ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » December 22nd, 2014, 4:50 pm

I don't thinks I've ever seen anyone identify the font used in the first edition, perhaps identifying the font could help us understand what type of printing process was originally used.

I'm also not familiar with the printing processes at the time but in looking at the drake variants in comparison to the first printing they appear to be identical, same font, same spacing, same text block size. To me this would imply the same process but again I don't know enough about the process in 1905 to duplicate text from a printed piece of paper and reproduce it with near perfection.

It should be noted that the title page on the first drake versions included the addition of the Drake mark, first a coat of arms and later an eagle behind a shield. There was also a printing bug on the 1905 versions, the printing bug changes with time and eventually is removed.

I don't have a scanner and using my phone doesn't produce identical pictures, if anyone has a suggestion for ways I can scan a page without opening the book fully (they are fragile) I'd be happy to try to capture some pages and share.

John Bodine

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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » December 22nd, 2014, 5:35 pm

John, the easiest way to digitize a page or a few pages without a dedicated scanner and not damage the book is the following. Put the book on a table. Open it only 90 degrees so that one page is parallel to the table and the adjacent page is vertical. Either you have a second person helping you or you create a little rig that keeps the book open that way. Then take a digital camera and make a photo of the page that is parallel to the table. A tripod or some other way to keep the camera steady and parallel to the table is helpful. Good lighting conditions are important, too.

Here is a quick description how facsimile reprints were usually done back then. It is the same process that was used to create plates for the illustrations. The first step is to make a photo of the illustration, or entire printed page for that matter. This photo was then transferred to a polished zinc plate using an exposure and etching process. So essentially the zinc plate was covered in a photosensitive coating. Using the photo the coating was exposed, then developed and then etched. The end result was that everything that was black in the illustration or printed page was not etched and thus sticking out from the zinc plate. One could then use these zinc plates to print. That is why the Drake reprints look very similar to the first edition. It is a photographic replication process that captures pretty much all of the fine details. To an untrained eye there is very little difference to see. However, an expert could see systematic differences, and that is what I am trying to facilitate. I have access to a recognized print technology expert, perhaps one of a handful of top experts in the world who could shed some light on these questions.
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Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » December 22nd, 2014, 6:01 pm

The typeface used in 1st editions looks very much like Bookman Old Style. I think several foundries had versions or variants of it, and if you compare EATCT to a particular foundry's specimen, any differences you'd find might be attributable to simply having not identified the right foundry. For example, the numerals in EATCT don't look like contemporary Bookman Old Style examples I've seen. (of course, it may be that the original typesetter used a different typeface for the numbers). The typeface goes back to the mid-1800s and was common enough by 1902 that any printer would have had access to it. I don't think its use would point to any particular printing or plate-making processs.

Photographic technology in 1902 was sufficiently advanced that I think a plate could have been generated by photographing pages from the original, and using a photo chemical process to etch a new plate. But if that were done, it wouldn't surprise me if the size were slightly off -- I don't know how much trouble it would have been to match the size exactly, as John describes.

The way that research libraries scan fragile books is with a dedicated book scanner, in which the pages and spine aren't stressed. Any reasonably sized university library should have one. If you contact the digital collections department of the closest one to you and explain what you want, they might be willing to scan a few example pages from different editions so you could compare them.

[note: Chris posted while I was writing this, sorry if we duplicate]

Peter B
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Peter B » December 23rd, 2014, 2:21 pm

Hi

On a slightly different tack, does anyone know if Dai Vernon (who was arguably the premier student of Erdnase) ever expressed an opinion as to the real identity of the EATCT? After all, Vernon was no slouch in searching out other card manipulators.

