ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 19th, 2017, 11:26 am

Roger M. wrote:When Erdnase shifted from his general prose in EATCT to highly technical descriptions of moves, he left any and all semblance of "eloquence" behind.

You don't know what eloquence means. Eloquence does not mean colorful language. Eloquence means a certain command of language, clarity of language, being articulate. Even though Erdnase's technical sections are not colorful, they are precise and clear - in other words they are eloquent.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 19th, 2017, 12:04 pm

Oh Chris ... give it up.
Although insults seem to be your forte, they are simply too weak to have any effect.

I'm a pretty smart guy, and indeed I know what "eloquence" means - but enough about me.

Please try to take a breath, and not take others making headway with a candidate different than your own as personally as you obviously are.
You already know that everybody else who posts to this thread thinks Gallaway is an extremely weak candidate, if he's even still a candidate at all.

That folks are continuing to develop other candidates should come as no surprise to you.
I guess the point of order might be that, when folks simply disagree with you - that doesn't equate to an insult ... and most definitely doesn't require an insult in return.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm

lybrary wrote:... they are precise and clear - in other words they are eloquent.


Anyway...

No, that means they are "precise and clear"

Eloquence in speaking or writing (by definition) means the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion.

A workmanlike description of an in-jog as per Erdnase is definitely "precise and clear", but it is in no way designed to elicit strong emotions, or in any way persuade you or encourage you ... it is simply designed to inform you.

It may be "very well written", but it is not instantly eloquent by definition (or because you choose to say it is).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » October 19th, 2017, 2:15 pm

lybrary wrote:Comparing a poem to prose makes no sense. Erdnase didn't write his book in verse. Two completely different genres. The remarkable thing with Erdnase is that he wrote a highly technical book very eloquently. Show me a technical article by Sanders that displays that kind of eloquence. Gallway's books are also very technical, yet he displays similar eloquence, word and phrase usage.


Based on education and experience, I must disagree. While they are two different genres they are not so different as to be mutually exclusive. The language and style used in a poem does provide evidence of the vocabulary available to, and the eloquence and even panache of an author. It is unreasonable to assume that an author would not consider all the tools and abilities at his disposal when writing in any genre.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » October 19th, 2017, 4:51 pm

Applying Occam's razor, any chance the italicized a is simply the result of having run out of the regular ones?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 19th, 2017, 10:15 pm

lybrary wrote:Nevertheless, even in these merely 3000 words you still find the spark of Erdnase:

"There is not a “catch” in any problem in this book ..."
"In some of the problems there are “stunts” which may seem unfair to the student ..."
"The student who gets help in the solution of any problem in this book, or who copies his answers from others, is deceiving no one but himself."
"They do not represent the inflated price of the idealist who preaches one price during convention week and then goes out and sells his product at any price he can get for it."
"...bringing the amount to an even figure and avoiding the split nickel"
"His lack of suitable equipment is no fault of his customer—that is his hard luck."


I don't see any spark of Erdnase in these Gallaway lines Chris. Sorry. Where is the Erdnasian humor? The facetious language? The dialect that minorities use? I see way more of Erdnase in Sanders' writings than in these passages.

You made some rather sweeping statements about Sanders' writing skills that were dead wrong. I would wager that you never read Marty's September 2011 Genii article on Sanders.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 2:04 am

Tom Sawyer showed up in the thread a few posts back (Hi Tom!).

He's blogging again, as well -- check the link in the signature of his post. And follow on through to his ebay page where he's listing his new book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » October 20th, 2017, 2:45 am

Jack Shalom wrote:Applying Occam's razor, any chance the italicized a is simply the result of having run out of the regular ones?
Jack, see the image below. Note that the 'a' slants the wrong way; not only that, but its width is appreciably exaggerated compared to the other type (especially the letters in the italicized 'The'). Just my opinion, but it sure seems the use of this very odd 'a' was purposeful, not the result of lack of type or carelessness.

Image

And on that note … Tom!! Good to see you weighing in, my friend. We posted in the wee hours not ten minutes apart, and I didn’t see your post until now. I haven’t examined the lettering on the front cover of the book, but found your comments about the typographical asymmetry of the lettering very interesting. Your notes about how the cover art was created and manufactured seem spot-on. I too am unclear about the relevance of kerning and Gutenberg to the Erdnase book, but have to acknowledge Bill M’s researching prowess and in doing so might as well take a last poke at this off-the-deep-end topic. So ….

