Frederick J. Drake & Co.


According to Martin Gardner, Chicago publishing house Frederick J. Drake and Co. received the plates, unsold stock of the first edition, and the rights to reprint the book in 1903.

In 1904, an advertisement for a Drake reprint appeared with the peculiar name of Samuel Robert Erdnase listed as the author. This variant, with Samuel Erdnase as author, appears to have never actually been published.

However, in 1905, Drake did produce both cloth and paperbound variants. The first paperbound copy featured the King of Hearts on the cover. This image would continue to be used on paperback copies of the book, on and off, until the mid-1970s. Many, if not all of them, look identical to the casual observer.

Drake continued to print copies into the late 1930s. Most were paperbound, but a few peculiar clothbound variants are also known to exist. The Man Who Was Erdnase mentions one such cloth edition in the UNLV Special Collections Library. Whaley and Busby claim that the UNLV edition is the only one known and that it is the “true” second printing of The Expert at the Card Table. I know of at least three other copies of this edition and research by Richard Hatch indicates that this variant probably dates to approximately 1918—nowhere near the date of the true second printing.


american variants of ERDNASE

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