ERDNASE

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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 2nd, 2015, 11:45 am

Bill found Edward Gallaway mentioned 4 times in the Delphos Herald. Thanks for sharing those with me. They provide new information and confirming support for two things addressed earlier:

1) One instance mentions that he has learned the "printer's art" at the Herald and that Edward "has attained the top round of the ladder in his profession". To me this confirms that he was a bright and ambitious person which I tend to believe matches Erdnase's character traits. But before anybody screams, this is of course not proof of anything and I will not put it on any list. It just fits the story line in my mind.

2) Another one mentions that he attended a German class in the last year of his Middle School. It appears that he learned German as a foreign language, which makes the Erdnase "Earth Nose" nickname or ethnic slur theory rise to the top in my mind. At the very least Gallaway might have settled for Erdnase because of its German ring, regardless of how he came up with it. It is of course also possible that his teacher or his classmates gave him the nickname Erdnase.

Not related to what Bill found, but something I discovered with respect to a possible Dalrymple connection is that both the Dalrymple and Gallaway/Galloway families trace back to Scotland to the same region. There is historical political wrangling between the Earl of Galloway and the Dalrymple family you can read about here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigtown_Burghs_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

Again not proof, but at least it opens the possibility that the Gallaway and Dalrymple families are connected somewhere.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 2nd, 2015, 11:51 am

Re a few posts back . . .

Brad, regarding W.E. Sanders's interest (or lack thereof) in magic, it is hard to disagree with most of what you said in your most recent post in this thread. Logically, the Mutus Nomen trick does not add up to much. It is similar to the evidence that Edwin Sumner Andrews played cards, which we know from the "Pippins" article.

On the other hand, there are a few reasons why I actually like that type of evidence in a case like the Sanders case.

First, it has a sort of symbiotic relationship with some of the other evidence relating to Sanders, like the fact that both Sanders and Del Adelphia were closely connected with Montana. Another related fact has to do with Sanders's comments in a journal (I think when he was a boy), relating to a magic performance he had seen, and his being able to figure out the secrets. This was mentioned in Marty Demarest's Montana article.

Then, of course, I apply a kind of "iceberg reasoning," to the effect that if we see these manifestations, there must be ten times that much similar stuff that we don't have evidence of.

Lastly, in the Erdnase case, it is pretty traditional to make evidence do things that it has a very hard time doing, because there is so little solid evidence on different things.

For example, we sort of assume that McKinney printed the book, based principally on the very weak fact that his name and address appear multiple times on the copyright application.

This is NOT the way you would want to prove that in the real world.

Marty Demarest went into that McKinney issue in much more depth on this thread a few days ago, in a post which unfortunately was probably missed by a lot of people because of the flood of recent posts on this thread.

Once you are through analyzing the Mutus Nomen part of the case, it is a small part of the W.E. Sanders case, but to me it is a very helpful to the Sanders case. I actually have one or two other thoughts on the Mutus Nomen situation, but I think these are my main points about it.

One other thing about it -- whether one likes the Mutus Nomen bit or not, to me it is a colorful and fun fact in the realm of Erdnase facts, factoids, and pseudo-facts in which much of the information is rather dry.

Anyway, the above is not to say anything about the strength or weakness of the W.E. Sanders case overall -- it's mainly to discuss one way of looking at certain kinds of evidence.

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

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 2nd, 2015, 1:18 pm

Tom, I worry you may have taken the intent of my post a little beyond what was intended. . I too think the mutus nomen reference is very interesting. I just don't think from that ALONE we can posit a larger interest in magic as a whole. THAT is the conclusion that I think may be over reaching ESPECIALLY given then fact that mutus nomen is one of those perennial tricks that lots of non magicians know.

to bob, that we only have one notation of one trick undermines the conclusion he would have a high interest. If he had a high interest we would likely have seen more notes and scribbles about magic tricks.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 2nd, 2015, 2:08 pm

Brad Henderson wrote: to bob, that we only have one notation of one trick undermines the conclusion he would have a high interest. If he had a high interest we would likely have seen more notes and scribbles about magic tricks.


He had high enough interest to write it down. That's the point I'm making. That indicates a level of interest that is higher than most people and as a result makes him much more likely to have written the book than a person chosen at random.

