ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 29th, 2005, 12:40 pm

I just finished reading the Genii issue featuring David Alexanders new light on the identity of Erdnase. It was a great read and had me convinced.

When can we expect a follow up feature? It has been five years now. I would be interested in reading about any further information Mr. Alexander may have collected.

I would also like to read Richard Hatchs most recent conclusion on the topic.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 21st, 2005, 2:08 pm

Thought I would mention that today is Martin Gardner's 91st birthday. I just spoke with him and he sounds very good. A few weeks ago Gary Plants gave him a lesson on the Plants Shuffle, about which he is enthusiastic.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ryan Matney » October 21st, 2005, 2:34 pm

Happy Birthday Mr. Gardner!

Karl Fulves just gave a rave to Gardner's new book of science experiments. Amazing he is still turning out work.

Richard, so Martin still meets/sessions with magicians?
Get the Dirty Work - Available now at http://www.ryanmatneymagic.com

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 21st, 2005, 3:17 pm

Originally posted by Ryan Matney:
Richard, so Martin still meets/sessions with magicians?
Well, since he has moved to an assisted living center in Norman, Oklahoma (about 3 years ago), he has been visited by Jamy Ian Swiss, Bob White, Gary Plants, Randi (several times), Joshua Jay, and no doubt some others I don't know about. His dentist there, Dr. Tom Todd, is a magician. He's quite a private person, but seems to enjoy interacting with magicians on occasion. Magic is still an active and creative interest for him.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 7th, 2005, 1:10 am

ERDNASE IN NON-MAGIC POP CULTURE

Modesty Blaise studies EACT by Erdnase in _Dead Man's Handle_ (by Peter O'Donnell, 1986). Darwin Ortiz points out in _The Annotated Erdnase_ that Scarne, Zingone, and Rosini discuss the "merits of the Erdnase one-hand shift" in _No Coffin for the Corpse_ (by Clayton Rawson, 1942). Amy Tan's _Saving Fish From Drowning_ (2005) has a character named E. S. Andrews, who uses card tricks to assert power over Burmese tribesmen.

Any other non-magic notices of Erdnase?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tommy » November 19th, 2005, 12:58 pm

I just read this and I don't know why I mention it here, apart from the fact that I am a gambler and know the world of pro gamblers is small, most of us know each other, sort of.
Well I was just wondering if this diary mentions someone who might fit the bill. Also this guy Michael Carey might give us a tip or two on how to search for Erdnase, maybe. I know its a long shot but I told you I was a gambler. I think it would be appropriate to find Erdnace by chance. I would like read the diary of a gambler from the time of Erdnase in any event.
Are any of you guys from Alaska.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15
1:45 to 3 p.m.

THE SEARCH FOR BILLY PORTER - From 1901-1903, a gambler kept a diary of his activities in the mining camp of Rampart on the Yukon River. The lengthy diary survived because Alaska journalist Michael Carey's father found it and kept it. The diarist recorded details of his business, scenes from his community, holiday events and celebrations. He said much about his frontier surroundings. But he never revealed his name. So who was he? In this workshop, Michael Carey will explain how he found out who the gambler was, when he was born, when he came to Alaska, what he did after he left Rampart for Fairbanks and how and where he died, a surprise ending. "The Search For Billy Porter" is an example of historical detective work, emphasizing research techniques that can be used by reporters, historians and genealogists.

http://www.pressclub.alaskawriters.com/schedule_05.html

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 20th, 2005, 6:33 pm

Originally posted by COOPER:
From 1901-1903, a gambler kept a diary of his activities in the mining camp of Rampart on the Yukon River.
With Erdnase, one is reluctant to rule out anything with certainty. But unless the gambler's diary shows him to be in Chicago sometime in late 1901, or during 1902, it probably isn't Erdnase. That would have been the time he was arranging to have his book published in Chicago.

But it's fun running these leads down, and I'm trying to find a copy of the article from the Anchorage Press that starts here that Michael Carey wrote, to see if it sheds further light. Who knows?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 21st, 2005, 11:08 am

The speaker in the above-mentioned talk, Michael Carey, was kind enough to send me a full copy of his article (which is more or less the same as the talk) on Billy Porter, the gambler who wrote the diary. It's not likely that he was Erdnase, but there are some parallels that do make him intriguing. From his article:

Billy's voice is mature, experienced and worldly. Nobody would expect a gambler and barman to be a moralist, and this one does not wrestle with moral issues or questions about human nature. . . Billy seems to have spent at least a year in the Yukon Territory before settling in Alaska. Canadian border crossing records show William H. Porter entering the Yukon from Skagway April 24, 1899. He is not in the 1900 U.S. Census for Rampart, but a story in the Alaska Forum suggests he was in Rampart by the spring of 1900. . . . Billy says nothing [in his diary] about cheating . . . . The territorial laws of 1899 banning gambling never threatened Billy's business, at least according to the diary. His card and dice games, including roulette, were played openly at The Reception. . . .
In reference to his business acumen
During late 1902, Billy's interest in The Reception waned. It was easy to see why. In August, Billy and bartender Nelson compared their income and expenditures for the previous eight months. They found The Reception was losing money, a discovery that left Billy feeling "very much blue." Billy never explains why he lost money. Popular belief has it that selling liquor to frontier miners was a sure thing. Not at The Reception.
This is consistent with a person who "needs the money".

Billy's story does not end well
On June 29, 1912 the Record Citizen reported a local jury found Billy Porter insane. He suffered delusions of grandeur, promising friends gifts of $500,000 or more from imaginary mining properties north of the Yukon River. . . . He was sent to the Mt. Tabor Asylum in Portland, Oregon (later Morningside), a private hospital that for more than 60 years held a federal contract to care for mentally-ill Alaskans. . . .Billy Porter died at the Mt. Tabor Asylum December 7,1913. His death certificate says Billy, now divorced, succumbed to "paralysis" and was buried in Multnomah Cemetery. A 1914 clipping Rex Fisher found in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported his death under the headline "Billy Porter Is No More," noting in a sub-head "Was Well Known and Popular In Fairbanks In The Earlier Days." The term "paralysis" could mean many things. Here's what it probably meant: syphilis.
Further research by Carey, after his article, revealed:
I now believe, in addition to what I wrote, that Billy Porter was born in Milwaukee in October 1862, the son of a vessel master who sailed the Great Lakes. Billy grew up in some affluence in the Milwaukee suburbs. I have him into the early 90s working and living in Milwaukee. He is an agent for several freight companies, including American Express. About 1895, he disappears. I believe he went to Calif and from Calif went to Alaska - or the Yukon, Canada - in the gold rush.
So he was from the midwest, he was literate and a writer, he was a gambler. His history could explain why Erdnase never reappeared after his book. But the timelines are wrong for a book to have been published in 1902 -- the only way they work is if the book and its illustrations were completed sometime in the 1890's, and then the publisher sat on it until 1902. And I can't find any way to scramble the letters of William H. Porter into S. W. Erdnase.

