ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
mam
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 1st, 2015, 4:53 am

Richard Hatch wrote:
mam wrote:Did we already know that James McKinney lived at 520 McLean Avenue?

Yes, from Chicago directory and census records. He is listed at 520 McLean in the directories from 1893 through 1905. The 1908 directory has the home address as 526 McLean, possibly a typo. The 1910 Census lists his home as 3639 McLean, but the streets were renumbered in 1909 and I suspect it is the same address, with a new number, though I haven't confirmed that.

That is exactly what 520 McLean resolves to with the 1909 number change, see this document: http://www.chsmedia.org/househistory/1909snc/start.PDF (page 101).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 1st, 2015, 11:48 am

Richard Hatch wrote:
Tom Sawyer wrote:Bridget McKinney is shown at the 520 McLean address, in the bankruptcy papers.

Bridget was James McKinney's mother, born in Ireland in about 1840. She is not listed among his survivors when he died in 1911, so presumably predeceased him.


From the Chicago Daily Tribune 10/27/1904 p.13:

"THE FOLLOWING BURIAL PERMITS WERE issued by the health department yesterday:

McKinney, Bridget, 70; 375 McLean-av., Oct. 24"

Details are slightly off, but I suspect this is her.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 2nd, 2015, 3:48 pm

For some inexplicable reason, about a day has gone by with no new posts on this thread.

I thought I might address one of the most fundamental questions in Erdnase-dom, namely whether Marshall D. Smith’s recollections regarding the name "Andrews" are reliable.

(Probably this immediately will trigger a half-dozen three-line posts on this thread, dealing with other topics.)

Anyway, if you believe that S.W. Erdnase’s real name was Andrews, two of the main things you have upon which to hang your hat are Marshall D. Smith’s recollections and the Johnny Sprong investigation.

In this post, I’ll talk about my view of Marshall D. Smith’s recollections.

It’s actually quite easy to disregard Smith’s recollections on this topic, mainly because in the first place Smith could not remember the name at all. According to The Gardner-Smith Correspondence, page 8, Martin Gardner’s notes (regarding a conversation of late 1946) state:

Before I mentioned Andrews as the name, he [Smith] said that Erdnase didn’t sound right, and he recalled it as a name with a W.  When I said Andrews, his face lighted up and he was sure that was it. Does not recall first name or initials.


I’m quoting this word for word, because it is really the only way to analyze what Gardner said. There are some nuances that are more clear from the exact words. For instance, it appears that the “W” was mentioned in connection with a discussion of surnames. I think that has been mentioned on this thread, but I don’t know that Gardner’s exact words were quoted. Also, Smith’s failure to recall the first name seems to call into question the recognition of the surname.

You want to know how much weight I place on the “W” business? Zero. None whatsoever. Well, okay, I can’t keep myself from giving it just the tiniest bit of weight, but rationally I should not. Therefore, it does not matter too much to me that “Wilbur” starts with “W,” or that “Gallaway” has a “w” in it.

Of course, the evidence is hearsay on at least a couple of levels. Smith told the information to Gardner. Gardner told it to his notes. The notes told it to us. Those are probably the main levels, but of course there were other steps. The notes actually were converted (somehow) to the printed word. I have now quoted it. There may be some other levels in there somewhere.

But we cannot ask Smith for details of what he witnessed. And we can’t ask Gardner for further details on what Smith told him. And unfortunately Gardner’s notes are not all that well-rounded or detailed.

Of course, one of the great mysteries of the Erdnase case is, “Why on earth did Gardner not give Smith eight or ten names to choose from?” Maybe he did not want to appear as though he were giving Smith the third degree. Yet the same procedure was apparently followed to a “T” by Gardner after he learned the full name Milton Franklin Andrews. What does he do? He writes Smith a letter (in 1949) saying (page 14 of TGSC):

Recently I ran across some clues involving a man named Milton Franklin Andrews, and I’m writing to ask you if this name sounds at all familiar.


Huh? What if Smith’s face had “lighted up” again? This was probably not the approach Gardner should have taken, because it tends to give Smith an idea of what his response should be. I realize that Smith had already indicated that he didn’t remember, so in a sense this was probably okay, to refresh Smith’s recollection, but anything (recognition-wise) that flowed from this would likely have been highly unreliable.

Gardner also said (same page):

I realize, of course, that it would be almost impossible to recall the name of so casual a contact, but just on the chance that the name might seem familiar I thought I’d write.


Again I say, “Huh?” The guy supposedly remembered “Andrews,” so Gardner SHOULD have said, “Since you were so sharp in remembering his last name, I’m sure you will know whether or not this is the right Andrews.”

Smith’s reply was not a one that lends credence to his earlier recognition of the name Andrews. To make a short story extremely short: He did not recognize “Milton,” and he thought he might recognize “Franklin,” but he indicated that it could be his “imagination.”

Well, there is more that could be said. But some of the stuff that Smith said (as reflected in The Gardner-Smith Correspondence) seems pretty equivocal.

And maybe Gardner’s approach was the best that could have been done, though from the foregoing, it appears that there could have been a number of improvements.

—Tom Sawyer

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 2nd, 2015, 4:18 pm

Tom, I agree 100%. Particularly the recollection of a name, 45 years later, is highly suspect in and of itself, because many other names have already overlaid this memory. Add to this Gardner's one sided questioning essentially planting the name in Smith's memory and you are left with nothing but misinformation.

But for me personally the real mystery is not Gardner's less than optimal way to conduct his interview, but the almost single minded reliance on this one piece of highly unreliable memory by almost the entire Erdnase hunting community.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 2nd, 2015, 4:27 pm

Well, it's equally a mystery as to how quickly folks are willing to dismiss Smith's recollections, especially if dismissing those recollections involves trying to hype a candidate whose name isn't "Andrews" (or Sanders for that matter).

I guess that makes it a wash both ways.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 2nd, 2015, 6:20 pm

Roger M. wrote:Well, it's equally a mystery as to how quickly folks are willing to dismiss Smith's recollections, especially if dismissing those recollections involves trying to hype a candidate whose name isn't "Andrews" (or Sanders for that matter).

I guess that makes it a wash both ways.

Please show us where Tom has hyped a name. I don't think Tom even has a name he favors at this point. The name Andrews has been hyped for 70 years based on nothing but rumors and faulty 45 year old memories.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 2nd, 2015, 6:25 pm

lybrary wrote:Tom, I agree 100%. Particularly the recollection of a name, 45 years later, is highly suspect in and of itself, because many other names have already overlaid this memory. Add to this Gardner's one sided questioning essentially planting the name in Smith's memory and you are left with nothing but misinformation.

