ERDNASE

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2018, 1:08 pm

Expert at the Card Table was written by a magician who knew some gambling stuff. The evidence for this is very strong.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Geno Munari » September 28th, 2018, 2:54 pm

According to John Crimmins, Hugards Monthly VOL 9, 1952, he says the first English edition was 1931, so I think Harto was publishing a typewritten style manuscript.

J. N. Hofzinser's "Card Conjuring"translated by S. H. Sharpe from the Ottokar Fischer German title "J. H.Hofzinser Kartenkunste" ranks high in the estimation of every card man. Unfortunately this 183-page English edition published in 1931 is very difficult to obtain today, and I should think some enterprising Americanp ublisher would find it extremely worthwhile to issue a new edition.[/i]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2018, 3:01 pm

Yes, 1931 for Hofzinser, published by George Johnson in London.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 28th, 2018, 3:04 pm

Image

I don't see it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 28th, 2018, 5:48 pm

I see what could be construed as "lade" on the paint palate.
I also see a "G" on the base the magician is standing on, but I see no other letters on that same surface.

Beyond the two things above, I seen nothing else that Scott makes note of in his post.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 28th, 2018, 5:52 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Expert at the Card Table was written by a magician who knew some gambling stuff. The evidence for this is very strong.


A bold statement considering we have absolutely no idea who S.W. Erdnase was!

I get that folks can throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks, or that pretty much anybody can say anything they want about Erdnase ... and the reason they can say anything they want about Erdnase? ... Well, it's because we (as noted above) have absolutely no idea who Erdnase was.

Ergo, anybody can say anything they want and be no more "wrong" or "right" from the next guy who may say something completely different!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 28th, 2018, 6:46 pm

Here's the Sargent book: https://archive.org/details/smokeandbub ... /page/n151
Shorthand? This word seems apropos : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 29th, 2018, 12:03 am

Roger M. wrote:Ergo, anybody can say anything they want and be no more "wrong" or "right" from the next guy who may say something completely different!


Gotta disagree here. As this thread has proven several times, some people can be much, much more wrong than the next guy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 29th, 2018, 2:22 am

There's always "degrees of wrong" I guess :)

I am generally making reference though, to folks making comments that tend to at least make sense as to why they might be making them.
Like Richards comment above, as I totally get where he's coming from when he states that Erdnase was a magician, and although I personally believe Erdnase was a gambler, in reality neither Richard or I are any more right or wrong than the other.

Then there are outright fabrications and utter nonsense - which I'd agree are simply so wrong they can't possibly be right, even though we still have no idea whatsoever who Erdnase actually was.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 29th, 2018, 2:30 am

Roger M. wrote:In reality neither Richard or I are any more right or wrong than the other.
No, in reality one of you is right and one of you is wrong.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby AJM » September 29th, 2018, 2:56 am

Dan Brown has the outline of his next novel pretty much mapped out I believe.

All he needs to do now is add in a few pointing statues and he will have another bestseller on his hands!
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 29th, 2018, 5:07 am

Roger M. wrote:I see what could be construed as "lade" on the paint palate.
I also see a "G" on the base the magician is standing on, but I see no other letters on that same surface.

Beyond the two things above, I seen nothing else that Scott makes note of in his post.


The G is obviously for Gardner - the drawing was a gift to him. As for the apparent lettering on the pallette, it could say "Tada" in response to the flourish that the magician is performing. I can't see anything else that is supposed to be there.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 29th, 2018, 11:27 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Roger M. wrote:In reality neither Richard or I are any more right or wrong than the other.
No, in reality one of you is right and one of you is wrong.


No, we could both also be wrong, or we could both also be right.

Erdnase could have been a serious magician who gambled for a living, or a serious professional gambler who studied magic studiously (making us both right)

Making us both wrong, I'll use myself as an example.
I'm neither a gambler or a magician per see ... but I've studied EATCT for over 40 years, know the book inside out, and continue to be interested in every aspect of it, including the search for the identity of its author.
Erdnase could have been that train agent, and been a witness to gambling, developing extensive expertise and knowledge over the years ... but never actually betting his own money, or performing a magic trick for anybody other than himself.

Splitting hairs to a degree? ... maybe.
But the point is that Richard and I have our opinions, and without knowing the true identity of Erdnase, each of those opinions is no more "wrong", or no more "right" than the other.

