ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Leonard Hevia
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 15th, 2018, 6:57 pm

lybrary wrote:...yes, I am questioning Smith on that.

Naturally you are questioning Smith on his hunch that Erdnase was not married. It contradicts your edict that Gallaway was there. Yet you adamantly agree with Smith whenever his memory aligns with your claims. If Gallaway had not been married, you would have applauded Smith's intuition.


lybrary wrote:First, we do not know if Erdnase ever made that comment. Second, commenting to an illustrator that Erdnase was related to another well-known illustrator, one that Smith was most likely aware of, would be much more interesting to Smith than if Erdnase was married or not.


Whether Erdnase said that Dalrymple was a family member or not--he veered off the topic of the business at hand. If he veered off topic once at the meeting, he could have done so again. You downplay the aspect of marriage at this meeting--yet Smith did not. He told Gardner that he sensed Erdnase was not married.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 15th, 2018, 8:23 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
lybrary wrote:First, we do not know if Erdnase ever made that comment. Second, commenting to an illustrator that Erdnase was related to another well-known illustrator, one that Smith was most likely aware of, would be much more interesting to Smith than if Erdnase was married or not.


Whether Erdnase said that Dalrymple was a family member or not--he veered off the topic of the business at hand. If he veered off topic once at the meeting, he could have done so again. You downplay the aspect of marriage at this meeting--yet Smith did not. He told Gardner that he sensed Erdnase was not married.


Another point is that veering off topic is just part of how people interact (doing business or otherwise). Look at how much veering off topic happens here! :-)

So it would be very natural for personal attributes to be conveyed one way or another. I don't think it matters much why Dalrymple, specifically, was mentioned. It could well have been because he thought Smith would be interested as a fellow artist. But, whatever the reason, it's all just part of making a personal connection. And in the same way, Smith could have easily picked up on various other personal details like whether Erdnase was married or where he came from (the east). Plus many others that he probably forgot in the interim.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 15th, 2018, 8:34 pm

Was there anything in the Gardner interview that suggested the guy spoke or performed like what's in the book? Starting to think we're going Keyser Söze about the Gardner interview.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 15th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:So it would be very natural for personal attributes to be conveyed one way or another. I don't think it matters much why Dalrymple, specifically, was mentioned. It could well have been because he thought Smith would be interested as a fellow artist. But, whatever the reason, it's all just part of making a personal connection. And in the same way, Smith could have easily picked up on various other personal details like whether Erdnase was married or where he came from (the east). Plus many others that he probably forgot in the interim.


Exactly Bob! It appears from Smith's recollections that Erdnase was an affable fellow who quickly made a personal connection with Smith. He may have said one or two things to Smith that made the illustrator suspect that he was not married.

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Was there anything in the Gardner interview that suggested the guy spoke or performed like what's in the book? Starting to think we're going Keyser Söze about the Gardner interview.


That Gardner Smith Correspondence has become a kind of Keyser Soze: Talked about--but never seen. I'm on the lookout for a copy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 15th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:
lybrary wrote:First, we do not know if Erdnase ever made that comment. Second, commenting to an illustrator that Erdnase was related to another well-known illustrator, one that Smith was most likely aware of, would be much more interesting to Smith than if Erdnase was married or not.


Whether Erdnase said that Dalrymple was a family member or not--he veered off the topic of the business at hand. If he veered off topic once at the meeting, he could have done so again. You downplay the aspect of marriage at this meeting--yet Smith did not. He told Gardner that he sensed Erdnase was not married.


Another point is that veering off topic is just part of how people interact (doing business or otherwise). Look at how much veering off topic happens here! :-)

So it would be very natural for personal attributes to be conveyed one way or another. I don't think it matters much why Dalrymple, specifically, was mentioned. It could well have been because he thought Smith would be interested as a fellow artist. But, whatever the reason, it's all just part of making a personal connection. And in the same way, Smith could have easily picked up on various other personal details like whether Erdnase was married or where he came from (the east). Plus many others that he probably forgot in the interim.


The counterpoint to your argument is that the mention of Dalrymple (being an artist like Smith) is not "veering off topic". The topic was artwork. And every other known subject of conversation was likewise related to the project.

