarities so strongly in favor of Gallaway.

Bill, I have earlier on this thread explained in detail how I approach the Smith recollections. I don't pick and choose what fits Gallaway. I am using what has been learned from studying the mind when it comes to remembering things. The gist is the following. I believe Smith whenever he relates things which we can reasonably assume are unique experiences or if we have additional information which backs up his recollections. I don't believe Smith in things which could very easily have been replaced with similar later experiences or facts, and when Smith himself admits he isn't good remembering those things, like names, as he states himself.

For example, the "soft hands like a woman" was likely an experience he didn't have with other man. On top Erdnase does write about keeping your hands in good condition and soft. So that is an item I readily believe. Or take Smith's recollection that he was reluctant to accept the check and that it was #1. Back then it was unusual to pay by check, particularly in personal transactions. So this is something I feel fairly confident is correct because likely a unique experience for Smith. Or the place where he met, SE corner of State and Congress, because there indeed was a hotel at that very location at that time. I also believe that Erdnase showed him card tricks before he started to demonstrate the moves, because it is highly unlikely that any other client of Smith showed him card tricks before they got to work. I also believe his recollections with the board that Erdnase used, because Smith probably never saw that type of board before or since. So there are plenty of things I take as fact. I also believe Smith when he said that Erdnase was smaller than him because he had a direct measuring stick, his own height and was he looking up to him or down on him. But exactly how tall he was is only an estimate.

However, when Smith offers opinions, then these are his opinions and not facts. "Has impression he was not a Chicago man." Well, his impression may be true or may be wrong. Why should anybody accept this as fact? Estimating age is obviously an imprecise practice and himself admits that he could be wrong. Why should I expect that he is spot on with his age estimate, particularly if we have a reason to believe why his estimate could be significantly off?

And then we come to names. First, Smith himself admits he is not good with names. Many people have difficulties remembering names. A name is an abstract piece of information and can therefore be easily replaced in your mind with another name and you wouldn't even know it, just like the eyewitness of the Unabomber thought she saw a completely different man 10 years later. But I am not simply saying Smith's Dalyrmple recollection is wrong. I have good information that suggests he could very well be wrong, because there was another satirical illustrator who worked for Puck and other such magazines, right around the time when it matters (1901), whose name was the same uncommon name than the person I claim is Erdnase. So I have in the case of Gallaway solid evidence that provides an alternative explanation for that comment. If there wouldn't be Walter Gallaway the illustrator that works for Puck, then I agree, there wouldn't be any particularly good reason to assume Smith could have mis-remembered it. Smith was an illustrator and therefore he likely heard the name Dalrymple in lots of contexts and very easily somebody else could have told him that they are related to Dalrymple. This could then perfectly replace his Erdnase experience. That is one mechanism how false memories form - a factoid which fits in a prior mental spot and overlays the old memory - the satirical illustrator working for Puck - both Walter Gallaway and Louis Dalrymple fit that mental space. It is therefore definitely possible that the name Dalrymple replaced Gallaway after 45 years of not thinking about it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 29th, 2017, 5:00 pm

lybrary wrote:Bill, I have earlier on this thread explained in detail how I approach the Smith recollections. I don't pick and choose what fits Gallaway. I am using what has been learned from studying the mind when it comes to remembering things.

Yet all of the things you have confidence in support Gallaway, and all of the things you disbelieve and re-suppose with your own "facts" (he was bald as a younger man? he really remembered a different artist, one named Gallaway? that Smith's estimate of his height was too tall, and not too short?) also support Gallaway. What an amazing coincidence.

Back then it was unusual to pay by check, particularly in personal transactions.

Checking accounts were quite common in 1902; especially for business/professional transactions, which is what this was (not a personal transaction).

Or the place where he met, SE corner of State and Congress, because there indeed was a hotel at that very location at that time.

There was no hotel at the SE corner of State and Congress in 1902. The building which stood there was the Siegel-Cooper bldg, which held a saloon, stores and offices. This was worked out in some detail here on the forum in Sep 2015.

Why should I expect that he is spot on with his age estimate, particularly if we have a reason to believe why his estimate could be significantly off?

He was 29, and thought the author was 40 - 45. He thought the author was 10 or more years older than he was. You suggest that the author was 33, only 4 years older. We don't have to assume that Smith was "spot on" to think he could recognize the difference in age between someone who was significantly older than he was, to someone who was only a little older than he was.

