ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Jonathan Townsend
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 24th, 2015, 6:55 pm

Still not understanding the pseudonym relevance. Were there many anagram pseudonyms in use at the time? Was that the preferred strategy of that time for pseudonyms?

If making a table of items to explore where the book fits in genre literature we might also ask what, in the conjuring section, was novel? In the cheating section - was it the "entire calendar" of the time, or a decade before perhaps?

Richard mentioned earlier that the "spread" strategy for unloading cards was known at the time yet missing from the book. I recall seeing that kind of thing used by non-magicians to cheat at a card bluffing game so it's history and context seem puzzling.
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Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » July 24th, 2015, 7:21 pm

Jonathan, you have raised many insightful points in the course of this thread in general, and on the pen-name business recently, which I appreciate.

With particular reference to the first paragraph of your most recent post, a good answer to this would probably be hard to find, and would be heavily flavored with opinion, because the evidence would be subject to many interpretations.

Wikipedia has an article called "List of pen names." From what I have seen on that list, most pen names do not seem to be easily traceable back to the author's real name. An example of an exception would be Carr Dickson, a name used by John Dickson Carr. Then again he also used Roger Fairbairn. Maybe that is in some way related to him or his life, but not obviously so.

However, I have seen one or two pen names used by someone else that were extremely clever and obscure, which made sense once you knew "the secret."

But I can see where some people might contend that magicians tend to look at pen names (and stage names) in a particular way. Obviously, one thing they like to do is reverse their names, or nearly do so. I don't know who the first magic author to do this was. But that may be more common in the magic field than in other fields. I do not understand why magicians (ostensibly creative people) would fall back on such a pedestrian way of choosing an alternate name.

Whatever the merits (or lack thereof) might be for the last method of analyzing a mysterious pen name like "S.W. Erdnase," it works well for lazy people, since it does not require research or much thought. (Not pointing any fingers! I almost said "lazy people like me.")

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 24th, 2015, 9:24 pm

Edward Finck wrote:Vernon's story is suspect on it's face because he says he continued "badgering" old man Drake for months but "old man" Drake was dead and had died at 47 years of age and years before Vernon even came to the U.S. The sons were all around Vernon's age or younger. This strongly implies that Vernon never asked any of the Drakes anything but doesn't refute that Sprong might have.


This may be a case of misreading the text. Sprong told Vernon that he found out from Drake that S.W. Erdnase was E.S. Andrews spelled backwards. It was Sprong who had kept badgering old man Drake for Erdnase's identity--not Vernon.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » July 24th, 2015, 10:16 pm

Unless Vernon is quoting Sprong with no quotation marks, which to me doesn't seem likely, it looks to me as though Vernon is the one speaking (writing).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 24th, 2015, 11:01 pm

The key pieces of evidence for Edward Gallaway being Erdnase are:

1) He sounds just like Erdnase. When I read the introduction of his "Estimating for Printers" Erdnase jumped off the page, grabbed me by the neck and said: "Here I am!" Seriously, the experience was that strong. On top of that we have that the book was self-published, copyright applied for and price printed on title page just as EATCT.

2) He worked for James McKinney right up to the bankruptcy (proof is in the bankruptcy files), which puts him at the time and place of the 'crime'. It also nicely explains the 'care of James McKinney' on the copyright application.

3) We know he owned a first edition of EATCT. While you can of course argue that since he was probably the typesetter for the book he most likely kept a copy, it is still an important point to consider.

4) Edward Gallaway became a printer and typesetter when he was 14 years old. He chose the profession due to his love for books. As a typesetter one does read a lot across multiple subject categories. Typesetters were typically the most widely read and thus informed folks in those days. Taken together with his love for books and reading explains his breadth and depth of his vocabulary even though he never attended high-school or college.

5) We know that he had other gambling books in his library.