Obviously, once Erdnase's identity is known, the entire playing field changes at its most fundamental level, and the points above become moot.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 29th, 2018, 11:29 am

Zenner wrote:
Roger M. wrote:I see what could be construed as "lade" on the paint palate.
I also see a "G" on the base the magician is standing on, but I see no other letters on that same surface.

Beyond the two things above, I seen nothing else that Scott makes note of in his post.


The G is obviously for Gardner - the drawing was a gift to him. As for the apparent lettering on the pallette, it could say "Tada" in response to the flourish that the magician is performing. I can't see anything else that is supposed to be there.


I too see "Tada" quite clearly ... and as Zenner points out, it's entirely in context of what's going on with the flourish.

However, my eyes still don't see any of the remainder of Scott's observations ... despite spending time looking.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 30th, 2018, 2:39 am

Since I posted the earlier picture, Scott has asked for some assistance with posting some more detailed views. Here they are.


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » September 30th, 2018, 2:41 am

Earlier in the thread I've listed writers who have used an anagram of their name as a pseudonym, in support of the idea that S. W. Erdnase is an anagram. I've found another -- science fiction author Randall Garrett used "Darrel T. Langart" as a pseudonym.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » September 30th, 2018, 9:57 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Since I posted the earlier picture, Scott has asked for some assistance with posting some more detailed views. Here they are.
(SNIP)

Scott has a very vivid imagination :)

Houdini was Erdnase? Are we expected to believe that it was Houdini who demonstrated the tricks for Smith and then posed for the illustrations in that pokey little room?

I believe that if Houdini had written Expert, then he would have made sure that his name was on the cover, just like his other books. He may have been temporarily hard up but he always wanted to promote his own name - and neither of his two names appear in the McKinney Files.


Nah...
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » September 30th, 2018, 11:22 am

Zenner wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Since I posted the earlier picture, Scott has asked for some assistance with posting some more detailed views. Here they are.
(SNIP)

Scott has a very vivid imagination :)

Houdini was Erdnase? Are we expected to believe that it was Houdini who demonstrated the tricks for Smith and then posed for the illustrations in that pokey little room?

I believe that if Houdini had written Expert, then he would have made sure that his name was on the cover, just like his other books. He may have been temporarily hard up but he always wanted to promote his own name - and neither of his two names appear in the McKinney Files.


Nah...


And of course, if Houdini was "Erdnase", Smith should have had no difficulty in identifying him. Even if he had been unaware of Houdini prior to the publication of EATCT, he surely must have recognised him after he became a film star (and thus in retrospect)!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 30th, 2018, 11:30 am

Well, if Scott is correct, then regardless of ones personal opinion, and regardless of how many fabricated situations one can dream up to propose as to why Houdini couldn't be Erdnase ... you've still got a major problem if Smith went out of his way to indicate (for whatever reason) in a cartoon that Houdini was Erdnase.

Scott, which direction is "Erdnase was Houdini" displayed from - in the flourish of cards? ... in other words, which hand does it start in?

I can't seem to find any more than a few correct letters regardless of which hand I start in ... and that's being generous with what might be a DOT and what might be a DASH.
For example, starting from the left hand, the first letter definitely could be an "E", and the second letter an "R" ... but then it all seems to break down.

The text on the left is obviously correct in terms of the proper DOT and DASH for each letter, but the text doesn't seem to match the cartoon?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 30th, 2018, 11:54 am

Further to my above post, compounding the problem is that there are noticeably more playing cards with potential dots and dashes on them (23) than there are the 17 letters in the proposed sentence?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 30th, 2018, 1:08 pm

A lot of nonsense.

It is beyond unimaginable that Houdini wrote Expert because ... Houdini could never have written that detailed text. He lacked the ability.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 30th, 2018, 1:41 pm

Scott asked in an extremely polite fashion if folks would give him the respect of not attacking him, or declaring his findings to be "nonsense" ... presumably extended to mean that he wished to have an opportunity to respond to rational questions, if they were asked.

Scott has made some specific observations regarding his first slide of the Houdini flourish, and before declaring his comments "nonsense", perhaps we should give him a chance to respond?
First off, folks have to be able to see what Scott see's in order to proceed with any sort of intelligent conversation. If nobody see's what Scott see's in that slide, then the conversation really has no place further to go.
If some folks do see the reference to Houdini in the phrase as Scott see's it, then the next question might be to ask what that phrase could possibly mean ... as it seems nearly impossible (if not entirely impossible) that Houdini was actually Erdnase.

