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The 1940 BSI Dinner group photo

After a four year hiatus, the BSI met, again, in 1940.  During the hiatus, Edgar W. Smith (a General Motors vice-president) had volunteered to help organize the dinner.  He soon was dubbed the Secretary of the BSI, with the title of “Buttons.”  The 1940 dinner was called to celebrate the publication of Vincent Starrett’s 221B, a copy of which was put at each person’s place setting.  Thirty five people attended, including Denis P. S. Conan Doyle (son of Arthur Conan Doyle), mystery writer Howard Haycraft, all three Morley brothers, and Edgar W. Smith. Toasts were drunk to The Woman, Mrs. Hudson, and Doctor Watson’s Second Wife. The BSI’s Constitution was read, a ritual that has survived through the years.  Felix Morley presented a paper on “The Significance of the Second Stain.”  Denis P.S. Conan Doyle spoke on “My Father’s Friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”

Dinner Details: January 30, 1940
Murray Hill Hotel, 112 Park Avenue at East 40th Street, NY, NY

Dinner Photo Information

Click on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.

Key to People in the 1940 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)

BSI Honours List

Not awarded until 1944.

Two-Shilling Award:
Not awarded until 1962.

The Woman:
Not identified; possibly none.

"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
None this year.

Morley-Montgomery Award:
Not awarded until 1959.

Reports on the Dinner

1940 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)

List of 1940 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)

The Baker Street Irregulars, Irregular Memories of the ‘Thirties, ed. Jon L. Lellenberg, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1990)


None available online at this time.

Related Materials

1940 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Cover, interior, and back.  Sequence 10-12.

Morley, Felix, “The Significance of the Second Stain” (digitized images at Harvard)
Paper given at dinner.  16 pages.  Sequence 41-56.

Previous dinner: the 1936 BSI Dinner (No dinner was held in 1937, 1938, or 1939.)

Next dinner: the 1941 BSI Dinner

For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.

The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.

Page composed on 10/7/14 by Andy Solberg.
This page last updated 2/7/15 by Andy Solberg.