I presume you are referring to baldness as the "reason to believe his estimate could be significantly off". There is no evidence that Gallaway was bald in 1902. The fact that he was so 22 years later does not mean he was bald as a younger man. (Do you have evidence to suggest that most 55 yr old men who are bald were bald at 33? I'm 55, and most of my friends who are my age and are bald were not bald 22 years ago.) In fact, there is reason to believe otherwise -- Smith's description. Gardner's notes say "blondish," not "baldish". If you are describing a man whom you believe to be 40 or so, and that man is bald except for blonde wisps, your description would focus on the baldness, not the color. His description was hair color, so Erdnase's head was hairy.

First, Smith himself admits he is not good with names.

He is being apologetic here for not remembering who the photographer was at the 1947 SAM convention (Irving Desfor?) -- not in reference to Dalrymple (about whose name he expressed no doubts). But in fact, he was good with names. He remembered, in the 8/21/51 letter, that it was Waldo Logan who did the card stab at that convention.

Many people have difficulties remembering names. A name is an abstract piece of information and can therefore be easily replaced in your mind with another name and you wouldn't even know it, just like the eyewitness of the Unabomber thought she saw a completely different man 10 years later. But I am not simply saying Smith's Dalyrmple recollection is wrong. I have good information that suggests he could very well be wrong,

The mere existence of another artist with another name does not "suggest" that Smith was wrong when he remembered Dalrymple.

because there was another satirical illustrator who worked for Puck and other such magazines, right around the time when it matters (1901), whose name was the same uncommon name than the person I claim is Erdnase. So I have in the case of Gallaway solid evidence that provides an alternative explanation for that comment. If there wouldn't be Walter Gallaway the illustrator that works for Puck, then I agree, there wouldn't be any particularly good reason to assume Smith could have mis-remembered it.

Assume for the moment that this line of thought is correct. E. Gallaway mentioned W. Gallaway, and some how Smith misremembered. What did E. Gallaway say? "I'm related to W. Gallaway." You think he'd have made this statement without also mentioning "we share the same last name"? If he'd said that, then Smith would have also remembered that the author's name was Gallaway. It would have all been reinforced by the check -- which also would have been signed "Gallaway".

You say Smith remembered Dalrymple because they were both artists. W. Gallaway was also an artist; that being the case, Smith would have been just as likely to have remembered that name if it were in fact the name that Erdnase reported; even more so, since it would have been reinforced by the check.

When you compare the two possibilities [(Erdnase said Gallaway, Erdnase was Gallaway, Smith misremembered Dalrymple) vs. (Erdnase said Dalrymple, Erdnase was not Gallaway, Smith remembered Dalrymple)] only the latter makes sense if you are using it to determine something about the author. The former just isn't as likely.

It is therefore definitely possible that the name Dalrymple replaced Gallaway after 45 years of not thinking about it.

But "possible" isn't "likely". If what Smith remembered was that Erdnase said he was related to Dalrymple, then the most likely thing to have happened was that Erdnase was related to Dalrymple.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 29th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:He was 29, and thought the author was 40 - 45. He thought the author was 10 or more years older than he was. You suggest that the author was 33, only 4 years older. We don't have to assume that Smith was "spot on" to think he could recognize the difference in age between someone who was significantly older than he was, to someone who was only a little older than he was.

A complete distortion of what Smith said and Gardner documented. Here is the quote: "Age 31. I would say he was several years older, nearer forty. Could be wrong." He says nearer forty when he is confronted with the question of age 31. Nearer forty means closer to 40 but not yet 40, say 37 or 38. But he also says "could be wrong". Why are you dismissing this? That is what Smith said, at least what Gardner reported he said. With Gallaway being 33 we don't even need any early hair loss. A 33 year old can easily look like 37 or 38. Have you never met anybody who looked older than they really were? And Smith admits that he could be wrong. Rather than nearer 40 he may be mid-30 perfectly matching Gallaway's age. How can this be a discrepancy?

Bill Mullins wrote:Assume for the moment that this line of thought is correct. E. Gallaway mentioned W. Gallaway, and some how Smith misremembered. What did E. Gallaway say? "I'm related to W. Gallaway." You think he'd have made this statement without also mentioning "we share the same last name"? If he'd said that, then Smith would have also remembered that the author's name was Gallaway. It would have all been reinforced by the check -- which also would have been signed "Gallaway".