Regards

Peter

Roger M.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » December 23rd, 2014, 3:15 pm

Vernon on Erdnase:

"I can’t tell you who he is, but I can tell you who he isn’t”

Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » December 24th, 2014, 5:46 pm

Peter, that is a great question, and directly in keeping with the thinking David Ben expressed in his article "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Erdnase". There, he notes that an intimate knowledge of Erdnase's moves might provide insight into the man who created them. Unfortunately, after making that useful observation, David Ben begins with "I" and doesn't venture beyond that perspective.

However, I've discussed Vernon's thoughts with quite a few magicians who met Vernon and talked Erdnase with him. Although many of those conversations are private (not to mention possible material for future work), I can summarize my findings:

Vernon thought:
--Erdnase was a card cheat.
--Erdnase was well educated.
--Erdnase was socially sophisticated.

I've also heard that Vernon thought other, even contradictory, things--those are just the emergent trends I've noted. But it would be fascinating to hear details from anyone who personally discussed Erdnase's identity with Vernon.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » December 29th, 2014, 12:58 am

Dai Vernon discusses The Expert at the Card Table at some length in his column in the August 1970 issue of Genii, but to me that column makes it pretty clear that he did not have much idea of who the author might have been. It is not as though he had narrowed it down to two or three people, or anything along those lines.

Roger M.'s quotation from Vernon was also quoted by David Ben in the article that Marty mentions, but I'm not sure where that quotation originated.
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » December 31st, 2014, 6:41 pm

Hi All,

By the way, the topic of Dai Vernon and the extent of his role in the search for Erdnase has been discussed elsewhere in this thread. David Alexander expressed his view that Vernon took little, if any, active part in investigating Erdnase's identity (though at the time he said that, he apparently was not thinking about Vernon's column in the August 1970 Genii). Richard Hatch and Bill Mullins also addressed Vernon's role in some detail.

From what has been said on this thread, it looks as though 1933 or thereabouts may be the main time Vernon might have contacted Drake. Frederick J. Drake died in 1912, so it seems likely that the "Mr. Drake" (Vernon's term in his column) whom Vernon contacted was Drake's son Stafford. Based on information on a Wilmette Public Library website, it seems that Stafford passed away in 1963 at the age of 67.

Yet Vernon in his column indicated that he contacted "the old man," while Stafford would have been a couple of years or so younger than Vernon.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » January 2nd, 2015, 10:05 am

The past few months of comments on this forum have gone in a fascinating direction--and it's great to see some new voices becoming active. I'm only now catching up. It is heartening to see attention being paid to questions inherent in the printing of The Expert, since that is our primary source of evidence.

--Chris makes a good common-sense case for why it is unlikely that formes of set type were used or preserved. However, I'm inclined disagree with him. I've walked through sub-basements and old barns that have stacks of formes dating ca. 1900. Many of them have been preserved, for various reason (legal wrangles and simple inertia being chief among them). There is not only a chance that The Expert was produced with set type, but that the formes used in that process were preserved, and maybe even survive somewhere today.

--I do, however, think that Chris's reasoning is sound. At some point--perhaps during the first edition--it is very likely that The Expert was transferred to another form of printing. One clue to that timeline might be to look at changes to the text, such as the letter 'y' on page 111, line 1 (first edition, Chs&Wdr edition). That seems to be a modification added via a different printing process. John Bodine or Jason England might be able to help us learn when that change first appeared, and it will at least give us a last-possible date for the use of (the possibly original) physical plates or formes.

--In general, however, I agree with Tom and Chris about the book likely being printed with plates instead of set type. Damage suggests that plates were made for the first printing. See page 29 (first edition, Chs&Wdr edition), where damage crosses over from line to line in the text, which is consistent with plates, but would be unlikely with set type.

--I think the typeface used was from the Caslon family.

--The spacing of various lines suggests that the text was not set by linotype. Note the differences in spacing before and after parentheses on pages 191-193 (first edition Chs&Wdr edition) and the rest of the book. While these differences can be explained by adjustments to the linotype machine, it is much more likely that they were adjusted by hand, with the typesetter making changes as needed. (See particularly the bottom of p. 191 for wildly different spacing of parentheses within the same paragraph.)