But for me personally the real mystery is not Gardner's less than optimal way to conduct his interview, but the almost single minded reliance on this one piece of highly unreliable memory by almost the entire Erdnase hunting community.


Without knowing the actual details of the author's identity and his interaction with Smith, we can't know that what he told Martin Gardner was "misinformation". And most of those who favor the Andrews theory of authorship likely don't do so solely or even principally on the basis of Smith's testimony, but more likely on the compelling and almost certainly not coincidental reverse spelling of S. W. Erdnase to arrive at E. S. Andrews. Obviously, we don't know if that is the author's true name, but if it is not a coincidence (and I don't believe it is) then it seems likely that is either a clue to the author's identity or a deliberate "red herring" to confuse the authorship issue. Those who favor the author's need for "strong anonymity" favor the latter. My personal profile of the author does not ascribe a need for such "strong anonymity to him, so I favor the former and think it reasonable to start a search looking for an "E. S. Andrews". Smith's enthusiastic, if prompted, confirmation of this name doesn't prove it is the author's true name, of course. Smith's recollection could be flawed or the author might have used the name "Andrews" to hide his identity from Smith.

In my reading of Gardner's interview and correspondence with Smith, I am impressed with Smith's carefully qualifying of what he is sure of versus what he is uncertain of. For example, though prompted, he is sure of the last name "Andrews". Not so clear on the first name or initials - possibly he never knew them... It was a more formal time and a business relationship that may have simply been conducted between "Mr. Andrews" and "Mr. Smith", though Erdnase knew enough about Smith to put his correct first and middle initial on the title page (and why would he do that if he wanted "strong anonymity"? Anyone could have tracked Smith down in the Chicago directories for 1902/1903 and likely gotten enough information - hotel and dates of meeting, bank used for check, exact physical description, nature of relationship with Dalrymple, how the author got in contact with him, etc... - to narrow the search considerably). Gardner describe's Smith's mind as "sharp" and when we have been able to follow up on statements he made, that has been confirmed. For example, he told Gardner that he had illustrated a book about the sister of Jesus called "His Sister" at about the same time and was proud of the work he had done on it (unlike his work for Erdnase, where the author stressed accuracy over artistry). He couldn't remember the author's name but he thought the publisher was "Wynona" (Gardner's spelling in his notes). Gardner was unable to further identify and find a copy of the book in his research, but he lacked today's internet resources. Here's a copy of the book online:http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100594482
The title is correct, and the publisher is "Winona". Considering Gardner was interviewing him more than forty years later, I think this demonstrates a remarkable memory on Smith's part.
In their correspondence after the initial in person interview, they consistently refer to the author as "Andrews", not "Erdnase", indicating that there was no doubt in Smith's mind on this point, just as he was certain the man could not have been 6' 1.5" tall (MFA's height).

Gardner also corresponded with Edgar Pratt, who confirmed the name Andrews (though Pratt was referring to MFA) and Charlie Maly and Audley Dunham, associates of James Harto, who Pratt claimed had helped Erdnase with the book. Both Maly and Dunham confirmed that Harto had corresponded with Erdnase, and both refer to him as "Andrews". Dunham says "Yes, I have heard Jim Harto speak of Andrews..." Maly says, "Your informer is correct - Jim Harto did have contact with Andrews (Erdnase)..." While, like Smith, not independent recollections of the author's name (since Gardner wrote them seeking confirmation that Harto had, as claimed by Pratt, known Erdnase/Andrews), they also tend to support the Andrews theory of authorship.

Personally, I like Smith's memory and I like the "Andrews" theories and have not yet seen compelling arguments to cause me to favor other theories (though I must admit I like them, too. I just don't favor them at present!).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 2nd, 2015, 6:55 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:And most of those who favor the Andrews theory of authorship likely don't do so solely or even principally on the basis of Smith's testimony, but more likely on the compelling and almost certainly not coincidental reverse spelling of S. W. Erdnase to arrive at E. S. Andrews.

There are two problems with this. All of the Andrews 'evidence' is tightly connected - one caused the other - and thus not independent verification of each other. That S.W. Erdnase reverses into E.S. Andrews, a real name in use, was most likely the cause of the various rumors that it supposedly was an Andrews. Gardner's questioning also comes from that rumor which he believed and thus tried to confirm. So all of the evidence comes down to the fact that the pseudonym reverses to a name that is in use. However, that is simply one of several possible theories (German nickname, German slur, intentional smoke screen, or some other logic lost to us) to explain the name. It is not evidence. There is not one shred of real evidence that supports that it was an Andrews or any of the other theories.

And to Smith's memory, just because somebody is intelligent doesn't mean he has a good memory. Just because he was right in some things doesn't mean he is correct in all of his statements. I also read Smith's letters to indicate he is very shaky with names, easily mixes them up (see Franklin story) and even admits that his vivid imagination may play tricks on his recollections. Smith was also very eager to help Gardner which has been shown in research on memory and witness testimony as a red flag. Investigators stay away from such witnesses for good reasons. They are unreliable.

Regarding the strong versus weak anonymity, let's not kid ourselves. Just because we are a group of a dozen or so die hard Erdnase sleuths does not mean everybody wants to track down authors. Most readers would take the name as is, not give it a second thought, and focus on the contents. This means the danger of somebody actually trying to track down the author by starting with the illustrator name, particularly a Smith which is the most common name in the US, doesn't strike me as particularly worrisome for an author who wants to stay anonymous. And even if somebody would do that and would successfully track down the illustrator who says Smith would have cooperated and revealed his real name?
Last edited by lybrary on September 2nd, 2015, 7:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 2nd, 2015, 7:12 pm

In a civil case in a court of law in the U.S. all the plaintiff need do (often to recover an award in the millions from the defendant) is establish his case by a "preponderance of the evidence." Put another way, that translates to a "more likely than not" standard, or in mathematical terms, 51%. Though I must confess that my own knowledge and research on the Erdnase issue pales by comparison to virtually every contributor who has posted on this subject, I will say that Richard H. has laid out a compelling even if not definitive case for the Andrews theory. IMHO, there just seems to be too much circumstantial evidence coupled with and in addition to the reversed name spelling to add up to mere coincidence. I am sure that there will be much more argument and evidence offered before this is presented (if ever) to a jury of Erdnase's magical peers for a verdict. But I must say that if I was on that jury and was charged with rendering my vote today, it would be in favor of the Andrews theory, certainly as being substantially more likely than not. That being said, it remains to be seen if a case is ever presented featuring evidence that proves Erdnase's true identity "beyond a reasonable doubt" or "beyond the shadow of a doubt" - the standard applicable to determining guilt in an American criminal case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 2nd, 2015, 7:43 pm

As an addendum to my previous post, I had not read Lybrary's recent post at the time of writing mine, and I must admit that Lybrary sets forth a pretty convincing rebuttal to the Andrews theory. There is also the nagging logical question that arises: If someone were writing under a pseudonym, raising the inference that they wanted to conceal their identity, why would it be in the form of such a pat and easily discernible anagram?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 2nd, 2015, 8:04 pm

Dick, I can't remember seeing those Dunham and Maly quotations before. That is very interesting.