Regarding seeing more notes and scribbles, that depends on how much of his notes and notebooks are actually still available. Marty wrote that whole sections were removed. But, in any case, I think it is very significant that the notes we have contain a) the key to the nomen mutus trick and b) a packing list that included decks of playing cards and c) mention in his diaries of figuring out the tricks in a magic show that he saw!

btw, it would be useful if his notebooks were available in digital form for all to see. Has anyone thought of doing that?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby JHostler » August 2nd, 2015, 5:35 pm

Digressing for just a moment…

I'm curious how anagram fans – at least those who believe the author considered the reversal (or rearrangement) of his name an effective strategy for masking his identity – reconcile this notion with the author’s apparent intelligence. Even David Ben’s otherwise excellent Magicol piece hit this snag (ref. “He also decided to write the book under a pseudonym… so that he could maintain his job with his employer, and the cover it provided him to cheat in games.”)

Cold logic dictates that the author [assuming there was only one] was either 1) an Andrews who wanted to be known (and make a bit of mischief in the process), or 2) someone without that name who intended to lead the curious down a rabbit hole. Either is equally plausible… but what makes no sense is someone with a triple-digit IQ attempting to preserve anonymity by reversing their last name. That this is such a fundamental (if not mundane) proposition makes it no less a powerful argument against one or two of the top contenders...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 2nd, 2015, 5:41 pm

Bob. it only proves he had an interest in THAT card trick. You will need much more to convince people he had an interest in magic as a whole.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 2nd, 2015, 6:25 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Bob. it only proves he had an interest in THAT card trick. You will need much more to convince people he had an interest in magic as a whole.


Yeah, but they're correlated. If you're interested in a particular trick (enough to write it down) then you're much more likely to be interested in magic as a whole than a random person. As I said, it's not a black and white (proof) issue; instead the fact that he has shown interest in one trick boosts the likelihood that he's interested in others. Also, given that his diaries mention seeing a magic performance and figuring out the tricks, we have additional evidence in his interest in magic. Again, none of this is proof on its own, but it all adds to the weight of the evidence.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 2nd, 2015, 6:29 pm

JHostler wrote:Digressing for just a moment…

I'm curious how anagram fans – at least those who believe the author considered the reversal (or rearrangement) of his name an effective strategy for masking his identity – reconcile this notion with the author’s apparent intelligence. Even David Ben’s otherwise excellent Magicol piece hit this snag (ref. “He also decided to write the book under a pseudonym… so that he could maintain his job with his employer, and the cover it provided him to cheat in games.”)

Cold logic dictates that the author [assuming there was only one] was either 1) an Andrews who wanted to be known (and make a bit of mischief in the process), or 2) someone without that name who intended to lead the curious down a rabbit hole. Either is equally plausible… but what makes no sense is someone with a triple-digit IQ attempting to preserve anonymity by reversing their last name. That this is such a fundamental (if not mundane) proposition makes it no less a powerful argument against one or two of the top contenders...

R. Eltsohj


I totally agree. Erdnase is way more sophisticated, intelligent and eclectic to simply reverse his name if it was E.S. Andrews. That is the biggest strike against an E.S. Andrews.

I have embarked on a little research project for which I would love to find colleagues to collaborate with. In 1890 C. C. Bombaugh wrote "Gleanings for the curious from the Harvest-Fields of Literature". This is available online or as a cheap Dover paperback edited by Martin Gardner. This is a book about puns, word plays, palindromes, and other such things. A book Erdnase may have very well known and read. The idea is to read it and then see if there are other word plays than anagrams or simple reversals, which may apply to one or another candidate to result in Erdnase. Anybody who wants to join me in exploring this please email me, or we may start a separate thread just for it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 2nd, 2015, 6:37 pm

When Chris Wasshuber first proposed Edward Gallaway as Erdnase, he said, "He sounds just like Erdnase." Roger M. said "the similarity of introductions is very compelling." How something sounds to a reader is very subjective - Whaley/Busby said that MFA sounded like Erdnase, but I don't see it.

There are some elements of a written work that can be objectively measured, however, and computational linguists use stylometry to attribute works to authors by counting the relative frequency of words and phrases within works. These techniques are particularly applied to common functional words, rather than specific technical terms that may be directly related to the subject of a book or essay.

Below are some comparisons of the relative use of several functional "building block" words and phrases that could be expected to be similarly used in works of different subjects, like card table expertise vs. print job estimating. The counts are from digital copies of the books, and are subject to the vagaries of OCR. But the scans seem to be pretty accurate, and even if specific counts may not be 100% accurate, the trends noted should be.