--Chris's thinking that the physical plates were, in effect, proof of copyright, is not a bad hypothesis. (I happen to agree with it--especially considering that the registration of copyright with the Library of Congress was arguably fraudulent.) However, it is important to note that we have no evidence of the copyright being formally transferred in any way. And if the copyright was indeed legally transferred (say, to Drake), it didn't seem to prompt the owner to either renew the copyright of The Expert or stop theft of the text, which was already being plagiarized by 1905 in Ritter's treatise.

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » January 2nd, 2015, 11:16 pm

Marty Demarest wrote:The past few months of comments on this forum have gone in a fascinating direction--and it's great to see some new voices becoming active.

Concur.

This thread has cycles, with periods of fascinating posts and periods of not much going on (and occasionally, but not often, periods of posts that don't add much). I've become friends with some pretty smart people through participating in this thread. I've had people walk up at magic events and see my name tag and say they know me from the Erdnase thread on the Genii Forum, and that's nice.

3000 posts, and 1.3 million views, and this conversation hasn't petered out yet. New people still jump in, and they often have something interesting to add. It's always good to click the "Today's Active Topics" link at the top of the page, and see that ERDNASE has a new post.

One clue to that timeline might be to look at changes to the text, such as the letter 'y' on page 111, line 1 (first edition, Chs&Wdr edition).

The y in "company" is pretty clean in early editions (Houdini's 1905 scanned copy at the Library of Congress) but by the time of the late Powner editions it is deformed. Others have noted evolving changes in the heart-shaped blob on the back of the hand in Fig. 69.

--In general, however, I agree with Tom and Chris about the book likely being printed with plates instead of set type. Damage suggests that plates were made for the first printing. See page 29 (first edition, Chs&Wdr edition), where damage crosses over from line to line in the text, which is consistent with plates, but would be unlikely with set type.


By saying "first edition, Chs&Wdr edition", are you suggesting that we compare the two? I don't have a 1st, but in all the early editions I've seen p. 29 has some damage, and you've obviously cleaned it up (or re-typeset it) for the C&W. Also, re: p. 29, yes the damage is consistent with plates, but depending how tightly individual letters are clamped into a forme, it wouldn't necessarily be inconsistent with pages built up character by character, would it?

--I think the typeface used was from the Caslon family.


My comment on Bookman Old Style was based on maybe a couple of hour's worth of looking a few years ago, but Caslon certainly looks possible as well. Now I'll need to do some detailed digging into type specimens and compare.

And if the copyright was indeed legally transferred (say, to Drake), it didn't seem to prompt the owner to either renew the copyright of The Expert or stop theft of the text, which was already being plagiarized by 1905 in Ritter's treatise.


Like much appropriation in magic today, dealing with Ritter's theft may have been more trouble than it was worth. Combined Treatise likely had a print run smaller than Expert's 1st edition (at least, fewer copies seem to have survived). And while Erdnase seemed to be aware of the other contemporary relevant literature, by the time Ritter's book was released in 1905, it would have been Drake's problem to solve, and I doubt that he (or his staff) would have been so likely to have acquired a copy of Combined Treatise and discover the plagiarism. They may have never known it happened.

Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » January 3rd, 2015, 12:46 pm

By saying "first edition, Chs&Wdr edition", are you suggesting that we compare the two? I don't have a 1st, but in all the early editions I've seen p. 29 has some damage, and you've obviously cleaned it up (or re-typeset it) for the C&W. Also, re: p. 29, yes the damage is consistent with plates, but depending how tightly individual letters are clamped into a forme, it wouldn't necessarily be inconsistent with pages built up character by character, would it?


Bill, quite right, my mistake re. p. 29 in the Chs&Wdr edition. We cleaned it up.