If there is a lesson in Porter's story that informs Erdnase research, it is that there were a bunch of gamblers in the United States in 1900. Running them all down would not likely be a productive path to identifying Erdnase, although some subjects may be tantalizingly close.

Billy Porter's diary is now in the collection of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks:
CATALOG ENTRY.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tommy » November 21st, 2005, 7:14 pm

Thanks very much Bill and thanks MR Carey.

The very thought of Erdnase, with his brilliant mind, ending up like that is not a pleasant one. I am happy it was not him now. But feel sad for poor old Billy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 27th, 2005, 4:59 pm

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Can anyone reference an edition of Hoyle that contains the advice about keeping the outer end of the deck pointing down? I have checked several editions of Hoyle without success, including several edited by R. F. Foster, who some (Jerry Sadowitz and Peter Kane) believe helped edit THE EXPERT.
From an article about Foster giving some talks on bridge at Bullock's Tea Room in Los Angeles (LA Times, 9/18/1927, p. 32):

"EXPERT ON CARDS TO TALK HERE

Mr. Foster needs little exploitation as he is internationally known and followed by bridge students. He has written many books on card games, his "Complete Hoyle" having gained for him the title of "Father of Bridge." "Foster on Auction Bridge and "Foster's Bridge Tactics" have been widely read and followed . . .

Mr. Foster was secretary of the Knickerbocker Whist Club of New York for many years. He was also card editor of Vanity Fair. His articles in that magazine have been eagerly read by thousands of people monthly. He was also card editor of the New York Sun and Tribune for more than twenty years.

Mr. Foster's master of the science of cards comes from the endless analyzing of thousands of card hands until his deductions are proven to him conclusively.

His keen wit evidenced in his lectures is a delight to his hearers.

Mr. Foster observes cannily (being Scotch) that after learning to value a card hand, psychology plays a big part, in being able to read one's partner and opponents. . . .

The Pellman system for memory training and concentration was also in Mr. Foster's work. . .

He designed the marble work for the interior of the Congressional Library at Washington, D. C. He also designed the interior of the Chicago Public Library, and is in addition a writer, traveler and inventor."

I hadn't been aware until now that he had written about cards in Vanity Fair, or the NY Sun/Trib. Studies of his writings there may prove interesting, when compared to EACT. The comments about psychology, when dealing with opponents, and his wit, also seem relevant in the study of EACT.

I wonder what his inventions are -- I don't think you can search the Patent Office's database by name, that far back.

Here are articles, which I don't have copies of, about or by Foster:

Title: R. F. Foster
Personal Author: BRADLEY, William Aspenwall
Journal Name: American Magazine
Source: American Magazine v. 69 (April 1910) p. 767-8
Publication Year: 1910

Title: Hopeless case
Journal Name: McClure's Magazine
Source: McClure's Magazine v. 32 (January 1909) p. 261-6
Publication Year: 1909
Subject(s): FOSTER, Robert Frederick, 1853-

Title: In self-defence
Journal Name: Bookman
Source: Bookman v. 21 (April 1905) p. 210-13
Publication Year: 1905
Subject(s): FOSTER, Robert Frederick, 1853-

Title: Good guessing at bridge
Journal Name: American Magazine
Source: American Magazine v. 68 (July 1909) p. 220-6
Publication Year: 1909
Subject(s): FOSTER, Robert Frederick, 1853-

In addition to numerous books about games and rules, he wrote a novel called "Cab No. 44" (1910), and non-fiction books "The coming faith: an answer to the eternal questions : whence? whither? and what for?" (1925); "Foster's rational method of recollection ... " (1906)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » November 27th, 2005, 6:19 pm

Thanks, Bill. I hadn't seen that 1927 article, nor some of the others you cited. I do have CAB 44 which is not too hard to locate online, and also his COMING FAITH which includes the only photo of Foster that I've been able to find. I found a number of amazing (to me) coincidences in researching Foster that make him a "person of interest" in the author search: his expertise on gaming (his 1897 Hoyle with its sections on cheating are what lead Kane and Sadowitz to conjecture that he ghostwrote or edited THE EXPERT for Erdnase), his membership (off and on) in the Society of American Magicians, a book on "Word Circle Puzzles" he wrote, about a kind of ciruclar crossword puzzle he invented. In the introduction he makes passing reference to a book written by someone under a pseudonym, with the author's true name only being revealed much later through the first letters of paragraphs in the book, or something along those lines. In CAB 44 one of the protagonists uses the name "Milton Fletcher" and is an Englishman who plays cards and billiards. Milton Franklin Andrews used the alias "Milton Franklin" and was a billard playing cardshark who sometimes passed himself off as an Englishman... Foster claimed to have had an ex-journalist roommate in Texas at one point who was an expert bottom dealer. Foster was born and raised in Scotland, leaving open a possible relationship with the Dalrymple family (also from Scotland). And he was quite short and slight in stature, in line with the artist's recollection. But I do consider all of the above merely coincidences at this point. His writing does not strike me as sounding much like Erdnase, and he points out in his 1897 Hoyle the blatant dishonesty of the house at Faro, whereas Erdnase denies it, taking the opposite view. It seems unlikely that he would have consorted with magicians, as he did, without revealing his hand in writing the book, given its iconic status by that time (the early 1930s). But I still consider him "a person of interst" and welcome any additional information on him. Thanks!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 27th, 2005, 6:52 pm

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
But I still consider him "a person of interst" and welcome any additional information on him.
Check your email for more . . .