Who says Edward Gallaway introduced himself with his real name? Gallaway may have used E.S. Andrews as his cover identity. There is also the possibility that the Dalrymple comment was simply a false lead Erdnase planted to throw off anybody who would like to trace him. Or perhaps Smith conflated the Dalrymple comment with some other meeting and Erdnase never uttered it. All possible scenarios. The Dalrymple comment stands alone as a single fact, not backed up by anything else.

There is another major problem with the Dalrymple comment. I gather you also like to believe that Erdnase's real name was E.S. Andrews (the reverse spelling of S.W. Erdnase) Richard Hatch has tried to use these two names to find Erdnase. The Louis Dalrymple family tree is online at Geni.com https://www.geni.com/people/Louis-Dalry ... 2347133771 The family tree already includes several thousand people. All gathered by diligent folks who research their family. There is no E.S. Andrews among them. To any objective researcher this means that either Dalrymple wasn't related to Erdnase, or his real name wasn't E.S. Andrews, or both.

Bill Mullins wrote:But "possible" isn't "likely". If what Smith remembered was that Erdnase said he was related to Dalrymple, then the most likely thing to have happened was that Erdnase was related to Dalrymple.

Life does not always run the 'most likely' path. Was it likely that Gallaway the learned printer spent 3 years working at circuses?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 29th, 2017, 6:51 pm

lybrary wrote:There is another major problem with the Dalrymple comment. I gather you also like to believe that Erdnase's real name was E.S. Andrews (the reverse spelling of S.W. Erdnase) Richard Hatch has tried to use these two names to find Erdnase. The Louis Dalrymple family tree is online at Geni.com https://www.geni.com/people/Louis-Dalry ... 2347133771 The family tree already includes several thousand people. All gathered by diligent folks who research their family. There is no E.S. Andrews among them. To any objective researcher this means that either Dalrymple wasn't related to Erdnase, or his real name wasn't E.S. Andrews, or both.


Chris, as I have communicated with you privately, that Dalrymple family tree is incorrect as regards his maternal line. It does not correctly list his maternal grandparents and beyond, which is the line of interest to me at present.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 29th, 2017, 6:55 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:Chris, as I have communicated with you privately, that Dalrymple family tree is incorrect as regards his maternal line. It does not correctly list his maternal grandparents and beyond, which is the line of interest to me at present.

Then you should provide your data here why you believe it is wrong. You haven't shared that data with me privately so I don't know on what you are basing it. But more importantly you should contact the person on Geni who maintains that portion of the tree. I have contacted three people from the Dalrymple tree and they all have been very forthcoming and helpful.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 29th, 2017, 11:39 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:He was 29, and thought the author was 40 - 45. He thought the author was 10 or more years older than he was. You suggest that the author was 33, only 4 years older. We don't have to assume that Smith was "spot on" to think he could recognize the difference in age between someone who was significantly older than he was, to someone who was only a little older than he was.

A complete distortion of what Smith said and Gardner documented. Here is the quote: "Age 31. I would say he was several years older, nearer forty. Could be wrong." He says nearer forty when he is confronted with the question of age 31. Nearer forty means closer to 40 but not yet 40, say 37 or 38. But he also says "could be wrong". Why are you dismissing this? That is what Smith said, at least what Gardner reported he said.


The quote you mention was from Smith's letter to Gardner in 1950. Gardner's notes from his initial interview in 1946, which are earlier and before Gardner tried to influence Smith towards accepting the 31-year old MFA, and thus represent what would be more accurate memories, say "He was about 40, 'not over 45.' " (See Gardner-Smith Correspondence, p. 7).

I did not distort what Smith said and what Gardner documented, and shame on you for saying that I did.

Bill Mullins wrote:Assume for the moment that this line of thought is correct. E. Gallaway mentioned W. Gallaway, and some how Smith misremembered. What did E. Gallaway say? "I'm related to W. Gallaway." You think he'd have made this statement without also mentioning "we share the same last name"? If he'd said that, then Smith would have also remembered that the author's name was Gallaway. It would have all been reinforced by the check -- which also would have been signed "Gallaway".

Who says Edward Gallaway introduced himself with his real name?