As for the damage in the first edition, I suspect you are technically correct in that it might be possible for the damage to have transferred across various pieces of type--especially if that damage occurred during printing instead of typesetting. But I have had that page examined by two specialists at the International Printing Museum, and they both felt certain that the damage was caused by a plate damaged in the manufacture process. Other pages exhibit similar problems--things that look like air bubbles or "spatter" artifacts that are much more consistent with plate damage than type damage.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 4th, 2015, 12:10 am

I suppose that susceptibility to damage depends to a large extent on the materials involved. For example, it's my understanding that electrotype molds would be softer than stereotype molds, since the latter involve the casting of molten metal, and the former do not. Also, one might expect foundry type to be harder than machine-set type. These are just generalizations, to which there are probably exceptions, but I think those may be okay rules of thumb. This line of reasoning seems to support the "plate" idea that Marty has just stated.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 8th, 2015, 6:39 pm

Hi All,

In a different thread, Bill Mullins made mention of an eBay auction relating to a blue-cloth version of The Expert at the Card Table, with "Expert at the Card Table" stamped in black (in script) on the front cover, published by Drake.

The final price was $488. There were 7 bidders and a total of 17 bids. If I am reading the results correctly, the top three bidders were new to the auction during the final two minutes of the auction. The three placed a total of 6 bids during that period, and the bid amounts went from $260 to the $488 during that period.

In this post, I thought I might state a few reflections regarding that book.

A friend alerted me to that auction long before it ended. (I am not super-obsessive about checking eBay for Erdnase-related items.)

I thought it was an pretty nice item. Nonetheless, I was not interested in bidding on it. Among those reasons were the fact that I believed it was not dated 1905 (or at all, for that matter) on the title page. I believe the listing made no mention of any title-page date, but instead focussed on the copyright date of 1902.

Additionally, the verso of the title page said "Congress," and not "Canada," so that printing was obviously no earlier than the date of that change, and for all I know it could have been substantially later.

I don't think the eBay listing mentioned anything about the number of pages or the addresses of advertisements.

A blue-cloth copy is shown on the Everything Erdnase website, and the copy shown there is stated to be without a date (that is, without a date on the title page).

Nonetheless, the book listed is a fairly unusual item. I suspect that the book might have gone for more if it had been dated 1905 on the title page. That would at least make it extremely early for a Drake printing. Advertising addresses could probably tell one even more, but I actually doubt whether many collectors would concern themselves with that if the 1905 date were present. (There were a number of different Drake printings with the 1905 date. This can be verified by information on the Everything Erdnase website, where at least two different Drake addresses are shown for 1905 Drake printings.)

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Rick Ruhl
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rick Ruhl » January 8th, 2015, 7:06 pm

Tom

Could it have been one of these two?

1905 Drake HB, Blue Pictorial Cloth
~1918 Drake HB, embossed blue cloth

Maybe 1918?

John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » January 8th, 2015, 7:07 pm

The variant that just sold on eBay was in all likelihood c1918 with 178 pages.

There were a number of HB variants with the script title, some dated 1905 with 205 pages and others later with 178 pages.

I know of the following:
1905 - embossed plum cloth
1905 - embossed red cloth (may be the same as plum, I've never seen to verify the difference)
1905 - embossed green cloth

c1918 - embossed light blue cloth
c1918 - embossed periwinkle blue cloth

In addition to the numerous cloth covers with an embossed script title, there were many versions of the pictorial cover but I have only ever seen these with a 1905 date.
Light green pictorial (2 different versions, ads change but address is still 211-213 East Madison)
Grey pictorial
Blue pictorial
Light tan pictorial
Dark green pictorial

John Bodine

John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » January 8th, 2015, 7:10 pm

Rick, it is probably the c1918 with periwinkle blue boards. The light blue is certainly a different shade but it's hard to tell just looking at an uploaded picture.

I'll let you know. ;)

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 9th, 2015, 2:34 am

Hi All,

Another great post by John that is relevant here is this one: Link.