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » January 27th, 2006, 3:09 pm

I bought my copy of EACT in 1972, and it's been with me ever since.
I began reading it over and over again long before the internet was about, and my opinions were formed without outside influence.
I had, and have, always assumed the author to be a gambler, not a magician.
The language he uses in the initial chapters prior to going into the sleights is one of a love for the taking of chance. It's a hard, if not impossible, love to fake.
His language when speaking about the fact that gamblers love to gamble even more than they love to win is something that only a gambler would know how to put into words.
In light of the many pages on the internet, and in this thread, I'd have to say that I still believe him to be a gambler, but in the same sense that I play poker, study magic, and peruse magic history, I believe him to be a gambler who would have most probably had a love of magic and magicians, to the point of knowing one well enough to ask them to author the chapter on tricks.
Taking out the tricks chapter, the hundreds of times I've read the rest of the book, it's always been one voice to me. I've never heard anybody else in the text.
The wit, the insight, the clever twist of wordplay, the absolute love of cards.....It would have been great to sit down over a beer with this guy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » February 8th, 2006, 9:53 am

Late last night I stumbled across the earliest advertisement of EATCT outside the magic community known to me. It is a classified advertisement in the "Sporting" section of the NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE issue of March 28, 1903. Here is the exact text of the six line ad:
"THE EXPERT AT THE CARD TABLE.
The greatest and most up-to-date book on winning out at cards. 204 [sic] pages; 101 illustrations. Price $1.00. Worth its weight in gold. List of contents free. ATLAS NOVELTY CO., 295 AUSTIN AVE., CHICAGO"
A couple of points are worth noting: Clearly this is still a first edition of 1902, since the Drake editions did not come out until 1905. The wording is different than Atlas' advertisements in THE SPHINX at this time, which began to run in the February 1903 issue. Both ads have the mistake of 204 pages. Both offer the book at half the cover price of $2. This ad clearly targets the would-be unethical player and it is at the top of a column advertising marked cards, loaded dice and other club room accessories. To me, this ad strengthens my suspicion that Atlas (owned by E. S. Burns, real name Emil Sorensen) somehow acquired a goodly supply of first edition copies at a very favorable price early in 1903. He was willing to increase his investment in them by paying for advertising in THE SPHINX (based, like he was, in Chicago) and NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE (based in New York). As noted earlier in this thread, one possibility (the one I favor) is that he obtained copies from the author. There was an E. S. Andrews living on the same street, 8 blocks south of him, a traveling agent for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, who transfered to San Francisco in February 1903 and may, therefore, have been motivated to unload a quantity of unsold books before moving. This is the same E. S. Andrews whose wife's maiden name was Seely, the same maiden name as the mother of Louis Dalrymple, to whom the author said he was somehow related. But that scenario remains conjecture at this point. James McKinney went bankrupt in January 1903 and his assests may have included unsold copies of the book (he had been selling the book, though on what terms with the author is unknown). Gardner says the plates and unsold copies of the book were acquired by Frederick J. Drake, but I have not independently been able to confirm the details, though Drake was advertising first edition copies at $1 in its own publications beginning in 1903, prior to releasing it under their own imprint in 1905. So the fact that Atlas was at 295 Austin and an E. S. Andrews was living at 113 S. Austin may prove just another coincidence. Possibly Atlas obtained copies from Drake. Possibly vice versa. Burns sold his company and assets to Roterberg a short time after this, and Roterberg did wholesale first edition copies to other magic shops around the world, again indicating a goodly supply, which he continued to advertise as late as 1911.
Anyway, for me, one of the fundamental mysteries remains the early marketing of the book. Who was the author's intended market and how did he attempt to reach them? I'm hoping that a still earlier advertisement for the book will help crack this case. If anyone knows of other advertisements from this period, please let us know (the first SPHINX mention of the book is in September 1902, first SPHINX advertisement in November 1902, first Atlas advertisement in the SPHINX in February 1903 with the price drop to $1 noted. MAHATMA and other magic periodicals begin to advertise the book at $1 at this point as well).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2006, 9:40 am

I just want to say thanks to Richard as well, for perhaps making this the most interesting thread in all of magic.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 12th, 2006, 3:56 pm

Hi, everyone: I've posted my latest research on conman E. S. Andrews on Magical Past-Times

See also the announcement of this new material in the Buzz section! Thanks!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 2:39 am

I should start by saying that I know nothing about the subject outside of reading the book (which I am not well studied on) and reading the comments here. Thus you can take everything I say with a grain of salt, this is more a caution and collection of sense, hopefully common sense than thorough research.

First, I'd be interested in knowing what else Gazzo was interested in posting.

Second, I find it very likely that the book was not written, or at least not initially compiled within a period close to the publication. With most books, in my experience, they get pieced together over time. If you look at the works by Marlo as an example his notes over years were gradually gathered together and then published, but they took the form of notes initially. Thus, I find it highly likely that at least some of the book was written well before 1901. What wouldn't surprise me in the least is that it was written or at least drafted in some sort much earlier and then completed in a relatively short time period, possibly hastily. This might or might not fit with the objective of making money.

Third, I don't think the notion that it takes time and money to make money off a book necessarily dismisses the notion that one might make money by writing a book. On the contrary, I think there is a distinct lack of understanding regarding how much you make writing a book and how long it takes to produce. Likewise, I think that if the book was already mostly created and would simply require the assembly of various notes taken over a period of time the process would come much more quickly and the mindset of the author could easily be "I've got this all here, I might as well make some money off it, I could use the money".

Fourth, I don't think we can take the statement "if it sells it will accomplish the primary motive of the author, as he need the money" to be "I am in immient need of money. I'm speaking here from personal experience, I know several months before I need money that I will need money, at least in most cases. Say you had what is essentially a book you compiled and you lose your job. You are aware that you'll need to find a new source of income, thus you could consider writing the book which is nearly done anyway and releasing it, possibly to buy some time, possibly to start a new career aside from whatever you were doing before. There are any number of reasons you might "need the money", in fact it would be much like the possible actions of Pratt suggested earlier in this thread. Namely, he had something at his disposal and he decided to make use of it at a time when he was "down on his luck" so to speak.

Fifth, I do not think this author fits the profile of someone who was in any way wealthy. Along these lines, I don't think it fits the profile of someone who is working a steady job that is reasonably profitable at the time. As I see it there are two possible motives behind the preface. First, a sort of honesty explained above. Second, total sarcasm. Perhaps it is just me, but I don't see someone who is comfortably off and not totally sarcastic writing this statement. Granted, you can't rule out the possibility, but for me personally, I deem it unlikely.

Sixth, I think one of the most interesting questions is "why did he write it?" I personally think the view that he was some kind of enthusiast (I'll get into this later), already had the material together and sought to benefit from it for the sake of convenience along with a need that was perhaps not immient makes some of the best sense.

Seventh, regarding the authorship, I find the case for multiple authors very weak, though the possibility of multiple contributors quite another matter. The issue is in the style of writing, which I consider consistent enough to suggest a single author. (On the other hand, a separate author solely for the second section is another possibility, particularly with regard to the notion that one person wrote it, but someone else contributed the second section (or vice versa)). I find the single author theory quite pausible on the basis of the statements themselves "published by the author", a single title, and the statements within the preface referring to the writer. While these can all be faked I find it unlikely that they were. I even consider the second portion to come from the same author in part due to the familiarity with the material in both sections. Not impossible without it, but close cooperation would seem very necessary for the process to function. Adding a second author also complicates the process, makes the trail more messy, raises questions of creditting, of the illustrations from both parts etc. Ultimately then, I consider it most likely, nearly certain that we are talking about a single author (again, this says nothing for contributors).