Bill, I read the Gutenberg section of Han The Thanh’s dissertation that you kindly dug up (much of the rest of the paper was highly technical and over my head). Alas, I’ve read enough cock-eyed theories and conclusions in academic papers on magic history and the law to retain a healthy skepticism of Thanh’s claims, BUT they do indeed support the view I was discrediting. Unfortunately, among his many citations to authority in his paper, Thanh offers nada as authority to support his claims (relevant parts of which are quoted below), and even more curiously, appears to fundamentally undermine his claims by acknowledging that such micro-typography was practically negligible.

The second method to adjust lines was the use of multiple variants of glyphs for some letters … a letter in his composition could be typeset using several variants of a glyph with different width, depending on the requirements of typesetting a line. The main intention of use of multiple glyphs was most likely to achieve the constant distance between the vertical strokes of characters. The compositor therefore could select the glyph of a letter that seemed to be the best variant according to the position of the letter in the word or the line. … However, this seems to be a minor effect.

So I’m reluctant to regard Thanh as any sort of authority on this subject. As for Zapf, if he held the same view, then who am I to argue with a legend in typography? On the other hand …

Zapf’s opinion (and Thanh’s as well FWIW) came long before the highly regarded 2001 study by Paul Needham, et al., of the type in Gutenberg’s bible (so technical and esoteric that it didn’t seem worth mentioning in my original reply to you).

In essence, Needham’s study found that there were literally many dozens of variants of almost every letter in Gutenberg’s bible, and that such variants could not be explained by the vagaries of type creation and printing (which I alluded to in an earlier post). The conclusion drawn by Needham was that the type could not have been created by the punch and matrix process, the invention of which has long and widely been credited to Gutenberg. Instead, it appears that he cast each letter individually (or perhaps two or three pieces) in a fine sand (clay?) mold which was destroyed or at least damaged with each casting. Here’s an example of the variant ‘i’ in Gutenberg’s type:

Image

Well over 100 different faces of ‘i’ are depicted (I stopped counting at 100).

IMHO, Needham’s study blows away Zapf’s and any other like theory about Gutenberg’s artisanal precision. It just strains credulity to think that Gutenberg not only intentionally crafted a hundred variants of a letter, but also then took the time to carefully select a particular letter from that group, all for the sake of alleged “perfect gray space.”

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 20th, 2017, 6:05 am

Hi All!

Bill Mullins, thanks for the shout-out above! Thanks for the reference to the blog.

For those who haven’t visited the blog lately, here is a little orientation.

Even though I have converted it into one that deals with older magic books more generally, it does so happen that the three most recent posts deal with the subject of Erdnase, and late last month I posted a few posts on “The Pairs Re-Paired,” which was the trick which we know W.E. Sanders was acquainted with.

As I mentioned in a recent post on the blog, I am not all that certain yet what to think about the concept of Dalrymple being Dollie’s third cousin, once removed. It appears to be a very cool item of evidence. If Edwin Sumner Andrews were the only Erdnase candidate, then the case for Andrews would be quite powerful. But, of course, he is not the only candidate.

At the moment, the main problems I see are along these lines (putting them very briefly):

A. There are other appealing candidates, one of which (W.E. Sanders) actually has a connection of sorts with Dalrymple (albeit a weaker one). Also, Sanders has a connection with Del Adelphia (at least as to the Montana background), and that would be a rather rare attribute.

B. Apart from his name being E.S. Andrews, the remaining case for Edwin Sumner Andrews has always struck me as somewhat thin. He seems like too much of a mellow family man, with no obvious interest in gambling or card magic. I like the “name” argument for him very much, but that by itself does not do much for an otherwise weak case.

Nonetheless, the apparent fact (whether it has been proven 100% or not) of the family relationship between Dollie and Dalrymple does significantly bolster Andrews’s case. At least, I think it does!

—Tom Sawyer

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 10:39 am

Tom Sawyer writes in his blog regarding the "3rd cousin once removed" issue:
It would be nice if, before the fact, someone had said, “I will accept any relative within such-and-such boundaries." ... If you set forth the criteria in advance, at least you can be certain that you are not back-fitting your criteria to fit your results.

