ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 15th, 2015, 5:42 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Does anyone have a copy of that August 16, 2000 Wall Street Journal article: "Fresh Clues Could Reveal Magic Trick Writer Who Pulled A Disappearing Act A Century Ago." I would love to read that.


Add your email address to your profile, or PM it to me and I'll send you the article. Plus another one from the London Financial Times from about a year later that you'll probably like (written in conjunction with a BBC Radio special on Erdnase).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 15th, 2015, 5:51 pm

Bill, I have no problem whatever your opinions are, but please do not put words in my mouth. I stated that based on this and the second photo it is clear that Gallaway fits Smith's recollections. That means he is neither too tall nor too short. Exactly how tall he is I have not determined, because it is not necessary.

The reason why signatures cannot be used to determine handwriting is because they are very special forms of handwriting. My own signature is completely different from my handwriting. For me my signature is more like a drawing not like writing.

But either way, the copyright form does not have to be filled out by Erdnase. There is no requirement for it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 15th, 2015, 5:54 pm

Thank you Bill! PM sent.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 15th, 2015, 5:56 pm

Allright. I finally have a foolproof routine that matches common sequences of words between two files. I wrote it in Mathematica version 10.2.
The sequences are given in decreasing order of length (down to length 4), and alphabetically within the length group, with no duplicates, and where each sequence is not a subsequence of longer sequences. I did not take care of the periods, but I did eliminate by hand the very few sequences that only differ by a period or commas at the end. Ther are also very few sequence with the period inside, which I mostly left.
Since I was at it, I also compared EATCT with 13 other non-magic non-gambling books of roughly 25K pages each (cutting them down to that if necessary) written around the same period. I found these books in the Project Gutenberg page, and they are mostly randomly chosen in the technology bookshelf.

You fill find all the results here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Wpu ... DZ4UGswZjQ

The summary is as follows (unless noted all books have about 25K words)

1. Bookbinding I: 160 matches
2. Bookbinding II: 153
3. Distilling: 71
4. Glass Blowing: 97 (19K words)
5. Hat Making: 122 (23K words)
6. The Mind: 68
7. Photography: 94
8. Pianola Player: 75
9. Plumbing: 126
10. Making Things: 123 (24K words)
11. Violin Playing: 76
12. Woodworking: 146
13. Wood Carving: 135

In the folder you will also find the updated 1127 matches with AOM.

I am done with this game! But if anyone wants to compare two files just send them to me and I will be happy to do it, for $899 that is.... ;)

----------
Edited: I had not run the clearing of sequences which are subsequences of other sequences, so the numbers are slightly lower
Last edited by Carlo Morpurgo on August 16th, 2015, 7:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 15th, 2015, 6:07 pm

Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Joe Pecore » August 15th, 2015, 6:56 pm

lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?

Looks like the word use may have been on an upswing from 1900 to 1930s
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... ge%3B%2Cc1
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 15th, 2015, 7:09 pm

lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?


none of the 13 books I used (cut down to 25K words) have that word in it. Art of Magic has it 10 times. EATCT has it 3 times (in the text).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 15th, 2015, 7:16 pm

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?


none of the 13 books I used (cut down to 25K words) have that word in it. Art of Magic has it 10 times. EATCT has it 3 times (in the text).


Carlo, thanks.

That magic books use it is not that unusual, except EATCT had it in its title. But that "Estimating for Printers" uses it is significant. Common lexicon was another thing Olsson took into consideration, and the word subterfuge was the most interesting word of those.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 15th, 2015, 7:54 pm

Joe Pecore wrote:
lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?

Looks like the word use may have been on an upswing from 1900 to 1930s
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?c ... ge%3B%2Cc1


Yeah I can see from 0.00008% (1900) to 0.000095% (1927). What an upswing and difference that must be causing. Rather than look at what essentially is noise, look at the magnitude and how rare the word is, and how unusual the shared use is for a book that has nothing to do with magic or gambling.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Joe Pecore » August 15th, 2015, 7:55 pm

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?


none of the 13 books I used (cut down to 25K words) have that word in it. Art of Magic has it 10 times. EATCT has it 3 times (in the text).