Eighth, any book requires revision of the text and any revision can leave errors. I recently saw a book that went to press from a major publishing house that had an error on the cover which is a pretty big deal, so I don't think that the pressence of errors does anything to indicate a lack of editors. Simply based on writing experience and examining the writing of other authors I find it highly likely that the author would have had someone else read over the book prior to publishing it. This is not the same as hiring an editor which is a completely different matter especially given the limited market of a book of this nature. Given either of the earlier stated motives I find the notion that a professional editor was hired highly suspect and unlikely.

Ninth, I don't subscribe to the "super cheat" theory at all. I don't think Erdnase profile fits that of a cheat very well. Having made this remark I'm not suggesting he didn't gamble and I'm not suggesting he didn't cheat at one time or another, I am suggesting that he wasn't what I would consider a professional cheat, that he obtained his livelihood in this manner. I think often we tend to take either extreme and this may not be wise. There are simply too many reasons why portraying Erdnase as a professional cheat doesn't fit, one of the easiest is the question of money. If he needed money, this isn't a good way to get it, if he didn't need the money but he was a cheat then why did he write the book? Next, there is the issue of the content. In my view based on a wide range of experience and ideas, knowing a multitude of cheating techniques as well as magic techniques doesn't fit the profile of a professional cheater at all. Far more likely, he was a card enthusiast, little more and little less, by which I mean that he might have cheated on a couple of occasions (this could help to establish some experience), but not extensively and not professionally. Likewise, he was probably not a major magician of any sort though again it is possible, likely I would say, that he had performed some tricks from time to time. He is evidently familiar with magic material too familiar in my view not to have some association with magic, though I highly doubt this was in a full time professional position. In terms of cards I am nearly totally convinced that his interest was that of an enthusiast rather than a worker.

Some have argued for the perfection of the Erdnase methods. I disagree on two accounts. First, I simply don't agree the methods are the most expedient in many situations. Second, I don't think a lot of students accurately portray the work but rather elevate it to a status beyond what it is, reading a lot into it that isn't present. The text is notoriously absent of subtleties, the descriptions are really not terribly good (possibly a testament to the writing ability rather than the card handling ability, hard to say). Often I think we start working with material, modify it a little, then modify it some more and make it something good, then go back and say "you're supposed to do it this way", then credit the author who never said any such thing. I really don't think we can accurately do that and I am definitely not convinced that Erdnase was some superb and superbly brilliant card handler. Clearly he contributed a lot and worked a lot with cards, but beyond that I remain skeptical.

Tenth, I think the subject of Mr. Smith is most interesting in the puzzle. First, I don't think we should discount the possibility that he might not have illustrated it, but I find that possibility remote due primarily to the crediting at the beginning of the text and the fact that there is apparently no other illustrator by that name whom we are aware of. This brings us on to his account with which I am not intimately familiar, but I find several points particularly interesting and some almost useless. In the useless category, I'd start with the weather, it's too easy to blur together various memories and conjure memories here. I'd also question a number of details regarding the physical description among other things. The points I feel are most worth noting are those that would stand out. In other words, this individual did hundreds of jobs, what things will make this one different? The issue is that you are far more likely to remember unique experiences than familiar ones. With this in mind, the hands and focus on accuracy rather than artistic merit would be a good start. I find it unlikely that most of his other clients were asking for either of these things so they are probably accurate. Now regarding photographs and the idea of tracing them, I find this so unlikely that I'd dismiss it almost entirely for a number of reasons. I consulted a relative who is an artist and has studied this sort of thing extensively. When I raised the issue with him he immediately stated that it would be a bad idea to trace photographs of the hands as it would give you an unnatural look, he talked about a "flat" look, he said sketching from photographs would be the way to go if you were to go from photographs. He assures me that the upper bound on how long it would take a skilled artist is 15 minutes per illustration, this is based on his own abilities and the abilities of many artists and instructors he knows. He gave me the example that one of his intructors for what he called "life drawing" gives 20 minute demos in which he will sketch a face or something similar and he is explaining the process as he goes, meaning he could do it quicker. When prompted he informed me that hands are slightly easier than the face but not a huge amount. He suggested it was unlikely that it would take longer than 15 minutes each, definitely no longer than 20, probably no less than 10 to get an extremely accurate depiction. Contrary to what others might state, the illustrations in the book are not particularly good or accurate. They serve the purpose but are certainly not exemplary for the most part. Given that the artist recollects doing sketches then going to ink them I find it unlikely that photographs were used. While it is possible that he might have used them, I find the accuracy of his memory on this point which would be somewhat different than usual, fairly accurate, so I'd say that you could all but dismiss the idea of there being photographs when you account for the artist's testimony, the logistics, and the cost.

Next, I find the comment made by the individual that he was a reformed gambler quite interesting. As I mentioned earlier, I would suspect based on the work and a number of other considerations that he probably had contact with both the magic world and the gambling world, but was neither a professional cheat nor magician. I'd liken this in many senses to the fact that Walter Irving Scott dabbled in magic but would have been totally unknown within the world of magic. On the other hand, the likelihood that Erdnase was a gambler (note the difference between a gambler and a cheat) as quite another matter, most notably due to the testimonial of the artist. Again, this is something that would stand out, I doubt he meets any reformed gamblers in his regular cycle, and the interest in gambling and its lure comes across in the writing. The difference between being a gambler and a cheater also explains a difference in need for money, you can get money as a cheat, you can't necessarily as a gambler, you're just as likely to lose it. (I think you'll find that the preface heavily bolsters this viewpoint. "To all lovers of card games it should prove interesting, and as a basis of card entertainment it is practically inexhaustible...it may enable the skilled in deception to take a post-graduate course in the highest and most artistic breaches of his vocation." Note, we actually don't know about those who are the deceivers, we assume they are cheats, they could be magicians, but that seems unlikely. However, note the statement regarding the "artistic branches of his vocation". Again, I assert very heavily that this was the interest of Erdnase himself, more of an artistic study than a practical one and the practical application only being related as it concerned the context for the artistic. Simply stated, he was an enthusiast, his interest was sleight of hand with cards, as with anyone he would have had interest and experience outside of that, but as the material relates to him, this was the foundation and I think you'll find as you read the book that this is the type of person who would write it, study it etc.)

Likewise, the recollection of the individual's name as "Andrews", coupled with other evidence to suggest this is the case is quite likely accurate(note, we still have to explain why he used the pseudonym, which makes for another interesting question).

I find many details of the setting for the meeting questionable. Unless the place was an excessive dump in which case I think he would have remember it, or palatial, in which case I think he would have remembered it, I doubt many details of the room can be trusted. Likewise, I don't think we can really trust that the room wasn't heated or given the normal treatment, whatever that was, for such a hotel. If there was ice on the walls, he would have remembered, recalling that it was a little cold could have a lot to do with personal feeling and not setting.

