ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Richard Hatch
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » September 30th, 2004, 11:41 pm

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:

Back in 1902 they used a mob and a script... Yet reading the three card monte routine in Erdnase there is no mention of using a Mob at all.
Glenn, this is not quite accurate. On page 121 of the standard editions Erdnase writes about Monte: "In a confidence game, the corner of the Ace is turned by a "capper," who seizes an opportunity when the careless (?) dealer turns to expectorate, or on any pretext neglects his game for a moment." This seems a clear reference to the mob aspect of the "confidence" version of Monte. Erdnase does not advocate that one do this, merely states it as a matter of fact. Indeed, the entire Monte section seems out of place in the "card table artifice" section of the book, since he seems to be clearly presenting it as entertainment, commending it to the amateur as a source of much amusement. In that context, it seems more suited to the "Legerdemain" section though perhaps he is merely acknowledging its gambling origins by including it in the former section. In any case, I can find no instance of Erdnase recommending any sleight or move as something that has earned him money, but on several occasions he makes references to having been the victim of card cheats. Indeed, he admits in the introductory section that his interest in card manipulation stemmed from an awareness of having been cheated. As I read it, his passion for play was transformed into a passion for manipulation, i.e., his study of the latter cured him of his compulsion for the former. But that is strictly conjecture on my part. He makes fun of reformed gamblers in his famous preface ("The hypocritical cant of reformed (?) gamblers...") so it seems unlikely that he regarded himself as one. As you point out (and as does Darwin Ortiz in his ANNOTATED ERDNASE), if he were an unreformed gambler who needed money, he wouldn't write a book, he'd find a game... Tony Giorgio has pointed out numerous other instances in the text that argue against the author having been a practicing card cheat. This leads many to believe he was a magician, but his tone in the legerdemain section is that of an outsider: he's read books on magic and studied the performances of magicians and wonders why they use the pass instead of blind shuffles, for example. The fact that book came off the press in early March 1902 and was not advertised in THE SPHINX (which was published in the same city as the book) until November of that year (it received a brief mention in the September issue) would suggest that he was not aware of how to reach that particular market for his book initially (the ad was placed by the Vernelos, publishers of the SPHINX, not by the author). So my best guess is that he was a student of both branches of card manipulation, but just an armchair practictioner of both. Perhaps he suffered from the failure of nerve he refers to on page 23. I expect most of these questions will be answered when we find out (if we do!) the author's true identity...

Glenn Bishop
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Glenn Bishop » October 8th, 2004, 10:11 am

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
[b]
Back in 1902 they used a mob and a script... Yet reading the three card monte routine in Erdnase there is no mention of using a Mob at all.
Glenn, this is not quite accurate. On page 121 of the standard editions Erdnase writes about Monte: "In a confidence game, the corner of the Ace is turned by a "capper," who seizes an opportunity when the careless (?) dealer turns to expectorate, or on any pretext neglects his game for a moment." This seems a clear reference to the mob aspect of the "confidence" version of Monte. [/b]
A capper, shill, or a stooge does not equil a monte mob or the way that a monte mob works to get the money. After seeing real monte mobs in action in Chicago and doing three card monte as a demo since before 1975...

The way Erdnase writes about the monte in his book is a great demo for a magician doing it but it is not the way that the monte is done on the streets today. Nor was it the way they did it back in 1900's...

Monte in the streets was done by a mob with each mob member was playing a part. Almost like a play and often the mob would hit one mark at a time.

I remember Ricky Jay doing this on TV and Steve Martin turned up the bent corner like a capper or the shill or a stooge....

I still look at Erdnase as a great book on magic not card cheating...

Thank you for posting Richard I have enjoyed reading the work you have done on the mystery of one of the great card books in magic.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 8th, 2004, 10:00 pm

Just wanted to clarify something that Glenn alluded to: Steve Forte is not a magician who invented a persona for his act; Steve would be the first to tell you that he's not an entertainer and has never tried to be. He has moves out the ying-yang but he's never considered himself a magician.