Oscar Teal used it 11 times in his book "Higher Magic" (1920):
https://books.google.com/books?id=uhY9A ... ge&f=false
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Larry Horowitz » August 15th, 2015, 10:51 pm

Bill,

My point was not that someone would fill out the copyright forms using a cover name. But rather that why would they have another person involved in their secret?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 15th, 2015, 11:55 pm

lybrary wrote:
Carlo Morpurgo wrote:
lybrary wrote:Carlo, how many of these books use the word 'subterfuge'?


none of the 13 books I used (cut down to 25K words) have that word in it. Art of Magic has it 10 times. EATCT has it 3 times (in the text).


Carlo, thanks.

That magic books use it is not that unusual, except EATCT had it in its title. But that "Estimating for Printers" uses it is significant. Common lexicon was another thing Olsson took into consideration, and the word subterfuge was the most interesting word of those.


I don't doubt there were other hidden aspects to the analysis, but I confess that I am not a big fan of the so-called "Argumentum ab auctoritate" ("Argument from authority", cf. Schopenhauer's "The Art of Being Right")

Anyway, just for comparison, can you find any other book that uses the phrase "Cheap cards are clumsy"?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 16th, 2015, 12:33 am

lybrary wrote:Bill, I have no problem whatever your opinions are, but please do not put words in my mouth. I stated that based on this and the second photo it is clear that Gallaway fits Smith's recollections. That means he is neither too tall nor too short. Exactly how tall he is I have not determined, because it is not necessary.


Smith, in the Gardner-Smith Correspondence, twice pegs Erdnase's height at about 5'6", possibly less, but not taller. Gallaway clearly isn't a basketball player, but he could be as tall as 5'8" in the photo. There's no point of reference to say he is 5'6" or less. We have no idea how tall the men his standing next to are -- are they sitting on low or high chairs?

From the picture, we can't rule out that he is 5'6"-- it is entirely possible. But we can't confirm it, either; yet you seem to do so. If that is putting words in your mouth, I'm sorry.

But Smith had other recollections as well. Let's compare Gallaway to them:
-"Recalls nothing to suggest he had a wife."
Gallaway was not only married but newly wed (for the second time) in late 1901.

-"Has impression he was not a Chicago man...He came from the East and N.Y."
Gallaway was a Chicago man, and from the midwest. Not from N.Y.

-"Andrews was a very small man of slight build...I would say he [was] on the dainty side."
From the picture of Gallaway seated, I'd say he's a man of some girth. His gut clearly sticks out farther than his chin and chest.

-"He was about 40"
Gallaway was 33 in late 1901.

-"Features were on the "sharp" rather than "blunt" side."
Gallaway's close up portrait has a reasonably broad nose and full lips. Not sharp.

-"He mentioned to Smith that he was related to Dalrymple."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he was related to Dalrymple.

-"Andrews told Smith he was a former card shark who had decided to go straight."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he had been a card shark.

So, all in all, it's stretching it to say that he is a man who "fits Smith's recollections," because in many respects he does not. In some cases he fits them, in some cases it is possible he fits them, and in some cases he clearly does not fit them.

But either way, the copyright form does not have to be filled out by Erdnase. There is no requirement for it.


Then what possible purpose is served by saying:

lybrary wrote:Anybody who wants to make the Hilliard case should take a look at his handwriting from his notebooks. Does it match the handwriting on the EATCT copyright form?


Either it is probative or it isn't.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » August 16th, 2015, 1:04 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:It is no worse a match than Gallaway's.


And how do you know? A signature is not enough to compare handwriting according to handwriting analysts. You seem to be the expert on everything, handwriting, linguistics, print estimating, use of German back then, yet all you offer is your own opinion. I am backing up my opinion with expert opinion. At least I am making an effort to be objective by bringing in experts.