If you really could show that Erdnase mentioned acquaintances and/or relations that had nothing to do with the business arrangement, you might have a good point. That we have a long list of subjects, and they are all, without exception, pertinent to the job, suggests that the author was concerned exclusively with business, and probably thought that talking of personal matters with a complete stranger would be inappropriate. Not a stretch, from my perspective, as I never discuss my private life with store clerks, plumbers, or even business partners. Getting it done, for many of us, is about efficiency. Especially if we "need the money" and are eager to create a product that we can sell.

Sanders advocates argue that Erdnase must not have needed the cash, because it was a fairly slow process. But that is all the better reason to dispense with small talk! Too much time had been wasted already.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 15th, 2018, 9:11 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:Sanders advocates argue that Erdnase must not have needed the cash, because it was a fairly slow process. But that is all the better reason to dispense with small talk! Too much time had been wasted already.


Quite the opposite. Sanders most likely didn't need the cash so he had the luxury of spending a little extra time making a personal connection with Smith. if Erdnase posed while Smith drew his hands, there would have been even more time for conversation. Erdnase also took the time to perform a few card effects for Smith. This was surely another time consuming way to break the ice and make Smith more comfortable.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 15th, 2018, 9:59 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:.......Erdnase must not have needed the cash, because it was a fairly slow process. But that is all the better reason to dispense with small talk! Too much time had been wasted already.


I agree with Leonard ... Erdnase, fully employed for years before he wrote the book and then years after the book was released, certainly didn't need the money, thus giving him plenty of time for small talk. ("needing the money" was an example of Erdnase's wit, nothing more).
As a professional hustler, small talk was Erdnase's forte, his second specialty after playing cards if you will.

Expertise at making small talk was a mandatory skill if a hustler like Erdnase was to ingratiate himself into card games in private gentlemen's clubs, bars, and on trains.

So, "yes", Erdnase most definitely would have engaged in lengthy stretches of small talk and personal asides with Smith, sitting together on multiple occasions, for hours on end in a small hotel room.
In light of the known facts, one would have to be intentionally obtuse (or ridiculously uninformed) to presume otherwise.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 15th, 2018, 10:03 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:Sanders advocates argue that Erdnase must not have needed the cash, because it was a fairly slow process. But that is all the better reason to dispense with small talk! Too much time had been wasted already.


Quite the opposite. Sanders most likely didn't need the cash so he had the luxury of spending a little extra time making a personal connection with Smith. if Erdnase posed while Smith drew his hands, there would have been even more time for conversation. Erdnase also took the time to perform a few card effects for Smith. This was surely another time consuming way to break the ice and make Smith more comfortable.


Yea, Leonard--If Erdnase was Sanders he wouldn't have needed the money. But that is still a big IF.

If it wasn't Sanders, and the claim in the opening paragraphs of EATCT was true, then Erdnase certainly would not have prattled on with Smith about his wife, any more than he would have mentioned his club foot.

You folks banter about Erdnase's character, his manner, his style, etc. Well, I've read the book myself, and I don't see that a poker faced gambler--who knows how to conceal his hand, who is mostly silent during the game, and who writes tightly and efficiently--as an amiable, Smiling Jack. I don't see him as a Harry Blackstone, Sr., or an Al Flosso. I see him as more of a Blackstone, Jr., or a Kreskin--a man of few, but well chosen words.

And, please don't be so trite as to question my examples of character--I do not suggest that Erdnase resembled the above named performers, merely that they would seem to share certain qualities.

I think you are trying to take Sanders sort of loud, gregarious, outgoing personality and fit it to Erdnase. The author of EATCT strikes me as having the potential to be "larger than life" on stage, or in a public venue, but not so boisterous in private conversation. I feel that the charisma was a part of his act, whereas I get the sense that Sanders was genuinely jovial.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 15th, 2018, 10:13 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:If Erdnase was Sanders he wouldn't have needed the money. But that is still a big IF.


It doesn't matter which of the "premier" Erdnase candidates you choose to support, Gallaway, Sanders, E.S. Andrews, Benedict, or ??? ... we know for a fact that all of them were gainfully employed before, and long after EATCT was published.

Good gracious ... NONE of them "needed the money"!

Absolutely no "IF's" required.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 15th, 2018, 10:27 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:If Erdnase was Sanders he wouldn't have needed the money. But that is still a big IF.