He is, however, the best cardshark I've ever met.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 9th, 2004, 12:22 am

Glenn Bishop is wrong about Erdnase and monte. Watching mobs in Chicago in the 1970's is interesting but not contemporaneous with Erdnase's experience. I would suggest Glenn reads "40 Year a Gambler on the Mississippi" by George Devol before he makes assessments regarding Erdnase's accuracy.

Hope this helps.

Glenn Bishop
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Glenn Bishop » October 9th, 2004, 9:08 am

Buster Brown... To me it is not about being right or wrong when talking about the mystery of Erdnase. Richard has done some fantastic work on this subject. He is like someong digging at some tomb or old world dig - digging up the past and the mystery. Each bit of theory or idea that is uncovered is another step toward getting to the mystery.

I suggest you get Whit Haydn's three card monte DVD from the School Of Scoundrels. This is the first DVD that shows how the mob works. And back in the 1900's they did it this way.

There was open monte and closed monte.

Erdnase text on three card monte was one of the more interesting things that I found in the book. I feel by reading it that he did it as a demo. The same reason that he did the twelve card stack. A great demo. But I do not feel (Having played cards) that a card shark would do it that way.

I am not interested in being right or wrong. I am only interested in what we can bring to the table and try to find clue's.

I think that Richard has done a fantastic job.

I have also posted in other threads on this subjects and If Erdnase was a card shark he may have used three card monte as an after game. To be done after the poker game was breaking up.

I have seen people cut to the high card as an after game. If a card shark could do this he could win back some lost money. Or use this to cheat and not have to cheat during the game.

But my thoughts on three card monte are that if you know three card monte it is one of the fastest money makeing games or cons that there ever was. Only cons like the thimble rig or the shell game do as well.

In fact it is often said about three card monte that it will make more money for the con man faster than any other game...

If Erdnase could do three card monte why would he need to cheat at the card table and "Need the Money" as the book said?

Again... It is not about being right or wrong it is about exploring the mystery and bringing ideas to the table to talk about!

Glenn Bishop
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Glenn Bishop » October 9th, 2004, 9:31 am

Originally posted by emeprod:
Just wanted to clarify something that Glenn alluded to: Steve Forte is not a magician who invented a persona for his act; Steve would be the first to tell you that he's not an entertainer and has never tried to be. He has moves out the ying-yang but he's never considered himself a magician.

He is, however, the best cardshark I've ever met.
I have seen Steves work on video and I think that he is the best of the best. I don't know Steve Forte... And I have no idea how he makes his money. But he did make money on the video's that he did as John Scarne made money on the books that he wrote. And Darwin Ortiz makes money on the books and video's that he produces.

Darwin is also one ot the best and gets a good fee for a demo of card sharping expo as well as doing magic.

I have no idea if Steve Forte does demo of card sharp methods but if he does I would think that he is also getting top money for doing it...

To me a demo of card sharp methods is a show like a speaker. People work hard in these markets to show that they are the at the top and they do this today by writing books and doing video's...

Perhaps this was the reason Erdnase wrote the book... Perhaps not but it is a theory and just another thing to look at in the mystery of Erdnase.

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 9th, 2004, 9:42 am

I have great respect for Whit Haydn. Whit's a friend of mine. I haven't seen the DVD, but I have his book on monte, which is excellent. If the DVD shows a large mob, then that's fine. But I do think you need to read Devol's book which contains numerous accounts of working monte with one or two partners and sometimes alone.

I know Richard too, and I'm not sure why you kept mentioning him. For what it's worth, Richard and I corresponded on Erdnase in the late nineties, and I think his scholarship is excellent.

