Item #455 The Secret Blue Book. H. C. Evans.
The Secret Blue Book

The Secret Blue Book

Chicago: Evans, 1932. First Edition. Wrappers. 1st edition. Evans & Company’s catalog of gaming and gambling contrivances designed for cheating. Loaded dice, slot machine slugs, magnetic tables, crooked roulette wheels, marked, trimmed and stripped cards, various boards, holdout sleeve machines, shiners, etc. along with books on mastering straight games. A fine copy, 80 pages, fully illustrated. Apparently the largest and most complete amalgamation of such items ever published. More amazing is our copy’s peerless condition, and most copies look like the damp rag used by engine drivers for wiping their hands. And it’s complete with the laid in order blank broadside, the envelope for sending it back (both also fine), as well as Evans’ original, outer mailing envelope, addressed in ink, in which the catalog was sent to their customer in Oakland, California (the mailing envelope intact and in good condition). And these additions are like the zeroes in arithmetic, not worth anything in and of themselves but adding a great deal of value to everything else, because beyond completing the cluster, they are all helpful in distinguishing our original from the facsimiles. And it’s rare like this, rarer than a situation where having money made it any worse. Fine. Item #455

Evans was the principal manufacturer of regulation gambling equipment sold to both legal and illegal casinos, from what, in Jan. 1932, was still Al Capone’s Chicago. This catalog was a grant to swindlers, a side show to Evans’ larger business, and also a reminder that, though it’s tamed down these days, for a long time Chicago manufactured more crime than could be consumed locally.

Price: $1,000.00

Item Sold

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