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The 1950 BSI Dinner group photo

The 96th anniversary of the Master’s birth opened with the “traditional preliminary” of oysters, cocktails, and sherry.  The proceedings were promptly called to order at 7:00pm.  Canonical toasts were proposed by Robert Keith Leavitt, James Montgomery, and Frank A. Waters.  The senior chaplain, Rev. Leslie Marshall, delivered the Sherlock prayer; and the Junior Chaplain, Rev. Harold Clemens, delivered the antiphony of the Musgrave Ritual. At the conclusion of the Irregular anthem, Charles Honce proposed a silent toast to Harvey Officer, who had first offered this at the 1942 meeting.

Toasts, messages of regret from those absent, papers, and disputations were concluded with James Montgomery’s “brilliant and always-clamored-for” rendition of Irene Adler’s recording and his own arrangement of the Irregular Song. Eight members received their Investitures. Christopher Morley, as Gasogene-cum-Tantalus, announced that the Irregulars’ official colors are purple, gray, and mouse, “as symbolic of the deterioration of the Master’s dressing-gown,” and that the BSI had secured the American distribution rights for The London Mystery Magazine. The evening closed out with Edgar W. Smith, Buttons-cum-Commissionaire, presenting on his India trip with the title “You Have Not Been in Afghanistan, I Perceive.”

Dinner Details: January 6, 1950
Racquet and Tennis Club, New York, 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.

Revised Key to People in the 1950 BSI Dinner Photo (PDF)

BSI Honours List

Clifton R. Andrew as Shoscombe Old Place
Nathan L. Bengis as The Lion's Mane
Frederic Dannay as The Dying Detective
Owen P. Frisbie as The Musgrave Ritual
Charles Goodman as The Stockbroker's Clerk
Howard Haycraft as The Devil's Foot
Fulton Oursler as The Abbey Grange
Jerry Neal Williamson as The Illustrious Client
What is an Investiture?

Two-Shilling Award:
Not awarded until 1962.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?

The Woman:
Not identified; possibly none.
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.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”

Morley-Montgomery Award:
Not awarded until 1959.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?

Reports on the Dinner

1950 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)
Note: the minutes repeat some past investitures from 1944 and 1945.

List of 1950 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)

Revised Key to People in the 1950 BSI Dinner Photo (PDF)

Original Key to People in the 1950 BSI Dinner Photo (digitized image at Harvard)

The Baker Street Irregulars, Irregular Crises of the Late ‘Forties, ed. Jon L. Lellenberg, (New York: The Baker Street Irregulars, 1999)


None available online at this time.

Related Materials

1950 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Cover and interior.  Sequence 32-33.

Previous dinner: the 1949 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1951 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 12/30/14 by Tamar Zeffren.
Page updated 3/21/15 by Andy Solberg.
This page last updated 10/9/19 by Randall Stock.