The Man Who Was Erdnase seems to me to be extremely vague about both Dunham and Maly, regarding their support for the asserted Harto connection with Erdnase (or Andrews). I don't think I have ever seen any of them cited before this as support for the general notion that Erdnase's name was Andrews.

Like Chris, I see that as a separate historical thread: For whatever reason, they either thought Milton Franklin Andrews was Erdnase, or thought that Erdnase's name was Andrews, or both.

Regarding Smith, we know his reason for thinking Erdnase was Andrews: Erdnase told him so (or so Smith recalled).

Hurt McDermott says on page 64 of Artifice, Ruse & Erdnase that, "It's not even perfectly clear whether it's Ireland or Maly who identified Erdnase as Andrews." Also relevant is pages 135, where Hurt says: "Perhaps Harto had agreed to keep Erdnase's true identity secret as he also didn't share his knowledge of Erdnase's identity with Audley Dunham or Charles Maly either."

At very least, Hurt appears to have viewed this as an area that has quite a bit of uncertainty. The quotations above are probably typical of a number of other statements he makes.

I'm very unclear as to what Harto's or Maly's or Dunham's evidence was with regard to the name Andrews. If it is anything like Pratt's, then "Ouch." If it is not, then great, that could potentially be a strong argument that Erdnase's name was Andrews.

--Tom Sawyer

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » September 2nd, 2015, 8:17 pm

lybrary wrote:
Roger M. wrote:Well, it's equally a mystery as to how quickly folks are willing to dismiss Smith's recollections, especially if dismissing those recollections involves trying to hype a candidate whose name isn't "Andrews" (or Sanders for that matter).

I guess that makes it a wash both ways.

Please show us where Tom has hyped a name. I don't think Tom even has a name he favors at this point. The name Andrews has been hyped for 70 years based on nothing but rumors and faulty 45 year old memories.


he has not...but you have :) Back when you highlighted, more than once, some facts (or factoids) in support of Gallaway that "fitted" Smith's recollections.....
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 2nd, 2015, 8:20 pm

lybrary wrote:Please show us where Tom has hyped a name.


You misunderstand Chris ... it wasn't Tom I was referencing ... it was you.

My point simply being that you're very quick to dismiss anything from the Gardner-Smith Correspondence that doesn't match up perfectly with your proposed candidate.

And yet the Gardner-Smith exchange remains the most solid, actual evidence in the entire case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 2nd, 2015, 9:06 pm

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:he has not...but you have :) Back when you highlighted, more than once, some facts (or factoids) in support of Gallaway that "fitted" Smith's recollections.....

Which by the way everybody else has done who put forward their case. But as I have pointed out the main points in favor of Gallaway do not rely on Smith's recollections which is exactly the reason why it is such a strong case. Most of Smith's recollections do in fact match Gallaway. One could even make the Andrews recollection fit by using the red herring theory to explain the name. But there are good reasons to doubt Smith and that is why I have not made his memories an essential part of the Gallaway case.

To refresh your memory, the Gallaway case rests primarily on:

1) Was an employee at McKinney
2) Owned a first edition
3) Publishes his books identical to Erdnase (self-published, copyright applied, price prominently on title page)
4) Sounds like Erdnase (Olsson report, witty, ...)
5) Similar approach of teaching a subject. Similar groundbreaking books.
6) Interest in gambling

None of this requires Smith. But if you want you can now throw in Smith which means pretty much all of his recollections of height, age, hotel, no-sign of marriage, W in the surname etc. either fit or can easily be explained.

Richard Hatch has made part of his E.S. Andrews case on the premise that he MAYBE is related to Dalrymple. And that is a big MAYBE. If you want to talk about hype then this would be double hype because we can neither be sure about Smith's Dalrymple comment nor do we know if ES Andrews is even remotely related to Dalrymple. If you would be really objectively comparing the cases made so far you would see the double standards which are applied.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 2nd, 2015, 10:11 pm

The 1944 Fireside Publications Canadian edition says it is copyrighted that year in Canada. Has anyone ever confirmed this?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 2nd, 2015, 11:25 pm

lybrary wrote: If you would be really objectively comparing the cases made so far you would see the double standards which are applied.


All the other champions of candidates have refrained from making definitive statements that their candidate is definitely Erdnase.

It seems (to me at least) that all the other champions have maintained an open mind related to new or otherwise interesting twists and turns in the search for Erdnase.
...there is no double standard at play anywhere in this thread.

Gallaway is an interesting candidate, and that's all he is based on the evidence brought forward to date.
Again, no double standard here, as all the other candidates are equally as "interesting" as Gallaway might turn out to be.

You might want to detour onto the road which states that Gallaway might be a good candidate for Erdnase, as opposed to the one you're currently on - which tends to repeatedly state that Gallaway is Erdnase ... and everybody else is wrong.

Or do as you see fit to do ... but don't claim "double standards" in the Erdnase thread just because nobody is jumping up and down congratulating you on having found our Mr. Erdnase.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you haven't found Mr. Erdnase, you've simply identified another candidate - (and you're the second person to do so, as Jay Marshall was first to ID Gallaway as worthy of having a look)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 3rd, 2015, 12:23 am

I've taken a while off from the discussion, for fear I was getting too excited about it. But you guys have drawn me back in.

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:If you are Gallaway, and wanting to be anonymous, and are willing to lie when stating your residence, it doesn't make much sense to put down your place of employment instead. There are hundreds of thousands of other addresses in Chicago that are more anonymous.

You still want to know what is mailed to you by the copyright office. Putting down a completely fake address makes little sense. Putting down your employers address where you have access to correspondence makes sense. His actions regarding the addresses he provided are completely consistent and sensible.


Maybe so, but they don't support wanting to be anonymous. The McKinney address on the copyright form is an straightforward path back to the author. You've said it yourself -- he needed to be able to be contacted there.


lybrary wrote:
All of the Andrews 'evidence' is tightly connected - one caused the other - and thus not independent verification of each other.