Erdnase never addresses his reader directly. The word "You" only appears in patter instructions when the performer is giving the spectator instructions in the Card Tricks section, and not anywhere in the text where he is addressing the reader. Gallaway does use "You" to refer to the reader, several times (the list below is far from exhaustive):
p. 3 "it is important that you read every word"
"The book tells you nothing"
"It . . . gives you the cost of the job"
"you can never hope to be a good estimator until you have mastered"
p. 5 "If you are not sufficiently interested"
p. 34 "unless you have the patience and perservenance"

On the other hand, Erdnase often refers in the third person to "the reader". (See pp 12, 16, 20 (twice), 25, 30, 29, 70, 77, 130, 141, 157.) Gallaway doesn't use this formation much; I find it only once, on p 4 in the introduction.

Erdnase uses "your" only in quotation and in patter. Gallaway uses it often in giving direction.

Erdnase uses the idiom "but for" to mean "only for":
p. 110 "the only hold out that we consider really safe is made by the dealer, and but for the moment of cutting."
p. 111 "and the palmed cards remain in the dealer's possession but for the moment."
Gallaway uses only the more common "only for":
p. 117 "Proposals are only for work according to the original specifications."

Erdnase uses three different ways to express "that is to say" or "namely": "that is" (pp. 9, 11, 19, 29, 26, 70 (2), 71, 90, 113, 119), "i.e.," (pp. 29, 33, 55, 76, 110, 116, 178, 179, 182, 204), and "viz." (pp. 9, 30, 179, 184). Gallaway, otoh, uses them thusly: "that is" (pp. 6(2), 7, 9, 11, 19, 23, 24 ), "i.e.," (pp. 44), and "viz." (11, 36, 53, 59). So, relatively speaking, Gallaway dislikes "i.e.," compared to Erdnase.

There is an idiosyncratic sentence structure used by Erdnase that has stuck out to me as a reader ever since I first encountered the book:
[Erdnase] [transitive verb] "no" [object].
p. 3 "writer uses no sophistry"
p. 14 "We betray no confidences"
p. 14 "We . . . censure no one"

A more regular construction might have been "writer does not use any sophistry", "We do not betray any confidences", and "We . . . do not censure any one."

I don't see any sentences similarly constructed in the Gallaway book.

Erdnase refers to himself as "the writer" more often than he calls himself "the author" (2 times vs once), while Gallaway calls himself "the author" three times, but never "the writer."

There are some similarities in usage. Both authors refer to themselves in the editorial "we". Neither seems to be a big fan of contractions. Except for quotations and patter, Erdnase only uses two (p. 79 "Lightning don't strike" and p. 116 "We don't think many"). I don't see any (so far) in Gallaway's book. Both writers use the Oxford Comma.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Pete McCabe » August 2nd, 2015, 7:01 pm

I recall reading that a census survey showed no one named Erdnase was living in the US during the period in question. Has anyone looked at other countries? Could Erdnase have been an old-country name, changed upon arrival, or a friend or relative?

Unrelated second question: Do we know where Sanders might have seen the Mutus Nomen trick under that name? How many places was it in print at the time?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 2nd, 2015, 7:24 pm

lybrary wrote: Erdnase is way more sophisticated, intelligent and eclectic to simply reverse his name if it was E.S. Andrews. That is the biggest strike against an E.S. Andrews.


The problem with this line of argument is that it presumes that Erdnase wanted to completely disappear for all time, something that we have absolutely no evidence he actually wanted to do.

There is every possibility that Erdnase simply wanted a bit of "anonymity for convenience".

Perhaps it was to protect him from the Comstock Laws, or perhaps he simply wanted the authors name written on the cover such that he could say "nope, it's not me" to anybody who asked.

Even though the complete disappearance from view is his current status, nothing indicates that such an outcome was his intent or even his actual desire.

It may be a bit to casual to say Erdnase reversed "Andrews", or perhaps jumbled up "Sanders" on something as flippant as a whim ... but I've never thought his intent was anything so drastic as to vanish completely for all time, if indeed it was his intent to vanish at all.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby JHostler » August 2nd, 2015, 7:31 pm

Roger M. wrote:
lybrary wrote: Erdnase is way more sophisticated, intelligent and eclectic to simply reverse his name if it was E.S. Andrews. That is the biggest strike against an E.S. Andrews.


The problem with this line of argument is that it presumes that Erdnase wanted to completely disappear for all time, something that we have absolutely no evidence he actually wanted to do.