On Google Books is a Drake copy of The Expert at the Card Table with an address of 179 N. Michigan Avenue on the back cover, 178 pages. The book indicates that it was a "Punctuality Prize" awarded in 1932. Drake used that address from 1927 or 1928 (according to fragmentary but repeated information I have seen on Google Books) and used that address until at least early 1938 (based on an advertisement in the June 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics, also findable on Google Books). That copy says "Congress" on the verso of the title page.

Exactly (or even approximately) when the change from "Canada" to "Congress" took place, I don't personally know (though from the copy mentioned, it was obviously 1932 or earlier). Also, off hand I do not know how one would closely date a black-script copy that has no date on the title page and no advertisements and no street address--but I'm not sure if any copies fit that description, though I expect that some do.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 9th, 2015, 3:41 pm

John Bodine wrote:The variant that just sold on eBay was in all likelihood c1918 with 178 pages.

I contacted the seller to ask the number of pages, unfortunately they had already shipped the book and could not give me an answer.

They did however, confirm my suspicion that they had no idea as to the book's value and were quite amazed and very pleased with the final selling price of $488.

They were hoping to get $10 for it!

John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » January 9th, 2015, 4:01 pm

I am only aware of 2 different black script variants, both blue. The black script I know of have 178 pages and no advertisements and don't include any date at the front of the book. The estimate of the printing year is based on when Drake dropped down to 178 pages and the first 178 page versions were dated based on the address or advertisements (Dick Hatch provided that approximate year)

I've included below a link to a picture of the 2 I refer to.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/130182245454930365/?od=o3foZy8j6n4Meod7fKTUqO%2BvNQJs0mJ5SwL5VefyWTk7RETuphEOR%2FyCfU96keQW3Bzz8ci8tRJ0%0AHhXocHwto5p00NsQY1YnrWYg5EHoLS69WMtp7cvgOlvSE7UOgc9lt5OtLXWRE%2FMtQ4GCzxkplNIm%0A6%2Fp%2FmrcmCNH2dajnYob8qyXLvVTkw3aPdcz9b3q%2FHgN8wezpM9brp2sCjefFoA%3D%3D%0A&user_id=am9obi5ib2RpbmVAZ2F0ZW5ldC5jb20%3D%0A&conversation=4745564955883870857&invite_code=6dc6868467e41ca5b5417ce0e78e0e45&utm_campaign=msgpin&e_t=ea5c077eeae14c25962b740dad8e8301&utm_content=130182245454930365&utm_source=31&e_t_s=cta&utm_medium=2000

The 1905 variants that are very similar have a gilt script title and the full 205 pages.

Edited: my 1905 Drake pb (yellow cover) has 7 signatures, dropping to 178 pages would require resetting the length and number of signatures and apparently wasn't as simple as dropping a signature.

Signature page counts, includes blank page and advertising pages.
1-32
33-65
65-96
97-128
129-160
161-192
193-224

@Brad - it almost certainly has 178 pages.
Last edited by John Bodine on January 9th, 2015, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 9th, 2015, 6:19 pm

My "1905" Drake (dated 1905 on the title page, but not necessarily printed that year) probably has 8 signatures, not 7.

I can definitely say that the first signature ends with page 30, but it has 32 pages, because the first leaf in the book is blank.

I can also say definitely that the last signature has 16 pages.

I think it is quite likely that the book has 6 signatures of 32 pages, and 2 signatures of 16 pages.

The arithmetic seems to work out, unless I have made a mistake in my calculations. Six times 32 is 192. Two times 16 is 32. Add 192 and 32, and the sum is 224. That's the total number of pages in the book, including the 2 blank pages at the very front and the 17 pages of advertising in the back.

