ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bob Coyne
Posts: 560
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bob Coyne » January 30th, 2011, 1:09 pm

Interesting! What a great find!!

One thing that I noticed is that the writer describes the strike second deal whereas Erdnase describes the push-off second. And the culling/stacking in the article is via riffle shuffling rather than overhand shuffling as in Erdnase. Though the idea of culling and stacking 25 cards as part of a shuffle is an obvious bit of exaggeration. I don't think these preclude the author of this article from being Erdnase, but they do raise a question.

Assuming the writer (E.W.S.) is Erdnase (S.W.E.) it seems likely that "the little chap" the gambler refers to at the end whose "work is so clean cut that it will deceive another magician" could be Erdnase himself. We know Erdnase was short from Marshall Smith's recollection.

Richard Evans
Posts: 75
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Evans » January 30th, 2011, 2:16 pm

Very interesting find, Bill. It seems the St Joseph Gazette filled it's pages with articles of interested that had been published elsewhere. The end of the article 'Clever Magicians are the easiest of Marks' indicates that it was originally published in the New York Commercial Advertiser. I wonder whether the original has any indication of the author's name other than 'EWS', or if the piece was accompanied by an advert for a book?

On a separate note, it's interesting to speculate whether the magician (the 'little chap') whose card skills are as expert as a professional player is referring to the author himself.

Bob Coyne
Posts: 560
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bob Coyne » January 31st, 2011, 11:22 pm

One thing that occurred to me is that if one assumes that this writer (E.W.S.) is Erdnase (S.W.E.), then it adds to the plausibility that David Alexander's candidate Wilber E Sanders (W.E.S.) is the real Erdnase. The scrambling of initials is something you have to accept to equate Sanders with Erdnase. So finding another instance of it tied to Erdnase fits the pattern and seems pretty significant.

It would have been interesting to hear David's reaction to this new article you've uncovered. It's such a shame he's no longer with us.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 1st, 2011, 12:39 am

Don't get me wrong -- I don't believe that the writer of this article is Erdnase. This is just a really unusual coincidence,

For one thing, you call easily tell the writing styles are dissimilar (without using the stylometric analysis as was described in the most recent Genii). Erdnase wrote mostly in the 1st person plural voice, for example.

Also, this gambler makes heavy use of Riffle stacking, which doesn't really show up in EATCT (Erdnase does some riffle controls of single cards and slugs, but doesn't stack -- he even says "The possibilities of the riffle, for all practical
purposes at the card table, are limited to retaining the top
or bottom stock").

Bob -- why do you think the description of the second deal is a strike? It seems very much like the (push-off) second deal described in Erdnase.

Which brings a question. Where is the first description of the push-off second deal in print?

On another subject, HERE is another contemporary description of gambling sleights. It has, I believe, the first known photograph of a second deal, predating the one in the Ritter book by 3 years. Also a bottom deal. (And the subject, Alfred Benzon, played a small role in Vernon's search for Allen Kennedy and the center deal -- See Karl Johnson's book.)

David Ben
Posts: 210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby David Ben » February 1st, 2011, 10:13 am

Bill

I don't think the gambler in question did any riffle stacking. It was nothing more than a poker demo, much like the Vernon poker demo years later. You can't riffle stack those combinations of hands. If he did as demonstrated, the deck would have been set up. The seal means nothing. It was common technique to call out for deck and have the set-up deck provided to you by the bartender or waiter. It is unclear who, in fact, shuffled the cards, prior to the dealing. Either way, the gambler was just as guilty in creating a story about his skill with cards as the magicians he complained about who claimed to beat gamblers.

I also believe he was using a strike second. (Although the technique had been around for decades, I believe the term "strike" was coined by MacDougall in a magazine expose of technique.) He drops down the top card, describes his brief as 1/16th of an inch. He is also dealing consecutive seconds, something that push off was not particularly well-designed to do. It is interesting that the writer spots the gambler's change in tempo when he describes him doing the deal work -- a major tell.

Fascinating article. It also suggests that if the gambler was Sanders - David Alexander's candidate - then he was definitely not Erdnase, as I believe the author of the Expert of the Card Table would not have demonstrated his work in this manner.