Mr. Wasshuber you are regularly rude, and it's my opinion that you really should not publish personal attacks and invective on long respected members of this group. Bill Mullins is a very serious researcher and has long contributed valuable content to this forum and many other venues relating to conjuring history. You should be aware that you have a very "Jeff Busby" like approach of attacking those who don't agree with you and you might re-think your approach before you inadvertently take his place in the land of magic vitriol.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 16th, 2015, 6:09 am

Edward Finck wrote:Mr. Wasshuber you are regularly rude, and it's my opinion that you really should not publish personal attacks and invective on long respected members of this group. Bill Mullins is a very serious researcher and has long contributed valuable content to this forum and many other venues relating to conjuring history. You should be aware that you have a very "Jeff Busby" like approach of attacking those who don't agree with you and you might re-think your approach before you inadvertently take his place in the land of magic vitriol.


Mr. Finck, what is rude in pointing out that I am trying, wherever possible, to back up my own opinions by experts to stay objective in my own statements?

I may remind you that my history in following facts is well established. When I posted my 'German immigrant' theory last year I wanted to find a way to test my theory. I found Dr. Olsson and asked him to analyse EATCT to see if there is a trace of German or any other foreign language. The report came back that there was none. I dropped my German immigrant theory. Now with Gallaway there was a very similar situation. I myself thought Gallaway writes just like Erdnase. So I asked Dr. Olsson to analyse if Gallaway sounds like Erdnase. At that point I had no idea what Olsson's opinion would be. He could have come back and said: "Chris, sorry, but these two guys just don't sound very much alike." If that would have been the case I probably would have dropped Gallaway and moved on to some other person mentioned in the bankruptcy files. However, Olsson came back with a "strong possibility", essentially confirming my personal opinion. He even suggested to me I should exclusively focus my research on Gallaway because he looks that promising as being Erdnase.

If following facts is rude, if taking expert opinion to stay objective is rude, if pointing out that others don't have anything else to offer than their own opinion is rude, then Mr. Finck I guess somebody needs to be rude here.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 16th, 2015, 6:37 am

Bill Mullins wrote: But Smith had other recollections as well. Let's compare Gallaway to them:- "Recalls nothing to suggest he had a wife."
Gallaway was not only married but newly wed (for the second time) in late 1901.


Just to set the record straight, Bill. That line “Age at First Marriage: 23” [1930 Census] is a mistake. If you check the actual Census it says 33.

He married Rose Mary Vrana, the widow of Samuel Flood, 5 days before his 33rd birthday, so he was actually only 32! He was marrying for the first and only time.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 16th, 2015, 6:47 am

Bill Mullins wrote:So, all in all, it's stretching it to say that he is a man who "fits Smith's recollections," because in many respects he does not. In some cases he fits them, in some cases it is possible he fits them, and in some cases he clearly does not fit them.


I see where the disconnect comes from. The context I made my statement was in the context of physical appearance and there Gallaway does fit Smith's recollections. He has the right height and 'about 40' is explained by being 33 and balding. You also forgot to mention that Smith remembers one without facial hair, just like Gallaway's portrait depicts him. As to other features, that is again your opinion. To me his physical appearance matches Smith's recollections. I am also not somebody who takes Smith's recollections literal in each and every point. After 45 years there is a good possibility that his recollections are simply wrong. I am looking for a big mismatch with Smith's recollections (like MFA who was I think 27 and 6'3" stretching the boundaries of what Smith remembered), which clearly is not the case with Gallaway and thus Gallaway fits Smith's recollections in terms of physical appearance.

Bill Mullins wrote:-"Recalls nothing to suggest he had a wife."
Gallaway was not only married but newly wed (for the second time) in late 1901.

I am happily married for decades but neither my wife nor I wear a ring or anything else that would suggest we are married. Actually, my choice in clothes would strongly suggest I am a bachelor who will never find a wife. This is part of the problem of the discussion here. Non facts are being elevated to facts to try to make some point.

Bill Mullins wrote:-"Has impression he was not a Chicago man...He came from the East and N.Y."
Gallaway was a Chicago man, and from the midwest. Not from N.Y.

