In November 1947, Edgar W. Smith, Christopher Morley, and Vincent Starrett joined together to formally incorporate The Baker Street Irregulars. Smith described it as a "miniscule corporation...which has been created for the philanthropic purpose of defending before the law the public rights and equities of Sherlock Holmes." While there was now both a BSI social body and a BSI, Inc., the nature and constituency of the social body was not affected.
The stock certificate shown above, for one share in The Baker Street Irregulars, Inc., was issued to William S. Hall and dated January 22, 1948. Christopher Morley signed the certificate as the President of the BSI Inc. Miriam Alexander served as Secretary-Treasurer and also signed it. She was Edgar W. Smith's secretary at GM Overseas Operations.
The certificate number of "4" and the certificate date suggest that Hall received his share directly after the three founders. Based on a 1948 Smith letter, Hall probably paid $200 for his share. Other early shareholders included Frank V. Morley, Richard W. Clarke, Carl Anderson, Ben Abramson and Julian Wolff.
The BSI Trust acquired Hall’s stock certificate in 2014.
Click on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.
Reports about the BSI, Inc.:The Baker Street Journal Old Series v3 n2 (April 1948) pp. 135-136, 259. (available in the eBSJ)
1948 BSI Meeting Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)
2 pages, Sequence 119-120.
The Baker Street Irregulars, Irregular Crises of the Late ‘Forties, ed. Jon L. Lellenberg, (New York: The Baker Street Irregulars, 1999). See especially pp. 104-156.
Related MaterialsLetter, Smith to Morley, 2/9/48 (digitized image at Harvard)
Mentions Hall's investment in the BSI, Inc.
The 1948 BSI Dinner (endorsement of incorporation)
See all the BSI Memorabilia on our website
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 8/19/14 by Randall Stock.
This page last updated 4/29/15 by Randall Stock.