But first we have to discuss whether the Morse Code that Scott see's on the playing cards is Morse Code at all, and then how it's to be read, and further what it might mean.

I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that it's far more tempting to simply declare somebody as "nuts" (as I have many times here), or to declare their comments or conclusions about Erdnase as "nonsense" (as I have many times here) ... but all that did earlier in this thread was generate 70 pages of somewhat useless back and forth insults from both sides of the conversation (and calling it a "conversation" is being extremely generous).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » September 30th, 2018, 3:23 pm

Reading the Morse Code in the Smith Cartoon

Starting from the left hand:
Each set of Dots and Dashes run from left to right within the card.

The First Four Cards says ERDNASE
Card 1 = Dot = E
Card 2 = Dot Dash Dot = R
Card 3 = Dash Dot Dot = D
Card 4 = Dash Dot, Dot Dash, Dot Dot Dot, Dot = NASE
(From Left to Right - The first dash is the left side of the card and the second dash is the right side of the card)


The Fifth Card says WAS
Card 5 = Dot Dash Dash, Dot Dash, Dot Dot Dot
(The Last Dot is possibly on the line of the card above)

Card Six and Seven Cards = HOUDI
(Again you have to use the side of the card to make the Dashes. It seems like he was running out of room.)
Card Eight says Dash Dot meaning the letter N
Going around the curve has the last Dot Dot making the letter I.
(Completing the word HOUDINI)

As you go down the left side of the card juggle, going into the final circle, towards the right hand, it almost seems like the message starts to repeat itself.

Maybe I am trying to see something that is not there …. but maybe it is there.

I do believe that the other Houdini references in the cartoon help to substantiate the theory.

Houdini did carry a gun to protect himself from the gamblers and was publishing gambling exposes during that time period.

I don’t believe that Houdini wrote the book text. I think the other players in my presentation wrote the text.

According to the theory I have presented, the gambling systems in the book were written many years prior to publication. Wells and Andrews owned and operated the french lick casinos in the 1870s but stuck around for many years afterword. The West Baden Springs Hotel and Casino burned down in 1901 and reopened in September of 1902. Wells died in July 1902. The original gambling information was possibly used as a casino manual.

Houdini could have met Smith in the hotel in the late 1890s. He was documented as being in Chicago at that time, prior to going overseas. One theory is he dressed in disguise but Andrews was also in Chicago at the time.

I do believe Smith had a motive to keep it from Gardner due to his family connections to the gamblers, the SAM founders, the New York Press Club (Blue Pencil Club Members) and to Houdini himself.


One thing is for sure, my family had intimate knowledge and relations with the gamblers/dealers in French Lick and Milton Franklin Andrew’s extended family. My revelations concerning Ellis, Howards, Andrews and Campbells all tie into the research done by Whaley, Gardner and Busby in TMWWE.

One of the hardest things to do is to realize that TEATCT is romanticized fiction.

My family members were all living and working the hotels and casinos at the time Dai Vernon visited French Lick and West Baden Springs looking for the Center Deal. After this blows over, I will tell you the true story of what happened when Vernon arrived and tried to pass himself off as a gambler. The story is not as straight forward as others have written. Although, in my opinion, he was one of the greatest magicians that ever lived.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 30th, 2018, 4:40 pm

The first card in the Smith illustration looks like an Ace, maybe the Ace of Clubs. The next card looks like a three, then another three, and then a five. And then a six, and then another five. Maybe Scott also believes that ancient Aztec carving represents an astronaut?




Image

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » September 30th, 2018, 6:37 pm

Scott Lane wrote:Reading the Morse Code in the Smith Cartoon

Starting from the left hand:
Each set of Dots and Dashes run from left to right within the card.

The First Four Cards says ERDNASE
Card 1 = Dot = E
Card 2 = Dot Dash Dot = R
Card 3 = Dash Dot Dot = D
Card 4 = Dash Dot, Dot Dash, Dot Dot Dot, Dot = NASE
(From Left to Right - The first dash is the left side of the card and the second dash is the right side of the card)



All good until the 4th card. With the same strategy you can make up just about any 4-letter word by placing the 1-4 available dashes wherever you want in between the dots. I just don't see a pattern.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » September 30th, 2018, 7:33 pm

I agree with Carlo.
Despite a fair bit of time looking, I don't see what Scott is seeing.

If it was straight up Morse Code, then I think it might be something of note.
But if you allow for things like the edges of cards to represent dots or dashes (where convenient), or don't account for all the visible cards, then it starts to become more a free-for-all in terms of making statements regarding what the playing cards might (or might not) say in Morse Code.