There is a ton of circumstantial evidence which I will describe in detail in a forthcoming article and/or book. But with the hard and documentary evidence above there is just no denying that Edward Gallaway is by far the strongest candidate yet. I will not write at this point in time "Erdnase found" because I am still wrapping up some parts of my investigation and the data I uncovered has not yet been vetted by others, but I myself am convinced that the search is over.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 24th, 2015, 11:24 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Edward Finck wrote:Vernon's story is suspect on it's face because he says he continued "badgering" old man Drake for months but "old man" Drake was dead and had died at 47 years of age and years before Vernon even came to the U.S. The sons were all around Vernon's age or younger. This strongly implies that Vernon never asked any of the Drakes anything but doesn't refute that Sprong might have.


This may be a case of misreading the text. Sprong told Vernon that he found out from Drake that S.W. Erdnase was E.S. Andrews spelled backwards. It was Sprong who had kept badgering old man Drake for Erdnase's identity--not Vernon.


I'm afraid that is NOT what Vernon himself said in Genii Magazine. Please read Vernon's column for August 1970 and you will find that Vernon said:

"So I went back there religiously for months and kept badgering the old man to tell me something about this Andrews. "

Now if we take into consideration that Vernon never, or at least rarely, told the same story twice perhaps Mr. Hevia has an alternative source for Vernon's story. Maybe Vernon put this on Sprong in an interview or some other place?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 25th, 2015, 1:15 am

Edward Finck wrote:Now if we take into consideration that Vernon never, or at least rarely, told the same story twice perhaps Mr. Hevia has an alternative source for Vernon's story. Maybe Vernon put this on Sprong in an interview or some other place?


As a matter of fact, Mr. Hevia does have an alternative source for Vernon's story. It's in Volume 15 of the Revelations DVDs. Vernon recounts the story of Sprong pestering old man Drake to tell him the identity of Erdnase, with old man Drake stubbornly refusing to divulge any more information apart from the Andrews clue. Vernon's recollection on this video clearly illustrates, in spite of the missing quotation marks in that Vernon Touch column, that Vernon was referring to Sprong who asked Drake and NOT himself:

He said he found out from Drake, who was one of the later publishers of Erdnase that Erdnase is Andrews spelled all mixed up. His real name was Andrews. I asked Mr. Drake who this fellow was, and he said he was sorry, he couldn't tell me.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 25th, 2015, 1:46 am

Leonard Hevia wrote: Vernon's recollection on this video clearly illustrates, in spite of the missing quotations in that Vernon Touch column, that Vernon was referring to Sprong who asked Drake and NOT himself:
[/b]


Thank you for clarifying. So we should now understand that when Vernon is speaking in the first person and uses the word I he actually is referring to another person like Sprong?
Anyone who reads Vernon's comments from 1970 can clearly see that your interpretation makes no sense at all. Inferring phantom quotation marks doesn't fix the discrepancy.
But read it however you like. I'm sure Sprong thought that Drake was an old man too, being that he was a year older than himself.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 25th, 2015, 2:29 am

Edward Finck wrote:Thank you for clarifying. So we should now understand that when Vernon is speaking in the first person and uses the word I he actually is referring to another person like Sprong?
Anyone who reads Vernon's comments from 1970 can clearly see that your interpretation makes no sense at all. Inferring phantom quotation marks doesn't fix the discrepancy.
But read it however you like. I'm sure Sprong thought that Drake was an old man too, being that he was a year older than himself.


In this instance, why not? Nobody is immune to misplaced or missing quotation marks. Vernon is discussing Sprong's encounter with Drake, and then it seems as if he suddenly placed himself inside the story without any preamble about searching for Drake to ask him in person. If you pencil in the quotation marks, then the narrative about Sprong continues in a logical fashion.

Inferring the "phantom quotation marks" puts that Vernon Touch narrative in perfect harmony with Vernon's discussion in the Revelations video. You mentioned that Vernon could not have met Drake because Drake died in 1912. You are absolutely correct, which means either Vernon lied in that column, or we are seeing missing quotation marks on that page. I believe the latter.