User avatar
Ryan Matney
Posts: 971
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Abingdon, Va
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Ryan Matney » February 1st, 2011, 5:11 pm

Can we freely discuss the findings of the article in the Febuary Genii or should we wait until most people have a chance to read it?
Distilled- 100% Pure Self-Working Card Magic - Available now at http://www.ryanmatneymagic.com

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25073
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 1st, 2011, 5:36 pm

Yes, feel free to discuss.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: Erdnase

Postby Glenn Bishop » February 1st, 2011, 6:14 pm

Hey Bill thanks for the link to an interesting read.

The demo in the story reminded me of the Erdnase 12 card stocking demo in the book Expert at the card table. My guess is that he worked with a stacked deck - or a new deck but had a way to stock a set up (if needed) from the new deck order.

The 12 card stock in Erdnase has inspired several of my own routines. One routine I use a riffle shuffle (triumph) to cull and stack 12 cards from a slug.

Cheers.

Bob Coyne
Posts: 560
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Charlies
Location: New York, NY

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bob Coyne » February 1st, 2011, 8:42 pm

Bill, it definitely sounds like a strike second -- here's his description: "the gambler dealt several cards, each tie drawing down the top card and returning it to place as soon as he had caught the edge of the second." Since he's drawing down just the top card (and not two cards), it wouldn't be a push-off second. This is repeated later when he also talks about the size of the brief "I do not drop the top card more than the sixteenth of an inch. That keeps the second card from showing."

On the writing style...I don't think the difference in writing style precludes Erdnase given that it's delivered by a character in a story (the gambler). The writer could just be mimicking what he thought was a plausible speaking style to fit the role, much like Erdnase does with the stylized speech of the "colored attendant" of a clubroom. If the writer is Erdnase, then it would be perfectly fitting that he put himself in the story as "little chap" mentioned at the end...and that fellow never speaks. All pure speculation of course.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8145
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 8th, 2011, 11:50 am

Ryan Matney wrote:Can we freely discuss the findings of the article in the Febuary Genii or should we wait until most people have a chance to read it?


Also curious to read others reactions to the findings of this round of textual analysis.

On the technical side, can one do further parsing to get something close to an ANOVA on the text for phrases (vocabulary choices etc)?

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 13th, 2011, 9:41 pm

David Ben wrote:I don't think the gambler in question did any riffle stacking. It was nothing more than a poker demo, much like the Vernon poker demo years later.


Maybe not, but the description was:
1. a sealed deck is produced
2. someone shuffles it
3. it is given to the gambler
4. he "rips" (riffle shuffles) it several times
5. he deals out several set-up poker hands

Sounds like riffle stacking to me.

If you want to make the argument that the entire article was a figment of the author's imagination, or that the gambler's actual actions were not what he described, I won't strongly disagree. But the article as written is a description of (an incredible display of) riffle stacking.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 13th, 2011, 10:05 pm

I've been watching the Wesley James Erdnase disc 1, which is a conversation between Simon Lovell and James about the book. Not much new there to people who have followed this forum. But a couple of thoughts:

1. James suggests that Erdnase came to Chicago for the 1893 World's Fair (I believe he said it was held in 1898, though). While possible, I think another possible explanation for Erdnase's presence in Chicago is that it was a hub of passenger travel on the ships that sailed the Great Lakes. (Others have mentioned Chicago's position as a center of passenger rail travel to the western United States).

2. James suggests that Milton Franklin Andrews had Marfan's Syndrome (a disease which wasn't recognized until 1896). MFA was tall and had a sunken chest, which is consistent with Marfan's, but his other health issues aren't necessarily signs of the disease. I can't find any evidence that stomach problems like he had are related to Marfan's, and his facial appearance doesn't seem to me to be so gaunt as to suggest the disease (such as the actor Vincent Schiavelli's was, and possibly Abraham Lincoln). I'd never heard anyone else ever link MFA to Marfan's, and it's an intriguing possibility. Did this originate with James?

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 13th, 2011, 11:38 pm

In addition to the mistake about the date of the Chicago World's Fair, James says that:

1. The check from Erdnase to Marshall Smith was $100,
2. It was check #1 from the account,
3. And that Smith remembered the bank it was drawn on.
4. Also, he claims that Todd Karr's candidate for the author, the swindler E. S. Andrews, was in fact named James Andrews.

I don't believe any of these propositions are supported by evidence.