Richard Hatch did have such a boundary condition: 2nd cousin.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 20th, 2017, 11:07 am

I also agree with Tom that the case for E.S. Andrews is a thin one. The "name" argument strikes me as also weak. A man of Erdnase's intelligence knew that readers would spell out the name backwards. It's the first thing anyone would do.

If Sanders was Erdnase, he wasn't going to tell Smith that Dalrymple illustrated his father in Puck magazine. That would have left him wide open for Smith to discover his true identity. Sanders may have said that Dalrymple had a connection to a relative. Smith would have naturally taken that at face value and after 40 years recall it as Erdnase told him he was related to Dalrymple.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 11:25 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:I also agree with Tom that the case for E.S. Andrews is a thin one. The "name" argument strikes me as also weak. A man of Erdnase's intelligence knew that readers would spell out the name backwards. It's the first thing anyone would do.

If Sanders was Erdnase, he wasn't going to tell Smith that Dalrymple illustrated his father in Puck magazine. That would have left him wide open for Smith to discover his true identity. Sanders may have said that Dalrymple had a connection to a relative. Smith would have naturally taken that at face value and after 40 years recall it as Erdnase told him he was related to Dalrymple.


But these are based on the assumption that Erdnase wanted to keep his identity a secret. The arguments for that position are weak.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 20th, 2017, 12:18 pm

Erdnase wasn't trying very hard, if he was even "trying" at all to seriously conceal his identity to anybody who got past the cover of the book and saw the name S.W. Erdnase.

Erdnase engaged Smith, and didn't at all try to hide his identity from him. Erdnase did this knowing full well that with M.D. Smith written in big block letters on the cover of EATCT, anybody with the desire to do so could contact Smith to find out who the author really was.
Engaging in conversation with Smith to the point where Erdnase began identifying his relatives (Dalrymple), this after Smith would have known the authors actual name.
That's not "hiding, it's more like "subtle obfuscation".

Upon completion of Smiths work, Erdnase gave Smith a cheque (possibly personalized) which Smith would then have had to go deposit, at which time there would be yet another pointer directly to Erdnase's actual name.
Even if it wasn't personalized, it would have had an account number that could easily be matched up to a name.

It's just that nobody cared enough at the time to even worry about who the author might be, at least to the degree that they bothered to go looking for him.
It took decades for that to happen.

Printers would have known who he was.
He carried around remaindered first editions after he had them printed, and presumably made deals with somebody to sell them for him. They too would have known who he was.

Our Mr. Erdnase, whoever he might be, when examined with just what we know, didn't do anything beyond reversing his name in an effort to "hide", which wasn't really hiding at all.
As noted above, it is little more than subtle obfuscation, if it's even that "crafty".

That Erdnase was making any serious effort at all to "hide" has been projected on him by others over the years.
Beyond reversing his name (if indeed he was E.S. Andrews), he really didn't do anything at all to "hide" from anybody bothering to try to find him.

It's only time that has erased the path to Erdnase's real name, and I would posit that for of the researchers posting to this thread, were they to have been alive, and gone looking for Erdnase anytime in 1903, they probably would have found him within a couple of days, if not a day.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » October 20th, 2017, 12:22 pm

lybrary wrote:Tom Sawyer writes in his blog regarding the "3rd cousin once removed" issue:
It would be nice if, before the fact, someone had said, “I will accept any relative within such-and-such boundaries." ... If you set forth the criteria in advance, at least you can be certain that you are not back-fitting your criteria to fit your results.

Richard Hatch did have such a boundary condition: 2nd cousin.


While these statements may both be true, we do not know what boundaries Erdnase set for considering someone his relative.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:But these are based on the assumption that Erdnase wanted to keep his identity a secret. The arguments for that position are weak.

Why are they weak? I don't agree at all. Erdnase told Smith he was a cardshark who was going straight. That means Erdnase must have had some other means of income. He must have had some plans how to earn his living after stopping cardsharking. The fact that he published his book supports the idea that he was stopping being a cardshark. Otherwise, why would he wise up the public about his methods? We know that Erdnase did not choose to become a reformed gambler who would lecture and write about his past life as a gambler, such as Green and Quinn for example have done. That means Erdnase must have had some other job or employment. Any other job, besides marketing oneself as reformed gambler, would suffer from being found out a cheat. Such information would have immediately eroded any basis of trust and integrity which are necessary in most every job. These are obvious and strong reasons to hide ones identity.