This is simply not true. For example, Sprong's statement that Andrews = Erdnase, as told to him by Drake, is completely independent of the other statements supporting that thesis (Smith, Pratt, Rullman, etc).


To refresh your memory, the Gallaway case rests primarily on:

3) Publishes his books identical to Erdnase (self-published, copyright applied, price prominently on title page)

One major difference in publication, which is hugely relevant to a case of author attribution, is that Gallaway wanted the world to know that he had authored his book, and the author of EATCT didn't want anyone to know who wrote it.

Your list of similarities is greatly outweighed by the problems with your theory:

1. No evidence that Gallaway had any skill with cards.
2. That Gallaway was Erdnase gained no traction with Jay Marshall, who was much closer to witnesses and evidence than you or I could ever hope to be.
3. Suppositions and surmises, but no evidence, for any theory that explains why Gallaway would use the pseudonym "Erdnase".
4. No evidence that Gallaway had any interest in conjuring.
5. Gallaway's life in the years before 1902 is not consistent with any expert 19th century expert gambler that we know about. J. P. Quinn, George DeVol, J. H. Green, Kid Royal, Canada Bill. Gamblers with the level of skill of Erdnase didn't have long term, stable "day jobs".
6. No explanaition for how and why Gallaway could write a groudbreaking revloutionary book, and then abandon the subject for the rest of his life.

You've taken a couple of legitimate interesting coincidences and combined them with "plausibles
" and "he must haves" to build a case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 7:23 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Your list of similarities is greatly outweighed by the problems with your theory:

This is a list I will happily respond to. I will contrast it with what seems to be the current favorite E.S. Andrews

Bill Mullins wrote:1. No evidence that Gallaway had any skill with cards.

Neither is there evidence for skill with cards for E.S. Andrews.

Bill Mullins wrote:2. That Gallaway was Erdnase gained no traction with Jay Marshall, who was much closer to witnesses and evidence than you or I could ever hope to be.

There is no evidence that Marshall ever considered Gallaway a possible Erdnase. The Andrews theory was so strong that anybody without an Andrews name was not considered. And even if we want to go out on a limb and say Marshall may have considered Gallaway, where is the evidence on which bases he rejected him?

Bill Mullins wrote:3. Suppositions and surmises, but no evidence, for any theory that explains why Gallaway would use the pseudonym "Erdnase".

The reversal theory used for E.S. Andrews is exactly the same - a theory - which comes with its own share of problems of being too obvious. Both can explain the name (with Gallaway we even have 3 possible theories, not just one), but they are all just theories. We have no evidence on this for any candidate.

Bill Mullins wrote:4. No evidence that Gallaway had any interest in conjuring.

No evidence for ES Andrews to have any interest in conjuring.

Bill Mullins wrote:5. Gallaway's life in the years before 1902 is not consistent with any expert 19th century expert gambler that we know about. J. P. Quinn, George DeVol, J. H. Green, Kid Royal, Canada Bill. Gamblers with the level of skill of Erdnase didn't have long term, stable "day jobs".

This is wrong on two levels. i) Who says Gallaway had stable day jobs? Everything I can see is that he changed companies as frequently as people got hair cuts. Certainly not the stable day job you make it out to be. ii) As I have demonstrated before, there is plenty of time for somebody with a stable day job and no kids to practice and acquire the skills. Experts come in all shapes and sizes. By all measures Erdnase is a very special person. There is no requirement to make him fit the stereotype.

Bill Mullins wrote:6. No explanaition for how and why Gallaway could write a groudbreaking revloutionary book, and then abandon the subject for the rest of his life.

Plenty of reasons. Remember, he got married, then his son was born, he advanced in his printing career. All good reasons to give up your active card advantage play.

With this you can see that your assertions are either outright wrong or not any different to ES Andrews. However, there is not more evidence for ES Andrews than he lived in Chicago and he occasionally played cards socially. But on the Gallaway side we have my list of 6 groups of evidence, many of which carry documentary evidence.

Bill Mullins wrote:One major difference in publication, which is hugely relevant to a case of author attribution, is that Gallaway wanted the world to know that he had authored his book, and the author of EATCT didn't want anyone to know who wrote it.

Common sense, Bill, common sense. Who wants to be known to cheat people out of their money? Particularly if you are not making your old cheating days your new career. Being a print estimator is a respectable profession. No need to hide your skills on print estimating, but plenty of reasons not to be known as card advantage player. Really, Bill, is that the best you can do?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » September 3rd, 2015, 7:28 am

Hi All,

Chris said that all of the Andrews evidence is “tightly connected.” Bill said that this “is simply not true.”

Both of these men elaborated on their positions, so it seems pretty clear what each of them means, at least if you are sort of familiar with the basic facts.

In this post I’ll talk about Chris’s view, which is probably much more difficult to understand or accept for those not all that familiar with the Sprong-Harto-Maly-Dunham details. (My “separate historical thread” remark in my most recent post here was intended to apply only to Harto-Maly-Dunham.)

Actually, I don’t know whether I am restating Chris’s position exactly congruently with what he has said, so you can view what I say below independent of what Chris meant, if it turns out that what I am saying is different.

We have largely accepted that the people that have been mentioned as sources for “Erdnase is someone named Andrews” actually got their information directly or indirectly from Erdnase. But the proof of this, except as to Smith, appears to be extremely weak.

Except as to Smith, in significant part upon that "proof" comes from “no one knows exactly where.” It seems to be fruit form a tree called "I know Erdnase was named Andrews, because the pen name includes 'Andrews' reversed."

So, the question is, “Does this ‘poisonous tree’ idea hold water?” And I think that under one reasonable view of the evidence, it does.

1. Regarding Harto-Maly-Dunham, on page 64 of Hurt McDermott’s book on Erdnase, Hurt as much as says that Harto never identified Erdnase to Maly and that there is a good possibility that Dunham got his identification from Frances Marshall. And if this is so, then I guess there is no evidence that Harto ever identified Erdnase as being named Andrews. I don't even know that Harto believed that his Erdnase was named Andrews. (See the first full paragraph on page 135 of Hurt's book.)

2. Regarding Sprong, his comments are no stronger than “Drake’s,” but it has not been demonstrated clearly what Drake’s source of information was.

3. Regarding Smith, yes "his face lighted up,” and he obviously believe Erdnase’s name was Andrews. But the fact remains that this could be an inaccurate recollection, even if in his own mind he was absolutely, positively certain. It is hard for me to say to anyone, “Don’t worry, Gardner’s specific mention of the name can be disregarded.”

The point is, beliefs that “Erdnase was named Andrews” held by Harto-Maley-Dunham-Drake-Sprong and even Smith, could be directly connectible with an idea that one or more people just inferred from the backwards spelling. The evidence just isn’t clear.

