The BSI gathered again in 1944, and investitures were awarded for the first time. Thirty-eight people attended, including James Bliss Austin (a vice president of U.S. Steel), tenor James Montgomery, and bookman John Carter. Leslie Marshall read a Fragment from “The Man who was Wanted,” a short story attributed incorrectly to Arthur Conan Doyle. Harvey Officer played his “Baker Street Suite for Violin and Piano.” David Randall read a paper on “The Adventure of the Notorious Forger.” James Keddie, Jr. Spoke about Billie, the boy who minded the door at Holmes’ residence. Edgar Smith distributed copies of his Baker Street Inventory, a bibliography of Sherlockian writings. Selected portions of the upcoming book Profile by Gaslight were read. James Bliss Austin spoke on the nature of the J. H. Watsons.
Dinner Details: January 7, 1944
Murray Hill Hotel, 112 Park Avenue at East 40th Street, NY, NY
Dinner Photo InformationAs far as we know, no group photo was taken of the January 7, 1944 BSI Dinner.
The photo on this page of the cover of Edgar W. Smith's Profile by Gaslight is courtesy of Andrew Solberg.
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
James Bliss Austin as The Engineer's Thumb*
Laurence P. Dodge as The Six Napoleons*
William S. Hall as The Blue Carbuncle*
Charles Honce as The Empty House*
Wilbur K. McKee as The Solitary Cyclist*
Christopher Morley as The Sign of the Four*
Felix Morley as The Second Stain*
Frank V. Morley as The Three Garridebs*
Edgar W. Smith as The Hound of the Baskervilles*
Vincent Starrett as A Study in Scarlet*
P. M. Stone as The Speckled Band*
Rufus Tucker as The Greek Interpreter*
Earle F. Walbridge as The Sussex Vampire*
Julian Wolff as The Red-Headed League*
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
Not awarded until 1962.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
None this year, as far as we know.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Not awarded until 1959.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
Reports on the Dinner1944 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)
List of 1944 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)
The Baker Street Irregulars, Irregular Records of the Early ‘Forties, ed. Jon L. Lellenberg, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1991)
RecordingsNone available online at this time.
Related MaterialsThe Trust does not have a 1944 Dinner Menu. If you have a copy, or even a scan of one, please contact us.
Smith, Edgar. Memo to the BSI 10/7/43 (digitized image at Harvard)
Gives date for 1944 Dinner and other news.
2 pages. 2 copies. Sequence 33-36.
1944 Dinner Announcement Memorandum (digitized image at Harvard)
1 page. 2 copies. Sequence 37-38.
Sherlock Holmes Prize Competition from 1944 BSI Dinner (digitized image at Harvard)
1 page, with reference on preceding image. Sequence 77.
Smith, Edgar, Memo to the BSI 2/14/44 (digitized image at Harvard)
Results of the Sherlock Holmes Prize Competition.
3 pages. Sequence 39-41.
Stock, Randall, "Irregular Participation: Rating the Canon 1944-1959," The Baker Street Journal v49 n4 (December 1999), pp. 21-24. Analyzes the 1944 Prize Competition.
"Sherlock Holmes" in Life magazine, May 1, 1944, pp. 77-82. (at Google Books)
Describes how Holmes became the "most widely known character in all fiction" and mentions a recent BSI dinner, with many photos, including the one noted below. Thanks to Juelie Sires for bringing these links to the Trust's attention.
1944 photo of Fletcher Pratt, Christopher Morley, and Rex Stout (at Wikimedia Commons)
Photo probably from either the January 1944 BSI Dinner or the March 1944 "Trilogy" book launch dinner.
by Sonia Fetherston, BSI
The BSI Biography Series
Austin was invested at the 1944 BSI Dinner.
Previous dinner: the 1943 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 1945 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 10/15/14 by Andy Solberg.
This page last updated 5/31/15 by Randall Stock.