The reference to "old man Drake" is directly from Vernon in that Revelations video. He kept referring to Drake with that moniker. If you haven't watched it yet, and I don't think you have, it will certainly open your eyes.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » July 25th, 2015, 2:57 am

lybrary wrote:... one of the books Edward wrote, "Estimating for Printers'" was self-published, copyright applied for (I do have the application form) and the title page shows the price the same way as on EATCT. Pretty unusual parallel and only one of many pieces of real evidence I have gathered.

No doubt it will be interesting to learn about the other evidence at the appropriate time. Though the similarity between the pricing statements should not be dismissed as a piece of circumstantial evidence, in a vacuum (and speaking for myself of course) I don’t find such similarity to be very unusual, especially if we (safely, perhaps?) assume that Edward typeset his own book and Erdnase’s. Work-a-day individual typesetters are creatures of habit. My hunch is you’ll end up discovering other books with similar typesetting, and perhaps even a magic book or two. ;)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Pete McCabe » July 25th, 2015, 3:15 am

Weren't the Vernon pieces from the 70s dictated by him? If that's so, then the quotation marks may not be the way Vernon had in mind.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 5:38 am

magicam wrote:
lybrary wrote:... one of the books Edward wrote, "Estimating for Printers'" was self-published, copyright applied for (I do have the application form) and the title page shows the price the same way as on EATCT. Pretty unusual parallel and only one of many pieces of real evidence I have gathered.

No doubt it will be interesting to learn about the other evidence at the appropriate time. Though the similarity between the pricing statements should not be dismissed as a piece of circumstantial evidence, in a vacuum (and speaking for myself of course) I don’t find such similarity to be very unusual, especially if we (safely, perhaps?) assume that Edward typeset his own book and Erdnase’s. Work-a-day individual typesetters are creatures of habit. My hunch is you’ll end up discovering other books with similar typesetting, and perhaps even a magic book or two. ;)


Except the typesetter is not the one who decides what is written in a book. He simply sets it in type. Why should the typesetter know what the book's price is to begin with? I guess you have not yet read my list of major evidence a few posts above the quarrel about what Vernon said or didn't say.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » July 25th, 2015, 6:48 am

lybrary wrote:1) He sounds just like Erdnase. When I read the introduction of his "Estimating for Printers" Erdnase jumped off the page, grabbed me by the neck and said: "Here I am!" Seriously, the experience was that strong. On top of that we have that the book was self-published, copyright applied for and price printed on title page just as EATCT.

Have you also had the chance to look at or read Gallaway's other book on printing ("How to price job printing properly")?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 7:01 am

I am aware of two other books by Gallaway also on the same subject. But they are quite a bit thinner than his "Estimating for Printers" and I have not yet read them. However, "How to price job printing properly" can also be found in the card index of copyright applications at the Library of Congress.

The books I found published under Edward Gallaway's name are:

- "Estimating for Printers, Prepared for the Students of the Chicago School of Applied Estimating for Printers," by Edward Gallaway. Chicago: Printers Estimating School of Chicago, 1927, 1931, 126 pages.

- "How to Price Job Printing Properly," by Edward Gallaway. Chicago: 1929, 48 pages.

- "Problem in estimating, prepared for the students of the Printers Estimating School of Chicago." by Edward Gallaway, 23 pages.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » July 25th, 2015, 7:38 am

That you have not read the two other books, is it because you have not been able to locate copies of them?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 7:43 am

I have located copies of all but not in the public library around the corner. So it will take a bit until I have copies.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » July 25th, 2015, 11:22 am

I just want whatever Gallaway was washing with!