We know Erdnase hid his identify in the copyright form, listing James McKinney & Co. as the contact address. Erdnase may have used a cover name to introduce himself to Smith (ex. E.S. Andrews). He would have used the same cover name for the check/bank account and hotel registration. Anybody who would have located M.D. Smith would have not gone further than E.S. Andrews, a fake name. Same goes for his interactions with retailers, Drake, etc.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 20th, 2017, 1:13 pm

If Erdnase had a comprehensive plan to conceal his identity, then he wouldn't have put M.D. Smith's name in big block letters on the title page of EATCT.

To do so would make absolutely no sense if somebody was making a concerted effort to conceal their identity.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we have absolutely no evidence that Erdnase did anything more than reverse his name (if indeed he was Andrews) in order to conceal his identity.
Even if Erdnase WAS Sanders (or even Gallaway!), we still have absolutely no evidence that Erdnase did anything more to conceal his identity than simply use a fake name.

A fake or reversed name with a real, easily traceable name right below it (M.D. Smith) doesn't point to a man trying very hard at all to conceal his identity (as Gardner's efforts prove most concisely, it's too bad Gardner was just a few decades too late than would have made finding Erdnase possible, even easy).

No known facts even begin to suggest that Erdnase made concerted efforts to conceal his identity beyond the simple name reversal (if he was Andrews), or use of a fake name (if he was somebody else).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 20th, 2017, 1:50 pm

magicam wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:Applying Occam's razor, any chance the italicized a is simply the result of having run out of the regular ones?
Jack, see the image below. Note that the 'a' slants the wrong way; not only that, but its width is appreciably exaggerated compared to the other type (especially the letters in the italicized 'The'). Just my opinion, but it sure seems the use of this very odd 'a' was purposeful, not the result of lack of type or carelessness.

Image

And on that note … Tom!! Good to see you weighing in, my friend. We posted in the wee hours not ten minutes apart, and I didn’t see your post until now. I haven’t examined the lettering on the front cover of the book, ...


There's more than just one "a" that's changing between the words. Starting with "The". Any comments about the artwork embedded in the title?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 2:09 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:But these are based on the assumption that Erdnase wanted to keep his identity a secret. The arguments for that position are weak.

Why are they weak? I don't agree at all. Erdnase told Smith he was a cardshark who was going straight. That means Erdnase must have had some other means of income. He must have had some plans how to earn his living after stopping cardsharking. The fact that he published his book supports the idea that he was stopping being a cardshark. Otherwise, why would he wise up the public about his methods? We know that Erdnase did not choose to become a reformed gambler who would lecture and write about his past life as a gambler, such as Green and Quinn for example have done. That means Erdnase must have had some other job or employment. Any other job, besides marketing oneself as reformed gambler, would suffer from being found out a cheat. Such information would have immediately eroded any basis of trust and integrity which are necessary in most every job. These are obvious and strong reasons to hide ones identity.


Perhaps his plans were to live on the sales income from his book? That wouldn't have required he go underground.

Chris, neither you nor I know what was going on in his head. You are telling us how a reformed gambler would have acted over a century ago. You don't know the era, the lifestyle, his personal situation, any other skill sets he may have had. He may have won enough money he could have retired. He may have been a professional magician (how would a background as a gambler have hurt that profession? We know magicians today are willing to let people believe that they are gambling experts). He may have owned his own business -- why would you care if your plumber (or your printer) used to cheat at poker? He may have been a laborer, or a miner, or a factory worker, or a baker, or a lumberjack -- there are dozens of jobs for which having formerly been a card cheat would make no difference at all.


We know Erdnase hid his identify in the copyright form,

"Hid" presumes a motive, and we don't know what his was (or even if he had one). He may have paid in advance for the printing, left the manuscript with McKinney, and told him to take care of the paperwork and ship the books to some address when they were complete.
The very existence of the copyright says he wasn't trying to be anonymous -- if he was, it would have been much simpler to not copyright it at all. If he truly wanted to be anonymous, how could he have sued an infringer? Copyright bought him nothing.

On another subject -- in your ebook, you make note of the fact that Gallaway's book includes the phrase "hard luck". I can't find it - the OCR on my PDF of the book is not great. What page is it on?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 2:23 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Copyright bought him nothing.

It is a deterrent. Many copyrights are registered. Very few copyright holders ever sue. But it keeps the pest away. Clearly copyright was somehow important to him because he added copyright notes to many illustrations. The most logical reason I can come up with is as a deterrent.