What are the probabilities that the “poisonous tree” theory is accurate? I don’t know, but I think that most theories that “Erdnase was not named Andrews” probably accept its validity, unless there is some other explanation for the statements of Harto, Maly, et alii.

--Tom Sawyer

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 7:44 am

The Andrews rumors fit both somebody with actual name E.S. Andrews (except the simple name reversal is too obvious) and somebody without it, by using it as cover name. Reverse spelling the cover name functions as psychological convincer. Based on the 70+ years of search for an Andrews proofs how good a method it is to hide your real name.

You may now ask why the cover name E.S. Andrews? I say why not? Andrews is a reasonably common surname. Andrew is also a common first name. All good reasons to use it as cover name.

Having said that, the whole Andrews discussion is moot. It doesn't mean a thing. It doesn't make any one candidate more or less likely. If your candidate's name is Andrews then he fits the rumor. If your candidate is not Andrews then to make the rumor fit it was his cover name. That means we can simply forget about it and move on to more important parts of the discussion.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » September 3rd, 2015, 8:16 am

Tom Sawyer wrote:3. Regarding Smith, yes "his face lighted up,”

--Tom Sawyer


Was the Smith-Gardner conversation via Skype? ;)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 3rd, 2015, 9:03 am

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
Tom Sawyer wrote:3. Regarding Smith, yes "his face lighted up,”

--Tom Sawyer


Was the Smith-Gardner conversation via Skype? ;)


This interview was in person, not via phone, as has sometimes been misstated.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 3rd, 2015, 11:54 am

If I wanted to examine printing errors in the first edition, what are my options?

(Ideally that would be looking at an actual first edition, but I don't have access to one.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Marquardt » September 3rd, 2015, 1:38 pm

@lybrary - Would you consider it a possibility that Erdnase was an acquaintance of Gallaway, and that he asked Gallaway for help in publishing his book, knowing that Gallaway was in the printing business? Perhaps Gallaway even acted as a ghost writer or editor of the book.

As Gallaway appears to have had some interest in advantage play but might not have had enough time to have been an experienced player himself, I would think that such a scenario is possible. This is pure conjecture of course, but it could explain a few things.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 2:02 pm

Bill Marquardt wrote:@lybrary - Would you consider it a possibility that Erdnase was an acquaintance of Gallaway, and that he asked Gallaway for help in publishing his book, knowing that Gallaway was in the printing business? Perhaps Gallaway even acted as a ghost writer or editor of the book.

As Gallaway appears to have had some interest in advantage play but might not have had enough time to have been an experienced player himself, I would think that such a scenario is possible. This is pure conjecture of course, but it could explain a few things.

Bill, I am certainly all ears, particularly if you have some evidence or arguments for it. You say it would explain a few things. Perhaps you can lay out these things.

I should add that I have made some investigations into this area. At some point I thought that his older brother August may be the real cardshark. There is some evidence for it, but also some against it. Also Olsson who did the linguistic analysis did comment on this during our email and phone exchange. He feels it was unlikely a ghostwritten book.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Marquardt » September 3rd, 2015, 4:38 pm

You have made an excellent case to include Gallaway as a candidate, and I am not really arguing against him being Erdnase. Your case, however, like all the others, lacks a convincing piece of evidence to positively name him as the author of EATCT.

It is difficult to remember all the facts that have been presented, but I understand that Gallaway was involved in the printing business from an early age, making it difficult to attribute to him a great deal of expertise in cardsharping. Obviously, he knew a great deal about book printing. I recall that the introduction to EATCT contains language similar to Gallaway's writing in his estimating book. If Gallaway had been some sort of "go-between" between someone called Andrews, whether a real name or not, and the printer, that could explain how he was intimately involved in the process of writing the book and yet not be the actual author. This scenario also eliminates the need to prove that he was an expert card handler or a magician.

Presumptuous, yes, but such an explanation would resolve the issue of him being both "author" and "not author," effectively making both sides correct. If I were to write a historical novel based on the story of EATCT and its mysterious author, I would likely choose such a plot (and leave the ending AMBIGUOUS.) :)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » September 3rd, 2015, 5:13 pm

I'm trying to assemble a better picture of the James McKinney operation. These are the titles I have found that were printed by McKinney, based on the bankruptcy files:

Books printed by James McKinney for Jamieson-Higgins:

A Round Robin - Stories for Children by Mary Hartwell Catherwood
Dickens’ Christmas Stories for Children edited by Molly K. Bellow
Fuzzy Four-Footed Folks by Ada May Krecker
Girls from the Bible by Susan Clark Handy
Helen’s Babies by John Habberton
Moon Children by Laura Dayton Fessenden
Peck’s Red Head Boy by George W. Peck
Peck’s Uncle Ike by George W. Peck
Sunbeams by George W. Peck
Tales from Longfellow by Molly K. Bellew
Tales from Tennyson by Molly K. Bellew
“2002”: Childlife One Hundred Years from Now by Laura Dayton Fessenden

Works printed by James McKinney yet to be identified:

“How to sell perfect speaker”
Frontispiece for “Health, Strength and Beauty”
Music “Just because you are you”
“World’s Celestial” cloth bound
Galveston Prospectus
“Story of Africa”
South Africa
Poems
Goethe

Manuscripts held by James McKinney at the time of the bankruptcy, but never printed:

“Maxims of Theodore Roosevelt”
“Boudoir Library”

Does anyone know of any titles that are not in the list above? (Except, of course, a certain card book.)

Of these titles, Moon Children was mentioned in this thread by Richard Hatch back in 2012 and I believe he owns a copy. I have digital copies of a few of the others, and also of that Jack Pots book by Eugene Edwards that might or might not have been printed by McKinney, but was published by Jamison-Higgins. Also mentioned back then is Yankee Mother Goose and Old Mother Hubbard but I have yet to confirm that these were actually printed by McKinney, although likely, because:

It seems like James McKinney and Jamieson-Higgins were very tightly connected, maybe even to an extent we don't yet know. McKinney printed virtually all of their books, but something else went on in their business dealings that caused one concerned creditor in the bankruptcy, The Paper Mills Co., to write to the district court:

Your petitioner further represents that it is also a creditor of Jamieson-Higgins Co., and that from a hurried examination of the books of the Jamieson-Higgins Co. it appears that said company and James McKinney have been giving each other accommodation paper and had numerous transactions with each other, and that several thousand dollars were paid by Jamieson-Higgins Co. to James McKinney within a few days prior to the filing of the petition in bankruptcy against both Jamieson-Higgins Co. and James McKinney,

Your petitioner further represents that it believes it is absolutely necessary in order to ascertain the exact financial condition of the bankrupt, to have an examination of the books of said bankrupt made by an expert accountant, and that such examination should be made in conjunction with the examination of the books of Jamieson-Higgins Co.