A professional lifetime handling type and fresh print in the ink-stained trenches, and not a mark on them. And no trace of scrubbing or solvents either. As M. D. Smith said--some of the softest hands he'd ever held.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 25th, 2015, 12:40 pm

Chris--my apologies for derailing your discussion on Gallaway. I noticed that Gallaway published his books much later than TEATCT. Isn't it possible that if/when Gallaway typeset The Expert, he liked the design of the book and just remembered and copied that format for his own books later on? According to you, he did own a copy, so he must have had it for handy reference for over two decades before he began publishing.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 25th, 2015, 12:47 pm

lybrary wrote:I myself am convinced that the search is over.


There are many who won't be Chris, based on what you've brought forward to date.

Parallels, happenstance, circumstance, coincidences, and leaps-of-faith seem to be the order of the day (month?) in the search for Erdnase lately, but what remains missing is any actual evidence.

I sense we're entering a phase in the search where we're going to read "ERDNASE FOUND!!" on a bi-weekly basis, which is fine, but please ... don't become offended when others who post in the Genii Erdnase thread take the time to let you know that they find nothing compelling enough in your presentation to agree with you (yet).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » July 25th, 2015, 12:52 pm

lybrary wrote:I have located copies of all but not in the public library around the corner. So it will take a bit until I have copies.

Keep us posted! Really interesting stuff you have presented here recently.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 12:55 pm

Leonard, yes sure that is of course possible. But it is also quite possible that this is yet another fingerprint Erdnase has left. In any case, it is not the prime evidence here just one more indication in favor of him.

Think about it this way. We know that Gallaway became a print estimator. Exactly when he started to estimate the cost of print runs is unclear, but a print estimator knows exactly what a book costs in production and thus has a good idea about the price the book should be offered at. The fact that somebody actually prints the price on the title page is not something that common and fits the print estimator profile quite well. But maybe he saw it at Roterberg's "New Era Card Tricks" and simply copied it. Different ways this could have happened, but taken together (price, self-published, copyright applied for) quite a compelling parallel.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Roger M. wrote:
lybrary wrote:I myself am convinced that the search is over.


There are many who won't be Chris, based on what you've brought forward to date.

Parallels, happenstance, circumstance, coincidences, and leaps-of-faith seem to be the order of the day (month?) in the search for Erdnase lately, but what remains missing is any actual evidence.

I sense we're entering a phase in the search where we're going to read "ERDNASE FOUND!!" on a bi-weekly basis, which is fine, but please ... don't become offended when others who post in the Genii Erdnase thread take the time to let you know that they find nothing compelling enough in your presentation to agree with you (yet).


I am not offended and would appreciate real feedback and criticism.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 25th, 2015, 1:11 pm

Regarding Edward Gallaway as a candidate. Jay Marshall considered him in the 50s and after contacting his then extant family etc. decided he wasn't a strong contender and rejected the notion. Jay then moved all of his attention to Milton Franklin who, I believe, he continued to believe was Erdnase until his death. Jay did much of the important early legwork on the subject, in some ways more than Martin Gardner did. His discovery of Gallaway in 1955 or so was significant but did not convince Jay that he had written the book.

Gallaway has been referred to here as the typesetter, Jay believed he was the binder and working separately from McKinney. Is there any evidence he was a/the typesetter?

This fascinating thread takes some great twists and turns and also does some laps, revisiting old ideas. Although this is sometimes done by those that unknowingly are treading old ground it is still useful for new, fresh eyes to examine old ideas and sometimes discover new hard evidence, like the bankruptcy files.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » July 25th, 2015, 1:26 pm

lybrary wrote:The key pieces of evidence for Edward Gallaway being Erdnase are:

1) He sounds just like Erdnase. When I read the introduction of his "Estimating for Printers" Erdnase jumped off the page, grabbed me by the neck and said: "Here I am!" Seriously, the experience was that strong.