The presentation of a few tricks is interesting, again it implies the author's involvement with magic.

One thing that stands out here. I find it unlikely that he lived nearby and rented a hotel room to protect his identity. There are a number of reasons for this. First, any lack of habitation in the room would have stood out (this isn't a strong argument). Second, he said he would go ink it and then come back, presumably over a course of two weeks. Now apparently he didn't go to various locations but continued to return to the hotel. It's not like he would have called up a local number in Chicago to say "I'm done and want to show you the pictures I can meet you in 2 hours" in those days. In other words, it seems like Erdnase was probably spending his down time at the hotel, while if he lived nearby he would have gone there when he wasn't meeting the artist. This just doesn't fit, though it does cause us to wonder what exactly he was doing for those two weeks while the pictures were being made. It is likely that he might have been working on the book at the time, meeting with people etc. and setting up meetings with the artist say at specific times (for example each evening). Frankly, again, for someone who needs the money renting a hotel room for 2 weeks doesn't seem very economical, again, why the big need to hide your identity like that, I'm sure there were other places they could have met.

A couple notes here. The timeframe could be off, his apparent recollection was a couple weeks but this is one of those points that is likely to get confused over 40 years, it won't stand out in his mind, so it could have been much shorter. Another point I don't think you can trust from someone who made thousands of illustrations in his day is the number. A hundred might seem high, but I don't think we have sufficient grounds to question it...with one exception. There is the question of the difference in drawings (two or three sessions over several months as suggested by Mr. Kaufmann really doesn't fit with the testimony) and more notably, the placement of copyrights.

In regards to naming the apparent relative of Mr. Andrews. This would stand out, hence why he would remember it...with one exception, he could be confusing two separate instances, still, I think that connection seems like a good one.

Eleventh, the question I mentioned earlier, why the secrecy, why the pseudonym? The first option that comes up is the issue of perhaps being somewhat ashamed of the work, this might reflect well for a reformed gambler. Might have lost a lot of money gambling, reformed himself but found himself needing money and so decided to publish some material, but didn't want others who knew of his gambling past to know that he was profiting from that side of things again. This is just one of the many possibilities, but I don't think we should dismiss the possibility that there is a certain shame, that perhaps he doesn't really want the work associated with his name. Of course this raises the question of why he would use Erdnase if Andrews was his name? I think this might be illustrated psychologically in a sort of dual feeling for the work. He is an enthusiast, thus he is clearly proud of his accomplishments. He is a reformed gambler, someone who might have had problems in the past and his shame doesn't have to do with himself, but with how others (perhaps a wife or kids) might perceive it. Thus, he gets a sort of dual satisfaction, the easy association of the work, which is his passion, to his name, but at the same time distance for the sake of those who know him and might be disappointed in him. That's the first possibility. The second is the Sanders reference cited by Mr. Alexander. I must admit, I don't give Mr. Alexander's suspect much credibility based purely on the name without even looking at any of the other details, until you mention that this guy was interested in anagrams, that to me changes everything. It can be something clever and fun to do, a puzzle of sorts, and maybe he wants his name associated with it, maybe he doesn't. I think the big issue with a candidate like Mr. Alexander's is "why did he write it?" Many of the earlier options make more sense. Then there are issues of a lack of professionalism within the dealings with the artist etc. At that point you'd also want to match a physical description, I can't recall if Mr. Alexander did that or not. One thing a candidate that was playing around with anagrams has going for him aside from the possibilities of the name, is the curiosity. This was certainly a curios person who worked with cards enthusiastically and came up with the material. Not necessarily brilliant by any means, but curious, someone who would fiddle. There'd be a lot of holes left to fill, but that's a possibility. Again, let's ask, why not use your real name? As a gambler, you might not want to get the reputation of a cheat, so there is that possible reason for witholding your name. I'd be interested in hearing other theories. One more might be the association with the upper class, it wouldn't be considered a high brow pursuit if you will. I think ultimately from what I can tell it boils down to potentially one of two things, possibly a combination. First, he was concerned about the public associating the work to him. Second, he wanted to make it a puzzle, something fun for him.

Twelfth, why didn't he claim the money later on? Along those lines we have the issue of the attempted reprinting under a different name, why did it change? Here I find an interesting contradiction (note, I could be misunderstanding the situation so someone can correct me if that's the case). If he is around and stops them from giving credit to a non-existant author, why wouldn't he also come forward to claim the money? At some point he didn't claim the money, there needs to be an explanation for that. Looking back to my earlier profiling, I'd suggest, either the monies are so little that they aren't worth the trouble, or he no longer needs the money. Again, think back to the earlier profile I did of someone who is not primarily a cheater or a magician, he is perhaps down on his luck and tries to make some money selling this book, probably without much success, he moves on, he finds another source of income, he no longer needs the money so he doesn't worry about it much. Alternatively, he moves away, there isn't a lot of money anyway, and collecting is too much trouble. Third, he dies or is otherwise unable to collect (prison etc.) It would help me greatly if someone to clarify when it was that he apparently stopped collecting the money and most significantly, whether it was before or after the attempted printing under another name. If it was after, there isn't a huge problem, if it was before, we have a huge problem to address.

Twelfth, this is another point regarding his character, again, I am hugely advocating that he was mainly a card enthusiast, maybe a gambler, maybe not, almost certainly not a cheat, almost certainly not a professional magician, but also someone who is acquainted with cheating and someone who is acquainted with magic. I'd like to quote from the introduction "Some of us are too timid to risk a dollar". Interesting reference here, a seeming inclusion of himself, maybe just a literary device, maybe not. He apparently contradicts the statement later on by saying he was cheated, then again, that could be one of the rare occasions he took the risk. To further support this assertion we have teh statement "Some one has remarked that there is but one pleasure in life greater than winning..." Again, note that he isn't making this claim but attributing it to someone else, almost as though it was explained to him.

I find references in the next paragraph interesting as well, starting with the reference to the colored attendent in the "club room" (note the quotations, speaking as though it might not be much of a club room) and also the reference to poker. An interesting question here, the colored man's statement was "Don't trouble 'bout no two hen's, Boss." My question is, who is he talking to? It could be a fabricated story, but it doesn't sound that way to me. It could have been passed down or related to Erdnase, but I have to wonder, was it something said to him? Was it something he overheard? If so, who was the statement being made to? I think this whole situation is worth some investigation, the idea of that setting, the game, the attendant etc. Another interesting reference here is to the stock exchange, and the comment about manipulation vs. speculation, is this a statement of experience or observation? What kind of person would say this? Also, there is the statement "so to make both ends meet", I find this interesting, I was always under the impression that it's "ends meat". Another point here, "and incidentally a good living". This makes me question upper class origins for our author as I find it unlikely that he'd consider cheating as providing a good living. By the standards of the middle class, perhaps, but by the standards of the upper class? No. Honestly, in this situation, in this paragraph he sounds to me like an observer not a practitioner.