I agree, monte is lucrative. And you don't even have to be that good at it. Paul Wilson and I both witnessed a tourist lose $1400 cash outside Caesar's Palace about three years ago, and I have watched (and photographed) monte mobs all over the world.

cheers

Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 9th, 2004, 11:23 am

Well, I just got done reading this thread, it has been quite interesting. Thanks to everyone who has contributed. Defintately given me some things to think about with regards to magicians/gambling, etc. Also, I just love reading history, or even speculation about history (but ssshhhh, don't tell my friends).

One thing about the last post got me, however. The tourist losing $1400! Funny, one of the things I'm studying/working on in magic the most is the phsycological processes that go into everything, but one I haven't been able to understand is gambling. It's one of those tests Mithrandir refers too. For the last year now, I've been puzzled over gambling. You see, I got into a Casino for the first time when I was 17 years old, with nearly $700 bucks in my pocket. I played until I got kind of bored and left, down twenty bucks. Since then I've returned a few times, trying various Casino's, etc with over a grand on me, just in case I got that bug . I mean I wanted to feel it, find it, understand it. No luck.

But hell, free booze, and shows, lol...

Seriously though, there is something there I'm having difficulty pinpointing, but I think it may be important to what we do, and maybe to the way this crazy world works...thoughts? I'll let you know if I scrape up anything cogent...

Glenn Bishop
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Glenn Bishop » October 9th, 2004, 11:46 am

Originally posted by Buster Brown:
I have great respect for Whit Haydn. Whit's a friend of mine. I haven't seen the DVD, but I have his book on monte, which is excellent. If the DVD shows a large mob, then that's fine.

I agree, monte is lucrative. And you don't even have to be that good at it. Paul Wilson and I both witnessed a tourist lose $1400 cash outside Caesar's Palace about three years ago, and I have watched (and photographed) monte mobs all over the world. cheers
Ask Whit Haydn about it. I talked with him about Erdnase and three card monte in the close up Gallery at the Magic Castle...

And what we talked about - is why I feel this way about Erdnase and three card monte. It is just a guess but it is just another guess or theory that we bring to the table.

By the way the book you mention is on my list...

Robert Allen
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Robert Allen » October 9th, 2004, 11:51 am

I'm sure there are different reasons people enjoy gambling, just as there are different reasons people take recreational drugs. From my limited experience I will note that winning in a casino and winning in the stockmarket give you (or at least, me) precisely the same feeling of euphoria. Conversely, loosing at either gives a feeling of depression.

While I enjoyed gambling when I did it, being a relative cheapskate I would only play at games which gave me some chance of winning, or at least breaking even. For me gambling was a sort of role playing; getting comped, flashing the wad of money I never intended to actually gamble to the pit bosses, not to mention as you note the drinking, eating, etc. I got to play the role of someone who's respected because of their wealth and gambling skill. I think that's what a lot of people get out of it - role playing. Before going to Reno or Vegas (and even after coming back) I'd watch _Casino_ on DVD :) .

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 9th, 2004, 12:09 pm

That is very interesting sir. I must admit that amongst my peers, and ranging out to a few years older, (not too sure about the older demographics, on this one), there is an increasing trend to "re-invent" onself, whenever one feels like it, and a seeming lack of any notion that this might not be an ideal concept.

So, beyond "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", you're saying that people actually are expeiriencing a sort of real virtual reality or the chance to be someone, or at least play the part of someone they're not?

Looking at the money Casino's make, the idea that people desperately wish to not merely be entertained, but to shroud themselves in a cloak of fantasy if you will, well, I'd say it bodes well for our business. :D And is yet another proponent of creating an entire magical environment for someone, like a seperate little demension when we perform, instead of being mere tricks, or a puzzle. As they tell me Slydini did with his pins, where others failed...

Sorry for going off topic, and sorry if some of this stuff seems like stating the obvious. Sometimes little gliches in my thinking appear, and it is important to capitilze on them, (I think) in whatever area they were spawned from.

After all, I believe Erdnase tells us, "THE finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success", though personally I picked that concept from the writings of Mr. Paul Chosse.