It doesn't matter which of the "premier" Erdnase candidates you choose to support, Gallaway, Sanders, E.S. Andrews, Benedict, or ??? ... we know for a fact that all of them were gainfully employed before, and long after EATCT was published.

Good gracious ... NONE of them "needed the money"!

Absolutely no "IF's" required.


I have spoken to this before, but I will reiterate. "Needing the money" can mean a number of things. "Erdnase" might have had enough money to live on, but still "needed" a larger sum to pay debts or fund other ambitious projects. This could easily apply to either Gallaway or Benedict. The least likely in this case would be Sanders. His debts and/or schemes would have to have been enormous in order for him to "need the money", and I think we should find evidence of this in his biography.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 15th, 2018, 10:37 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
I have spoken to this before, but I will reiterate. "Needing the money" can mean a number of things.


We all like to have and get money ... but the word "need" has an actual meaning, and none of the candidates fits the bill ... sorry.

It was a joke, merely a humorous aside from Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 15th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
I have spoken to this before, but I will reiterate. "Needing the money" can mean a number of things.


We all like to have and get money ... but the word "need" has an actual meaning, and none of the candidates fits the bill ... sorry.

It was a joke, merely a humorous aside from Erdnase.


I don't know anyone that hasn't said, "I need (a certain amount of) money" for something that was clearly not necessary to his or her survival. The word "need" is frequently used in the sense of "yearn".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 15th, 2018, 11:09 pm

Roger M. wrote:It doesn't matter which of the "premier" Erdnase candidates you choose to support, Gallaway, Sanders, E.S. Andrews, Benedict, or ??? ... we know for a fact that all of them were gainfully employed before, and long after EATCT was published.

Good gracious ... NONE of them "needed the money"!

Absolutely no "IF's" required.

There is good evidence that Erdnase needed the money. In Expert we find a remarkable self-portrait:
Hazard at play carries sensations that once enjoyed are rarely forgotten. The winnings are known as "pretty money," and it is generally spent as freely as water.

In the new book by Joe Crist, who claims that his mentor Joe Artanis had a mentor who was friends with Erdnase, he writes:
Erdnase became addicted to the gambling game of Faro, and all money he "won" at the card table immediately went into trying to "buck the tiger."

Gallaway’s daughter-in-law commented:
He made a lot of money but it just slipped through his fingers ... he couldn't hang on to it.
This not being able to hang on to the money he made could very well be due to gambling at Faro.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 15th, 2018, 11:25 pm

lybrary wrote:Gallaway’s daughter-in-law commented:
He made a lot of money but it just slipped through his fingers ... he couldn't hang on to it.
This not being able to hang on to the money he made could very well be due to gambling at Faro.


From his diaries we know that Sanders frequented the Silver Bow Club in Butte, Montana. He would take the short line train from his home town of Helena to Butte, and return in the morning. The Silver Bow Club was a gambling joint so it is not a stretch to believe Sanders played cards in this club.

Now where is your source that Gallaway gambled and lost his money playing Faro?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 15th, 2018, 11:26 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:I have spoken to this before, but I will reiterate. "Needing the money" can mean a number of things. "Erdnase" might have had enough money to live on, but still "needed" a larger sum to pay debts or fund other ambitious projects. This could easily apply to either Gallaway or Benedict. The least likely in this case would be Sanders. His debts and/or schemes would have to have been enormous in order for him to "need the money", and I think we should find evidence of this in his biography.


Sanders was "hard up" for money at various times, apparently because of gambling debts. A friend wrote to him "You need not have worried about the money -- I did not I assure you. We are all of us who have the sporting blood likely to be 'hard up' at any time. 'I've been there before many a time' as the song goes and know well the feeling at the same time..."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 16th, 2018, 1:01 am

Leonard Hevia wrote: That Gardner Smith Correspondence has become a kind of Keyser Soze: Talked about--but never seen. I'm on the lookout for a copy.


At this late date, the easiest way to get a copy is to buy the Houdini Magic "Expert at the Card Table" DVD set, which includes a legal PDF of the book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 16th, 2018, 1:04 am

jkeyes1000 wrote: Kreskin--a man of few . . . words.