There is every possibility, and indeed more than a few folks simply think that Erdnase wanted some "anonymity for convenience".


The problem with that line of argument is that it's just as easy (and much more fail-safe) to completely fabricate a name than to tinker with the arrangement of letters. A person seeking any degree of legitimate anonymity simply wouldn't risk it. Forget Andrews... we could just as easily be looking for Bat Masterson who, incidentally, was 1) a rabid gambler, 2) familiar with Faro, 3) a professional writer, 4) image-sensitive, and 5) accepted a new professional gig in 1902. If Masterson simply had a different name he might be on the short list of popular candidates...
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 2nd, 2015, 7:45 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:Unrelated second question: Do we know where Sanders might have seen the Mutus Nomen trick under that name? How many places was it in print at the time?


It's in Chapter 3 of Hoffmann's Modern Magic titled "The Pairs Re-paired."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 2nd, 2015, 7:53 pm

Pete. card tricks seem to be a viral phenomenon. They get shown and passed around.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 2nd, 2015, 7:58 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Pete McCabe wrote:Unrelated second question: Do we know where Sanders might have seen the Mutus Nomen trick under that name? How many places was it in print at the time?


It's in Chapter 3 of Hoffmann's Modern Magic titled "The Pairs Re-paired."


Marty points out (in his Montana's Conjurers, Con Men, and Card Cheats article) that Sanders lists the order as "Mutis Nomen Dedit Cocis" rather than "Mutis Dedit Nomen Cocis"...which is how Modern Magic orders it. He also mentions that two books of the era (The Secret Out and Amateur Amusements) contain both the Mutus Nomen ordering and the star puzzle (which is on the same Sanders notebook page).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 2nd, 2015, 8:44 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:I recall reading that a census survey showed no one named Erdnase was living in the US during the period in question. Has anyone looked at other countries? Could Erdnase have been an old-country name, changed upon arrival, or a friend or relative?


I've checked foreign genealogical databases and foreign newspaper archives. Not as exahaustively as I have American ones (they don't exist in the same depth, and I don't have access to as many), but I've never found any evidence of a real person with that name.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 2nd, 2015, 8:47 pm

Re "Mutus Nomen," I don't place a lot of importance on the sequence that Sanders arrived at, since it appears that he kind of pieced the thing back together. So I think it is only marginally more likely that he learned it from a source that had the sequence he arrived showed. Also, as Brad indicates, he could have picked it up from a friend.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 2nd, 2015, 9:07 pm

If Bill Mullins can't find a person with the name "Erdnase," then no one has ever had that real last name!
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby 20514 » August 2nd, 2015, 10:09 pm

Guest wrote:Hello everyone,

Some time ago I began to study The Annotated Erdnase which I found quite fascinating. However, I soon delayed my study of Erdnase and began reading the Card College volumes.

Now I'm ready to resume my study of "The Expert". My question is how does one properly study Erdnase? Should I start with the Legerdemain section or Card Table Artifice?

Are there certain moves that are best studied from other sources? Are there sleights that are too inferior? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Roberto


I think you made a wise decision by reading through Card College before studying Erdnase.

I personally had to study both Royal Road and Card College before having even the vaguest understanding of what the author in Expert at the Card table was trying to convey in terms of technique.

Somewhere near the epilogue of the book, the author mentions his intent to somewhat flummox his readers in order to weed-out those whom are not as committed to learning the closely guarded artifice's during his time (early 1900's), which in itself can become frustrating, as the reader is left solely to his own personal interpretation as to how to un-puzzle Erdnase's work.

As far as moves that are better off being learned from other sources is concerned, I strongly believe the somewhat unorthodox, Erdnase grip for the bottom deal would not pass under fast company.

But as far as demonstrating the base deal for laymen is concerned with the Erdnase grip, it should pass with flying colors.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 2nd, 2015, 11:46 pm

Gene Maze used the Erdnase Grip exclusively for all his Bottom Deal work. I saw him perform for lay people many times and no one even noticed the position of his second finger. How (not) surprising.

Card players would likely find it unusual, however.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 3rd, 2015, 6:58 am

Bill Mullins wrote: Now, I see you mean that Thompson actually used the Andrews identity in his business dealings with McKinney, and it wasn't just a source for his pseudonym. I'm glad you are making that clear.


I have tried to make everything as clear as I can. It is you who are deliberately obfuscating the issue in your attempts to discredit Harry S. Thompson as a candidate.