Larry Horowitz
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Larry Horowitz » October 9th, 2004, 12:39 pm

As Richard mentions, on P.121 Erdnase uses the word "expectorate". This is the exact same word the Devol uses in "Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi".

The coincicence seems to great for Erdnase to have been writing from his own Monte experience.

Richard Hatch
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 9th, 2004, 1:04 pm

Originally posted by Larry Horowitz:
As Richard mentions, on P.121 Erdnase uses the word "expectorate". This is the exact same word the Devol uses in "Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi".

The coincicence seems to great for Erdnase to have been writing from his own Monte experience.
Larry, that's most interesting!

Since several people have mentioned Devol's book (I believe Peter Studebaker even included it on his "top ten" list in one of his lecture notes), I thought I might point out that this 1887 classic is available as a 300 page paperback reprint from numerous sources for just $12.95 plus shipping (including H & R Magic Books www.magicbookshop.com
Do a search on "Devol" and it will show up.)

John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » October 9th, 2004, 1:31 pm

I might add that it appears as though the value of a second edition of "The Expert at the Card Table" is approximately $760. It's just such a shame that mid bid of $72 didn't win the auction. :)

johnbodine

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » October 9th, 2004, 10:15 pm

Originally posted by John Bodine:
I might add that it appears as though the value of a second edition of "The Expert at the Card Table" is approximately $760. It's just such a shame that mid bid of $72 didn't win the auction. :)

johnbodine
It should be noted that if either Jason England (the winning bidder) or I (the underbidder) had not tried to "spike" this in the last few seconds, one of us would have gotten it for just $107.50. Had neither of us bid, it would have sold for just $72...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby CHRIS » October 10th, 2004, 7:57 pm

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Since several people have mentioned Devol's book (I believe Peter Studebaker even included it on his "top ten" list in one of his lecture notes), I thought I might point out that this 1887 classic is available as a 300 page paperback reprint from numerous sources for just $12.95 plus shipping.
"Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi" can also be had electronically from Lybrary.com http://www.lybrary.com/index.html?goto= ... mbler.html

Chris Wasshuber
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Guest

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Guest » October 10th, 2004, 8:30 pm

Stuart,
Your question about understanding gambling/gamblers, is best discussed in another thread or elsewhere.
But you may want to read the works of Dr. Robert Custer and others who worked with compulsive/addictive gamblers.
I knew a number of those who worked in Vegas, who threw their salaries away each week, who would call you, a "normie"...someone who couldn't,(thankfully) understand the wishfull, delusional, magical thinking, that the reality of math, would somehow, stop for them. I knew high-ranking casino executives, whose business was to know how much revenue, the "games" would generate by the hour, but still took THEIR salaries and blow it each week, at the same games at the casino next door!

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 14th, 2004, 9:57 am

Hi, everyone

I have decided to share my Erdnase research with the magic community in the hope that we all can join forces to pursue some of these leads I've uncovered on con man E. S. Andrews.

Go to www.illusionata.com (this is the new Magical Past-Times site, which I'm now editing) to read about Andrews, see the news articles, and check the list of potential research topics that interested historians can try to chase.

As always, I'll stress that this may not be the man we're looking for. We haven't found a deck of cards in his hands. But at least we may eliminate one more candidate if this proves to be yet another false lead.

I'll welcome emails from anyone making progress on these leads!

Thank you and best wishes,
Todd

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 14th, 2004, 4:07 pm

Todd's new info is very interesting, and it's great that he's sharing it (as well as picking up Magic Past Times).

To follow up on one of his leads:
This site:
http://www.cdpheritage.org/newspapers/index.html
has a number of scanned Colorado newspapers. No reference to Charles Brandon was found. There are too many references to "Andrews" (1600+ between 1900 and 1910) to say yet if any of them are relevant.

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 15th, 2004, 5:42 pm

Thanks, Bill. The Colorado newspaper index is a promising resource...this is exactly the kind of pooling of efforts that I think will prove productive in tracking down Erdnase.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Don » November 15th, 2004, 7:03 pm

Todd, that was very, very interesting to read. Great research, it sounds a lot like it actually could be S W Andrews.