That's not the Kreskin I'm familiar with.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 16th, 2018, 1:10 am

Sanders also received letters from people in New York appreciating the payments he had made. Those letters included gambling slang such as "sporting" noted in Bob's post, "square" and "the right turns." After graduating Columbia in 1885, Sanders made frequent trips to NY and left with debts each time he visited.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 16th, 2018, 1:18 am

Bill Mullins wrote:At this late date, the easiest way to get a copy is to buy the Houdini Magic "Expert at the Card Table" DVD set, which includes a legal PDF of the book.


Thanks Bill! I actually have that DVD set but it's in storage and probably still shrinkwrapped. What I know from the GSC came directly from this thread and article endnotes.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 16th, 2018, 1:52 am

lybrary wrote: Gallaway’s daughter-in-law commented:
He made a lot of money but it just slipped through his fingers ... he couldn't hang on to it.
This not being able to hang on to the money he made could very well be due to gambling at Faro.


So how did he get together the cash to afford a vacation home? One with a boat dock? That's the sort of luxury not common with people who are poor. Further, his widow was able to hold onto their house until at least 1940, ten years after his death, so he must have left her some assets.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 16th, 2018, 7:49 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: Gallaway’s daughter-in-law commented:
He made a lot of money but it just slipped through his fingers ... he couldn't hang on to it.
This not being able to hang on to the money he made could very well be due to gambling at Faro.


So how did he get together the cash to afford a vacation home? One with a boat dock? That's the sort of luxury not common with people who are poor. Further, his widow was able to hold onto their house until at least 1940, ten years after his death, so he must have left her some assets.


Maybe that's what "Erdnase" needed the money for (a new home for him and his wife). And perhaps the sale of EATCT enabled him to afford it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 16th, 2018, 9:38 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: Gallaway’s daughter-in-law commented:
He made a lot of money but it just slipped through his fingers ... he couldn't hang on to it.
This not being able to hang on to the money he made could very well be due to gambling at Faro.

So how did he get together the cash to afford a vacation home? One with a boat dock? That's the sort of luxury not common with people who are poor. Further, his widow was able to hold onto their house until at least 1940, ten years after his death, so he must have left her some assets.
Gallaway wasn't poor, at least not when he was the head of the estimating department at R.R. Donnelley in the early 1920s. That is the time when he bought or rented the vacation home in Wauconda. But we know that besides the home Gallaway didn't leave much cash to his wife, because she had to sell his library to pay the bills. That is according to Gallaway's daughter-in-law
His widow (also dead) had to sell his library and eventually the old house to keep the bills paid.

You are conflating two different times in Gallaway's life. In 1901 his situation looked very different. However, I do not understand the 'needs the money' comment as 'I don't have any food to eat, I have no cloth and no shelter.' It is not an existential need on that very basic level of survival. But gambling debts or the desire for a bigger bankroll, or a new place for him and his wife, plans to grow the family, other business projects he might have in mind, that sort of needing the money. He was an entrepreneur. He had many failed startups. That alone provides enough reason to needing the money.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 16th, 2018, 10:44 am

it seems some are content to make cases based on what was possible, disregarding the mandate to discover what is true.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 2:35 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:it seems some are content to make cases based on what was possible, disregarding the mandate to discover what is true.

It does tend to make advancing a conversation difficult when folks sometimes seem to be just guessing at what they choose to post ... and are then willing to die on the hill that was, to begin with, merely a guess.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 16th, 2018, 4:25 pm

You seem to be making the case as follows:
1. in 1957, Gallaway's DIL says "[EG] made a lot of money but it just slipped thru his fingers".
2. Erdnase said he "needed the money".
3. Gallaway must have been Erdnase!

I don't buy this chain of reasoning because:
1. Evidence in the early 1920s through the 1940 census, when his wife still lived at the house, is that Gallaway was able, in fact, to hold on to some money.
2. Gallaway's DIL didn't become his DIL until sometime around 1929, so her knowledge of his finances 28 years earlier is suspect, at best.

You discount statements made by Smith in 1947 about 1901 events he was present at, but you accept statements made by EG's DIL in 1957 (based on hearsay), about 1901 events that she wasn't present at.

(BTW, in the section of your ebook titled "1947-11-26 Wife dies", you say "We know from her son, who spoke to Jay Marshall in the 1950s, that she did sell Edward Gallaway’s library to be able to pay her bills." I believe, based on the Marshall letters provided by Hatch, that we "know" this from his DIL, not his son.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 16th, 2018, 5:21 pm

Roger M. wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:it seems some are content to make cases based on what was possible, disregarding the mandate to discover what is true.