Bill Mullins wrote:On another subject -- in your ebook, you make note of the fact that Gallaway's book includes the phrase "hard luck". I can't find it - the OCR on my PDF of the book is not great. What page is it on?

It is from the intro of his second book "How to Price Job Printing Properly" page 5.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 20th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Roger M. wrote:If Erdnase had a comprehensive plan to conceal his identity, then he wouldn't have put M.D. Smith's name in big block letters on the title page of EATCT.

To do so would make absolutely no sense if somebody was making a concerted effort to conceal their identity.


Erdnase didn't have a comprehensive plan to completely conceal his identity, otherwise the book would have said "Anonymous" on the spine. Alexander's argument is that he left behind clues for those willing to do the work, and that the reverse spelling "E.S. Andrews" was a red herring to throw off those who began sniffing the trail.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 2:30 pm

Roger M. wrote: Upon completion of Smiths work, Erdnase gave Smith a cheque (possibly personalized) which Smith would then have had to go deposit, at which time there would be yet another pointer directly to Erdnase's actual name.


If, by "personalized", you mean that his name was machine-printed on the check, probably not. Even today, often the bank will issue "counter checks" when an account is opened, and the account holder has to write his name and information into appropriate fields, and use these until "regular" checks show up after being printed. No doubt that an account's #1 check back then would have lacked an imprinted name.

And back then, personal account holders may have never bothered at all to go to the expense of professionally printed checks. My late father collected such things, and I've seen many dozens of old checks which were not imprinted with the account holder's name. Go to Ebay and search for "old checks" to see examples of such.

But the check would have been signed such that the drawing bank could clear it against the proper account.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 2:52 pm

Chris -- your own book suggests that Erdnase was known to Edwin Hood, Harto, Houdini, S. W. Jamieson, McKinney, and Smith. Hardly a guy who was trying to stay sub rosa.

lybrary wrote: It is from the intro of his second book "How to Price Job Printing Properly" page 5.


Thanks.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 20th, 2017, 2:54 pm

With the limited information we have about Erdnase's cheque payment to Smith, I agree that it's more likely than not that the cheque wasn't personalized.

A couple of years ago, when wondering about the cheque Erdnase wrote out to Smith, I did a bit of research and discovered that personalized cheques were "a thing" beginning in 1811, in Scotland.

So personalized cheques were definitely solidly established, even if they weren't widely used.
If a new account, I agree that it would be far more likely (as per even today) that one would not have personalized cheques in their possession until perhaps weeks (or a month) after opening the account, and would use counter cheques until such time as their personalized cheques were printed, and delivered to them.

Whether personalized, or a counter cheque, depositing or cashing a cheque from either E.S. Andrews, or S.W. Erdnase would have tied directly to an existing bank account ... which is another solid indicator that Erdnase wasn't trying to "hide" at all - appearing to be more focused on just trying not to be too terribly obvious to anybody giving a cursory glance at the author of EATCT.

And in 1903, 1904, and on up, indeed nobody was at all interested as to who the author of EATCT might be.
It could even be said that Erdnase's modest efforts to obfuscate his identity were a complete waste of his time and effort, as nobody we know of ever went looking for him until after he was gone.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Chris -- your own book suggests that Erdnase was known to Edwin Hood, Harto, Houdini, S. W. Jamieson, McKinney, and Smith. Hardly a guy who was trying to stay sub rosa.

I am not saying he was a hermit, but why would his friends out him? Smith I would think only knew his assumed name. I would not consider Smith a personal friend of Erdnase. Edwin Hood, a gambling supply house owner, who I imagine knew a lot of cardsharks, and cheats, would have not exposed him. It would have been bad for his business. James McKinney it seems was somebody he knew well, otherwise he wouldn't partner with him and open McKinney & Gallaway. The relationship to Jamieson is less clear. Jamieson would not need to know that Gallaway was Erdnase. The connection to Harto and Houdini aren't that clear either. But both were circus folks like Gallaway. I imagine he may have trusted them due to that connection.

None of these possible connections are inconsistent with his attempt and wish to stay hidden and to not expose his cheating side.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 3:32 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Copyright bought him nothing.