Gook luck.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Don » November 15th, 2004, 7:06 pm

oops, i mean E S Andrews.

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 16th, 2004, 7:32 am

Thanks, Rage

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Matthew Field
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Matthew Field » November 16th, 2004, 9:55 am

Todd -- Phenominal! Many thanks for posting the results of your research, and for taking over the "Magical Past-Times" site.

Matt Field

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 16th, 2004, 12:54 pm

Matt, thanks. I hope this all helps advance the Erdnase search so we can give credit due to this unsung but outstanding author. As for MPT, I hope to honor Gary Hunt's legacy and do a good job with it, including other intriguing material soon.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » November 16th, 2004, 10:41 pm

Todd, Very interesting material. Keep up the good work!
By the way, how is the Mickey MacDougall book coming along?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tommy » November 16th, 2004, 11:08 pm

Mr Karr

Thank you.
A fine piece of work and very exciting theory. I hope you will get all the help you need.

Just thinking of the cuff. The gent was convicted so unless he won an appeal later he would have a criminal record. Did they not take photos and fingerprints in those days?
I think it unlikely that he would have been given a jail term if it was his first offence, but if he had then what prison would he most likely have gone to from the court where he was convicted? Prisons often keep very good records.
I do not suppose the gent was connected to Denver by any chance. I only ask that because a lot of pro con men were at that time.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 17th, 2004, 9:26 am

Brad: Thanks, and I don't have plans for a MacDougall book right now, although the card detective would definitely be fascinating.

Mr. Cooper: The surviving court records are scant from that period, and while I had hoped to get more from the Wisconsin police files, the docket sheets are all I was provided with. This is where we need someone to go there and check the records in person and see what actually still exists. I also agree that prison records might be helpful, and I hope some of our Wisconsin friends can help check this out.

You're right about a Denver connection. Check my article again at www.illusionata.com where the press states Andrews' company is incorporated in Colorado. I hope business records still exist from that period!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tommy » November 17th, 2004, 11:33 am

Re Denver. This was a guess from me. I am from the UK and do not know my geography of the USA very well. However, Because of the Denver connection, your man might well have been a member of the Blonger mob. See here for a run down of these guys.
http://www.blongerbros.com/gang/cast/underworld.asp



Your man describes himself as Businesslike and I cannot think of a word that could better describe the Erdnase work itself.
Businesslike
Definitions:
Exhibiting methodical and systematic characteristics that would be useful in business
Not distracted by anything unrelated to the goal
Synonyms: earnest, efficient, purposeful
In the manner of one transacting business wisely and by right
methods. ; practical and efficient.
Serious and purposeful.

Regards
COOPER

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 17th, 2004, 8:00 pm

Cooper:

Exactly. And the Denver gang info is very interesting.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » November 18th, 2004, 1:38 pm

The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress are about to digitize 30 million pages of American Newspapers. web page

Todd Karr
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 18th, 2004, 6:15 pm

Bill: That's excellent news! It's amazing what you can find hidden in old newspapers, and today's search engines makes researching names a matter of a few seconds rather than months.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Todd Karr » November 22nd, 2004, 2:56 pm

Thanks, Glenn. I've already begun receiving a number of tips.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Farmer » November 22nd, 2004, 5:47 pm

Back when "Erdnase" registered his copyright in Canada, the registration was done at the Department of Agriculture (where, apparently, Vernon's father worked). As part of the application, a copy of the book had to be filed.

I figured the book and the application must still be somewhere. Canada eventually created a copyright office and a lot of the records have been shifted around.

However, I did find what appears to be an entry for an original edition (there are other entries for later editions and reprints):

First, go to amicus.collectionscanada.ca

Or go to the Canada website and find Library and Archives Canada.