Those who have tried to count the signatures in old, fragile books know how difficult it can be to do so without wrecking the book. That's why I have only stated specifics on two signatures, the first and the last.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » January 10th, 2015, 10:19 am

Tom -- have you deleted some posts from your Erdnase blog? I remember some discussion of page sizes that I can't find any more.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 10th, 2015, 4:14 pm

Hi Bill,

Somebody noticed! But seriously, yes, I very recently took down a lot of posts. Later today I expect to go through some of them and maybe put some back up. (But even now there are still more than 40 posts up.)

--Tom
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

Tom Sawyer
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » January 11th, 2015, 6:31 pm

Hi All,

Most of you probably remember the "Erdnase 216" pack that was issued by the Conjuring Arts Research Center. They mentioned a theory that this back-design may have been the design portrayed in The Expert at the Card Table. Of course, this is highly debatable, but in any event, it is a very attractive design. I think it is still available for purchase from CARC (with two different colors of back available).

In this connection, I wanted to mention a purchase that I just made on eBay. The listing was for a Bezique set issued by Charles Goodall & Son, and the listing shows part of a back-design that is extremely similar to that of the Erdnase 216 pack. The cards appear to be square-cornered cards with the faces printed in red and black.

Here is a link to the listing: Link.

If you are interested in the subject of Goodall Bezique sets or Goodall card-game booklets, you might want to look at my blog on Goodall card-game booklets. The most recent post there is from July, but in all there are now 300 posts on that blog, and a lot of those posts talk about Bezique.

--Tom Sawyer
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

John Bodine
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » January 17th, 2015, 7:59 pm

I can confirm that the blue hb with black script title that recently sold on eBay was indeed 178 pages, no other interesting provenance or markings, no ads in back or address listed.

John Bodine

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 3rd, 2015, 5:02 pm

Greetings from a newbie-

Seeking some procrastination this morning, I did a Web search for "Eardnase Sanders" and reached this blog. (It took me 5 min. or so of additional Web search to find the registration-question's answer, evidence that I'm no gambler or even interested in games at all.) However, Wilbur Edgerton Sanders was my grandmother's second husband, married to her when he died, on August 6, 1935, in Berkeley, CA USA. I was about 7 at the time and met him only once shortly before that when, apparently, he was brought to our home there to be introduced to his step-grandchildren before his death. In my recollection (and I surely would have remembered it), there was no hint in our family of any connection to gambling. Wilbur was a Christian Scientist, no doubt having been converted to that religion by my grandmother more or less at the time of their marriage. That's a good reason for having concealed any such connection.

Wilbur's estate, willed to my grandmother, was very modest, and the documentation I have copies of makes no mention of papers. However, I do have a certified copy of Wilbur's holographic will dated Feb. 18, 1924. If there exists any hand-writing that can be directly connected to "The Expert", perhaps a comparison could be made.

The only other thing remotely of interest that I have is a jpeg image of a short typed poem written by Wilbur. It's called The One Hundredth Psalm, is wholly religious, and I can't see that it would contain any "code" relating to The Expert.

I'm familiar with the pieces on Eardnase in Genii of Jan 2000 and Sept 2011. It's sad, how Alexander died. I'd spoken with him by phone several times while he was doing his investigation.

Sorry I haven't got more...

Sincerely,

Ken Herrick
Oakland, CA

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 3rd, 2015, 5:57 pm

Welcome Ken.

If you've seen the 2011 Genii article on Erdnase, you know that Marty Demarest has taken up David Alexander's research and gone much farther with it. Several of us were fortunate to hear Marty share his research in person at Wilbur's former home (now a bed-and-breakfast) in Helena in 2011, at a small meeting of like-minded enthusiasts.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no handwriting sample that can conclusively be said to be directly from Erdnase.

