Header Photo Image1

The 1953 BSI Dinner group photo
Sixty four members gathered to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Master’s birth. Rex Stout, substituting for Christopher Morley, oversaw the proceedings as Gasogene-cum-Tantalus. Birthday messages were presented from scions in Akron, Ohio, Boston, Denmark, Holland, Ohio, Los Angeles, Paris, Rhode Island, and San Francisco, among other diverse locations.

Earle F. Walbridge, BSI, updated the assembled on the unveiling of a plaque at the Criterion Bar in London under the coordinated efforts of the Baritsu Chapter and the Sherlock Holmes Society. Paul Gore-Booth of the Red Circle of Washington, D.C. and Robert G. Harris of the Amateur Mendicants of Detroit then described the successful efforts to install a plaque commemorating Sherlock and Watson’s first meeting in the laboratory of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. The Amateur Mendicants of Detroit presented a $100 check to initiate the necessary financing for this project. Edgar W. Smith, as Buttons-cum-Commissionaire, was empowered to proceed with the necessary next steps and to report on the project’s progress.

The annual Five Orange Pips of Westchester County quiz was presented, under the direction of Owen P. Frisbie, BSI. Robert G. Harris of the Amateur Mendicants was the victor.

The minutes note that the birthday dinner was adjourned with “a rising pledge to foregather again, in 1954, in celebration of the Centenary of the best and wisest of men.”

Dinner Details: January 9, 1953
Cavanaugh’s Restaurant, 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.

Key to People in the 1953 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)

BSI Honours List

Stephen F. Crocker as The Norwood Builder
Thayer Cumings as His Last Bow
Baron Paul H. Gore-Booth as The Three Gables
Milton C. Lang as The Abbey Grange
Joe Palmer as Silver Blaze (posthumous)
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)
Howard Collins (by Fred Dannay)
Judge Robert France (by Lloyd H. Denton)
Fulton Oursler (by Fletcher Pratt)
Joe Palmer (by Tom Stix)
Ronald (Buck) Weaver (by Robert G. Harris)
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

1953 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)

The Baker Street Journal v3 n2 (April 1953) pp. 108-112.  (available in the eBSJ)
Note: includes quiz from the dinner

List of 1953 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)

Key to People in the 1953 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)


None available online at this time.

Related Material

1953 Dinner Announcement Memorandum (digitized image at Harvard)
1 page.  2 copies. Sequence 87-88.

1953 Dinner Menu (digitized images at Harvard)
1 Page. Sequence 44.

Previous dinner: the 1952 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1954 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 2/7/15 by Tamar Zeffren
Page updated 5/13/15 by Andrew Solberg
This page last updated 3/23/19 by Randall Stock