Here's the info:

Amicus No. 14561855

LCCN numbers 76378049 //r952

LC Call No. GV1247.E66 1902

It seems to me that if this copy could be examined, along with the original registration, some clues might emerge.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Wheeler » November 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

I had trouble opening amicus.collectionscanada.ca but perhaps this link will help:

http://amicus.collectionscanada.ca/aawe ... &v=0&lvl=1

Noodling around on the above mentioned website, I found reference to S.R. Erdnase ... perhaps this is his brother.

Or maybe we should be looking for James Andrers. ;)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » November 22nd, 2004, 10:03 pm

Bob, the copy you cited in Amicus did not show up for me when I did a search of the "National Library Collections," only when I searched "The Entire Amicus Database," so my guess is that it is not a copy submitted for copyright purposes (since it should then be in the National Library Collections, correct?), but a first edition elsewhere in Canada. The Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library in Ontario has a first edition in the Art Latcham Magic Collection, so that might be the copy in question. Of course, I could be wrong and it would be most exciting if the Amicus reference is to a copy submitted by the author for copyright purposes. I would be very interested to learn of any other first editions in Canada, and elsewhere (my current count of first editions in public and private collections is well over 60 copies but I suspect I know of less than half the surviving copies at this point...). David Ben did recently check copyright submissions for the period in question (as have others before him) and found no record of the book having been submitted for copyright in Canada, despite the book's unusual, possibly unique triple copyright statement. The "Stationer's Hall, London" copyright also seems not have been submitted, though the American copyright forms and fees were filed properly and two deposit copies sent to the Library of Congress in early March 1902.

Bill, the "S. R. Erdnase" is a reference to "Samuel R. Erdnase" under which name the book's author is often referenced in bibliographies. This has been traced back to a 1904 catalog of Frederick J. Drake, prior to their first reprint of 1905. The catalog listing is curious in giving the incorrect number of pages (204 rather than 205) and illustrations (45 rather than 101), so it seems likely the "Samuel R." is a typo as well, though, of course, it could also be a clue of some kind!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » November 23rd, 2004, 2:32 am

Dredging up a few matters discussed earlier in this wonderful thread

David Alexander opines that EATCT could not have been written for money because of the up-front costs of publishing and the time delays in obtaining profit, and later suggests that the book cost $40-$50 in equivalent money in those days a high cost indeed. While I agree with Davids implication that Erdnase probably could have made his money more efficiently at cheating (assuming he was so good at cheating), given the high cost of the book, it is not out of the question that Erdnase could have initially expected a very tidy profit at the end of the day at sales of $2 per copy (although subsequent price reductions suggest that sales may not have been so good). Considering the poor quality of the first edition, I wouldnt be surprised if the cost to print and bind the book was less than a dime per copy yielding a huge profit margin, abnormally high even if the book was wholesaled.

David also wrote: The use of a check indicates the publisher (Erdnase) wanted proof of title, clear ownership of the material he was paying for. Establishing clear title is important for what happened later and a check is the best evidence.

While we may never know why Erdnase used a check for payment to Smith (assuming Smiths recollection was correct, and leaving us to wonder why Erdnase would want to leave a paper trail), I disagree that a check is the best evidence. A receipt would have been just as good. Moreover, a simple check would indicate nothing more than payment for some sort of services not necessarily ownership of the drawings. While some artists do indeed sell ownership of their work, others merely sell the rights to use the artwork (i.e., they grant a license for certain purposes or a specified period of time) and retain ownership of their work.

David also wrote: It is also indirect evidence that McKinney had nothing to do with "publishing" the book since, as an established printer, they could have ordered the illustrations and paid for them directly.

To my mind, the act of commissioning and paying for the illustrations directly would be the hallmark of a publisher, not a printer.