David Ben
Posts: 210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby David Ben » February 14th, 2011, 11:48 am

Bill

I don't believe that the entire article was a figment of the author's imagination, nor that the gambler's actual actions were other than described. The gambler, however, did not riffle stack those hands. He may have said that he was doing that, that being his patter - like a demo deal. He could not have done the actual stacking on the fly. I do not believe any player - past or present - including Mr. Forte, could riffle stack those hands in that manner from a sealed deck. The simple answer is that the deck was stacked, resealed, called for and then false shuffled. The false shuffle could have easily been done by an accomplice. So, it was a demonstration of "riffle stacking" to impress a reporter - not actual riffle stacking. It was a scam.

Larry Horowitz
Posts: 434
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: L.A.

Re: Erdnase

Postby Larry Horowitz » February 14th, 2011, 2:09 pm

I completely agree With David.

I would add the possibility of a deck switch.

If I recall the story correctly, Dad Stevens in showing Vernon the riffle stack, commented that no gambler would stack the kind of hands claimed in this article.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 14th, 2011, 3:38 pm

David -- I think you and I are talking around each other a little bit.

You've described a series of actions taken by the gambler, and the person who shuffled the deck before handing it to the gambler (we'll presume this person is a confederate of the gambler). You say these actions are a series of false shuffles, and the real work was ringing in a pre-stacked deck.

This kind of deception is what I meant when I said "the gambler's actual actions were not what he described".

All I'm saying is that the gambler wanted the reporter to believe he was stacking the deck by riffle shuffling. The actions he took were consistent with actual riffle stacking (except for the fact that the hands that he dealt were too complicated for actual riffle stacking work -- but the reporter, and the reporter's readers, wouldn't have known that).

The only reason this is worth discussing, I think, is because it is such an early description of riffle stacking (whether it is real or fake).

David Ben
Posts: 210
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby David Ben » February 14th, 2011, 4:11 pm

Sorry, Bill, if I misunderstood you.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » February 14th, 2011, 5:25 pm

No apologies necessary, I could certainly have expressed myself better the first time around.

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: Erdnase

Postby Glenn Bishop » February 15th, 2011, 2:45 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
David Ben wrote:I don't think the gambler in question did any riffle stacking. It was nothing more than a poker demo, much like the Vernon poker demo years later.


Maybe not, but the description was:
1. a sealed deck is produced
2. someone shuffles it
3. it is given to the gambler
4. he "rips" (riffle shuffles) it several times
5. he deals out several set-up poker hands

Sounds like riffle stacking to me.

If you want to make the argument that the entire article was a figment of the author's imagination, or that the gambler's actual actions were not what he described, I won't strongly disagree. But the article as written is a description of (an incredible display of) riffle stacking.


Perhaps it is hard to tell but here is another way it might have worked.
1. a sealed deck is produced
2. someone shuffles it
3. it is given to the gambler
4. he "rips" (riffle shuffles) (Cold Deck) it several times
5. he deals out several set-up poker hands

He may have cold decked and said he was stacking the cards.

Just a thought.

Jason England
Posts: 285
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jason England » February 16th, 2011, 11:46 pm

I can think of at least one way to duplicate what the reporter saw with a high degree of similarity in most instances:

Bring out a deck that is sorted into the 13 values (i.e. four Kings, then four Queens, etc). This can be resealed if necessary to make it appear new for anyone that cares.

Legitimately shuffle this deck two times, breaking at half each time and using the smoothest shuffles possible.

Peek and second deal as you go around the table (or use a marked deck). If you're "talking" the reporter through the demo as you deal (so that he can write down the results), you'll have plenty of time to figure out who to give the seconds to and when.

Finish the deal as best you can and either claim the win or give a partner credit for receiving the winning hand.

I just tried this and got 3 full-house hands and set of trips (just like the gambler in the story), but wasn't able to quad my own hand.

I don't submit this as the method used in the story. I only mention it because it's a possible method that would meet the "criteria" presented in the story without switching decks or false shuffling at any point.

It's a variation of the "reporter got conned" solution, but without anything as exotic as a deck switch or advanced shuffle work.

Jason

Glenn Bishop
Posts: 650
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:52 am

Re: Erdnase

Postby Glenn Bishop » February 17th, 2011, 9:05 am

If I may add - New deck order of the cards was different in those days. However because the deck was shuffled before it was handed to the gambler - it makes me think cold deck.

Cheers!