This means that McKinney would see him in his Thompson persona when they were buying ink from Ruxton, and in his Andrews persona when arranging to print his book, and didn't notice the similarity.


Somebody at McKinney's obviously knew that E.C. Andrews was Harry Thompson. The business arrangements with Ruxton and Andrews were obviously being kept seperate. It would have been too easy for me if Frank Thompson had shown up in the files, but he didn't. All I have to do now is to find out who it was, if possible.

For all I know, it could have been Ed Gallaway! :-)

Someone mentioned that the Introduction to the Gallaway book used different language to that of the rest of the book. What if Ed got someone else to write his Introduction for him? That often happens. Maybe "Erdnase", whoever he was, wrote that Introduction?

More investigations. I think that I will start with the fact that both Ed and Harry were freemasons.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 3rd, 2015, 10:39 am

Zenner wrote: I have tried to make everything as clear as I can. It is you who are deliberately obfuscating the issue in your attempts to discredit Harry S. Thompson as a candidate.


I don't believe Thompson was Erdnase. But I am not trying to obfuscate anything.


More investigations. I think that I will start with the fact that both Ed and Harry were freemasons.


I am not a Freemason, and know nothing of Masonic lore. Is there anything in Expert that supports the idea that the author was a Mason (or a member of any other fraternal/religious organization)?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 3rd, 2015, 11:44 am

Zenner wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:... with the fact that both Ed and Harry were freemasons.


Where is this fact established?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 3rd, 2015, 11:55 am

Bill Mullins wrote: Is there anything in Expert that supports the idea that the author was a Mason (or a member of any other fraternal/religious organization)?


My understanding is that Masons are prohibited from gambling as "immoral behavior". Of course, that could be used to argue either that the author was not a Mason or that it gave him an additional reason to hide his true identity.

For what it's worth, James McKinney was also a Freemason, a member of Humboldt Park Lodge no. 813.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 3rd, 2015, 11:04 pm

I notice that Ike Morgan is mentioned in the bankruptcy file, on page 572 of the lybrary version. I would think this was probably the same Ike Morgan who illustrated Jack Pots (Chicago, 1900), by Eugene Edwards (which is viewable on the Hathi Trust Digital Library website). Ike was a highly skilled and fairly prominent artist. He was published widely.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 4th, 2015, 12:42 am

Morganillustrated a number of books that were published by Jamieson Higgins, a company that is in some way tied up with McKinney (McKinney was an investor in J-H, according to a Publisher's Weekly article mentioned upthread). He was also a cartoonist. Here is a bookplate he designed.

Offline, Richard Hatch has pointed out that Morgan, like Dalrymple, was an illustrator for newspapers in Chicago and NY.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 4th, 2015, 5:59 am

Richard Hatch wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote: Is there anything in Expert that supports the idea that the author was a Mason (or a member of any other fraternal/religious organization)?


My understanding is that Masons are prohibited from gambling as "immoral behavior". Of course, that could be used to argue either that the author was not a Mason or that it gave him an additional reason to hide his true identity.


I have no idea whether or not Masons are prohibited from gambling, but, as I hope that you have realised by now, I don't believe that 'Erdnase' was a gambler. He was a magician who had studied books which explained the methods of card cheats and come up with some of his own FOR USE IN CARD TRICKS.

The "reformed gambler", "ex-card cheat" persona was a ruse to sell a book. Why was the book sold under the title The Expert at the Card Table, rather than Artiface Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table? Because it sounded less technical and more likely to appeal to those people who thought they might benefit financially by purchasing the book?

For what it's worth, James McKinney was also a Freemason, a member of Humboldt Park Lodge no. 813.


Harry "attained the degree of Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, 32°” in Scottish Rite Masonry, as did Dr. A.M. Wilson.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » August 4th, 2015, 6:20 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:If Bill Mullins can't find a person with the name "Erdnase," then no one has ever had that real last name!


Remember that business in the June 1908 issue of The Caledonian? On page 115, there was an account of a banquet of the Canadian Club of New York, held at the Hotel Astor on May 14. Among the attendees (p. 117) was S. W. Erdnose.

A search on the Internet revealed a dog show - Croatia, Varazdin Int. 24.05.2009. The Judge was Szuzanna Balog Erdnose. S. B. Erdnose?

Perhaps 'Erdnase' was a misprint for 'Erdnose' and the author was Croatian?