It is a deterrent. Many copyrights are registered. Very few copyright holders ever sue. But it keeps the pest away. Clearly copyright was somehow important to him because he added copyright notes to many illustrations. The most logical reason I can come up with is as a deterrent.


But he could have accomplished that same goal by simply printing a copyright statement in the book. He didn't need to actually register the copyright to deter infringers.

The copyright fee was paid with a money order. If he wanted to remain anonymous, it would have made more sense to pay Smith with a money order as well.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 3:41 pm

lybrary wrote:Tom Sawyer writes in his blog regarding the "3rd cousin once removed" issue:
It would be nice if, before the fact, someone had said, “I will accept any relative within such-and-such boundaries." ... If you set forth the criteria in advance, at least you can be certain that you are not back-fitting your criteria to fit your results.

Richard Hatch did have such a boundary condition: 2nd cousin.


If you are referring to Richard's statement "If it could be shown that Dolly Seely is reasonably closely related to Adelia Seel(e)y (say cousin or second cousin), then I would have a hard time thinking this a coincidence and would put all my chips on this particular E. S Andrews", then "boundary condition" seems too strong.

(And don't get me wrong, I realize that 3rd cousin once removed is a distant relative. But in this particular case, given the local geography and the parties involved, I think it was entirely possible and even likely that Andrews knew of Dalrymple and that he was related to Dolly, and in a casual conversation to another artist, would have called Dalrymple a "relative".)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 3:48 pm

lybrary wrote: The connection to Harto and Houdini aren't that clear either. But both were circus folks like Gallaway.


The connection to Houdini certainly isn't clear, and in fact doesn't seem possible. You put Gallaway in the circus in 1891-1894 (with 1892/93 being "most likely"), and again in 1896. Houdini was with the Welsh Bros in 1895 and 1898.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 5:27 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: The connection to Harto and Houdini aren't that clear either. But both were circus folks like Gallaway.


The connection to Houdini certainly isn't clear, and in fact doesn't seem possible. You put Gallaway in the circus in 1891-1894 (with 1892/93 being "most likely"), and again in 1896. Houdini was with the Welsh Bros in 1895 and 1898.

Those dates for Gallaway aren't super firm. But there is also the possibility that he met Houdini at Roterberg's, a shop he knew and lived next door from for a while. A possible Houdini connection is merely a curiosum not at all important in my opinion.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 20th, 2017, 5:33 pm

This is in response to something Chris said a few posts above concerning the issue of whether there were before-the-fact standards of closeness set forth by anyone concerning the Dollie/Dalrymple relationship.

Richard Hatch has in more than one place on this thread mentioned the first-or-second-cousin idea in connection with relatedness. His first such reference was at least as far back as 2006.

But as Bill Mullins kind of points out above concerning Richard’s 2015 statement, there was nothing formal or rigid about Hatch’s statements. Back in 2006, though Richard used the term “compellingly close,” he further discussed that term in such a way that it was significantly watered-down.

As for me, I think I have made it clear elsewhere that I place a very loose meaning on the expression "related to,” which seems to be the operative term that Gardner attributed to Smith.

For instance, if Dalrymple had lived a few houses down from Andrews, that to me would be as good or better than being Dollie’s third cousin, once removed.

I do think some people place more weight on Gardner’s account of what Smith told him than is warranted, both overall and as to little details. If you read Hurt McDermott's book on Erdnase (which I highly recommend, though I would not endorse everything in it), you might wonder why anyone gives any weight at all to details of Smith's statements to Gardner, in light of the lapse of time between 1902 (or so) and the time Gardner contacted Smith.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:Tom Sawyer writes in his blog regarding the "3rd cousin once removed" issue:
It would be nice if, before the fact, someone had said, “I will accept any relative within such-and-such boundaries." ... If you set forth the criteria in advance, at least you can be certain that you are not back-fitting your criteria to fit your results.

Richard Hatch did have such a boundary condition: 2nd cousin.


If you are referring to Richard's statement "If it could be shown that Dolly Seely is reasonably closely related to Adelia Seel(e)y (say cousin or second cousin), then I would have a hard time thinking this a coincidence and would put all my chips on this particular E. S Andrews", then "boundary condition" seems too strong.

(And don't get me wrong, I realize that 3rd cousin once removed is a distant relative. But in this particular case, given the local geography and the parties involved, I think it was entirely possible and even likely that Andrews knew of Dalrymple and that he was related to Dolly, and in a casual conversation to another artist, would have called Dalrymple a "relative".)