Actually, Erdnase (who wasn't Gallaway) introduced himself as "Andrews". G-SC, p. 8 (Gardner speaking): "When I said Andrews, [Smith's] face lighted up and he was sure that was it."

Gallaway may have used E.S. Andrews as his cover identity. There is also the possibility that the Dalrymple comment was simply a false lead Erdnase planted to throw off anybody who would like to trace him. Or perhaps Smith conflated the Dalrymple comment with some other meeting and Erdnase never uttered it. All possible scenarios.


For a non-native speaker of English, you are very fluent. But there's an idiom with which you may not be familiar -- "rectal extraction." It means you've pulled something out of your ass. That's the only way to describe what you are saying. We have an eye-witness, who actually met Erdnase, who has detailed memories of the occasion. But you reject that, and make stuff up. The only justification for doing that is the things you've made up support Gallaway. This is why I keep saying that you fudge all the evidence.

The Dalrymple comment stands alone as a single fact, not backed up by anything else.


And yet is is supported by much more than your suggestions that Erdnase actually spoke of Walter Gallaway.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 30th, 2017, 12:00 am

lybrary wrote:
Richard Hatch wrote:Chris, as I have communicated with you privately, that Dalrymple family tree is incorrect as regards his maternal line. It does not correctly list his maternal grandparents and beyond, which is the line of interest to me at present.

Then you should provide your data here why you believe it is wrong. You haven't shared that data with me privately so I don't know on what you are basing it. But more importantly you should contact the person on Geni who maintains that portion of the tree. I have contacted three people from the Dalrymple tree and they all have been very forthcoming and helpful.


Happy to post what I know here. Perhaps someone can push his maternal line in the proper direction! As I emailed you on 8/2/15:

I've just contacted the person who maintains that Louis Dalrymple site. Alas, I suspect he may be in error as he lists Adelia Seeley's sister as Mary Matilda Shotwell, whereas I have her sister's name as Emma F. Seeley (she married George D Gould in Henry County, Illinois in 1861. Of course, it is entirely possible that they had other sisters who did not move to Illinois with them, and I am hoping he can confirm this... But I suspect he has the wrong Adelia Seeley in his family tree...

Alas, I never heard back and they never corrected the listing...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 30th, 2017, 12:06 am

Bill makes the important point in his post above.

We know that Smith met Erdnase.

And because Smith's recall of Erdnase doesn't include anything of substance that would point to Gallaway, Chris has to discount or reinterpret everything Smith writes or says to make it fit Gallaway.

From a practical standpoint, we have absolutely no incentive to discount anything Smith said or wrote to Gardner with regards to his memories of Erdnase.
Smith didn't demonstrate senility, or being predisposed to lying, or any other "trait" that might inspire folks to question the accuracy of his comments.

Indeed, the most basic KISS principle leads us, if not forces us to simply take what Smith said about Erdnase as his honest and accurate memory of an event from decades before.
I'm 60, and I can clearly recall a great many things with extraordinary accuracy from 40 and 50 years ago. We all can, and as long as we remain healthy, we all do.

To discount parts of Smith's comments on Erdnase, and then to twist other parts of Smith's recall of Erdnase in order to advance a discounted theory about Erdnase's identity seems disingenuous.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 30th, 2017, 10:07 am

Bill Mullins wrote:"He was about 40, 'not over 45.' "

"About 40" isn't 40-45 as you stated. About 40 can easily be 38 or 37, too. Yes, you did intentionally distort the facts as they are recorded, because you are very well aware of them yet you keep misrepresenting them. Everything Smith said points to a much lower age boundary than you make it out to be. He also said "could be wrong". That means one has to allow a few years up or down from what he stated. Estimating age can easily be off by a few years. All of that means that the age of 33 is well within Smith's recollection. Those are the facts. Accept them.

Bill Mullins wrote:Actually, Erdnase (who wasn't Gallaway) introduced himself as "Andrews". G-SC, p. 8 (Gardner speaking): "When I said Andrews, [Smith's] face lighted up and he was sure that was it."

I am considering the fact that Erdnase may have introduced himself as Andrews a real possibility which does not exclude Gallaway, because it could very well be a cover name. When Gallaway played poker in confederation with his brother in Fort Payne he very likely adopted a pseudonym to not reveal his relationship to his brother. The confederacy would have been exposed quickly otherwise.