Again, the next paragraph might change things, maybe observation, maybe not. I'll go on to quote a larger section from the next paragraph that may shed more light:

"We have not been impelled to our task by the qualms of a guilty conscience, nor through the hope of reforming the world. Man cannot change his temperament, and few cards to control it."

Depending on whether you read this as an observation or a personal sentiment changes everything.

"We have neither grievance against the fraternity nor sympathy for so called "victims"."

Again, clearly some kind of experience, but is it one of observation or involvement?

"A varied experience has impressed us with the belief that all men who play for any considerable stakes are looking for the best of it."

Again, interesting comment on the "varied experience".

"though we sorrowfully admit that our own early knowledge was acquired at the usual excessive cost to the uninitiated".

So he lost money, the question becomes, what followed?

"as in this case the entire conduct must be in perfect harmony with the usual procedure of the game. The slightest action that appears irregular, the least effort to distract attention, or the first unnatural movement, will create suspicion..."

This is an interesting statement, simply because it seems a bit romantic to me. Romantic the way magicians romanticize the world of card cheats.

Obviously by later accounts he has had some experience, but again, it largely appears romantic, more like Vernon's pursuit of the field I think than someone whose profession is the question...or at least that is how I read it and judge it based on the circumstantial evidence. I'd further bolster this viewpoint by statements like "the expert professional disdains their assistance...", not to say that the statements don't have some validity, but rather it comes across as the pursuit of the romantic. Likewise for some later comments.

Fourteenth, is the issue of not renewing the patent, why not? Several possibilities. One, he didn't know he had to or should. Certainly he wouldn't have received any notice due to an address that wasn't valid anymore. Second, he was dead. Third, he didn't care. It's a question worth asking though...then again, I'm not sure how much an explanation would benefit us.

Fifteenth is the interesting question of the market for the book. Honestly, I don't think he particularly had one. I think it makes more sense from most perspectives that he wanted to sell it to whoever would buy it. He saw an opening (he remarks on the lack of books on the subject), he had seen the sales of other books by reformed gamblers, he hoped to do the same, he might not have had much of a concept of the marketing necessary. The issue of the advertising in Sphinx also has another side to it. True, no matter what, he had the books for some time before the ads came out (possibly at the suggestion of a magician friend?), but you should account for the delay between the time when the ads were submitted and when the publication came out. As everyone should know, you typically have a month or so, sometimes more, lag time. Either way, the question is interesting, what did he plan and what did he do? Selling to gambling houses might have been one avenue he intended to pursue. Another possibility is that he became otherwise occupied and unable to promote the book for a couple months after the publication. Ultimately, it doesn't sound like he was a marketing genius. I think this point would be very telling.

Sixteenth, the question of this character in terms of education. I am not at all convinced or even persuaded that he was university educated, I see little reason to believe that. No reason to suggest that it isn't the case, simply no reason to suggest that it must be the case. He is clearly intelligent. The book is mostly quite appealing, well written, and concise. This doesn't necessarily imply any special education though so it's an uncertainty. I'd point out that an author can write within a persona, other writings don't have to match this one in style.

Seventeeth, this is the interesting question of people who apparently knew Erdnase. Apparently, someone was introduced to Erdnase after a performance, I'd be interested in knowing more about that. Granted, it proves nothing, it could be a joke, but it is worth looking into, partially for a physical description, partially in terms of the timeline, which is quite important. There was also that magic shop owner or whoever it was that was mentioned. How did they meet? What was their association? Could it be that they met after the writing of the initial book and the planned sequel was an idea put forward at that time? Just random ideas.

Once again returning to the illustrations, I must disagree that they are so incredibly accurate, a quick look for example at the pinky in figure 2 indicates otherwise. In talking with an artist about the subject they said for anyone who is good proportions etc. are a non-issue. Now, this serves little point except perhaps that another artist, perhaps Erdnase himself, was involved, as well as the reality that we might glorify the work more than it deserves. Alternatively, this might be more evidence of a relatively short period being necessary for the sketching, again, ideas.

Something of note is the organization, which is quite good, methodical at worst I'd say, which might tell something about the character of the author.

Finally, I don't accept the conman theory very strongly, simply because I don't buy the character as fitting into that mold. The author doesn't strike me as a con man. This is purely speculation of course, but I think part of the issue revolves around the question of money, he doesn't strike me as someone who is thus motivated and thus running around pulling cons to gain said money. Likewise, I don't buy that he was of the upper class due to his viewpoint on the sums involved and on the money when he refers to purchases etc. Added to this is the apparent company he kept, middle class seems much more logical. However, on the subject of the con man, if that was his primarily occupation it might explain some of the need for money and inability to gain it quickly in other means, it also might explain a methodical approach to some extent.

I feel the Andrews connection is pretty strong, only in rare occasions like the Alexander case would I consider otherwise and even then, skeptically, I also would be very likely to dismiss any reference to andrews without the E. S. without some kind of strong explanation, hence doubt in the Milton Franklin case, but these are of course merely ideas, musings and conjecture, hardly hard analysis born of constant research.

I do repeat though, I'd be interested in hearing what more Gazzo has to say on the subject.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 1:01 pm

Originally posted by Todd Karr:
Hi, everyone: I've posted my latest research on conman E. S. Andrews on Magical Past-Times

See also the announcement of this new material in the Buzz section! Thanks!
THIS PAGE with a listing of the Charles Brandon Commercial Co., from an 1899 Denver city directory may be of some interest to those following Todd Karr's research. [Note: there is no listing for Charles Brandon or his company in the 1910 Denver city directory.]

THIS PAGE , from the same directory, may be of even greater interest.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 1:13 pm

I was reading Drey's comments until I got to:
First, I don't think we should discount the possibility that he [Marshall Smith] might not have illustrated it
We should completely discount the possibility that Marshall Smith did not illustrate EATCT. If we can't trust the first hand account of someone who remembers the event, then we can't trust any data at all, and there is no sense in trying to do anything other than read the book.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 8:04 pm

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
THIS PAGE , from the same directory, may be of even greater interest.
Bill, thanks for posting this. It not only shows Edwin S. Andrews, the C&NW Travelling Agent who I've been tracking in Denver (he was there from roughly 1895-October 1901... I don't have my detailed notes in front of me), but also another "E. S. Andrews" who is listed as a "collr" which I am guessing is "collector" and therefore possibly Todd's candidate. His address, 1750 Stout, is likely a boarding house and might be so listed in the directory. Also, since this is the 1899 Directory, perhaps he was still there for the 1900 census would would give us more information on him...