Richard Hatch wrote more definite in an email: "PS: I don't think one need go back very far to establish a plausible relationship. If they aren't 2nd cousins or closer, it seems unlikely they would know of an actual relationship..."

Most people do not know their relationships further out than great-grandparents, unless one has done genealogy, which wasn't possible back then in the form it is possible today, or you were royalty and history did the record keeping for you. For Dollie the common link to Louis was a great-great-great-grandfather. There is simply no way she knew of her relationship to Dalrymple.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 5:49 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Copyright bought him nothing.

It is a deterrent. Many copyrights are registered. Very few copyright holders ever sue. But it keeps the pest away. Clearly copyright was somehow important to him because he added copyright notes to many illustrations. The most logical reason I can come up with is as a deterrent.

But he could have accomplished that same goal by simply printing a copyright statement in the book. He didn't need to actually register the copyright to deter infringers.

Having it registered is a much better deterrent than just printing it. That way it is much harder for wannabe infringers to call your bluff.

Bill Mullins wrote:The copyright fee was paid with a money order. If he wanted to remain anonymous, it would have made more sense to pay Smith with a money order as well.

Who says Erdnase/Gallaway paid the copyright registration directly by himself? Now that we know that McKinney and Gallaway were business partners it is likely that Gallaway ran his book through McKinney like any other book they printed there. They asked Jamieson of Jamieson-Higgins to register the copyright, because that is what they have done with their books. They knew how to do it. Jamieson-Higgins probably paid the copyright office and then billed McKinney for it. McKinney and Gallaway settled the charge some other way (ex. taken out of Gallaway's salary).
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » October 20th, 2017, 5:56 pm

Chris said:

Most people do not know their relationships further out than great-grandparents . . .

That is a very good point, but in the present case, with all of the additional facts concerning geographical proximity and such, it occurs to me that this may well be a case where someone was indeed familiar with those relationships.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 5:58 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:The copyright fee was paid with a money order. If he wanted to remain anonymous, it would have made more sense to pay Smith with a money order as well.

Who says Erdnase/Gallaway paid the copyright registration directly by himself? Now that we know that McKinney and Gallaway were business partners it is likely that Gallaway ran his book through McKinney like any other book they printed there. They asked Jamieson of Jamieson-Higgins to register the copyright, because that is what they have done with their books. They knew how to do it. Jamieson-Higgins probably paid the copyright office and then billed McKinney for it. McKinney and Gallaway settled the charge some other way (ex. taken out of Gallaway's salary).


An explanation of how a money order may have been used is meaningless here. The point is that a check is a trail back to the author, and if the author wanted to remain anonymous, he could have used a payment method that didn't do so. He could have paid in cash, for that matter.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 6:06 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:An explanation of how a money order may have been used is meaningless here. The point is that a check is a trail back to the author, and if the author wanted to remain anonymous, he could have used a payment method that didn't do so. He could have paid in cash, for that matter.

That requires two assumptions:

1) Erdnase introduced himself to Smith with his real name. If he used a fake name then setting up a bank account in his fake name, and signing a check with his fake name, would fortify his faked identity. Smith could have doubted his real name based on the introduction alone. But with a check signed in the same name he would have had no doubt.

2) Humans are infallible. It is very easy for us to analyze in detail where Erdnase may or may not have made errors to hide his identity. Hindsight is 20-20. But even the cleverest make errors, or misjudge a situation. We have to allow for some human error in his judgement and actions in relationship to him wanting to hide his identity.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2017, 6:10 pm

lybrary wrote: Having [a copyright] registered is a much better deterrent than just printing it. That way it is much harder for wannabe infringers to call your bluff.


I don't see how. Are you saying that a copyright statement in the book would not be a deterrent, so a potential infringer would think "Hm. I want to pirate this book. It says it is copyrighted right there, but the author may just be messing with me. I'll write a letter to the copyright office first, and only if they say, "no, it isn't registered", will I proceed and make copies."

What criminal masterminds you conjure up. I bet they work in lairs with crooked floors.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 6:20 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Erdnase didn't have a comprehensive plan to completely conceal his identity, otherwise the book would have said "Anonymous" on the spine.