Bill Mullins wrote:For a non-native speaker of English, you are very fluent. But there's an idiom with which you may not be familiar -- "rectal extraction." It means you've pulled something out of your ass. That's the only way to describe what you are saying. We have an eye-witness, who actually met Erdnase, who has detailed memories of the occasion. But you reject that, and make stuff up. The only justification for doing that is the things you've made up support Gallaway. This is why I keep saying that you fudge all the evidence.

Thanks for expanding my vocabulary, but I don't find it unlikely that somebody who possibly used a pseudonym to introduce himself to Smith may have dropped another name (Dalrymple) to plant further false information. It is one of the possibilities to consider. It is also possible that Smith mixed this comment up with some other meeting or incorrectly recalled the name. You are very narrow minded. You don't seem to be able to hold different possible scenarios in your mind at the same time. I am simply showing the range of explanations for the Dalrymple comment. If the Andrews and Dalrymple names were literally true we should have found an E.S. Andrews in the Louis Dalrymple family tree by now. I mean how many years is the name E.S. Andrews being peddled as having a relationship to Dalrymple? Ten? Twenty? I don't know when Richard Hatch first introduced him, but he is mentioning him in his 1993 Magic article. That is almost 25 years ago! And you still want to claim he is related to Dalrymple when no relationship has been found to this date?! Give me a break. And you suggest I bend facts? Really?

As to Smith's power of recall keep in mind that:
- He doesn't even remember his own correct age which he gives as about 25 when he was indeed 27 when he met Erdnase.
- He said it was SE corner of State and Congress when you just reminded us that there was no hotel there. Again an error.
- "Although Smith must have seen him on several occasions, he can recall only one meeting, ..." Why can't he recall? Has he forgotten?
- He says "could be wrong" and "It may be imagination. I have a good one at times."

Please do read up on how false memories form and how people forget. They typically do not know that they wrongly remember something, they will swear that is what they saw, even when it was totally wrong. That doesn't mean that everybody will forget everything. Many people do remember many things for a long time or for their entire life. But unfortunately many also do forget and even more problematic remember things incorrectly. I didn't make this up. Police, investigators, the courts struggle with this all the time.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 30th, 2017, 10:15 am

Richard Hatch wrote:Perhaps someone can push his maternal line in the proper direction!

I hope you mean with 'proper' the factual correct direction. Otherwise you would be suggesting to bend facts to match E.S. Andrews. I take from your comment where you write 'I suspect' that you are not certain of the relationships you have documented as they relate to Dalrymple.

Richard Hatch wrote:
I've just contacted the person who maintains that Louis Dalrymple site. Alas, I suspect he may be in error as he lists Adelia Seeley's sister as Mary Matilda Shotwell, whereas I have her sister's name as Emma F. Seeley (she married George D Gould in Henry County, Illinois in 1861. Of course, it is entirely possible that they had other sisters who did not move to Illinois with them, and I am hoping he can confirm this... But I suspect he has the wrong Adelia Seeley in his family tree...

Alas, I never heard back and they never corrected the listing...

Can you list your primary sources? From which sources did you put together the various relationships? Perhaps you can link to them or let us know where you found them.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 1st, 2017, 2:59 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:"He was about 40, 'not over 45.' "

"About 40" isn't 40-45 as you stated. About 40 can easily be 38 or 37, too. Yes, you did intentionally distort the facts as they are recorded, because you are very well aware of them yet you keep misrepresenting them. Everything Smith said points to a much lower age boundary than you make it out to be. He also said "could be wrong". That means one has to allow a few years up or down from what he stated. Estimating age can easily be off by a few years. All of that means that the age of 33 is well within Smith's recollection. Those are the facts. Accept them.


It takes a special aptitude for math to see the range 40 - 45 and decide that 37 or 38 is in that range, and then to further decide that 33 is close enough that the difference is negligible.

When Gallaway played poker [1] in confederation with his brother [2] in Fort Payne he very likely adopted a pseudonym [3] to not reveal his relationship to his brother.

Count the rectally extracted "facts". There is no evidence that Gallaway knew how to play poker; no evidence that his brother played, or that they ever teamed; and no evidence he adopted a pseudonym. The only parts of that statement that have any relationship to truth are that Gallaway lived in Ft. Payne, and that he had a brother.