Just another stir to keep the pot boiling :-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 4th, 2015, 8:04 am

Some anagramatical musings involving Edward Gallaway:

If you ask me S.W. Erdnase has a lot of Edward in it. To be more precise, S.W. Erdnase has the word Edward in it if we allow the d to be used twice. What remains is 'ness'. Meaning Edward-ness (as in highness). The French might pronounce it as Edwarness, leaving out the trailing d of Edward.

On the title page we find the lines:

WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED
DRAWINGS FROM LIFE

Taking the last ED from hundred and the first DRAW from drawings, reversing the DRAW to WARD and combining it with ED gives us EDWARD. There is also the name Gallaway on the title page, but not as nice and neatly as Edward.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 4th, 2015, 9:08 am

there is far too much information about the approach to cheating at the table that a magician simply would not know. The approach for performing and the approach for cheating are diametrically opposed, and if you look at most magicians who claim to be cheats you can see just by their demeanor that they have no idea what they are talking about - from experience.

magicians show off. cheaters hide.

the text of Erdnase has too much wisdom on how to hide to have been written by someone who was primarily a magician.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » August 4th, 2015, 9:10 am

where are Thompson's other published tricks? there is no good reason for thompson to not have published in other places, like with his buddies at the Sphinx, if he wanted to share, which if we wrote a book he clearly did.

let's compare those tricks to those in erdnase. where and what are they?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 4th, 2015, 11:13 am

Regarding Ed Gallaway: Since he had and kept a copy of Erdnase in his library, isn't it possible that the similarities between his 1927 book and The Expert are a result of his having read and been influenced by Erdnase, rather than his being Erdnase? Certainly Erdnase has influenced other readers, why not Gallaway?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 4th, 2015, 12:34 pm

Zenner wrote:Remember that business in the June 1908 issue of The Caledonian?
Link

A search on the Internet revealed a dog show - Croatia, Varazdin Int. 24.05.2009. The Judge was Szuzanna Balog Erdnose. S. B. Erdnose?

Perhaps 'Erdnase' was a misprint for 'Erdnose' and the author was Croatian?


Probably not a misprint, since it shows up as handwritten on the copyright application.
But congratulations on finding another instance of the name being used.

I don't believe that 'Erdnase' was a gambler. He was a magician who had studied books which explained the methods of card cheats


I know that some of the moves (palms, false deals, shifts, etc.) in Expert were mentioned in previous books. But "explained"? I don't think so. I can't think of _any_ examples of cheating sleights and moves described in Expert having been previously explained to that level of detail.

and come up with some of his own FOR USE IN CARD TRICKS.


What magic tricks would you use the Erdnase System of Cull Shuffling in? Or the Erdnase system of Stock Shuffling? Were these tricks commonly performed before 1902? (or after, for that matter?)

These moves are used by magicians if they want to show how a gambler cheats -- but was that a mode of performance back then?

I doubt he wanted to use the Erdnase Shift One Hand (p 99) in Card Tricks. It is impractical, and the only tricks I know of in which it is used were designed specifically to accommodate this sleight (or to show off to other magicians the mastery of the sleight by the creator).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Edward Finck » August 4th, 2015, 2:07 pm

Zenner wrote: Why was the book sold under the title The Expert at the Card Table, rather than Artiface Ruse and Subterfuge at the Card Table? Because it sounded less technical and more likely to appeal to those people who thought they might benefit financially by purchasing the book?



Actually that is incorrect. Any librarian in the world will tell you the title of the book comes from the title page by definition. Not the cover or binding. The book was properly copyrighted as Atifice Ruse and Subterfuge, it's actual title. It was Drake who changed the name, perhaps by error when advertising the book a few years later as The Expert At the Card Table. This name stuck but is not the proper name of the book. There is no evidence whatsoever that Erdnase sold the book under the later assumed title.

Reasonable people can disagree as to the level of Erdnase's skill as a professional advantage player but very few (or none) who have thoroughly read and studied the book would draw the conclusion that he was just a card magician. There is far too much detail that is not relevant to card magic.

As an aside, do you have any evidence of Thompson playing faro? Erdnase was clearly a faro player so if you can demonstrate that Thompson was too it could strengthen your case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » August 4th, 2015, 2:32 pm

The famous "first advertisement" (1902) calls it The Expert at the Card Table. So does the second advertisement. (Those advertisements are discussed in The Man Who Was Erdnase.)
At least for the time being, I have taken down my S.W. Erdnase blog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 4th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:Regarding Ed Gallaway: Since he had and kept a copy of Erdnase in his library, isn't it possible that the similarities between his 1927 book and The Expert are a result of his having read and been influenced by Erdnase, rather than his being Erdnase? Certainly Erdnase has influenced other readers, why not Gallaway?