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Andrew Pinard » March 4th, 2015, 10:50 am

Bill Mullins might find this of interest:

https://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/results?ch%5B0%5D=C&ch%5B1%5D=A&ch%5B2%5D=R&ch%5B3%5D=D&ch%5B4%5D=T&ch%5B5%5D=A&ch%5B6%5D=B&ch%5B7%5D=L&ch%5B8%5D=E&ch%5B9%5D=A&ch%5B10%5D=R&ch%5B11%5D=T&ch%5B12%5D=I&ch%5B13%5D=F&ch%5B14%5D=I&ch%5B15%5D=C&ch%5B16%5D=E&ch%5B17%5D=&wtfserver=wtf_e_41&id=00082be354d4d8730006d8cf00000612&glyphcount=18&imageid=0&x=85&y=26

Working on some other type samples to see if we can get closer than Caslon. Here is a side by side of a scan from a reproduction of Erdnase (specifically the one in MacDougall's Card Mastery) and a typesetting in Caslon with the line endings set to match the original. Bear in mind that this is a modern Open Type interpretation of Caslon. There are definite differences, from the "x" height to the italics (note the descender on the "f" and the capital "S" in the italic text).

Image

Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » March 4th, 2015, 12:05 pm

Andrew, unfortunately the "What the Font" link you provided doesn't work. Can you summarize your results? Thanks for digging into this deeper!

We used a modern Caslon for the Charles & Wonder edition as well. (And just for the record in your example: No "Th" ligature. Additional space between sentences. Thin (French) space before semicolons.)

And it's good to see Ken posting here. I was in contact with him for a while, but lost touch. Ken, I'll try your email again.

As Ken indicates, Wilbur Edgerton Sanders had a religious conversion after his marriage to a Christian Scientist. Before his marriage he gambled, drank and wasn't particularly religious. In one of the few glimpses his papers give us into his early personal life, he was a bit of a hypochondriac and consulted doctors regularly. After his marriage, that all changed, including his refusal to seek medical treatment for injuries and an apparent rejection of his old, "sporting life" friends. It was a dramatic, personal shift in his life.

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Andrew Pinard » March 4th, 2015, 2:44 pm

Marty:

Darned OpenFace automatically inserts the ligatures (I forgot to turn that option off). I ran the "What the Font" app on the title on page 13 (CARD TABLE ARTIFICE.) and it returned five recommendations, the closest was Millesime which is based on an old French-style typeface. Here is a link to samples of the font which can be purchased (the free version no longer exists):

https://typekit.com/fonts/millesime

Click on the "type tester" tab to plug in your own text for preview. It is not an exact match, although the main distinguishing characteristic (the truncated "R" foot) is there. The "C" is different in width and roundness...

There are at least six distinct typefaces used in Erdnase: the text, the figure numbers, the copyright under the figures (which appears to be the same as the copyright page), the section titles (including frontmatter titles), the run-in heads on pages 25-28 and a bold font that is only used on page 189. There is a possibility that the italic font used for headings and run-in heads does not belong to the same family as the text.

I am somewhat handicapped as the oldest facsimile version I have is the MacDougall reproduction (and therefore may not be of the earliest edition), but I have in my library a number of other Erdnase-related titles including: Revelation, Revelations, The Annotated Erdnase, the Coles reproduction (1980; which lacks the original title page), the Dover (1995) and CARC (2007; mini-bible) editions, both of which have been re-typeset, the previously mentioned MacDougall (1944, Circle Magic Shop), and the informational/analysis texts including the Whaley/Gardner/Busby title The Man Who Was Erdnase, Hurt McDermott's Artifice, Ruse & Erdnase, and Erdnase Unmasked.

I hope over the next couple of weeks to identify each of the typefaces, if only for Bill's enjoyment...

In the meantime, if you want to use the image I scanned to run your own "What the Font" search, here it is:

Image

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 4th, 2015, 3:14 pm

Andrew Pinard wrote: I hope over the next couple of weeks to identify each of the typefaces, if only for Bill's enjoyment...


If only others would follow your wise example.

Remember that there is a high-resolution scan of the first Drake HB edition online at the Library of Congress. I think most people assume that it is the same typography as the 1st edition -- everyone says that the "plates" were transferred. (I'd love to have a high-resolution scan of even a few pages from a 1st edition, for a comparison.)