Geno Munari
Posts: 630
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Geno Munari » February 17th, 2011, 10:25 pm

This reminds me of an effect Jimmy Grippo would perform with a brand new sealed deck. It was one of my favorite routines and a great opener. I wrote it up in his book, The Magic of Jimmy Grippo. The effect has been around and I believe it may have appeared in the Ency. of Card Tricks???? or elsewhere, but clearly not presented in Jimmy"s style. Here it is:

A CLASSIC POKER EFFECT

This effect dates back to the early gambling halls. Jimmy Grippo likes to use it as a gambling demonstration and tells of an old time gambler named Chuck Johnson that does the dealing.

EFFECT: The magician opens a fresh pack of cards and gives them an inspection explaining how they are packaged at the factory. He then shuffles the cards and allows the spectator to cut the cards as many times as he likes. The performer then deals out to a seven handed game of five card poker, including himself.

In the dealing he explains how the old sharper, Chuck Johnson, dealt from the bottom of the deck. He does this on two occasions showing the move simply by taking the card off the bottom, rather than actually trying to deceive the onlookers. Everyone has a Full House including the dealer. Jimmy then says, "Since I took a couple of cards off the bottom, I won't use my hand, but will deal five new cards." He deals himself new cards and looks at them with a poker face and reveals a Straight Flush.

METHOD: In this old classic the subtle method of using the factory's packaging enables the performer to achieve the effect. Most cards from United States Playing Card Co. come packaged as follows. From the top down, Ace through King, Ace through King, King through Ace and King through Ace. Use the pretext of showing everyone that the cards are in order from the factory. Hold the deck face up in the left hand and deal them face up on the table Ace through King and then the second suit Ace through King. Place the remainder of the cards as is, right on top of the tabled cards. Make sure that you do not disturb the order of any card. The cards are now in the following order, the deck in a face down position: Ace through King, Ace through King, Ace through King and Ace through King. If your cards are already in this order you're set. If not, you must devise a system that appears plausible to put them in that order.

The cards can now be false shuffled by any manner so as not to disturb the cards. The cards can now be legitimately cut by a spectator, since cutting will not disturb the arrangement.

Begin dealing out seven hands of poker, including yourself as the seventh. Deal around one round and begin the second, but when you take your card on the second round (the fourteenth card) you explain that old cheaters take one off the bottom. Just simply take one off the bottom, rather than actually deal a bottom to deceive anyone. If you should care to deal an undetected bottom deal you can approach the effect from a different viewpoint and not explain that you are using cards off the bottom of the deck. This is up to you. Continue dealing and deal out a third round and then begin a fourth, but on the fourth round when you take your card, again take the bottom card and complete the deal. Jimmy likes to ask anyone if they would like to exchange their hands without looking. This is a strong part in the effect and will give a good build up. The hands must also be changed so no one will notice that the cards are in a sequence. Everyone then can expose their hand to reveal a Full House including the dealer. Jimmy will then either show his Full House or discard the odd card and count his three of a kind for four of a kind. This is done at a pace without stopping or giving the spectator a chance to question what has taken place.
Jimmy now says," I know that all was not fair." He throws his hand away and says," You don't mind if I deal myself five cards off the top of the deck, do you?" Deal the next five cards from the top of the deck. Pretend to rearrange them, and turn them over showing a Straight Flush.

NOTE: After dealing out the seven hands, sight the top card to make sure you have enough cards for the straight flush, if not cut the deck until you have enough cards.

Jim Martin
Posts: 518
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jim Martin » February 17th, 2011, 11:00 pm

Geno, thanks very much for sharing that routine - brilliant.
Jim Martin
St. Louis MO

JeffS
Posts: 21
Joined: June 17th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Re: Erdnase

Postby JeffS » February 24th, 2011, 12:04 am

I recently read The Book of William by Paul Collins about the story behind the First Folios of Shakespeare. It seems it was commonplace back then to print extra copies of the title pages of books and use them as advertisements. This was in 1623 so it predates Erdnase by quite a bit but the title page is very descriptive of what's inside and it would solve the issue of how it was advertised. If Erdnase did have some kind of occupation that involved travel it would be nothing for these to appear on bulletin boards of magic shops, clubs etc. around the region with contact info to send for a copy.