Sorry Scott, but I have to say that I just don't see it.

With reference to the other slide close-ups you posted, I'm wondering if there is any possibility that you can highlight some of the words and names you see?
It might help if you could trace over the text you propose with a alternate colour than black?

With the exception of the letters on the painters palate (last slide), I'm have difficulty finding words or names elsewhere in your slides. Tracing them out might help others see them?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » September 30th, 2018, 9:19 pm

Very good comment! That is a valid criticism. Thank you! The way I rationalized it was that the dashes are the sides of the card, which are connected at the bottom. The next card, the fifth card, starts with a dot but it is below the vertical side line of the card.

I followed the code from left to right and from bottom up within the card. What do you think of the fifth card? Do you think it could be the word “WAS”? If you do, than we areaway be in agreement for over half of the cards, and we spell “ERDNASE WAS”. That is interesting in itself.

I also liked the comment concerning The Chariots of the Gods. If that book was written with no speculation and commentary, it would not have sold so many copies and spawned so many other books, documentaries, and cable TV shows. Controversy can be good.

If I was to say to you that Erdnase was “John Doe” and revealed the true name of Erdnase, nobody would really care. Lets face it, the book is not very interesting to the general public. The interesting aspects concerning TEATCT is the history of the book, the people involved in producing the book and the stories surrounding the book.

Try making a documentary out of the contents of Gus’s book New Era Card Tricks. It would flop like a lead balloon. Only a handful of magicians would find it interesting.

One of the reasons I wanted to post this information on the Genii forum was to document some of these findings in a public forum so I could release a couple of people that I currently have in NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements).

I would like to thank Bill Mullins for his help with posting the illustrations, he is truly a very nice person and his research has always been honest and fair minded. If he disagrees, he always remains a complete gentleman and scholar.

I would also like to thank Richard Kaufman for his input. As I said in a previous post, I have a huge magic library and if I took out all the books, magazines and related material that he has written, produced or illustrated, my library would look skimpy and very incomplete. He has done more to advance the art of magic than almost anyone in the last century.

Also, thank you Roger for your wisdom concerning your comments about the other slides. I will put something together and post in the near future. Although… even if I can show you, and everyone agrees the images are there, I am not sure it will prove anything.

If anyone else has any comments or questions, feel free to post, I will do my best to answer.

I truly am proud to put my two cents in concerning the Erdnase mystery. I am honored to post my theory to this thread enabling me to share my comments with some of the most talented and intelligent magicians in the magic community.

It is OK that we may not all agree! We all have one thing in common, a profound love and passion for the art of magic.

Sincerely,

Scott Edward Lane

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 30th, 2018, 10:22 pm

Writing at the bottom designed to be read when the illustration is held almost parallel to the sight line? Two such? ( viewed from bottom corners )

Was Smith that playful elsewhere?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » October 1st, 2018, 8:14 am

Scott Lane wrote:Very good comment! That is a valid criticism. Thank you! The way I rationalized it was that the dashes are the sides of the card, which are connected at the bottom. The next card, the fifth card, starts with a dot but it is below the vertical side line of the card.

I followed the code from left to right and from bottom up within the card. What do you think of the fifth card? Do you think it could be the word “WAS”?


I am not sure... where do you place the second dash of W ?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » October 1st, 2018, 7:33 pm

Mr Townsend’s Comment:

"Writing at the bottom designed to be read when the illustration is held almost parallel to the sight line? Two such? ( viewed from bottom corners )"

Answer:
You will find a clue in the cartoon everywhere you see a little Imp in the drawing. The imps look like the imps that are in many magician posters.

Mr Morpurgo’s Comment:

"I am not sure... where do you place the second dash of W ?"

Answer:
The fifth card in the morse code possibly says “WAS”. The code goes like this within the card

Going from left to right and bottom to the top:

Dot Dash Dash, Dot Dash, Dot Dot Dot

The first dot is on the bottom left side of the card. The next two dashes are in line just to the right. The second dash is not as big as the first and has the possibility of putting the card in question. It seems like it is bigger than a dot but not as big as the dash preceding it.

Moving up the card is the next dot, closer to the middle, but still following the pattern of left to right and bottom to top. The next dash is the side of the card, which is definitely a dash and higher than the previous dot. The next three dots are obvious and go in a line completing the word “WAS”.