Richard, I think it is highly unlikely for somebody like Gallaway, who must have been involved with the production of hundreds if not thousands of books, that he decided to copy EATCT. EATCT is certainly groundbreaking in its contents. But I don't think it has pioneered any publishing norms to make it worth copying.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mam » August 4th, 2015, 5:24 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:On the other hand, Erdnase often refers in the third person to "the reader". (See pp 12, 16, 20 (twice), 25, 30, 29, 70, 77, 130, 141, 157.) Gallaway doesn't use this formation much; I find it only once, on p 4 in the introduction.

It is used however quite a bit more in How to price job printing properly:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/307 ... ice-03.jpg

e.g. "the printer", "the idealist", "the compiler" (referring to himself)

As well as in Problems in estimating:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/307 ... ing-01.jpg

e.g. "the student"

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » August 4th, 2015, 6:17 pm

This is my announced quantitative analysis. It is my first attempt putting some numbers behind some of the evidence that gets mentioned in lists. It is my first stab and I welcome critique, comments, and suggestions to make it better. I think it is very important for us to quantify evidence otherwise we will have a much harder time to move this discussion forward. Before you get hung up on specific numbers, I am mostly interested in orders of magnitudes. (Some of the arguments you will remember from my earlier posts, but they are refined and put into a bigger context here.)

EDWARD GALLAWAY

I will develop two cases for Gallaway. One which I feel is likely and one a worst case scenario. We know Erdnase ordered the printing of his book at McKinney in 1901. Based on the bankruptcy files which reveals the size of McKinney's business my estimate is that McKinney had business contact with no more than 300 people during 1901. I think it is likely to assume Erdnase did directly deal with McKinney. But for the worst case we assume that Erdnase used a front-man. That means we square 300 to get 90k (90,000). This means we assume that everyone of those 300 business contacts had 300 other business contacts which could be Erdnase. We also have 32 employees which we have to keep separate, because they are a special group of people for which different circumstances apply. So we have 300+32 for the likely scenario and 90k+32 for the worst case.

We can also safely assume Erdnase had a first edition of EATCT. (Yes there is the possibility that Erdnase got disgusted with his writing and banished the book from his library, but this is an estimate where outlandish possibilities do not matter.) I assume that there were no more than 10,000 first editions printed. I think this is a safe assumption. Most likely only 2000-3000 were printed because we know Drake started to reprint pretty soon after EATCT appears. In 1902 there were 80 million people in the US. Limiting to males we get 40 million and further limiting to adult males we get 20 million. From this I get 10k/20M = 1/2000. On average there is one copy of EATCT for every 2000 male adults. I do not specify when somebody acquired the book. In reality the number of people in the denominator above is much higher because we are not looking at one year only but at a couple of decades which means there are many more people who could have acquired a first edition. But again, for my argument I will leave it at 1/2000 to be on the safe side.

We can now combine these two numbers. For the likely case we expect 300/2000 = 0.15 people to have a first edition of EATCT. For the worst case we have 90000/2000 = 45 people to have a first edition of EATCT. Employees we have to treat differently, because they are more likely to have a copy, because they might have been involved with its production, or they may have seen it at their workplace and picked up a copy. For the likely case assuming about 10% of employees to have a copy is a pretty sound assumption. This would give us 3 people and thus in total 3.15 people for the likely case. In the worst case I will assume that everybody of the 32 employees received a copy. Unlikely but it is the worst case. This gives us for the worst case 45+32=77 people.

So at this point we expect 3.15 people, which I round to 3 people, for the likely case and 77 people for the worst case to meet the requirements for Erdnase assuming evidence that applies to Gallaway.

We also know that M.D. Smith remembered Erdnase's real name had a 'W' somewhere. I analyzed surnames in 1901 and there are less than 10% of surnames with a 'W' somewhere. I will therefore use 10%. This reduces our numbers for the likely case to 0.3 people and the worst case to 7.7 people.

What do these numbers mean? These numbers are the numbers of people we expect to meet the same things we know about Gallaway. In the likely case with 0.3 people it means that once we have found one such person (Edward Gallaway) it is quite unlikely to find a second such person. In other words, we can be reasonably sure we have found Erdnase.