Here is another of these non-facts. "His impression was ..." So what exactly made Smith think he is not from Chicago? Because they met at a hotel and not at his home? Because Erdnase paid with a check that was numbered #1? We don't know. Smith didn't say. But meeting in a hotel to have some quiet time and the space to demonstrate and draw makes a lot of sense to me even if you live in Chicago. And paying with a check #1 could easily be explained by Gallaway wanting to keep this book project separate from his other dealings. So he opened a new bank account for it. Or perhaps he did not want to tell his new wife about it and thus kept his personal accounting separate from his book accounting. Smith states that he thinks the check was drawn to a CHICAGO bank, not a NY bank. If you live in NY why do you open a bank account in Chicago? Looks to me Erdnase actually lived in or around Chicago or business took him there often enough that he would open a bank account at a Chicago bank.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 16th, 2015, 7:20 am

The Louis Dalrymple mess. The case for ES Andrews is at least partly made by saying he is married to Dolly Seely and Seely is an alternative spelling of Seeley. Louis Dalrymple's mother maiden name was Adelia Seeley. This is stated to suggest that they were somehow related. However, no such proof has been found to date. But if that makes a candidate stronger then I have a lot more to offer for Gallaway.

(Just to be clear, I myself think none of this proves anything, just as it doesn't prove anything for the ES Andrews case. But others may think differently and I don't want to be rude and dismiss those differently thinking folks.)

- Edward Gallaway's sister Ida was married to a man with the surname Thomas. There is a Catherine Bricker (Thomas) on Louis Dalrymple's father side.

- There are two Gassaway folks on Dalrymple's father side: Rhoda Lewis (Gassaway), Elizabeth Lewis (Gassaway). Knowing that back then they had a long-s which could easily be mistaken for an l it could very well be that Gallaway changed to Gassaway or vice versa at some point.

- Both the name Gallaway and Dalrymple trace back to the exact same region in Scotland. Pretty likely that there was some family relation between those two families.

- There is a Walter Gallaway who was a political cartoonist for Puck and other magazines just as Louis Dalrymple. The October 8th 1902 issue of Puck shows a cartoon drawn by Walter Gallaway depicting two poker players. One of the players looks a bit like Edward Gallaway, bald, no facial hair and with a bow tie. See for yourself below. Could Smith have mixed up one Puck political cartoonist with another one? And could have Walter Gallaway had Edward Gallaway in mind when he drew that cartoon?

Image

The problem with the Dalrymple thing is twofold. One, it could easily be something Smith misremembered. We know from his recollections that he wasn't particularly good with names. So this could be just as wrong as Andrews. Second, it could be a misdirection that Erdnase dropped, or just something to keep the chit chat flowing, or put Smith at ease, or to make himself look more important, or whatever.

I know that objectivity isn't particularly appreciated here, but if you are objective you would have to forget about the whole Dalrymple thing until a candidate actually has some real family relationship, and even then you would have to question if we can trust Smith on that.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » August 16th, 2015, 1:50 pm

lybrary wrote:- There is a Walter Gallaway who was a political cartoonist for Puck and other magazines just as Louis Dalrymple. The October 8th 1902 issue of Puck shows a cartoon drawn by Walter Gallaway depicting two poker players. One of the players looks a bit like Edward Gallaway, bald, no facial hair and with a bow tie. See for yourself below. Could Smith have mixed up one Puck political cartoonist with another one? And could have Walter Gallaway had Edward Gallaway in mind when he drew that cartoon?

Image


Nice picture! :) If that would be the case, he played poker in New York as well, since the scene is from NY judging by "The Donovan Association" on the wall for which I find a mere four search hits, all referring to a NY organization.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 16th, 2015, 10:18 pm

Zenner wrote:[Gallaway] was marrying for the first and only time.


Peter! Glad you've rejoined us. But you are mistaken:
Image
(From the Delphos Daily Herald, Feb 22 1896).

Chris -- the genealogical information on Dalrymple and Gallaway is interesting. Thanks for providing it.

But as far as Smith's recollections:
- Gallaway has a "W" in it. Smith said the writer's name had a "W". You give Smith's memory credit for this and mark it as a plus for Gallaway.
- Gallaway was 33. Smith said the writer was 40. You say Smith's memory was faulty, and thus this isn't a strike against Gallaway.

Given that Smith was a painter, I'd be more inclined to trust what he remembers seeing, than what he remembers hearing. But that's just me.