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 9:04 pm

There is an Edwin S. Andrews listed in the 1900 Federal Census living in Denver. He is 41 years old. He lists his occupation as a traveling agent for the Railroad. It also shows him to be married with several children. In addition it states they he has been married for 17 years.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 9:40 pm

Originally posted by Dan Mindo:
There is an Edwin S. Andrews listed in the 1900 Federal Census living in Denver. He is 41 years old. He lists his occupation as a traveling agent for the Railroad. It also shows him to be married with several children. In addition it states they he has been married for 17 years.
Yes, that is Edwin Sumner Andrews (1859-1922, I believe, not looking at my notes). I have tracked him in all the available census records, city directories (Chicago pre 1895, Denver 1895-1901, Oak Park, Ill 1902, San Francisco and other California cities thereafter) and train records I have been able to find and have a very good time line on him. He makes a very nice circumstantial fit to the author's profile: right age, approximately correct stature, moves to Chicago in the late fall of 1901, leave in February of 1903 when the price on the book was cut in half by Atlas Novelty Company just a few blocks north of his Oak Park residence, his wife's maiden name (Seely) the same as Dalrymple's mother's maiden name, etc... You'll find much information on him in earlier postings on this thread. But the case in his favor remains entirely circumstantial at this point...

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 14th, 2006, 11:19 pm

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Bill, thanks for posting this. It not only shows Edwin S. Andrews, the C&NW Travelling Agent who I've been tracking in Denver (he was there from roughly 1895-October 1901... I don't have my detailed notes in front of me), but also another "E. S. Andrews" who is listed as a "collr" which I am guessing is "collector" and therefore possibly Todd's candidate.
Page 97 of the directory is a list of abbreviations, and yes, "collr" is collector.


His address, 1750 Stout, is likely a boarding house and might be so listed in the directory.
The Sanborn Fire Insurance MAP for 1903 shows a hotel ("hotel office", I believe it says, probably for the St. Nicholas Hotel) at that address. It must have been a residence hotel. Note that the Albany Hotel is at the southwest end of the block. Edwin Andrews resided there in 1898, according to the CITY DIRECTORY for that year (Karr's E. S. Andrews is not on the scene, if it was in fact him.) Likewise 1897. Neither is there in 1896.

In 1896 , neither is there. In the 1900 listing, Edwin still lives on Lafayette, and E.S. is not listed.


Charles Brandon's collection agency/company shows up only in the 1899 directory. He's not in 1898 at all, and in 1900 there is a Charles Brandon listed as a teamster. No way to tell if it's the same guy.

In 1901, Edwin S. is still there, still living on Lafayette. No Charles Brandon as an individual or a company.

In 1903, neither Edwin S. nor E. S. Andrews is listed, but there is a "Brandon Loan and Collection Co."


Also, since this is the 1899 Directory, perhaps he was still there for the 1900 census would would give us more information on him...
Edwin S. Andrews (Hatch's candidate) is listed in the 1900 CENSUS as being at 1750 Stout, on the corner of 18th and Stout. This is the same address, the office of the St. Nicholas Hotel, that E. S. Andrews (who may be Karr's candidate) lived at just a year earlier.

If there weren't completely separate listings for Edwin S. and E.S. Andrews in the 1899 city directory, you could make a reasonable case that Hatch's candidate and Karr's candidate were the same person -- the coincidences of geography in 1897 - 1900 Denver are just too strong. But it is possible that the St. Nicholas and the Albany Hotels are both managed out of 1750 Stout, and share a common business address.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2006, 8:38 am

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Richard Hood wrote Martin Gardner in 1946 that his father, Edwin C. Hood (founder of the famous H. C. Evans gambling supply company) knew the author of the book quite well when the author was living in Chicago in the mid-1890s.
Was there a real person, H. C. Evans? Or is Edwin C. Hood <=> H. C. Andrews a reversal-pseudonym, a la Erdnase?


Originally posted by david walsh:
Andrei, I've also been curious about the "Hoyle/outer end inclined toward the table" addition in the bottom deal description.

To deal with the cards in this position at an average sized table in an average sized seat can be quite a strain on the fore-arm that holds the deck. Everyones different of course; but for me (and in my hands) I have found this strain to come across un-natural in the way that anything straining tends to do.
Yes, it would be taxing to hold a deck with the front end pointed downward from a seated position. However, if you were standing, it would be much easier. Who stands and deals at a card table? Magicians.


Originally posted by David Alexander:
As Mr. Andrews paid his bills, what did McKinney care? It was just another vanity job in a career of printing all sorts of things. . . .

McKinney was not the publisher, he was the printer.
Were the other books from McKinney "vanity" books? As I recall from their titles (I don't own any), they seem to be more consistent with McKinney being a regular publisher, possibly with editorial input.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2006, 2:32 pm

Bill, according to Whaley's MAN WHO WAS ERDNASE,there was no individual named "H. C. Evans" involved with this firm, that was the name that Edwin C. Hood chose for his gambling supply business, using the same initials as his own, but reversed. If Hood and Erdnase were intimates, as claimed by son Richard, perhaps Hood's reversal inspired Erdnase's search for an appropriate pseudonym. Certainly it indicates that such reversals and wordplay were not unknown in that industry.

I have to date only been able to obtain one other McKinney publication, a children's book issued the same year as THE EXPERT. It was printed, not published, by McKinney. I have no indication that McKinney ever acted as a publisher (with financial interest in, or editorial control over a publication), rather than a printer. Which is not to say that he might not have taken some work on special terms to help a friend, rather than requiring full payment in advance or upon completion. We know that his partner Wm. Galloway had an interest in gambling and kept a copy of the book (now in the Jay Marshall collection). Edwin S. Andrews grew up on a farm in Minnesota where his nearest neighbor was an Irish immigrant named Patrick McKinney and the printer was the son of Irish immigrants with a brother named Patrick McKinney who worked for him. But I think that is likely a coincidence...

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » August 23rd, 2006, 3:23 pm

I have long wondered, but wondered again since reading "The Vernon Touch" and seeing Vernons statements about his father bringing home a copy of EATCT but telling Vernon he was to young to read it how Vernon could have such specific memories about the event and still folks can't find any record of the Canadian copyright for the book.
Vernon states that when he saw it in a bookshop window, he knew right away what it was and that he had to have it.
Knowing what it was also supports his memories of having seen it when his father showed it to him.

Many researchers have looked (most recently a lengthy search by David Ben) for any hint of this copyright being registered with what was then the Ministry of Agriculture, but none have found the slightest footprint of Erdnase.