Do you have any samples of his writing you could post here? I wasn't able to find any online.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 25th, 2015, 1:28 pm

I really am quite interested in where your Galloway search takes you Chris, and look forward to your updates.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 25th, 2015, 1:36 pm

The particular words in the Vernon story, "can not" convey an absence where "will not" conveys additional considerations.

There's another historical and magical lodestone in the book - the FASDIU approach to magic as distinct from the "keep your special items at hand" advice in other books of the time.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » July 25th, 2015, 4:53 pm

Edward Finck wrote:Regarding Edward Gallaway as a candidate. Jay Marshall considered him in the 50s and after contacting his then extant family etc. decided he wasn't a strong contender and rejected the notion.

This is interesting.

What were the factors that led Marshall to consider Gallaway as a candidate?
Were they the same as those being presently set forth, or were they different?
What exactly did the family offer, that caused Marshall to dismiss Gallaway?

Where can the answers to these questions be found? Although there is some information on Gallaway in The Man Who Was Erdnase, I can find no mention of him ever being a considered as a possible candidate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » July 25th, 2015, 5:17 pm

Brad, I was wondering almost the exact same things, cuz I couldn't remember ever hearing that Jay thought Gallaway was in the running. If Jay had some powerful evidence that changed his mind, that would be highly significant.

--Tom

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 25th, 2015, 5:49 pm

Tom Sawyer wrote:Brad, I was wondering almost the exact same things, cuz I couldn't remember ever hearing that Jay thought Gallaway was in the running. If Jay had some powerful evidence that changed his mind, that would be highly significant.

--Tom


Some of the info came from Jay directly via conversation and some comes from documents of Jay's that he shared pertaining to the research he did in the 50s.
One other theory (that might have been transitional for him) was that the E. S. part of the anagram (that couldn't come from M. F.) came from the E in Edward (Gallaway) and the S in Smith (Marshall D.).

I think I have an old photo of Jay's anagram of this somewhere and if I can find it I will try to post it.

E.F.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 6:09 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:Do you have any samples of his writing you could post here? I wasn't able to find any online.


I have arranged with Harvard Library that a digital version of "Estimating for Printers" will be made available free of charge to the public. This should be available soon.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 6:19 pm

From the bankruptcy files it is pretty clear that James McKinney did not have an in-house bindery and outsourced such work. This was the norm back then for print shops. Typesetting and printing go together well, but binding is a different beast and was usually handled by separate companies who specialized in it.

This means that Gallaway certainly did not do the binding of EATCT. It is also crystal clear that Gallaway was employed by McKinney (not working separately) because he had outstanding wages which were paid through the bankruptcy court process.

I am just as curious as you are regarding Jay Marshall's investigation into Gallaway. I am in contact with Sandy Marshall to find out if any notes, letters, etc. of Jay's research into Erdnase are still around. If anybody knows or remembers anything about it please post here or email me.

When I first looked into Gallaway I was totally surprised that nobody ever even considered him remotely as a possible Erdnase. At least I could not find any comment regarding it and anybody I have asked so far has not heard any theory that Gallaway could have been Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 25th, 2015, 6:59 pm

lybrary wrote:From the bankruptcy files it is pretty clear that James McKinney did not have an in-house bindery and outsourced such work. This was the norm back then for print shops. Typesetting and printing go together well, but binding is a different beast and was usually handled by separate companies who specialized in it.


Actually McKinney was both a printer and a book-binder and when he dissolved into bankruptcy he immediately reformed in 1903 as McKinney and Gallaway (with McKinney's son Patrick onboard too) and they too were book-binders. It's likely that some assets where surreptitiously moved from McKinney and Co. and put in McKinney and Gallaway but there doesn't seem to be solid evidence of that. And by evidence I mean public accusations at the time etc. But it is strange that McKinney goes personally and professionally bankrupt several times and then pops up almost immediately with capital to start new firms shortly thereafter. Probably McKinney isn't totally legit.