The text in Revelations (the first one) is supposed to be a scan of a 1st, but I believe it was cleaned up a little. And the text in the 1940s Fleming edition was supposedly shot from a 1st edition, at least according to what the contemporaneous Fleming Book Reviews say.

Richard Evans
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Evans » March 4th, 2015, 3:20 pm

KenHerrick wrote:Greetings from a newbie-
Wilbur's estate, willed to my grandmother, was very modest, and the documentation I have copies of makes no mention of papers. However, I do have a certified copy of Wilbur's holographic will dated Feb. 18, 1924. If there exists any hand-writing that can be directly connected to "The Expert", perhaps a comparison could be made.


The copyright application for TEATCT is hand-written. I'm not sure whether it's been established if this was completed by the author or the publisher (has anyone ever checked against any other book published by McKinney?). However, if Wilbur Sanders' handwriting and that of the copyright application were similar, then that would certainly be of significance.

Richard

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 4th, 2015, 5:48 pm

KenHerrick wrote: However, I do have a certified copy of Wilbur's holographic will

It would be great if you would post a copy of this here.

Richard Evans wrote:The copyright application for TEATCT is hand-written

Is there a copy of this available online?

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 4th, 2015, 6:20 pm

Re: Wilbur Sanders' Will. Perhaps someone might be able to turn up some handwriting that can definitively be connected to The Expert. If there is a miscellany of such, only one example, of course, found to be sufficiently identical to Wilbur's, would be enough to cinch the argument positively. I attach herewith a jpeg copy.

Well, oops... "attachment quota has been reached." I'll post it to my Dropbox Public folder and then post the link to that here.

Ken Herrick

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 4th, 2015, 6:30 pm

OK, here's the link to Wilbur Sanders' holographed Will: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/287 ... S-will.jpg

KCH

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 4th, 2015, 6:33 pm

Well, that didn't seem to come out right. Try this:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/287 ... S-will.jpg

Looks better...

KCH

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 4th, 2015, 6:36 pm

What's going on?? Still not right, on my screen. Again, this time with some spaces that you should take out, to form the full link. 3 spaces in each of 2 locations.

https://dl.dropbox usercontent.com/u/28799314/ Erdnase/W-E-S-will.jpg

KcH

KenHerrick
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby KenHerrick » March 4th, 2015, 6:38 pm

Take out the space before usercontent and before Erdnase.

KCH

Why is this so much trouble??

Richard Hatch
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » March 4th, 2015, 7:57 pm

Richard Evans wrote:The copyright application for TEATCT is hand-written. I'm not sure whether it's been established if this was completed by the author or the publisher (has anyone ever checked against any other book published by McKinney?). However, if Wilbur Sanders' handwriting and that of the copyright application were similar, then that would certainly be of significance.

Richard


A couple of small comments on the above. The copyright application is mostly a printed form, but does have spaces filled in by hand. I assume that the author likely filled it out, even though his address is given in care of McKinney. I would not describe McKinney as the "publisher", though we presume his firm did the printing and binding, because of their connection to the author in the copyright application and the fact that they were a source of copies of the book. The title page clearly states "Published by the Author" so the mysterious Erdnase himself would be the "publisher". I am not aware of any books "published" by McKinney, though I do know of other titles they printed, and have at least one in my collection, though it bears little resemblance to the first edition Expert (different format, binding, etc.).

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 4th, 2015, 8:21 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Richard Evans wrote:The copyright application for TEATCT is hand-written

Is there a copy of this available online?


I don't know it to be online anywhere, but the front page of the application is reproduced on p 274 of The Man who was Erdnase. It does not have the same handwriting as Sanders's will.

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 4th, 2015, 9:04 pm

Here is a book published by Jas. P McKinney of Terre Haute IN in 1890. Same guy?


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