Your petitioner therefore prays that an order may be entered herein directing some responsible expert accountant to make an examination of the books of said bankrupt, in conjunction with the examination of the books of said Jamieson-Higgins Co., at the expense of this estate.

(This is from page 402 in the Lybrary version of the bankruptcy files.)

Tom Sawyer found this notice in The Bookseller, January 1903:

FAILURE OF JAMIESON-HIGGINS COMPANY.

The Jamieson-Higgins Company incorporated, of this city, was placed in the hands of George W. Stanford as receiver by Judge Kohlsaat on December 23. The house was organized in 1900 by Charles Higgins and Samuel W. Jamieson, and had of late made a specialty of new juvenile books with colored pictures. Indications have pointed to this failure for some months back, but it was hoped that the holiday sales would enable the company to tide over the danger.

The house was tangled up with the printing business of James Kinney, which is also in the hands of a receiver. Mr. Kinney is said to be a heavy stockholder in the publishing business. Liabilities are placed at about $40,000, with assets nominally valued at $30,000. The books show to be due by the company in open accounts $4,231.27, notes $31.791.60. Books sold on consignment all over the country, with a small stock on hand, plates and copyrights comprise the principal assets.

Of which Bill Mullins commented: "Looks possible that the bankruptcy of Jamieson-Higgins dominoed into the bankruptcy of McKinney."

This would be further confirmed by the creditor letter quoted above, that more or less says that both companies filed for bankruptcy at the same time. I'm as of now tracking down the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files in the hope that it will yield even more background, asset info, etc. regarding their publishing business. If interesting materials on Jamieson-Higgins can be found in the McKinney files, it probably goes both ways, is my thinking.

Another line of investigation is the list of employees at McKinney that can be found as creditors in the bankruptcy files, claiming "wages earned as a laborer":

Edward Gallaway
George Billings
Patrick McKinney
George Mausey
Fred Hitzleberger
John Hallenan
G. Anderson
E. Langan
D. Johnson
Carl Smith
G. Chandler
M. McCabe
F. Lacy
Bartlett Donahue
Gus Steinmayer
J. A. Vogenthaler
Louis Levin
F. Schrum
J. Zimmerman
John Way
W. J. Smith
W. P.Taylor
Joe Warren
C. Dunnett
E. J. Hellenback
F. H. Thorpe

The first three names have the same address, 79 Van Buren Street, at a couple of places, I wonder why, and what was at that address? I have not done any research on any of these names yet, just thought I'd throw it out here first. Except, of course, the first name, of which there is quite some research being done. :)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 5:35 pm

mam wrote:It seems like James McKinney and Jamieson-Higgins were very tightly connected, maybe even to an extent we don't yet know....I'm as of now tracking down the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files in the hope that it will yield even more background, asset info, etc.

I can spare you that work. I have the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files as long as I have the James McKinney files. I got them at the same time exactly because of their close connection. But so far I have not found anything that would really be noteworthy.

For all those who have bought the James McKinney bankruptcy files from Lybrary.com you can now download the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files from your digital shelf. You will find new download links called JH.PDF, which are the ones for the Jamieson-Higgins stuff. Enjoy and thanks for your support of my work locating these files.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 5:57 pm

Bill Marquardt wrote:You have made an excellent case to include Gallaway as a candidate, and I am not really arguing against him being Erdnase. Your case, however, like all the others, lacks a convincing piece of evidence to positively name him as the author of EATCT.

It is difficult to remember all the facts that have been presented, but I understand that Gallaway was involved in the printing business from an early age, making it difficult to attribute to him a great deal of expertise in cardsharping. Obviously, he knew a great deal about book printing. I recall that the introduction to EATCT contains language similar to Gallaway's writing in his estimating book. If Gallaway had been some sort of "go-between" between someone called Andrews, whether a real name or not, and the printer, that could explain how he was intimately involved in the process of writing the book and yet not be the actual author. This scenario also eliminates the need to prove that he was an expert card handler or a magician.

Presumptuous, yes, but such an explanation would resolve the issue of him being both "author" and "not author," effectively making both sides correct. If I were to write a historical novel based on the story of EATCT and its mysterious author, I would likely choose such a plot (and leave the ending AMBIGUOUS.) :)

Bill, yes Gallaway started to learn the printers art with 14 at the Delphos Herald. But I don't understand why some feel that would prevent him from becoming an expert card handler and gambler. We know for sure that Gallaway did not have any children until after EATCT appeared. Most likely his first marriage was the one in 1901. The one newspaper comment Bill Mullins found about an earlier marriage could not be confirmed. I tried to do that but there is nothing in any other data set where it should be: census, marriage records. So for all we know Gallaway was single all the way to 1901 when he got married, which also provides a nice reason for why he changes his lifestyle. Why would a single person, even with a steady job (also that is quite unsure), not be able to achieve expert level with cards? There was certainly enough time for him to do that. Also there were plenty of gambling places in Chicago to accommodate a cardshark for a long time (If you doubt that read for example "Chicago by Gaslight" or other accounts of the gambling scene in Chicago during that time.) What exactly do you feel makes this impossible? I feel some have a too narrow romantic stereotype of the cheating gambler.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 3rd, 2015, 6:22 pm

lybrary wrote:
mam wrote:It seems like James McKinney and Jamieson-Higgins were very tightly connected, maybe even to an extent we don't yet know....I'm as of now tracking down the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files in the hope that it will yield even more background, asset info, etc.

I can spare you that work. I have the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files as long as I have the James McKinney files. I got them at the same time exactly because of their close connection. But so far I have not found anything that would really be noteworthy.

For all those who have bought the James McKinney bankruptcy files from Lybrary.com you can now download the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files from your digital shelf. You will find new download links called JH.PDF, which are the ones for the Jamieson-Higgins stuff. Enjoy and thanks for your support of my work locating these files.


I'm glad to see these released, as I have had access from another source but not had permission (till now) to reveal any information gleaned from them. The one thing that I spotted that I believe may be of significance is the very close writing match of "S. W. Jamieson" to the person who filled out the Copyright Statement for Erdnase. The capital S, W, J, and an F and several of the lowercase letters look like perfect matches to me, so though I am no expert on handwriting, I strongly believe that S. W. Jamieson filled out the copyright application for Erdnase. He was a co-founder and treasurer of Jamieson-Higgins, not an employee of McKinney, and probably too young himself to have been the author. But why would he fill out the application? One theory that has been discussed is that perhaps the author took the manuscript to J-H to publish and they took it to McKinney, but declined to issue it as their imprint due to the Comstock laws. Pure speculation, of course, at this point... But take a look and see if you don't agree that S. W. Jamieson likely filled out the copyright application. Does this help any of the known candidates?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 6:32 pm

mam wrote:Frank. H. Thorpe

I have not done any research on any of these names yet, just thought I'd throw it out here first.