E.F.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 25th, 2015, 7:01 pm

Edward Finck wrote: Gallaway has been referred to here as the typesetter, Jay believed he was the binder and working separately from McKinney. Is there any evidence he was a/the typesetter?


His obituary makes no reference to typesetting.
In the 1910 and 1920 censuses (censii?) he reported his occupation as "printer". To the extent I have located him in Chicago city directories, he is always listed as a printer.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 7:13 pm

Edward Finck wrote:
lybrary wrote:From the bankruptcy files it is pretty clear that James McKinney did not have an in-house bindery and outsourced such work. This was the norm back then for print shops. Typesetting and printing go together well, but binding is a different beast and was usually handled by separate companies who specialized in it.


Actually McKinney was both a printer and a book-binder and when he dissolved into bankruptcy he immediately reformed in 1903 as McKinney and Gallaway (with McKinney's son Patrick onboard too) and they too were book-binders. It's likely that some assets where surreptitiously moved from McKinney and Co. and put in McKinney and Gallaway but there doesn't seem to be solid evidence of that. And by evidence I mean public accusations at the time etc. But it is strange that McKinney goes personally and professionally bankrupt several times and then pops up almost immediately with capital to start new firms shortly thereafter. Probably McKinney isn't totally legit.

E.F.


Why then does McKinney outsource bindery work? Clearly seen in outstanding payments to companies specializing in book binding. In the list of assets there is no bindery equipment. I also think it is not so easy to move bindery machines unnoticed while under bankruptcy orders. Financial assets yes, perhaps the odd plate or printed inventory, but bindery machines? I don't think so.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 7:31 pm

Here are two companies mentioned in the bankruptcy files which are clearly binderies:

Chicago Book Binding Company
Engberg, Helenberg Bindery

The file also has a section where it says:

----------------------
Paper Stock (in process) at following places:

Chicago Book Binding Co:
- For Presbytarian Board of Education "Whom Say Ye That I Am"
- For Engberg Homberg Pub. Co. "Psalm Books"
- For J. M. Towers "Lives of Our Presidents" (3 volumes)
- For World's Publishing Co, Ontario "Victoria Books"
----------------------

This, together with no indication of bindery equipment, is more than clear indication that they outsourced their bindery work.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 25th, 2015, 8:23 pm

And a few weeks ago I thought this topic was starting to slow down ...
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » July 25th, 2015, 8:42 pm

Re pseudonyms:

In the various re-caps of reasons for a pseudonym, there's been an important one I haven't seen mentioned, at least not recently: a pseudonym is often used when there is more than one author. Has the case for more than one author been persuasively dismissed?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » July 25th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Edward Finck wrote: Gallaway has been referred to here as the typesetter, Jay believed he was the binder and working separately from McKinney. Is there any evidence he was a/the typesetter?


His obituary makes no reference to typesetting.
In the 1910 and 1920 censuses (censii?) he reported his occupation as "printer". To the extent I have located him in Chicago city directories, he is always listed as a printer.


I suspect he knew the whole business. That's how he could competently write books on estimation etc.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 10:05 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Re pseudonyms:

In the various re-caps of reasons for a pseudonym, there's been an important one I haven't seen mentioned, at least not recently: a pseudonym is often used when there is more than one author. Has the case for more than one author been persuasively dismissed?


A forensic linguist I hired who analyzed the text does not see anything that would suggest two authors. However, one possibility I am considering is that one is the writer (Edward Gallaway) and one is the cardshark who met with Smith (his older brother Alexander Gallaway). At this point it is merely a hypothesis.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » July 25th, 2015, 10:45 pm

Regarding Gallaway being the typesetter this should clear it up:

Marty Demarest wrote:This is interesting considering that Whaley, Gardner and Busby, in The Man Who was Erdnase, state: "This [first edition] copy of The Expert, bearing Gallaway's bookplate [Edward Gallaway--typesetter for James McKinney and Company], still rests in Chicago in the collection of Jay Marshall..."
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