Go through The Hunt for Erdnase and strike out every "we can assume", "it is likely that," "it is possible that," "could be"; strike all the suppositions and conclusions; then take out all of the "facts" for which the only evidence is Chris's fervent wish that it were so. Not much left.

I don't know when Richard Hatch first introduced him, but he is mentioning him in his 1993 Magic article. That is almost 25 years ago! . . . And you suggest I bend facts?


Richard's article was in the Dec 1999 issue of Magic. Who's the fact bender?

As to Smith's power of recall keep in mind that:
- He doesn't even remember his own correct age which he gives as about 25 when he was indeed 27 when he met Erdnase.


Gardner says Smith said he was "about 25". From your analysis above, we know this means he was anywhere from 18 to 42. 27 falls within this range; his memory was fine (and seriously, we don't know that he didn't remember his correct age, just that he didn't tell it to MG -- it could have been that he was being coy, or just didn't feel the need to be specific.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 1st, 2017, 10:18 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Richard's article was in the Dec 1999 issue of Magic. Who's the fact bender?

That is not bending, that is a typo in my records, but it doesn't change the fact that almost two decades have passed with no family relationship found between E.S. Andrews and Dalrymple, yet it is still being presented as 'very likely' that they are related. On what reasoning? The spelling of the family name isn't even the same!
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 1st, 2017, 12:55 pm

The evidence for Edwin S. Andrews being related to Dalrymple (both having ancestors named Seely/Seeley, both from New York) is much stronger than the evidence that Erdnase said "Gallaway" and Smith misremembered it as "Dalrymple".

You put "very likely" in quotation marks. Can I ask whom you are quoting?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 1st, 2017, 2:14 pm

Those are quotes for emphasis. I am not quoting anybody in particular, but it is a summary sentiment gathered from posts here as well as private emails I have received. 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.

If I would use the same standards you are espousing then I could say Walter H. Gallaway is likely related to Edward Gallaway. They both spell their uncommon second name identical. They both come from Indiana. Walter H. Gallaway spent significant time there. Edward Gallaway's father is from Indiana, having served in an Indiana regiment during the civil war. Aunts and uncles of Edward Gallaway lived in Indiana. He worked for a year in Indiana to typeset at a German newspaper. And he managed the sideshow of a 1896 county fair in Indiana. So clearly both have strong roots there, both have spent time in Indiana, and both have the same uncommon name. This is better 'evidence' that they are related than has been presented regarding Dollie Seely and Adelia Seeley where you have a spelling difference. Yet I write in my ebook "Walter H. Gallaway does not appear to be related to Edward Gallaway". My standards are much more conservative.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 1st, 2017, 2:22 pm

lybrary wrote:Those are quotes for emphasis. I am not quoting anybody in particular, but it is a summary sentiment gathered from posts here as well as private emails I have received. 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.

Until Dalrymple's maternal (Seeley) grandparents are identified, all we can say is that no relationship has been established. It is neither likely nor unlikely, simply unknown at this point.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 1st, 2017, 2:33 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:Until Dalrymple's maternal (Seeley) grandparents are identified, all we can say is that no relationship has been established. It is neither likely nor unlikely, simply unknown at this point.

Given the difference in spelling I would say it is more likely that they are not related. It seems the E.S. Andrews case is built on a great many unknowns. The more unknowns the stronger his case becomes, at least so it seems, based on the commentary here.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 1st, 2017, 2:44 pm

lybrary wrote:As to Smith's power of recall keep in mind that:
- He doesn't even remember his own correct age which he gives as about 25 when he was indeed 27 when he met Erdnase.

