Houdini or Erdnase?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Tricky Nicky, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. I always see videos advertised as "The Houdini Change" and "The Erdnase Change," but the actual color change is identical. What is this color change actually called? It's just something I've been curious about for quite some time.
  2. I could be wrong, but I think the issue is that no-one is that sure who to credit it to, hence you will see:

    The Erdnase Change

    The Houdini Change

    The Erdnase/Houdini Change

    The Houdini/Erdnase Change

    Erdnase is the most commonly used name.
  3. its taught in erdnases book expert at the card table so i think its his
  4. Well that's just great. Nice to know that taking the effort to do some research, read through it and link it paid off...oh no wait, I was totally ignored!

    dorange, how about reading the link? Erdnase didn't take credit for the move, and the official word nowadays appears to be that the move should be credited to Houdini, although there appears to be room for debate.

    If you are willing to look around, it's really easy to educate yourself on this stuff.
  5. i read the ur post but i still am on the erdnase side. Why didn't houdini publish it and how could erdnase steal his idea they lived in different places. plus i like erdnase more than houdini
  6. Well, forgive me for assuming that you didn't read my post when you posted such a trivial line of reasoning. Erdnase was very meticulous when it came down to crediting - as discussed in the link - and the fact that he does not take credit for the move in question is a significant point in the debate.

    *Several of the items in Expert at the Card Table aren't original with Erdnase.*

    Also discussed is the issue of how the move made its way around independantly of the books in which it was published - the two didn't actually have to meet in order for the knowledge to spread. Besides, magicians, especially the likes of...oh, let's say...Houdini...tended to be rather well travelled!

    Oh, but you like Erdnase? I guess that settles the debate then!
  7. woo no need to be all defensive you oviously think its houdinis invention

    how do we know tht houdini and erdnase aren't the same people as erdnases identity has never been revealed
  8. I'm not going to rehash points which are discussed at length in the link provided - if you're interested, read up on it.

    I don't have an opinion either way. I think it's more likely that the move has an older, anonymous source and the only reason Erdnase and Houdini have any claim to it is that they're the only ones who at some stage published it.

    If there is room for debate, then it follows that there is no definitive proof, which means that any opinion is at best, just speculation. The original poster asked a question which is in effect about crediting the move, and it is important to answer such questions as accurately as possible. If you aren't interested enough to be pedantic about it, don't presume to answer.

    Folks at the Magic Cafe get a lot of stick for being stuffy about issues of crediting, but this often amounts to the study of the history of magic.
  9. I was under the impression that the Houdini change is slightly different, because of the fact that you have to ditch the original card at the end.
    If nobody has any clue about what I'm talking about, I'll give you a not so subtle hint: your pinky

  10. I believe that the technique is identical, and that any "differences" can be attributed to the fact that it the same technique was described by different people. Technical writing has evolved to the point today where the author doesn't have as much impact on the text as was the case when these descriptions were written, which is why this is less of an issue today.
  11. The change originally appeared in P.T. Selbit's The Magician's Handbook. This book was published in 1901. Erdnase was published in 1902. In the Selbit book it's called "New Colour Changes, Third Method." Selbit writes, " For the knowledge of the movement I am indebted to my friend Mr. Harry Houdini..."
  12. ...Hence Houdini's claim to the move. Although the choice of language is interesting; he does not say that Houdini created the move, merely that Houdini told him about the move.
  13. Regardless, it was published before Erdnase.

    According to an old Vernon lecture video, the difference between Erdnase's "Two handed transformation ; first method", and the change credited to Houdini, is the way in which they're performed.

    Specifically, the Houdini change was written up as a manipulators move, with the pack held high, and to the side, and the face of the deck parallel to the audience.

    Vernon talks about this in an old lecture video, and says something to the effect of, "they used to do this way up here, and these poor people (pointing to his side) couldn't see what the hell you were doing".

    In Erdnase, the move is written as it's performed now, as a close up move, with the face of the deck pointing toward the ceiling, so it is suitable for more intimate performances.
  14. I'm not sure that that makes them "different"; if I perform an Elmsley Count out to the side, standing on one leg and wearing a red nose does that mean that I could rename it "Dave's Clown Count", because it is performed differently? Surely the mechanics still belong to Elmsley.
  15. i still claim houdini and erdnase are the same people

    no seriously it seems the evidence does point to houdini but i believe it was created by someone before houdini or erdnase or even at the same time as sometimes happens
  16. You're absolutely right. However, this was 1902, and things were different. For one thing, it's overwhelmingly likely that Erdnase was not aware that this method had been published elsewhere, for a variety of reasons.

    Secondly, not everything in Expert was created by Erdnase himself. Many of the methods in the text are either old moves that were well known, even in his day, or moves that were most likely borrowed from already existing texts, or they had been shown to Erdnase by someone else who had read them. It could be that the change in question was shown to Erdnase as a manipulators move, and Erdnase may have simply adapted it.
    Expert was not written as a showcase of a man's original sleight of hand, it was written as exactly what it was supposed to be, a "treatise on card manipulation".

    It's perfectly likely that either the changes were developed independently. As Erdnase's variation is much more common, and because his book is so well known, it's doubtful you'll get people to change.
    Aside from that, Houdini already has enough to his credit. I think we can give the nod to Erdnase on this one.

    I don't know if that's a joke or not.
    If you'd like to read up on who Erdnase may REALLY have been, I suggest you read the sections about who Erdnase may have been in "The Annotated Erdnase", as well as "The man who was Erdnase", and Richard Hatch's material on the subject.
  17. Apparantly, the official credit has been assigned to Houdini due to his association with the first recorded publishing. Independant invention is very likely, and I suspect that the change pre-dates both of them.

    I think that we may have scared the original poster off...
  18. The writing saying that it was shown to him by Houdini doesn't provide an indicator one way or another if Houdini invented it or not. In 1902 no one really cared about crediting moves in print.

    Also, there is a slight difference between the moves, but it isn't the one mentioned. In 1902 the idea of close-up magic did not really exist. Parlor magic was the reigning form. There's nothing in the Erdnase description to suggest that the hand turns palm up; all the description says is that the face is brought into view. The illustration even seems to indicate a face-out position.

    In the Erdnase description the card is place on the bottom of the deck with the face out of view. As the hands rotate the deck into view, the top card is slid slightly forward; whereas in the Selbit description of Houdini the top card is openly slid forward to call attention to it. The latter is closer to the way I've seen people do it. I've never seen anyone get into it the Erdnase way.

    There's other stuff in Erdnase that suggests that he read the Selbit book. I'm guessing Erdnase realized that pushing the card openly forward was a bad idea and looked for a fix. Vernon thought the same and developed a superior fix that was published in the Inner Card Trilogy by Ganson (I can't remember which of the 3 off the top of my head).

    The best in print handling I've seen of the move is in Jennings '67 by Richard Kaufman.

Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results