It is just a theory but have any title pages been found seperate from the book itself?
So I read the riddle.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8145
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 25th, 2011, 8:56 pm

apropos of what we now know - and in memory of David Alexander
and Gene Roddenberry: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/48645

enjoy the image and mention. Maybe someday we'll learn more about Roddenberry.

sometimes the fantasy is more fun when you make it happen :)

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » March 10th, 2011, 6:34 pm

Milton Franklin Andrews has been the "standard" candidate for having written The Expert at the Card Table for a long time. Other people have been proposed as the author, but the advantage that MFA has always held is that he was known to be familiar with a deck of cards. Other prominent candidates have had interesting circumstantial similarities to the author (usually because of a similarity of their name to "S. W. Erdnase"), but most of them don't have any known associations with or interests in playing cards. I know, for example, that one reason David Alexander spent so much time researching W. E. Sanders' private papers was looking for evidence of skill with the pasteboards.

I'm pretty familiar with what is known about who I consider to be the top three other candidates for having written Expert: W. E. Sanders (proposed by David Alexander), Edwin Sumner Andrews (proposed by Richard Hatch), and the con man E. S. Andrews (proposed by Todd Karr); and I have made modest contributions to what is known about each of these three individuals. Mostly of my research has been done by searching through digitized full-text databases free ones like Google Books and Google News Archives, and subscription ones like ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Newspaperarchive, and others. Content is being added to most of these databases all the time, so it is productive to revisit past searches occasionally.

I just (yesterday) found something I consider to be pretty exciting not up there with Bill Woodfield's 1949 telegram to Martin Gardner saying that Milton Franklin Andrews is "definitely our man", but it is clear evidence that one more of the major candidates was in fact a card player:

San Francisco Call 1/13/1911 p 4
MYSTERY OF THE "PIPPINS" SOLVED

Ed Andrews Can No Longer Dodge Session by Trip to Watsonville

EDWARD ANDREWS of the Pere Marquette has always boasted of a method, all his own, of being able to escape a game of cards when he does not feel so inclined. His excuse has always been that he had to journey to Watsonville and see about a shipment of "Pippins." A few days ago friends from the other side of the bay saw him in Market street conversing with several young women. It happened that there was to be an evening at cards in an Alameda home that very evening and when Ed reached home he was requested over the telephone to join in the games. "Very sorry," he said, "but I am going to Watsonville in about an hour to see about a shipment of 'Pippins.'" "How about the three 'Pippins' you were seen talking to this afternoon?" was returned to him over the 'phone. When the story came out at the club yesterday afternoon William F. Schmidt of the Missouri Pacific, who makes frequent trips to Watsonville, remarked that it was funny that he had never thought of Andrews' idea.


LINK

There is a minor error in the article Edwin is referred to as "Edward". But this is the same person that Richard Hatch identified over a decade ago. Edwin was in fact working for the Pere Marquette railroad at this time. He lived "on the other side of the bay", in Oakland CA. He is known to have travelled to Watsonville. He ran in the same circles as William F. Schmidt (they were both members of the "Transportation Club", a social organization of railroad executives).

Although the article talks about Andrews ducking a game of cards, it is clear that the other participants expected that he would be able to join them he must have been a regular player. I submit this as strong evidence that Edwin Sumner Andrews played cards at a recreational level. It is no smoking gun, and there is much that isn't said here that would be good to hear. There is no evidence that Andrews cheated, or knew any sleight of hand moves. We have no knowledge that he was familiar with card magic, or even that the card game in question was a gambling game. But we know at least that he played cards, which is more than we know about either W. E. Sanders or the con man E. S. Andrews.

Roger M.
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase

Postby Roger M. » March 10th, 2011, 6:48 pm

Excellent research Bill!.....very exciting stuff.

You've definitively put cards in the hands of one of the three "big" candidates.

I see this as somewhat of a turning point in the search, and a tip of the hat to Richard Hatch for locating Edwin as a candidate in the first place.

To write about a man "escaping" a game of cards seems a major indicator of a serious card player.
Personally, I read into this snippet that Edwin Andrews was a well known card player.......or else why write the article in this fashion?

I've been an active card player for years, but can't see somebody writing something like this about me based on my once a week poker game.

The language in the article (and the very fact that it was written focused on "getting away" from the card table) would almost imply that Edwin Andrews was at the card table on an very regular basis, and was further well known locally as a card player.

Interested to hear what Richard Hatch thinks about this exciting find.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1932
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Hatch » March 10th, 2011, 7:10 pm

Bill Mullins is a genius at ferreting out information from digitized searches. This is pretty exciting, thanks, Bill!