Vernons memories are very specific, and are twofold, his father bringing the copy home, and he himself seeing a copy in a bookstore window and knowing what it was.

I wonder if Vernon was influenced and his memory clouded over time by the implied Canadian copyright in the front of the book, or if perhaps a piece of paper containing the handwriting of Erdnase sits, undiscovered or perhaps misfiled somewhere in Ottawa.
Being in Canada, and perhaps not so inclined to conceal his identity, he may have even used his real name.........naaahhhhh!

I'm sure Chris has already looked but I sure hope somebody is going over Jay Marshall's collection with a fine tooth comb for things Erdnase prior to even thinking about selling any of it, perhaps for something even Jay didn't know he had.
It might be that it's from someplace just like Jay's archives that we'll get our next clue.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 17th, 2006, 11:26 pm

this is the best forum on the net ever. relating to anything. period.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 17th, 2006, 11:44 pm

Drey wrote:
Fourteenth, is the issue of not renewing the patent, why not? Several possibilities. One, he didn't know he had to or should. Certainly he wouldn't have received any notice due to an address that wasn't valid anymore. Second, he was dead. Third, he didn't care. It's a question worth asking though...then again, I'm not sure how much an explanation would benefit us.
The book was copyrighted, not patented. There is a big difference. The government does not send you a notice to tell you when your copyright has expired. You are expected to take care of those details, yourself. All of this is spelled out in the forms that you fill out when you file for a copyright.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 18th, 2006, 2:05 am

could vernon seeing eatct in a shop window not have been a second hand shop?

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 18th, 2006, 4:10 pm

In David Bens book about Vernon he says that the book that Vernons father mentioned was not Erdnase but another book on gambling that was illustrated with photos. That would explain why the copywrite for Erdnase isn't in the records, may not have been copywrited in Canada.
Steve V

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 24th, 2006, 6:09 pm

A nice first edition copy of Erdnase just sold on eBay for $2,677.87. Here's a link:
Erdnase First Edition on eBay
This may be a record for a copy without other features (such as Vernon signatures, etc.).

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » September 26th, 2006, 11:58 am

I think that everybody (indlucing myself) is guessing what Vernon might have seen in the window.

Although false memories are commonplace as we all get older, Vernon told this story more than once during his life, and pretty much told it the same way each time.

I tend to agree with Ben's (and others) assessment that it likely wasn't EATCT that Vernon saw that day, altough I have nothing beyond a gut feeling to back that thought up.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 26th, 2006, 12:17 pm

The latest auction for a first edition copy just ended at $3400.

ebay: 2090102

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 26th, 2006, 12:45 pm

Originally posted by silverking:
I think that everybody (indlucing myself) is guessing what Vernon might have seen in the window. ...
Anyone asking Vernon's Son about this?

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 26th, 2006, 7:24 pm

Originally posted by daniel1113:
The latest auction for a first edition copy just ended at $3400.

ebay: 2090102
Plus 22.5% buyer's premium, brings the total price paid up to $4,165, plus applicable sales tax or shipping. Another record price...

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » November 20th, 2006, 7:50 pm

I wonder if anybody can comment on Gazzo's thoughts regarding Fig.69, and the heart shape on the back of the hand. (or Gazzo if you happen by!)

Specifically, what does Gazzo think it might mean or indicate, and why does he think "69" has importance here as well.

It occurs to me that in fact, very few people could have seen the heart in question.
Having read Dick Hatch's post mentioning Gazzo's thoughts earlier in this thread, I looked in my Powner edition, no heart.....I looked in my KC Card edition, no heart.......I looked in my Drake paperback edition, no heart.
I find the heart in my Canick 2002 edition, which faithfully re-creates the first edition.

From what I can see, this only leaves the Drake hardcovers in Green (with the hands), the Plum cloth cover, and the Blue cloth cover that the heart could possibly be seen in.
And in the first edition of course.

When exactly does the heart dissapear from the book?

I have to tell you, looking at that heart gave me the chills. It's probably the most completely out of place element in the entire book. A heart, plain as day on the back of a gamblers hand. I would be inclined to agree that it means something beyond a drawing aid.

For folks who have any of the Drake hardcovers above, can you confirm if the heart is in your edition?

Also, I don't have a Flemming paperback edition. If anybody does, could you look and see if the heart is in any of those editions?

I say again, I get chills looking at Fig.69 and the heart on the hand.
It's a shame more folks can't get a look at it, I'm sure it would drum up even more thoughts as to what it could possibly mean.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2006, 10:11 pm

silverking,

I cannot comment on the heart, other than to say that it is indeed striking. It is also one of the reasons that I would recommend the facsimile edition of EATCT to anyone that is really curious about the identity of Erdnase. There are so many details that are either unintelligible or completely missing from many of the later editions. I was shocked at how much better the quality actually was when I first opened my copy.

Also, I realize that the Erdnase being a pseudonym for Milton Frankly Andrews has already been brought to question many times; however, while reading from "The Man that was Erdnase" over the past week, there was one particular fact missing from Busby's book that struck me as being particularly important. Erdnase has often been credited with being the first person to utilize a close-up pad. Not only did M.D. Smith confirm this (I believe this is correct, but I do not have most of the Erdnase research here with me), but the pad/table is shown in many of the drawings within EATCT. Yet, I cannot find a single source that describes Milton Franklin Andrews using a similar pad or table.

It could have been a detail that was simply overlooked by many of Andrew's acquaintances, but I still think it is interesting to note.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2006, 5:50 pm

Originally posted by daniel1113:
Erdnase has often been credited with being the first person to utilize a close-up pad. Not only did M.D. Smith confirm this (I believe this is correct, but I do not have most of the Erdnase research here with me), but the pad/table is shown in many of the drawings within EATCT. Yet, I cannot find a single source that describes Milton Franklin Andrews using a similar pad or table.
A close-up pad is a magician's tool, not a gambler's. If you could find reference to him using a close-up pad, that would be strong evidence that he was a magician. But if you found explicit evidence that he practiced conjuring, that would be a much stronger argument for him being Erdnase than the other arguments offered to date.

Larry Horowitz
Posts: 434
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: L.A.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Larry Horowitz » November 24th, 2006, 10:01 pm

While I have always believed our author was a magician, gamblers were known to travel the trains with portable card tables, which could be rested on the knees of players. These could very much resemble close-up pads.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2006, 3:27 am

As a devoted fan of Martin Gardner, I was most disappointed in the book about Erdnase. Martin had a distictive and beautifully lucid writing style that disappeared in that book. You know what they say about any animal designed by a commitee. For what it is worth, my Dad who was probably more familiar with Erdnase than anyone alive, never believed for a moment that his lifelong hero and idol was a common criminal and murderer.


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