E. S. ANDREWS

I will now attempt a similar analysis for E.S. Andrews. I must say I am not a specialist on this candidate. Others can fill in my gaps and develop this further, but it serves as comparison.

We know E.S. Andrews is in Chicago at the right time. He has not been linked to McKinney, but we know he is in town. In 1901 there were 2 million people in Chicago/Cook County according to the US census. Reducing this to male gives 1 million and reducing to adult male gives us 500,000 people. We also know he played cards. I have no good number for a ratio of card players to non card players but I will assume a 1/5 ratio. So out of 5 people I assume 1 is a card player. This reduces the numbers for E.S. Andrews to 100,000. Andrews also has a 'W' in his name which means we can reduce the number by a factor 10 and we get 10,000. That is as low as I can get the number for E.S. Andrews.

Now compare 10,000 people who we expect to match the E.S. Andrews profile and 0.3 people (or 7.7 people in the worst case) who we expect to match the Edward Gallaway profile. Both profiles match Erdnase. There are 3-4 orders of magnitude difference. That is significant. It means Gallaway is much more likely Erdnase than any other candidate, because the numbers are even higher for other favorite candidates. This is part of the reason why I am so convinced about Gallaway. This analysis does not even include the similarity in literary voice or any other points that fit the picture.

[One other comment which I wanted to make for a long time. A lot of evidence that gets mentioned here is non-evidence. For example, it is pretty obvious that everybody 'needs the money'. Any candidate can be shown to need the money. And if we should ever find any candidate who is obviously filthy rich then clearly it was a sarcastic comment. Since any candidate can somehow be shown to need the money it is no evidence whatsoever. Same with reasons to stay anonymous. Anybody writing a book like EATCT has enough reason to stay anonymous. And therefore again not evidence at all if you have some 'good' reason why a candidate needed to stay anonymous. Once you throw out all this non-evidence and quantify what is left a much clearer picture emerges.]
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 4th, 2015, 9:10 pm

I conducted a similar "analysis" for Edwin S. Andrews (the train agent) a few years ago and pretty much convinced myself that he was the author, but I was handicapped by the assumption that the author's name was likely "E. S. Andrews" (a popular assumption until recently!). I used census statistics to estimate how many people in the US had the last name Andrews, how many males had names begining with E, how many had middle initials S and how many of those were likely to be in Chicago at the time. Making what I thought were reasonable assumptions, I came up with the number one or less (I probably posted that reasoning in this forum years ago...). Case closed! Of course, if we throw out the idea that the author was named "E. S. Andrews", then such an analysis becomes pretty worthless!

If I understand your statistics, Chris, the estimated chances for an adult male in the USA in 1902 owning a copy of EATCT are no greater than 1/2000 (and probably much smaller). It follows (I think) that the odds of an adult male in the USA in 1902 owning 2 copies are (1/2000)x(1/2000)=1/4,000,000. If we apply those odds to the population of Cook County (2 million) we get an expectation of only half a person in Chicago in 1902 owning 2 copies of the book. Ed Vernello owned at least 2 copies in 1902, since he took the trouble to advertise it in the The Sphinx in November 1902, unlikely to be something he would have done had he only had one copy. In fact, he likely a dozen or more copies, to justify his effort in advertising it. What are the odds of that? Do I think Vernello was the author? No. A person of interest, who may have known the author? Sure!

Here's an even more statistically unlikely individual: He was in Chicago, knew about copyright law, possessed multiple first edition copies, as well as copies of Roterberg's book (which we know the author had studied) and Selbit's Magician's Handbook (which had the color change attributed to Houdini that was also in Erdnase) and he had very direct dealings with McKinney, as detailed in the bankruptcy papers. Statistically, he has to be the author, right? Personally, I don't think so (though I bet he knew who was), but statistically speaking, Frederick J. Drake has to be the guy by this line of reasoning!
Incidentally, Drake advertised Selbit's book on the back cover of the very first issue of the Sphinx, which had his full page ad, as did the next two issues (after that he went to a quarter page ad). Drake also advertised (elsewhere) Cobb's Jack Henderson Down East which was illustrated by Marshall D. Smith. What are the odds of that?

While I find such statistical analyses interesting, I do not find them convincing.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby magicam » August 4th, 2015, 9:10 pm

Okay, Chris, I'll be the first to admit my ignorance: I find the methodology and analysis incomprehensible.


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