I don't agree. Writing "Anonymous" would have invited much more inquiry much earlier. It is psychologically much better to write a name which most will gloss over. While "S. W. Erdnase" to us today sounds like a strange name, back then with all those immigrants from countries with foreign names, it would not have been a name that stood out or would have been particularly unusual. Erdnase reads and sounds very German. With all those German speaking folks in Chicago, and newspapers published in German, and public addresses given in German, it wouldn't be seen as a strange name. The strangest real second name I ever heard was Vlk. If Vlk is a real name Erdnase is perfect as a pseudonym.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » October 20th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: Having [a copyright] registered is a much better deterrent than just printing it. That way it is much harder for wannabe infringers to call your bluff.


I don't see how. Are you saying that a copyright statement in the book would not be a deterrent, so a potential infringer would think "Hm. I want to pirate this book. It says it is copyrighted right there, but the author may just be messing with me. I'll write a letter to the copyright office first, and only if they say, "no, it isn't registered", will I proceed and make copies."

Erdnase, a cheat and cardshark, knew about bluffing. Just printing a copyright statement isn't a particularly good bluff. Having it registered, something that could be looked up in copyright registration books in most larger libraries, is much safer. Gallaway who was working in the print industry knew how easily it would have been for somebody to steal and reprint his book if he had no protection. Registering the copyright was a simple way to protect his investment. It was also important for selling the book later on to Drake, something I am pretty sure Erdnase thought about and planned before he went to print with his book. It makes sense and is consistent with what we know.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 20th, 2017, 6:35 pm

lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Erdnase didn't have a comprehensive plan to completely conceal his identity, otherwise the book would have said "Anonymous" on the spine.

Writing "Anonymous" would have invited much more inquiry much earlier.



This is not accurate. Being an anonymous author invited no more scrutiny in the late 1800's and early 1900's than any given author using their real name.

Example would be A Grand Expose by "An Adept".
Nobody cared at the time that the author was obviously trying to remain anonymous, and it wasn't until over a century later that anybody bothered to want to find out just who "An Adept" was ... this only after it became somewhat "cool" to seek out anonymous authors of obscure gambling books.

    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he would have authored the book as "Anonymous", anything but his reversed name.
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have given Smith a cheque, which could be traced to a bank account.
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have given Smith any personal information, Dalrymple, reformed gambler, etc
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have put M.D. Smith's name in big, bold letters on the title page of EATCT.

There's a lot of common sense in the above four points, which of course won't make any difference to folks who have an agenda separate from wanting to find out who the real author of EATCT really was.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » October 20th, 2017, 7:21 pm

lybrary wrote:
. Just printing a copyright statement isn't a particularly good bluff. Having it registered, something that could be looked up in copyright registration books in most larger libraries, is much safer.


(my bold)

This really doesn't comport with a guy trying (according to you) to remain anonymous.

If your goal is to remain anonymous, then you take great pains to leave no bread crumbs for people to follow.

Erdnase left nothing but bread crumbs, and did so everywhere he went.
Those bread crumbs are what we're still going on today, 120 years later.

It's only time that has become our foe, as Erdnase did so little to conceal his identity I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't a dozen or more people somewhere in the history books who not only knew that he was E.S. Andrews, the author of EATCT, but that he reversed his name to S.W. Erdnase in order to confuse those who may cursorily wonder who wrote the book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 20th, 2017, 9:59 pm

Roger M. wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:Erdnase didn't have a comprehensive plan to completely conceal his identity, otherwise the book would have said "Anonymous" on the spine.

Writing "Anonymous" would have invited much more inquiry much earlier.



This is not accurate. Being an anonymous author invited no more scrutiny in the late 1800's and early 1900's than any given author using their real name.

Example would be A Grand Expose by "An Adept".
Nobody cared at the time that the author was obviously trying to remain anonymous, and it wasn't until over a century later that anybody bothered to want to find out just who "An Adept" was ... this only after it became somewhat "cool" to seek out anonymous authors of obscure gambling books.

    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he would have authored the book as "Anonymous", anything but his reversed name.
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have given Smith a cheque, which could be traced to a bank account.
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have given Smith any personal information, Dalrymple, reformed gambler, etc
    If Erdnase had wanted to remain anonymous, he wouldn't have put M.D. Smith's name in big, bold letters on the title page of EATCT.

There's a lot of common sense in the above four points, which of course won't make any difference to folks who have an agenda separate from wanting to find out who the real author of EATCT really was.


Very good points, Roger.
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