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1932
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Hatch » March 10th, 2011, 9:55 pm

This E. S. Andrews stayed at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen in September 1899 (thanks, Bill, for that reference, too!). Eric Mead performs regularly at the Hotel Jerome (built 1889). Coincidence?

Actually, I'm hoping perhaps Eric can see if there is a guest book dating back that far so we can compare E. S. Andrews' handwriting with that on the copyright application (I do have E. S. Andrews' signature on his marriage certificate, so it may not add anything, but you never know what you will find until you look...)

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1932
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Hatch » March 10th, 2011, 11:50 pm

Perhaps this image helps explain the humor in the "Pippins" remark:
http://images.cloud.worthpoint.com/wpim ... ffded5.jpg
Incidentally, this E. S. Andrews' interest in apples may have been genuine, as by 1920 he is listed in the census records as being a fruit farmer in San Jose (he died there in 1922, possibly explaining the non-renewal of the copyright a few years later...)

Geno Munari
Posts: 630
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Geno Munari » March 11th, 2011, 12:24 am

Bill
That is very interesting information and wonderful research. I really enjoy your zeal.

Richard,
There is no evidence that he was a gambler or magician. Playing Whist, Honeymoon Bridge and other parlor games is not the same thing as going for the money.

Perhaps there may be some connections to some magicians that he knew? And assuming there were other writers to Expert,are there any connections or clues to these persons?

And for "the non-renewal of the copyright a few years later", that is a real speculitive conjecture. Same as saying that is why MFA didn't renew his copyright. (If he was the copyright holder)

Also what were his statistics: i.e. height, weight etc.

And did he travel to Chicago? Or have any connections in an around the area? Friends of other hustlers, etc.

I think he could be a good candidate, but still, "Can we put a deck of cards in his hands"?

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1932
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Richard Hatch » March 11th, 2011, 12:50 am

Hi Geno. You are right that Bill's new information about Edwin S. Andrews, the train agent, does not show he was a gambler or cheat. But it certainly gets him a step closer to that direction. Incidentally, there is no internal evidence that the author of the book was a cheat. Nowhere does the author say that he won money using the methods described in the book. He does admit in several places to having been cheated. Three Card Monte, while in the Card Table Artifice section, is presented as entertainment, not as a way to win money. That doesn't mean he wasn't a card cheat, but one can't prove that he was from a careful reading of the book. That Erdnase was, at one time, a gambler is clear from the anecdotes he gives, but not that he was a cheat himself. He makes frequent references to "the expert" and "the professional" but it is not clear that he counts himself in that group.

On Edwin S. Andrews' other circumstantial qualifications, may I suggest you check out the excellent DVD set on Erdnase that Houdini's Magic Shop sells? Lots of good information there, including the fact that he lived in Chicago from 1888 till 1896, working as a clerk for the Chicago & NW RR. He was transfered to another gambling center, Denver, in February 1896 and remained based there (with frequent trips to Chicago) until October 1901, when he transfered to DeKalb, Illinois, though he actually lived in Oak Park, an enclave of Chicago. Thus he arrived in Chicago just in time (if he's the author) to open a new bank account there and find the illustrator to finish the book for publication in March 1902. He is transferred to yet another gambling center, San Francisco, in February 1903, the very month that an obscure magic company, the Atlas Novelty Company, which was on the same street he lived on, just a few blocks north of him, begins to sell the book for half price. Born in 1859, he is the age recalled by Marshall Smith (40-45 circa 1901). From the one photo I have found, he is also likely the right height (he is smaller than his teenage children and about the same height as his wife, not the very tall (especially for the time) height of 6' 1.5" that was one of Milton Franklin Andrews' (just 29, only two weeks older than the illustrator, who recalled a man more than a decade older than himself) most conspicuous features. I think he's a great "circumstantial fit" and if I could prove that he was related to Louis Dalrymple in a straightforward way (I found him looking for relatives of Dalrymple named Andrews, but can't yet complete the necessary genealogy. Would welcome help there!), I'd say "case closed." Absent that, however, I agree that he is just one of several "persons of interest" in this mystery. Milton Franklin Andrews remains the standard to beat, being the only candidate to date that was known to have some of the necessary skill set (cheating knowledge), is named Andrews, and conveniently died just a few years after the book's publication, neatly explaining his subsequent anonymity. The facts that MFA is not the height or age recalled by the illustrator and does not seem to have the "voice" of the book (based on the surviving samples of his writing) do no rule him out. But I think Bill's revelation has significantly boosted the Edwin S. Andrews candidacy.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » March 11th, 2011, 10:42 am

Geno Munari wrote: I think he could be a good candidate, but still, "Can we put a deck of cards in his hands"?