It doesn't make for a rigorously consistent argument for Gallaway when you can discard the bits of evidence that don't support him like this. If you don't think Smith is a reliable witness, that's fine -- just don't use him to support your case.

lybrary wrote:[Erdnase] writes so himself that he has pretty much read all the past literature both in magic and in gambling.
I sure don't remember that from the text. As someone said, "Non facts are being elevated to facts to try to make some point."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 16th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:But as far as Smith's recollections:
- Gallaway has a "W" in it. Smith said the writer's name had a "W". You give Smith's memory credit for this and mark it as a plus for Gallaway.
- Gallaway was 33. Smith said the writer was 40. You say Smith's memory was faulty, and thus this isn't a strike against Gallaway.

Given that Smith was a painter, I'd be more inclined to trust what he remembers seeing, than what he remembers hearing. But that's just me.

It doesn't make for a rigorously consistent argument for Gallaway when you can discard the bits of evidence that don't support him like this. If you don't think Smith is a reliable witness, that's fine -- just don't use him to support your case.


I was about to make the same exact point: using only the part of Smith's memory that fits the candidate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 16th, 2015, 10:54 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:[Erdnase] writes so himself that he has pretty much read all the past literature both in magic and in gambling.
I sure don't remember that from the text. As someone said, "Non facts are being elevated to facts to try to make some point."


Bill, you have read Erdnase and therefore it should be quite obvious to you that he makes very categorical statements about what is and is not found in the literature and how his own book differs. In order to make such statements you need to have been very well read. Here, to jog your memory, are two quotes which are relevant:

Erdnase writes: "...yet we have been unable to find in the whole category more than an incidental reference to any card table artifice;"

Erdnase writes: "Hence this work stands unique in the list of card books."

In order to make such statements he must have exhaustively read the card books and magic books. I know you are trying to be difficult, but it is very clear that Erdnase is a book guy and has extensively read the literature available during his time. But you can continue to spin it differently. Just makes you appear like you haven't read or understood Erdnase.

Bill Mullins wrote:But as far as Smith's recollections:
- Gallaway has a "W" in it. Smith said the writer's name had a "W". You give Smith's memory credit for this and mark it as a plus for Gallaway.
- Gallaway was 33. Smith said the writer was 40. You say Smith's memory was faulty, and thus this isn't a strike against Gallaway.


I have stated my opinions of Smith's recollections in detail earlier on this thread. It is true that I don't read too much into all of his statements, or allow larger boundaries around his statements. I have made clear differentiation of what I believe and why and what I do not believe and why not. My opinion was formed before I even found Gallaway, so it is not a case of selecting what fits. However, to make a fair comparison you can't say for one candidate you use them to make him stronger, and for the other you don't allow that. I am simply mentioning that Gallaway fits Smith's recollections very well for those who put much weight on Smith's statements.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 16th, 2015, 11:11 pm

Regarding Marshall D. Smith, I think it is pretty frequent practice for people to disregard certain things he said, and to rely on other things he said.

I would hesitate to say that "everyone" does this, but I believe that many do. Whaley, Busby, and Gardner largely discounted the height business, though I believe they had an explanation as to why Smith might have reported a lower height. But for the most part, if you like Milton Franklin Andrews, you have to disregard at least something that Smith was fairly certain about.

Smith told Gardner he was around 25 when he did the illustrations. This is in The Gardner-Smith Correspondence, and maybe elsewhere. Nobody relies on his recollection of his own age. [I corrected this paragraph a few hours after posting.]

Also, Smith appears to have been far off on his recollection of the number of drawings he made.

So, I guess the important thing in this context is that a person should have some grounds for accepting certain things and rejecting others.

--Tom Sawyer
Last edited by Tom Sawyer on August 17th, 2015, 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 17th, 2015, 12:25 am

Yes, Erdnase did make the two statements you quote. He is referring specifically to gambling sleights in the conjuring literature. He makes no claims about being conversant with the gambling literature of the time that is not found in conjuring books. (there wasn't much, but it did exist --- see TMWWE or Jason England's Erdnase notes). And when we review his writings, it seems that he took much more from magic sources than gambling sources.

And as far as general knowledge of the conjuring literature, he says "But so far as we can learn from the exhibitions and literature of conjurers", allowing for the possibility that there is more than he has read, rather than making an unequivocal statement that "there is nothing in the literature of conjurers". This is an admission that he hasn't read all of the conjuring literature.