I have done some research on Frank H. Thorp, because he was both an employee and he is also mentioned in combination with some unnamed plates. He was actually my first hot lead finding the bankruptcy files, because I thought this was quite interesting that an employee also owned a set of printing plates. (This by the way further demonstrates that running your own book as employee wasn't in any way unusual. I know some question that, but the Thorp data in the bankruptcy files clearly documents this.) I think I located him in the census where he is mentioned as printer I think. Here is what I found on him so far:

From 1910 census: 4625/4733 Kenmore Avenue. Born in 1954 in New Jersey. Father and mother from Connecticut. Occupation salesman/printing. Niece Ma(r)y V. Tilton, born 1873 in Pennsylvania.

1910 census http://www.mocavo.com/Frank-H-Thorp-B18 ... 5220924940

1920 census http://www.mocavo.com/Frank-H-Thorp-B18 ... 5162321154

From 1870 census: Southington, Hartford, Connecticut. Father Charles Thorp (est 1824) (works in bolt shop); Mother Lucy Thorp. Brother Hildreth Frank 10 years old living there. Grandmother Mary. http://us-census.mooseroots.com/l/69740 ... nk-H-Thorp

There is also another Thorp family listed right above which is probably related: Levi Thorp, Mary S Thorp, Franklin Thorp (8 years old).


I even tried to connect Thorp to the famous Edward Oakley Thorp who wrote "Beat the Dealer" who was the one who developed the first blackjack card counting systems. I thought perhaps gambling runs in the family. Edward O. Thorp was born in Chicago. But so far I was not able to make a connection.

One way to start further teasing out the list of employees would be to identify the age of everybody. This could give us a rough idea of seniority. Combine this with the wage claim data and we might be able to create an org-chart for McKinney :-)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 6:39 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:I'm glad to see these released, as I have had access from another source but not had permission (till now) to reveal any information gleaned from them. The one thing that I spotted that I believe may be of significance is the very close writing match of "S. W. Jamieson" to the person who filled out the Copyright Statement for Erdnase. The capital S, W, J, and an F and several of the lowercase letters look like perfect matches to me, so though I am no expert on handwriting, I strongly believe that S. W. Jamieson filled out the copyright application for Erdnase. He was a co-founder and treasurer of Jamieson-Higgins, not an employee of McKinney, and probably too young himself to have been the author. But why would he fill out the application? One theory that has been discussed is that perhaps the author took the manuscript to J-H to publish and they took it to McKinney, but declined to issue it as their imprint due to the Comstock laws. Pure speculation, of course, at this point... But take a look and see if you don't agree that S. W. Jamieson likely filled out the copyright application. Does this help any of the known candidates?

Richard, that is an interesting observation. My initial thought here is the following: Jamieson-Higgins was a publisher. One of the things publishers do is register the copyrights for the books they publish. James McKinney is only a printer not a publisher. It would be natural for James McKinney to refer Erdnase to his friend Jamieson to help him with applying for the copyright, and perhaps Jamieson said: "Alright, I will do it for you."
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 3rd, 2015, 7:29 pm

Conjuring Arts wrote:Conjuring Arts has also had the McKinney Bankruptcy papers for some time and have decided to release them to all, free of charge. The files are now available to search and view via Ask Alexander to all account holders (even at the free level) and are in the S. W. Erdnase directory located here:

Erdnase

Please note that this will also allow users to post links to interesting pages.


It's probably not a coincidence, but I noticed that the above link now also includes the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files. For those wanting to compare the handwriting, here is a link to writing by "S. W. Jamieson"(in the lower right hand corner):
http://askalexander.org/display/66806/McKinney+bankruptcy+papers+file+7+electronic+resource/31
and here is the Erdnase copyright application:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=8FDC2BFE7554ADD8!209&authkey=!AKkHdxZGXDAyNx8&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpeg

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » September 3rd, 2015, 8:06 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:
Conjuring Arts wrote:Conjuring Arts has also had the McKinney Bankruptcy papers for some time and have decided to release them to all, free of charge. The files are now available to search and view via Ask Alexander to all account holders (even at the free level) and are in the S. W. Erdnase directory located here:

Erdnase

Please note that this will also allow users to post links to interesting pages.


It's probably not a coincidence, but I noticed that the above link now also includes the Jamieson-Higgins bankruptcy files. For those wanting to compare the handwriting, here is a link to writing by "S. W. Jamieson"(in the lower right hand corner):
http://askalexander.org/display/66806/McKinney+bankruptcy+papers+file+7+electronic+resource/31
and here is the Erdnase copyright application:
https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=8FDC2BFE7554ADD8!209&authkey=!AKkHdxZGXDAyNx8&v=3&ithint=photo%2cjpeg


The "g" seems more of a problem...as well as the "y".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 9:15 pm

I have now compared the little bit of writing that is in the bankruptcy files of Jamieson and the EATCT copyright form and I have to say this is as good a match as one can expect. The upper case characters do match almost perfectly. And also several of the lower case characters are a decent match. But it should be fairly straight forward to put this totally to rest, because Jamieson must have filled out other application forms for Jamieson-Higgins and those should be available. As publisher they would frequently apply for copyrights. Congratulations Richard. One open question answered.

The important question I am contemplating is: "Does that mean anything for any of the proposed candidates?"
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 3rd, 2015, 9:43 pm

There is a little bit of Jamieson's handwriting on his passport application, available at Ancestry.com, that is consistent with the bankruptcy files and the copyright application.

Yes, the lower case g and y are different, but that possibly is a result of using one's most formal writing (in lieu of a typewriter) for the official form, vs. routine handwriting on the bankruptcy files.

But similarities abound. Compare the J in "Jas McKinney" (copyright) to "Jamieson" (bankruptcy); the F in "Feb" (copyright) to F in "Forward" (bankruptcy). Both documents have two different, similar versions of lower case e: one is a typical cursive e, the other resembles a backwards 3.

All of these examples are somewhat more stylized than either the Spencerian or Palmer methods of handwriting that were taught during the era. As such, they are deviations from the norm, so it would be highly coincidental for two different writers to deviate in the same way on multiple letters.