There has been some discussion and opinions given about whether or not Erdnase was a magician or a gambler. Richard Hatch notes that Erdnase made reference to Charlier in EATCT. This reference does not conclusively prove anything, as Richard admits, but it does suggest (to me at least) that Erdnase was very familiar with the conjuring literature of the day. Either that, or Erdnase just happened upon the very few magic books published prior to 1902 which mention Charlier: Hoffmanns translation of Robert-Houdins Secrets of Conjuring and Magic (1878), Hoffmanns More Magic (1889), and Charles Bertrams Isnt it Wonderful? (1896). What are the odds that a hard-core gambler would have read these few magic books to the exclusion of others, and somewhat carefully at that? And if Charlier was so obscure in conjuring circles, how well known could he have been outside of the conjuring fraternity? On the other hand, if J. N. Maskelynes assessment is correct, then Charlier was a card sharp, for Maskelyne told Henry Ridgely Evans that he (Maskelyne) purchased a set of marked cards from Charlier in London in about 1873. So perhaps Erdnase was a gambler after all and knew of Charlier from Charliers reputation as a cheat? I take credit for none of the foregoing. You will find all of this information and more in Eddie Dawes wonderful chapter on Charlier in Charles Bertram The Court Conjurer (1997), published by the Chief Genii himself. The mere fact that Erdnase knew about the extremely elusive and obscure Charlier seems to support the argument that Erdnase had more than a passing interest in and familiarity with magic.

In closing, these are just my thoughts. I'm not pretending to know anywhere near as much about EATCT and its mysterious author as David, Richard, and others who have contributed mightily to this thread.

Clay

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Marco Pusterla
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marco Pusterla » November 23rd, 2004, 5:49 am

Hi, everybody!
Clay said:

Maskelyne told Henry Ridgely Evans that he (Maskelyne) purchased a set of marked cards from Charlier in London in about 1873.
While my message can have nothing to do whatsoever with Erdnase, one of Charlier's marked cards pack is currently in The Magic Circle's museum, in London (UK)... I don't recall if this is the same deck bought by Maskelyne, but I do remember it is a very interesting deck indeed...

Ok, that's is... going back lurking ;)

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Richard Hatch
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » November 23rd, 2004, 8:18 am

Originally posted by Magicam:
Either that, or Erdnase just happened upon the very few magic books published prior to 1902 which mention Charlier: Hoffmanns translation of Robert-Houdins Secrets of Conjuring and Magic (1878), Hoffmanns More Magic (1889), and Charles Bertrams Isnt it Wonderful? (1896).
I believe Charlier is also mentioned in Hoffmann's 1889 Tricks with Cards, though I don't have a copy I can check. He is mentioned by name in Howard Thurston's Card Tricks (1901) and more importantly in Roterberg's 1897 New Era Card Tricks, which was almost certainly a source and inspiration for Erdnase, as pointed out by Jeff Busby (Roterberg's book sold very well for the same $2 cover price). Erdnase mentions his interest in conjuring literature on page 126: "But so far as we can learn from the exhibitions and literature of conjurers...". In his first (and primary) mention of Charlier, Erdnase writes (p. 128): "This is known to conjurers as the "Charlies [sic] Pass," and we presume was invented by the famous magician of that name." I don't believe any other writer on conjuring at the time would have refered to Charlier as a "famous magician" and the fact that Erdnase misspells his name in this initial and primary reference (it is spelled correctly in a latter passing reference) suggests to me that he was not a magical "insider." It does not follow that he was necessarily a professional gambler, but his familiarity with that world does seem more intimate to me.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Ben » November 23rd, 2004, 9:38 am

The original "The Expert At The Card Table" was never submitted for registration for copyright to the Government of Canada. I have examined all entries bracketing the years in question - including those in the hand of Vernon's father. I have also had on going discussions with the National Archives and others regarding this issue as part of my research into the Vernon biography.

I do believe, however, that I have solved the riddle of how, why, when, where, etc Vernon first came across this book and the connection it had to his family. This will be explained in the book. (For those who are interested, I am about 75,000 words into a 180,000 word project.)

As for editions submitted to Canada, all books submitted to the Government of Canada at that time were eventually shipped to England and were destroyed accidentally in a fire.


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