And, FWIW, he was wrong about how extensive his knowledge was. He claimed as his own the SWE Shift, despite its having been previously published in "The 52 Wonders" years earlier. And there is material in Koschitz (1894) that Erdnase doesn't mention, despite claiming to describe "every known expedient, manoeuver, and stratagem of the expert card handler." He omits the bent corner dodge in 3 card monte, although it had been in use for decades.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm saying that Erdnase doesn't say the things you are claiming he says. It takes a careful reading of his words to parse it out.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Pete McCabe » August 17th, 2015, 1:54 am

People are not wrong to count some of Smith's recollections and discount others. No one's memory is perfect. It's almost certain some of his recollections were wrong, and it seems likely that at least some of what he remembered was right. This is why this kind of thing is very hard.

As magicians we can hardly complain that people have such horrible memories.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 17th, 2015, 1:58 am

Pete McCabe wrote:People are not wrong to count some of Smith's recollections and discount others.


But how do you decide which is which? Keep the ones that help and discount the ones that hurt?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jason England » August 17th, 2015, 4:44 am

Bill,

While I feel the Erdnase = Galloway probability is near zero, I do think that Chris is right that Erdnase (whomever he was) studied the cheating books of his day.

It's true that the second sentence under "Card Table Artifice" references "works on conjuring," so clearly he read those. But just a few sentences later he discusses what "Self-styled 'ex-professionals'" were doing. Although it isn't perfectly clear, I've always read this to mean that he was now including cheating/gambling book authors (like Green and Quinn) in his analysis of what techniques had been discussed or taught in the literature up until his book. And unless he was exclusively seeing these crusaders in person, he must've read their works.

Furthermore, Erdnase doesn't strike me as the kind of author that would have looked in all of the magic books for cheating techniques but not in any of the cheating books!

Therefore, I'd bet money he read the cheating books of the day including Green's various (but all similar) works, Evans' How Gamblers Win, Sharps and Flats, Fools of Fortune and the various chapters on cheating that appear in many of the otherwise pedestrian poker books of the late 19th century.

Jason

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 17th, 2015, 7:00 am

Bill Mullins wrote:And, FWIW, he was wrong about how extensive his knowledge was. He claimed as his own the SWE Shift, despite its having been previously published in "The 52 Wonders" years earlier. And there is material in Koschitz (1894) that Erdnase doesn't mention, despite claiming to describe "every known expedient, manoeuver, and stratagem of the expert card handler." He omits the bent corner dodge in 3 card monte, although it had been in use for decades.


Bill, you are judging this from a position 120 years later with pretty much all literature from that time available in digital form, searchable and available with one click of a button. We have the luxury to indeed know pretty much all that has been published back then. For somebody like Erdnase in 1900 it was probably impossible to find ALL books on that subject matter. So it is quite likely that he may have missed one or the other and hasn't literally read 'everything'. But that doesn't make Erdnase's or my statement incorrect. He was a man who has extensively read. And given his eloquence it is also clear he did not only read gambling and magic literature but was generally very well read. I have made that statement before. It is supported by fact. It is also supported by fact that Gallaway extensively read. Whatever your feelings are about Gallaway being Erdnase, both were book guys - highly intelligent, eloquent and well read.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Jacobs » August 17th, 2015, 7:20 am

Therefore, I'd bet money he read the cheating books of the day including Green's various (but all similar) works, Evans' How Gamblers Win, Sharps and Flats, Fools of Fortune and the various chapters on cheating that appear in many of the otherwise pedestrian poker books of the late 19th century.


Like Jason and Chris, I also think Erdnase had read all of the gambling books he could get his hands on. I think it is fairly safe to assume that, if the book was readily available, then he had acquired it and digested the contents.

For example, I would be very surprised if he hadn't read Sharps and Flats because his section on the holdout reads like a summary of the holdout information in that book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » August 17th, 2015, 7:20 am

Is "The Man Who Was Erdnase" available in any digital and/or affordable form?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 17th, 2015, 8:11 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Zenner wrote:[Gallaway] was marrying for the first and only time.