It does tend to make advancing a conversation difficult when folks sometimes seem to be just guessing at what they choose to post ... and are then willing to die on the hill that was, to begin with, merely a guess.

You are accusing others of muddling the conversation by "just guessing"?

You, who positively asserts that Erdnase must have engaged in personally revealing small talk?

You, that emphatically insists that none of the prime candidates "needed the money", as you restrict the definition of "need" to destitution?

You, that authoritatively boasts of knowing Erdnase's whimsical intention when he said he required the cash?

Are you then, under the impression that none of the above statements are guesses? Do you seriously think them self-evident?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby performer » April 16th, 2018, 5:28 pm

You know, the "need the money" comment may have just been a little joke by the author and you may all well be
reading too much into it. Come to think of it I suspect that you may all be reading too much into about 50% (or probably much more) of the various "clues" that you have all come up with!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 16th, 2018, 5:57 pm

performer wrote:You know, the "need the money" comment may have just been a little joke by the author and you may all well be
reading too much into it. Come to think of it I suspect that you may all be reading too much into about 50% (or probably much more) of the various "clues" that you have all come up with!


I'm sure there is a bit of levity, or jocularity, in the statement that he "needed the money", Mark, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of it being true.

How often have we all laughed at our own financial predicaments? But, if we think we have a brilliant plan--like publishing a book designed to appeal to the greedy--we are optimistic and enthusiastic. Thus, we tend to adopt a light-hearted attitude in lieu of our anxiety. This I consider to be a reasonable reading of the line, although none of us can rightly claim to know what Erdnase was thinking.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 16th, 2018, 6:12 pm

Roger M. wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:it seems some are content to make cases based on what was possible, disregarding the mandate to discover what is true.

It does tend to make advancing a conversation difficult when folks sometimes seem to be just guessing at what they choose to post ... and are then willing to die on the hill that was, to begin with, merely a guess.


No guesses required. But for context, have a look at what Raymond Smullyan wrote about Gardner. The facts about Chicago, the publisher and local writers are interesting. In the mean time - http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/george-groth/
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 6:16 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote: Do you seriously think them self-evident?


Indeed I do.
Thanks for asking.
Erdnase was gainfully employed before, during, and after writing EATCT, and was never wanting for money.

As noted earlier, his reference to "needing the money" was a joke, a humorous aside.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 16th, 2018, 6:34 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote: Do you seriously think them self-evident?


Indeed I do.
Thanks for asking.
Erdnase was gainfully employed before, during, and after writing EATCT, and was never wanting for money.

As noted earlier, his reference to "needing the money" was a joke, a humorous aside.


You are either out of touch with Reality, or simply trying to "stack the deck" in your favour. It is bold beyond bold to suggest that others are making it difficult to "advance the conversation" by engaging in guesswork. You are not only hypocritically doing the same, but you are doing it more blatantly than anyone else, whilst pretending to be above it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 6:45 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:You are either out of touch with Reality, or simply trying to "stack the deck" in your favour. It is bold beyond bold to suggest that others are making it difficult to "advance the conversation" by engaging in guesswork. You are not only hypocritically doing the same, but you are doing it more blatantly than anyone else, whilst pretending to be above it.


It appears that you're stuck on either Gallaway or Sanders as the author of EATCT. That's a shortcoming you may want to eventually address.

As we know who the most likely author of EATCT is, we also know what he did for a living before, during, and after he wrote EATCT.

See this link for additional information:
http://www.magicana.com/buy/publication ... card-table
See this link for the real story:
http://www.magicana.com/buy/publication ... e-unmasked

Or, for just the cost of your time, read the multiple posts in this thread pertaining to the investigation of E.S. Andrews a.k.a. S.W. Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 16th, 2018, 7:05 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
performer wrote:You know, the "need the money" comment may have just been a little joke by the author and you may all well be
reading too much into it. Come to think of it I suspect that you may all be reading too much into about 50% (or probably much more) of the various "clues" that you have all come up with!


I'm sure there is a bit of levity, or jocularity, in the statement that he "needed the money", Mark, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of it being true.