????

The whole point of my post was to show that yes, we can put a deck of cards in his hands.

Roger M.
Posts: 1424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Erdnase

Postby Roger M. » March 11th, 2011, 10:58 am

"Can we put a deck of cards in his hands"
YES

"did he travel to Chicago"
YES

"what were his statistics"
You answered your question on your DVD's :)

John Bodine
Posts: 120
Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 3:50 pm

Re: Erdnase

Postby John Bodine » March 14th, 2011, 4:14 pm

i guess i'm wondering why this article would have been written in the first place. Was there a real "mystery" that was needed to be solved? i highly doubt someone dodging a game occasionally would merit an article in the newspaper, but i don't know enough about the circulation or popularity of these people.

Lots of information on Andrews in that database, wonderful find!

johnbodine

Brad Henderson
Posts: 4078
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: austin, tx

Re: Erdnase

Postby Brad Henderson » March 14th, 2011, 4:37 pm

"EDWARD ANDREWS of the Pere Marquette has always boasted of a method, all his own, of being able to escape a game of cards when he does not feel so inclined."

This may be reading too much into things, but I find the word choice of "method" and the phrase "all his own" to be interesting. We don't know if "method" was the author's word choice or if was he merely repeating the phraseology used in the boast by Andrews? If I knew nothing about magic (no comments, please) and I was going to formulate a sentence conveying this meaning, I am not sure I would use the word "method." "Ruse" maybe. "way" possible. "Techinique" likely. But "method?" Maybe - but maybe not.

"Method" is of course used repeatedly throughout Expert. Perhaps (like the old Carroll Priest telepathy phone call trick) this is a case of the reporter repeating a particular word used by his subject.

But, more interesting perhaps, is the fact he chose to clarify the ruse as being of his own device. He is "betraying no confidence". And, if I recall - not being nearly the expert on the Expert as many here all - that Erdnase himself makes habit of calling attention to ideas of his own devising.

Perhaps I am seeing rabbits in the clouds, but those two things stuck out to me.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8145
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 14th, 2011, 5:03 pm

Magic Fred wrote:RE:Not IMHO. We have a text, two less then informative attempts at interivew and a burnt down printing house. Treated as a forensic matter - not sure even 'follow the money' has helped so much in this matter of tracing the text back to it's source.

So what should we do? Start with the assumption that the author was a chess master?...


I suggest starting with the text, respecting the results of the analysis we have to date (see genii article) and from that formulate hypotheses which address the components of the text. It would not likely hurt to presume that some amount of consideration was given to the matter of the text's presentation when the text shows evidence of much considered phrasing.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5185
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Erdnase

Postby Bill Mullins » March 14th, 2011, 10:18 pm

If, like me, you found JT's post above to be something of a non sequitur, it may be helpful to know that he is reaching back nearly four months to a post HERE.

I can explain what he does. I cannot explain why.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8145
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: Erdnase

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 14th, 2011, 10:51 pm

Bill, I'm going from the article in this month's issue of genii magazine - the one about the authorship of the text. Why? Sometimes I wonder too. Though if folks want to go back to an old post on the matter - I stated my hypothesis here in response to Pete's post.

I hold that "ERDNASE" is a composite work, with at least two components and perhaps more than a few hands in the writing.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on March 14th, 2011, 11:17 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: post 12745 - July 11, 2005 09:32 AM

Grant McSorley
Posts: 129
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Erdnase

Postby Grant McSorley » March 21st, 2011, 10:23 am

While the SF Call article is interesting, I'd be careful about reading too much into it. As the rest of the column deals with bits of news and info concerning the rail industry, it may just be that Andrews was popular among his co-workers or a friend of the author and that the anecdote was more of a ribbing than anything else. I don't think it was intended to be particularly newsworthy or indicates that Andrews was a big time card player.

Also, out of curiosity, what percentage of the population would have been regular card players (e.g. once or twice a week) in 1911? I'd assume it was be pretty high among single men.


Return to “General”