Peter! Glad you've rejoined us. But you are mistaken:
Image
(From the Delphos Daily Herald, Feb 22 1896).


Hello again Bill,

I know that you don't trust anything that is included in the Censuses but there is evidence in two of them that the marriage between Ed. and Rose was his first and her second.

First look in the 1910 Census. It specifically says after Ed's name that it was his M1 and after Rose's that it was her M2.

Now have a look at the 1930 Census which I mentioned in my posting. There is a column headed ‘Age at first marriage’. The entry after Ed's name is 33 (which appears to have been altered from 32) and the entry after Rose's name is 21. That had to be Rose's age when she married Samuel Flood back in January, 1893, seven months before the birth of Julia Flood.

So in two Censuses, 20 years apart, they actually tell us that Ed's marriage to Rose was his FIRST one, and, as she was his widow when he died, it was his LAST one. The news item in the Delphos Daily Herald, submitted in an anonymous letter, must have been a mistake or a hoax!

Why don't you check back to see whether or not they published an apology?

Cheers,

Peter Zenner

P.S. I haven't been away, just taking a rest and following the Gallaway debate. Harry S. Thompson is my first and only candidate and I have said as much as I want to for now.
Peter Zenner

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby degrisy » August 17th, 2015, 11:53 pm

I am following this discussion about Erdnase and there is something I want to emphasize though I'm not a great student of the matter: everyone says that the real Erdnase definitely wanted to hide his identity and for this reason he resorted to various clever stratagems, but then the most popular theory is that SW Erdnase is simply the name of the author spelled backwards. If the logic must guide us both ES Andrews can not be Erdnase's real name or the real Erdnase was not really interested in hiding his own identity. The fact that to date no one knows who he was makes me lean for the first hypothesis: the real Erdnase CANNOT be ES Andrews.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 18th, 2015, 7:11 am

degrisy wrote:I am following this discussion about Erdnase and there is something I want to emphasize though I'm not a great student of the matter: everyone says that the real Erdnase definitely wanted to hide his identity and for this reason he resorted to various clever stratagems, but then the most popular theory is that EW Erdnase is simply the name of the author spelled backwards. If the logic must guide us both ES Andrews can not be Erdnase's real name or the real Erdnase was not really interested in hiding his own identity. The fact that to date no one knows who he was makes me lean for the first hypothesis: the real Erdnase CANNOT be ES Andrews.


I totally agree with this. However, I would not go so far as to say that it cannot be an ES Andrews. But an ES Andrews would have to be supported by much more evidence than just a 'man in Chicago who played cards'.

One of the reasons some believe Erdnase did not want to stay anonymous is the fact that he paid Smith with a check. And the argument goes a check would provide a paper trail to follow for others who may want to find out. I have some new thinking to offer on that subject. Reading the historical accounts from those days in Chicago makes it clear that this was a rough and tumble time. There were bombings, killings, police brutality, at the same time with no or little police oversight, lots of gambling, lots of business bankruptcies, fraud etc. With this in mind imagine Erdnase would pay Smith in cash. It would be way too risky. Smith could have taken the cash and never shown up with the drawings at the printer. A check provided some security. With it he could prove payment and follow the trail who cashed it if necessary. So telling Smith his real identity and paying with a check was a small price to pay in revealing his identity to his illustrator. It was also a private transaction between Erdnase and Smith. There was little concern that this would somehow get out into the public. However, all publicly available information, the book itself and the copyright records, needed to be free of Erdnase's real name, and that is what we indeed see today being the case.

I therefore agree that Erdnase did not want to be known or found out as the author of his book by the public. That he told Smith his real name was necessitated by other factors, which did not pose a high risk of causing his cover to be blown.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 18th, 2015, 9:13 am

degrisy wrote:... the real Erdnase definitely wanted to hide his identity ...the most popular theory is that EW (Sic) Erdnase is simply the name of the author spelled backwards. If the logic must guide us ...


IMHO folks are working from the hypothesis that there is a single author. Also the hypothesis that the person recalled by the illustrator is the author. These working assumptions are treated as axiomatic in most of the discussion here.

The pseudonym constructed by reversing a common name is under debate. Yours truly treats that one as an obvious red herring (and not much of a garden path) and a wink that's consistent with the tone of the text.