How often have we all laughed at our own financial predicaments? But, if we think we have a brilliant plan--like publishing a book designed to appeal to the greedy--we are optimistic and enthusiastic. Thus, we tend to adopt a light-hearted attitude in lieu of our anxiety. This I consider to be a reasonable reading of the line, although none of us can rightly claim to know what Erdnase was thinking.


the line is a joke. a punchline to the entire preface. He is ridiculing those who sell books under the guise of moral education or personal reform. It isn’t a confession,
it’s social commentary with a hint of self deprecation.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 16th, 2018, 7:12 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:You are either out of touch with Reality, or simply trying to "stack the deck" in your favour. It is bold beyond bold to suggest that others are making it difficult to "advance the conversation" by engaging in guesswork. You are not only hypocritically doing the same, but you are doing it more blatantly than anyone else, whilst pretending to be above it.


It appears that you're stuck on either Gallaway or Sanders as the author of EATCT. That's a shortcoming you may want to eventually address.

As we know who the most likely author of EATCT is, we also know what he did for a living before, during, and after he wrote EATCT.

See this link for additional information:
http://www.magicana.com/buy/publication ... card-table
See this link for the real story:
http://www.magicana.com/buy/publication ... e-unmasked

Or, for just the cost of your time, read the multiple posts in this thread pertaining to the investigation of E.S. Andrews a.k.a. S.W. Erdnase.


Ah! I perceive. You have made up your mind. You are back-fitting the evidence and "fudging" wherever necessary.

Well, at least I know you're not mad.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 7:31 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Ah! I perceive. You have made up your mind. You are back-fitting the evidence and "fudging" wherever necessary.

Well, at least I know you're not mad.


LOL, not mad (slightly crazy maybe?).
My approach has been to strictly limit the candidates likelihood of being the author of EATCT the the preponderance of actual evidence.
Absolutely no guessing, no wishing, no massaging the situation to suit who I'd wish Erdnase to be.

In that context, E.S. Andrews assumes the top position, with Sanders following in second place.
Chris's championing of Gallaway is tenacious, but (to me) remains unconvincing.

Taking known facts, and additional research into account, E.S. Andrews is the only candidate to date who eventually becomes S.W. Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 16th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Roger M. wrote:My approach has been to strictly limit the candidates likelihood of being the author of EATCT the the preponderance of actual evidence.
Absolutely no guessing, no wishing, no massaging the situation to suit who I'd wish Erdnase to be.

In that context, E.S. Andrews assumes the top position, with Sanders following in second place.
Chris's championing of Gallaway is tenacious, but (to me) remains unconvincing.

Taking known facts, and additional research into account, E.S. Andrews is the only candidate to date who eventually becomes S.W. Erdnase.


Can you summarize what you think is the strongest evidence for this particular version of E.S. Andrews? I'm assuming he's the traveling railroad agent with a possible Dalrymple connection (via Seely/Seeley)? Is there anything else in his favor that makes you think the case is so strong?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 16th, 2018, 9:44 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:You seem to be making the case as follows:
1. in 1957, Gallaway's DIL says "[EG] made a lot of money but it just slipped thru his fingers".
2. Erdnase said he "needed the money".
3. Gallaway must have been Erdnase!
That is not at all my case, because my case is not based on that fact alone. I am simply showing that a character trait of Erdnase, gambling away his pretty money playing faro, could very well be the reason for the comment the daughter-in-law made. It could be like a shadow this habit cast. Even though we only hear about the shadow we can make inferences about what is the reason for that shadow.

Bill Mullins wrote:I don't buy this chain of reasoning because:
1. Evidence in the early 1920s through the 1940 census, when his wife still lived at the house, is that Gallaway was able, in fact, to hold on to some money.
2. Gallaway's DIL didn't become his DIL until sometime around 1929, so her knowledge of his finances 28 years earlier is suspect, at best.
When it comes to a character portrait I rather believe the daughter-in-law than your interpretation of census information. People don't change their character that much over time.