Regarding Smith's age when he met and sketched Erdnase, most assume the book's illustrations were completed shortly before the book went to press in February 1902. Of course, it could have been written and illustrated much earlier. We just don't know. So Smith's recollection of "about 25" could well have been correct. I tend to agree that it was likely illustrated shortly before going to press, and based on Smith's recollections of meeting Erdnase at a cheap hotel on the east side of State street (he is sure about that part of the location, "he thinks it was on the SE corner of Congress and State", indicating uncertainty on that point) on a "bitter cold winter day", we assume it was the winter of December 1901 (David Alexander checked Chicago weather records and pinpointed what he feels was the exact date of their meeting!). Smith turned 29 on December 10, 1901, having been born on December 10, 1872 (the mistaken age of 27 was published in my page about Marshall D. Smith in the Gardner-Smith correspondence, dated September 25, 1999, but corrected with an errata sheet sent to purchasers, dated November 30, 1999, thanks to Bill Bowers locating and sharing with me both Smith's Death Certificate and 1900 Census, which agree on the 1872 birth. I had obtained the 1874 date from the Illinois Social Security Death Records).
We also don't know how long after the manuscript and illustrations were completed that it took the author to have it published. He may have tried to sell the manuscript to a publisher, such as Jamieson-Higgins (which might explain why S. W. Jamieson filled out the copyright application, rather than someone at McKinney) and, failing that, decided to self-publish. How long would it have taken a printer to set the type, create the plates, print and collate the pages, and bind the book? Any experts on 1902 printing out there? I'd love to have a realistic estimate on this. Although Smith only describes his initial visit with the author, when interviewed by Gardner, he "thinks the job took him about two weeks". When Gardner met with Smith (December 1946), it was at least 45 years after his work for Erdnase, whom he never saw again. So it is not surprising that when interviewed by Gardner, certain details would be uncertain. But there are troubling aspects to his recollection. For example, "he recognized his lettering on the book pictures [Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.], but not the drawings themselves. He thinks it strange that he can't recall doing the drawings, which must have been a big job, so probably did them from photographs." It is not clear whether the latter speculation came from Smith or Gardner and whether it was prompted or spontaneous (Gardner knew about Vernon's recollection of seeing a photo illustrated book on card cheating submitted to the Canadian copyright office. David Ben has identified this as Ritter's book on Advantage Play, finding the corresponding entry in the Canadian copyright office records). Gardner later wrote that Smith was surprised by the number (101) of illustrations, having thought he only did 20-30. These recollections could be reconciled if there were two (or more) illustrators or if the illustrations were (as speculated) traced from photos. But that is not what the title page claims.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 1st, 2017, 2:52 pm

lybrary wrote:
Richard Hatch wrote:Until Dalrymple's maternal (Seeley) grandparents are identified, all we can say is that no relationship has been established. It is neither likely nor unlikely, simply unknown at this point.

Given the difference in spelling I would say it is more likely that they are not related. It seems the E.S. Andrews case is built on a great many unknowns. The more unknowns the stronger his case becomes, at least so it seems, based on the commentary here.


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.

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.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 1st, 2017, 3:02 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:
lybrary wrote:We also don't know how long after the manuscript and illustrations were completed that it took the author to have it published. He may have tried to sell the manuscript to a publisher, such as Jamieson-Higgins (which might explain why S. W. Jamieson filled out the copyright application, rather than someone at McKinney) and, failing that, decided to self-publish. How long would it have taken a printer to set the type, create the plates, print and collate the pages, and bind the book? Any experts on 1902 printing out there? I'd love to have a realistic estimate on this.


Considering that an entire newspaper was typeset and proofread in a day, the typesetting, proofreading, and corrections could have been done in a few days. Expert is not a long book.

Printing might have taken a month. When I started publishing in 1978, it took eight weeks for my printer to produce abook. Now it takes three weeks because far fewer books are being printed. I would imagine that more books were being printed in 1902, just as there were many more magazines with large circulations in the millions, like Century and The Mentor. So printing could have taken anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.

The machines were also slower back then, I believe, and that goes for binding as well. My not-so-educated guess would be from turning in the manuscript to the publisher/printer to receiving the finished book it could have taken between 6 to 12 weeks.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 1st, 2017, 3:21 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:How long would it have taken a printer to set the type, create the plates, print and collate the pages, and bind the book? Any experts on 1902 printing out there?

I have looked into this and spoken to experts who have had hand on experience on similar Miele printing presses as the ones used by James McKinney & Co. The worst case scenario is hand composition (back then they already had the Linotype, Monotype and Ludlow machines) by a single person. Per the experts estimate, which I have checked against Gallaway's own data from his estimating books, it would take a single typesetter about a month to set Expert. Making plates, printing and binding are much faster, a few days in total, assuming machines are available and there is not a bottleneck created by other work. So it really comes down to composition. If two or three typesetters work together you can cut these times down accordingly. If one of the typesetting machines was used the time also gets a lot shorter. For a rush job one could probably do it in two weeks. I think about a month is a good estimate.
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