Marty Demarest wrote:Also from Gardner's notes of his initial interview with M.D. Smith:
"He [Erdnase] had a small board, like a chessboard, with green baize on it, and Smith thinks he remembers a small ridge about half-inch high around edges. Placed it on table. Did the card tricks on it, and used it as base for posing the pictures. Board about 2 feet square."
Q: What do you call a self-professed card cheating expert who demonstrates his skill by whipping out a close-up mat and performing card tricks?
A: A magician.
Marty, if Smith’s recollections of the ridge at the board’s perimeter are accurate, then that’s no magician’s close-up mat – at least I’ve never seen or heard of one with ridges. On the other hand (and trying to make sense of Smith’s recollection), perhaps a ridged mat would be handy for card games where a strong jostle might spill the card deck on the floor – like in a train. Hard to know if the reference to “2 feet square” means a board measuring 2 feet by 2 feet, or one with 2 sq. feet of playing area (about 17 inches by 17 inches). I wonder if the mats described by Smith were sold in either legitimate stores (for recreational card players who travelled) or gambling houses.
Random thoughts …
Peter Zenner mentions that the McKinney BK docs show McKinney owing some printing work to Drake. Perhaps it’s been noted before, but this existing business relationship may explain how Drake came to reprint TEATCT – McKinney introduced Erdnase to Drake – and thus may add credence to Drake’s purported statement that Erdnase’s real surname was Andrews.
Chris Wasshuber wrote:Erdnase uses noun phrases which are extremely common in German. As a native German speaker I would go so far as to say that these noun phrases and compound nouns are quintessential German. … I am therefore convinced that the author's first language was German.
This quote came from your website’s discussion of Roterberg’s possible connection to TEATCT. Was Gallaway’s native language German?
Why, as author of TEATCT, did Gallaway feel the need to hide his real name? If the answer is “because he was a part-time cheat and didn’t want to expose himself,” is that realistic given that he lived (apparently) full-time in Chicago (census check anyone?)? If so, over time wouldn’t he become known in Chicago as a cheat and run out of marks?
magicam wrote: … I can’t speak to the timing of the public sale of Erdnase’s book, but if the LOC received two copies in March 1902 bound in the same manner as other 1st edition copies, then …[emphasis added for this quote]
Where does it say anywhere that the books sent for the copyright application were bound?
Peter, it always helps to read for understanding
, but the fact that LOC’s copy of the first edition looks like all other copies is (I think) fairly common knowledge, even for people on the Erdnase periphery like me. I’m reasonably sure it’s been discussed in the core Erdnase literature (and very likely mentioned more than a few times in this -- admittedly very long! -- thread), and perhaps naively would expect a vociferous proponent of a particular author identity to know such basics.
Zenner wrote:If you look on page 340 of the Bankruptcy Files, you will see that Drake had due to him “2000 printed covers, 7½" x 10" - S 3 colors” Were these for a Drake edition of The Expert? His 1905 edition was green with red and black printing; I make that 3 colours. Perhaps the price cut was to unload some of those 2000 books when they had been printed?
Trying to “read for understanding” here … You seem to be suggesting the possibility that in late 1902/early 1903, Drake (1) somehow obtained the rights to TEATCT (or pirated it?), (2) decided to reprint TEATCT in the form of 2,000 paperbacks, (3) decided to erroneously date the title page 1905 (or provide no date at all), and (4) slashed the price for those 2,000 copies in order to “unload” some of them – all during a period of time when there were (apparently) a comparatively large quantity of 1st editions remaining for sale (through McKinney or other outlets). I’d guess that such a possibility is remote …