Bill Mullins wrote:You discount statements made by Smith in 1947 about 1901 events he was present at, but you accept statements made by EG's DIL in 1957 (based on hearsay), about 1901 events that she wasn't present at.
That is not at all the logic I apply. The daughter-in-law knew Edward Gallaway during the end of his life much more so than Smith could have ever known Erdnase from the couple of business meetings they had. That informed her about his character, some of his interests, some of his flaws and qualities. Smith was in no position to have that intimate knowledge of Erdnase. My assumption is that the character trait of not being able to hold on to money isn't something he just developed at advanced age, but is something he probably exhibited throughout his entire adult life. Most people don't change that much over time. That means the daughter-in-law's character profile is highly relevant. If anything he may have gotten a better hold of this vice as he aged, and perhaps that is why he could afford a vacation home as a senior.
Lybrary.com Magic & Gambling
preserving magic one book at a time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 11:33 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:Can you summarize what you think is the strongest evidence for this particular version of E.S. Andrews? I'm assuming he's the traveling railroad agent with a possible Dalrymple connection (via Seely/Seeley)? Is there anything else in his favor that makes you think the case is so strong?


Long post, but to answer your question:

This is all discussed earlier in this thread … and is the work of Richard Hatch and Bill Mullins (with additional information from David Ben).

E.S. Andrews was born in the right year, and was the right age for Erdnase as per Smith’s recollection of him.

E.S. Andrews lived in and around Chicago at precisely the right time, such that he would have easily been able to meet Smith, and deal with the printing, binding, and handling of the first edition.

E.S. Andrews simply reverses to S.W. Erdnase. No complex puzzles required. He didn’t want to give his actual name as the author of the book, but we know he didn’t try very hard to conceal himself (the cheque to Smith, filing the copyright, repeatedly traipsing along printers row to McKinney’s facility, etc)

E.S. Andrews had never self-published anything before, which is reflected in the somewhat loose editorial work, spelling mistakes, and errors in instruction which are scattered throughout EATCT.

Day after day, week after week, month after month for years on end … Erdnase had to have had massive amounts of time in which to come up with moves that had never before been seen by human eyes. He had to not only have had time to develop them, he would have had to have had opportunity to develop them in actual games, which mean he had to expose himself to people with money.
First as a telegraph operator for the trains, and then as a travelling agent … he had plenty of time on his hands, and endless opportunities to meet monied folks, most of whom in the late 1800's traveled by train.

Because of the vagaries of gambling, even if you’re cheating … Erdnase would have had to have had a steady source of income, during the time he was developing his “system” of moves, during the time he was testing those moves out, during the time he was writing the book, and then after he was done writing the book (which wasn’t a financial windfall for him).

All of the above are to be accomplished in spades if one spends 8, 12, or 16 hours a day, each and every day … working first in a railway telegraph office, and then as an agent onboard trains.

E.S. Andrews spent the better part of his adult life working for a train company.

As you noted, the Seely/Dalrymple connection (still under investigation) is a strong connection.

E.S. Andrews frequently has a deck of cards in his hands, as indicated by the “Mystery of the Pippens”. Going out of the way in order to note that Andrews often has to resort to the “Pippens” excuse to get out of playing cards indicates (to me) that Andrews played a heck of a lot of cards … indeed, that he was well known as a card player.

A huge chunk of the above, although factual, only means that Andrews had what would have been needed to develop his system, practice his system, write the book, and then get on with his life when the book wasn’t as successful as he no doubt wished it would have been.

The solid evidence is the perfect name reversal from E.S. Andrews to S.W. Erdnase.

Less factual as its still waiting to be fleshed out, but in many ways more compelling, is the still incomplete discussion relating to the Seely/Dalrymple connection.

Factual evidence continues with Andrews matching the features of Erdnase as Smith described them to Gardner. (although Sanders fits the bill as well - which doesn’t negate the fact that Andrews too fits the bill).

On the negative side was the fact that Andrews was married, contrary to Smiths observation … although he was a widower when he married the second time, and spent a great deal of time away from home on his own … so perhaps would have put off the “unmarried vibe” to Smith.
Regardless, Andrews being married is contrary to Smith’s observation.

There aren’t really any other negative elements to Andrews, at least such that they stand out as being worthy of note.

All in all, E.S. Andrews is the strongest candidate amongst all the candidates when everything is taken at face value, no massaging of information is undertaken, and candidates are equally compared using the same method.