About two weeks ago I sent a query about the issue to a former officer in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, someone with great experience in comparing handwriting samples and testifying about it in court, to see what could be said about the two documents. I don't know if I will get a reply -- usually this person charges professional fees for such opinions, and I didn't offer one, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2015, 9:59 pm

Bill, I am shocked, you are consulting with an expert?! :o
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 3rd, 2015, 10:43 pm

Yes, but only to validate what I had already been able to see -- that the copyright application was not written by Gallaway <G>.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 4th, 2015, 12:01 am

lybrary wrote:Bill, yes Gallaway started to learn the printers art with 14 at the Delphos Herald. But I don't understand why some feel that would prevent him from becoming an expert card handler and gambler. . . . What exactly do you feel makes this impossible? I feel some have a too narrow romantic stereotype of the cheating gambler.


What prevents it is that apprentices (which is essentially what a 14 year old in a trade is) don't have free time to develop the skills to become a master card cheat.

You brought this up earlier, and mentioned that despite your studies and other activities, you still had sufficient time to develop high level athletic skills.

I think you may be projecting a 21st century lifestyle onto a 19th century person. Remember, middle class jobs with plenty of leisure time are a post WWII invention. Gallaway was a tradesman, who had been working since his teens in a blue-collar field (although as he got older, he certainly climbed up the ranks, but during the years you posit he was becoming an expert card player, he was busy learning the printing trade). His later success in the field argues that he was dedicated in his youth, not spending a lot of time in gambling dens and saloons. People who have to work that young don't do it to fill the idle hours; they do it because they need money. The workweek was longer than 40 hours. Six day weeks and 10 hour days were not uncommon. Printing would have taken place in hot warehouses and shops, and the work itself could have been laborious -- loading presses, moving pallets of paper and lead plates, wheeling barrels of ink, etc. And when he arrived home, dog-tired, he had no labor saving devices like we do now; dishes and clothes had to be washed by hand, food prepared from scratch rather than pulled from the freezer and microwaved. Everything took longer, and was harder to do.

I really don't see how someone who was a printer in the 1880s and 1890s would have been able to obtain the top level skills that Erdnase clearly had. Erdnase's full time job was to work a deck of cards -- he was not a weekend poker player. He was a professional, who "would rather play than eat."

And going back to the discussion between Tom and Chris about reversed names and Andrews. I don't insist that Erdnase's name was E. S. Andrews, or even Andrews. But what a convincing case must have is evidence of why the candidate used "Erdnase" as a pseudonym. For anyone named "E. S. Andrews" the answer is obvious -- reversals are an accepted way to develop pseudonym. If you are an mining engineer whose name anagrams to S. W. Erdnase, the foreign language pun/scrambled name is perfectly reasonable.

But to get Ed Gallaway or Harry S. Thompson to S. W. Erdnase, you really have to make stuff up for which not only is there no proof, there is no evidence. Gallaway could have been called Erdnase as a kid (a nickname which will never put "Bubba" out of business), but there's no evidence that he was. Thompson could have known Emory Cobb Andrews as early as late 1901, but there's no evidence that he did.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » September 4th, 2015, 7:33 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Yes, but only to validate what I had already been able to see

Then our approaches aren't that different. When I read Gallaway's "Estimating for Printers" it sounded very much like Erdnase. To validate what I had already been able to see I hired Olsson to get an independent confirmation which he did by stating that Gallaway was a strong possibility of being Erdnase from a linguistic point of view.

Bill Mullins wrote:What prevents it is that apprentices (which is essentially what a 14 year old in a trade is) don't have free time to develop the skills to become a master card cheat.

I disagree. 10 hours six days a week as single leaves plenty of time even in the 19th century. The apprenticeship also meant that the master and the family of the master took care of his apprentices outside the work hours. Some lived with the masters, ate with them, and were otherwise looked after. That means Gallaway may very well not had to prepare every single meal by himself (there are also restaurants and street vendors), or wash his own clothes. Also remember that he apprenticed at the Delphos Herald which means he probably still lived at home at that time and received the usual care parents provide. All of this means there is plenty of time for him to develop a deep expertise with cards.

We might also look at this from this side. The day has 24 hours. If he worked 10 that means there are 14 left. Say he slept 8 hours that leaves 6 hours a day plus a full Sunday. Even if we take away 3 hours for the daily chores that leaves him with 3 hours of daily practice plus a full Sunday. Some researchers believe that you need about 10,000 hours to become a top expert in any particular field. If we say 3 hours of practice every day then you get 1095 hours per year. So let's say about 1000 hours per year. That means in 10 years (when he was 24) Gallaway could have been an expert card handler. But he could have started earlier than 14. Back then kids were earlier in many ways. He may have started to riffle shuffle and false deal with 10 or 11. By 14 he may already have had a foundation of card handling. That means in his late teens and early 20s he may already prowling the saloons and bars to look for games.

On top of this we do not know if Gallaway was continuously employed. After his apprenticeship he went to Chicago and I see him bouncing around at various businesses. There could have been times where he was unemployed which would have provided further time to hone his skills with cards, as well as gamble.

All of this means there is plenty of time and opportunity for Gallaway to become an expert card advantage player. I know it doesn't fit your stereotype, and it may very well be a bit out of the norm, but it certainly was possible. Clearly, Erdnase was not the norm in so many ways.

Bill Mullins wrote:But what a convincing case must have is evidence of why the candidate used "Erdnase" as a pseudonym.

Anybody not named Andrews can claim that he used E.S. Andrews as cover name and S.W. Erdnase is the reverse spelling of that cover name. Andrews is a common name which is the reason he chooses it. Not good enough for you?

Bill Mullins wrote:...the foreign language pun/scrambled name is perfectly reasonable.

So if the foreign language pun is perfectly reasonable, why is then the German nickname for Gallaway or the German/Irish slur for Gallaway not perfectly reasonable? Gallaway was a honor student in German and was embedded in a German culture with some of his siblings marrying into German immigrant families, German newspapers being published, public addresses in German, etc.

Bill Mullins wrote:Gallaway could have been called Erdnase as a kid (a nickname which will never put "Bubba" out of business)

I think you have your German wrong. "Bubba" AFAIK is not a German nickname.

Bill Mullins wrote:The "so what" is that Erdnase didn't know how to properly mark, and didn't properly register, copyrights. He didn't know what he was doing.

Bill, now that we know that Jamieson filled out the copyright application for Erdnase, are you still holding on to your notion that whoever filled out the form didn't know what he was doing? Jamieson must have filled out dozens of copyright application forms for his publishing house Jamieson-Higgins. He must have known what he was doing. No?
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