This search for a real person to satisfy the needs of this community of readers to find an author is intriguing. Even more so for those who've read Borges. Let's play nice and leave Joseph Campbell out of it. Instead of questioning the why, we may as well learn what we can from the past. Do you have any contacts in Chicago?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 18th, 2015, 11:47 am

There is absolutely no evidence to indicate Erdnase was doing anything more than toying with anagrams, certainly nothing to indicate he was undertaking a major effort to remain anonymous.

Despite Chris's details of a violent Chicago, it was in fact a city that was full of families, businesses, and plenty of folks walking their dogs in the park. After hall, the city hosted a Worlds Fair in 1893, and then again in 1933. Hardly the Wild West.

It stands equally that Mr. Erdnase paid Smith with a cheque simply because his toying about with his anagrams didn't extend beyond placing the name "Erdnase" on the cover of the book.
In effect, he wasn't trying at all to hide his identity from Smith.

In an effort to make certain candidates"fit" the mold, we're seeing some pretty large stretches of reality to accommodate a backstory adjusted to fit a specific candidate, or similarly adjusted or explained to repurpose one of the known facts we have on record!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Pete McCabe » August 18th, 2015, 11:57 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Pete McCabe wrote:People are not wrong to count some of Smith's recollections and discount others.


But how do you decide which is which? Keep the ones that help and discount the ones that hurt?


You decide, Bill. Everyone decides, and they all decide in different ways. My point is that it is not valid to criticize someone's argument solely by pointing out that they are counting some of Smith's recollections and discounting others.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » August 18th, 2015, 12:14 pm

Found this book from 1890, which has a section on gambling in Chicago (pages 389–407) of which this is an especially fascinating excerpt:

It must be remembered that all this occurred before the beginning of the present era of club life, which has done so much to pervert the morals, if not to overturn the foundations of society. It is a notorious fact that the heaviest play in Chicago today may be found in the most aristocratic and exclusive clubs. The police, of course, are not aware of it. Every man in Chicago doing business in what is known as the "Board of Trade district" has heard of the existence of a small club, whose membership is chiefly composed of operators on the floor of Change, and most men about town know where it is located. The appointments of the rooms while not luxurious, are of simple elegance and the cuisine and buffet are said to be matchless. Stories are current of fabulous sums having been lost and won across the tables in this exclusive resort.


Next stop: Find out what club he is talking about :)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Marquardt » August 18th, 2015, 12:28 pm

Is it not possible that when "Erdnase" presented himself to the printer and also the illustrator, that he used the pseudonym E. S. Andrews as if it were his real name? I believe this thought has been mentioned once before since he allegedly used check No. 1 from his checkbook to pay Smith. Would it really have been that difficult to open a bank account under an assumed name?

Reversing the pseudonym E. S. Andrews to S. W. Erdnase would have served as a double blind, so to speak, hiding his real name and yet seemingly providing it when some puzzle solver reversed S. W. Erdnase.

What I am saying is that both the printer and Smith may have actually believed the author's name was Andrews even though it was not. Given his penchant for ruse and artifice, I see this as more likely than the author using his true name which was not Andrews.

I realize that the name Andrews cannot be dismissed from investigation, but I highly doubt that it was the real name.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » August 18th, 2015, 12:36 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
Pete McCabe wrote:People are not wrong to count some of Smith's recollections and discount others.


But how do you decide which is which? Keep the ones that help and discount the ones that hurt?


You decide, Bill. Everyone decides, and they all decide in different ways. My point is that it is not valid to criticize someone's argument solely by pointing out that they are counting some of Smith's recollections and discounting others.


But it is perfectly ok to criticize an argument if these assumptions about "Smith's recollections" appear to be somewhat inconsistent. I think that this is what Bill was probably trying to convey.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 18th, 2015, 12:55 pm

Bill Marquardt wrote:Is it not possible that when "Erdnase" presented himself to the printer and also the illustrator, that he used the pseudonym E. S. Andrews as if it were his real name? ...


The problem with conjecture is that almost anything is possible. Adding suppositions does not necessarily make a thing more likely.
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