BTW, I do believe that it’s extremely likely that Gallaway knew Erdnase, to the point where he and other Mckinney employees would have known him by both of his names, Andrews and Erdnase.
If I recall correctly, this was the original impetus of Chris’s research, to investigate the relationship between S.W. Erdnase and McKinney … which may have been something more than simply a customer printing a book.

There’s more, but it’s all in previous posts in this thread … and worth looking for and re-reading.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 16th, 2018, 11:55 pm

I should note too that I put a great deal of weight on M.D. Smith's recollections, and believe strongly that the only reason to introduce doubt as to what Smith told Gardner would be if one were to be advocating a candidate that didn't fulfil one of the criteria for Erdnase as noted by Smith.

In my view, the Smith/Gardner correspondence is a cornerstone of the search, and there is absolutely no evidence anywhere, not one shred, that indicates we have any reason to doubt any of Smith's recollections.

Thus the physical appearance of Erdnase (height, weight, hands, hair color, demeanour), the Seely/Dalrymple connection, and the rather tame effort to conceal his identity (the #1 cheque, the playful reversal of his name) all become major elements that have to be met by a successful Erdnase candidate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 17th, 2018, 1:41 am

Roger M. wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:Can you summarize what you think is the strongest evidence for this particular version of E.S. Andrews? I'm assuming he's the traveling railroad agent with a possible Dalrymple connection (via Seely/Seeley)? Is there anything else in his favor that makes you think the case is so strong?


Long post, but to answer your question.


Thanks for the summary. It's pretty much what I remember from David Ben's Magicol article. And now looking back on a few years on this thread, it seems like I asked you essentially the same question in 2011, and you gave basically the same answer. At least we're consistent :-)

Here's what I think about the points:

I don't put much if any stock in the "having lots of free time because he was a train agent" argument. Some free time is surely needed, but it would be hard to rule anyone in or out based on that. About a third of your points are just different restatements of that same comparatively vague criterion.

The reversed name is very important. I think every candidate needs to reckon with that. However, I actually think Sanders anagram is quite a bit more compelling, given that we also know that he was interested in such things and had played with re-arranging the letters of his own name. Not to mention the "Erdnase" = "earth nose" = "mining engineer" aspect.

I don't know how to evaluate either of their potential Dalrymple connections.

The pippins thing, while better than nothing, seems very minor on the cards/gambling/magic front compared to Sanders where I think Sanders is an extremely good fit. We know a) he received letters related to his gambling debts; b) he has references in his diaries to card games mentioned by Erdnase (cassino...misspelled same as in Erdnase, whist, euchre); c) he used gambling slang/terminology in his writings; d) he purchased a half dozen decks of cards for a trip; e) he referenced details about a card trick in his notebooks; f) he wrote in his diaries about seeing through a magic performance; g) Erdnase was known to be seen with Del Adelphia, a fellow Montana resident and magician.

And with Sanders we also have:

- a well educated, polished, published writer. Capable of writing at the level of Erdnase.

- knowledge/experience with publishing (both as clerk for his father and on his own). Experience with getting work published as well as understanding the limitations/problems involved in getting something out. ("The mechanical part of the work leaves much to be desired, but it is something to have gotten out the work, so that we can afford to overlook such an item as that.")

- uncanny similarity of voice/style with Erdnase. This includes frequent and effective use of colloquial language/dialects, parenthetical question marks, and scare quotes. Both writers make clever puns, including one instance where they both have a pun pivoting on the same word: "shift". Aside from the stylistic quirks and many linguistic and thematic matches in their writing, the same personality and "voice" shines through. And just as Erdnase adopts different styles within Expert, from precise/analytical (e.g. the descriptions of the sleights) to humous/ironic (e.g. parts of the introduction) to grandiloquent/oratorical (eg the patter in the Card Tricks) so does Sanders range through those same styles in his various writings.

- similarity in the themes of two of Erdnase's most distinctive patter/tricks "Exclusive Coterie" and "Divining Rod" to Sanders' background in private salons/clubs and as a mining engineer.

- a strong reason for a pseudonym (father was senator) and evidence in other ways of hiding aspects of his identity (pages torn from diary), references to his "other life".

- Good match with most of Smith's recollections/descriptions: physically (age, size); socially (unmarried; not from chicago); personality (polite/gentlemanly/refined manner -- we can assume based on his upper class background, education, and the quality/polish of his writing).


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