I am still working on outlining another set of slides to help provide clarity.

Thank you so much for the questions!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 1st, 2018, 7:56 pm

Scott Lane wrote:One of the hardest things to do is to realize that TEATCT is romanticized fiction.
Not impossible if you read for distinctions - experience in doing and recall of others showing, or imagination. The author as mystery in TEATCT is great mcguffin for historical fantasy.

* Agreed about dramatizing Roterburg's book or attempting to unshuffle the Hofzinser trick descriptions. Fun for a few but not nearly as dramatic as the "erdnase" efforts.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 3rd, 2018, 11:50 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Writing at the bottom designed to be read when the illustration is held almost parallel to the sight line? Two such? ( viewed from bottom corners )


Pictures from Jonathan:

Image

Image

Image

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » October 5th, 2018, 10:28 am

According to David Saltman, Carl “Compars” Herrmann was Houdini’s uncle.

http://www.houdinifile.com

In the current issue of the Society of American Magicians, MUM, there is an article about John William Sargent and Alexander Herrmann possibly being the same person, or in my opinion related.

There is also a theory that Ella Fontaine Binkley, the illustrator of Sargent’s book Smoke and Bubbles, was once married to M D Smith. His death certificate states that he was “widowed”.

M D Smith’s sister did marry into the Sargent Family.

Houdini is accredited to writing the following:

Source: https://www.wildabouthoudini.com/p/by-houdini.html

Books by Houdini:
The Right Way to Do Wrong (1906)
The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin (1908)
Handcuff Secrets (1910)
Magical Rope Ties and Escapes (1920)
Miracle Mongers and Their Methods (1921)
Houdini's Paper Magic (1922)
Elliot's Last Legacy (1923) - Editor
A Magician Among the Spirits (1924)
The Cancer of Superstition (unfinished)
Witchcraft (unfinished)

Short Stories by Houdini:
A One-Night Engagement (1904)
Bahl Yahn the Strongman (1907)
Dan Cupid - Magician (1908)
Cupid Present the Bullet-Catching Trick (1909)
The Magician's Christmas Eve (1921)
The Spirit Fakers of Hermannstadt (1924)
The Hoax of the Spirit Lover (1924)
Imprisoned With The Pharaohs aka Under The Pyramids (1924)
The Zanetti Mystery (1925)
Blood Brothers (unpublished)
Thoughts and Feelings of a Head Cut Off (unpublished)

Plays by Houdini:
Challenged or Houdini Upside Down (1911)
Walking Through A Brick Wall (1914)
Buried Alive (1914)

Film Treatments and Screenplays by Houdini:
The Marvelous Adventures of Houdini (1917)
The Great Tontine (undated)
The Monster (undated)
The Vulture (undated)
Floating Through Space (undated)
The Man From Beyond (1922)
Haldane of the Secret Service or Mysterious Mr. Yu (1923)
Ill Mistero de Osiris or The Mystery of the Jewel (1921)
Yar, the Primeval Man (undated)

Research has found that Houdini may have additional writings under various aliases.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 5th, 2018, 11:43 am

The majority of Houdini's published writings were ghostwritten.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Scott Lane » October 5th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Richard,

You, published one of my favorite books, Conjurer’s Monthly Magazine, with Alan Greenberg. I don’t know what year you did this, but it is absolutely beautiful. It consists of two volumes in a slip case on acid free paper (thank you for the quality). I remember frantically saving up to purchase this many, many years ago.

Houdini was the editor (writer)?

My question is: The first issues have drawings on the sides of the magazine. Did you add these illustrations or were they in the original publications?

Scott Edward Lane

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 5th, 2018, 12:42 pm

Scott Lane wrote:There is also a theory that Ella Fontaine Binkley, the illustrator of Sargent’s book Smoke and Bubbles, was once married to M D Smith. His death certificate states that he was “widowed”.


Per the 1900 Census, Smith's wife was named Alice.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 5th, 2018, 1:25 pm

A fun story.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rob Block » October 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
A fun story.


Also not written by Houdini.

Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » October 11th, 2018, 1:09 pm

Rob Block wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:
A fun story.


Also not written by Houdini.


Yes, it was ghost-written for him by H. P. Lovecraft.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 11th, 2018, 4:27 pm

I did not do anything to The Conjurors' Monthly. It was reproduced exactly as the original, but enlarged slightly to fill the 8.5 x 11 size of the page. This had the nice side effect of making it easier to read.
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