Header Photo Image1

The 1955 BSI Dinner group photo

Irregulars and guests gathered for the Master’s 101st birthday. Robert Keith Leavitt served as Gasogene-pro-tempore in the regrettable absence of Christopher Morley. Earle F. Walbridge and Lew D. Feldman presented a learned summary of recent publications and scholarship on the Canon. Guy Cunningham and William Merritt screened the 1954 TV episode “The Red-Headed League,” starring Ronald Howard and Howard Marion-Crawford.

Rex Stout shared an experience that, after spending all evening “around the festive board from which all but he and a visitor from Britain had been retired,” he had the privilege of listening to a “trenchant and searching exegesis” of the Canon…from Winston Churchill.

Fourteen members received their Irregular Shilling.  Scion Society reports from around the world were presented to the assembled. Benjamin Clark of the Five Orange Pips of Westchester County presented the annual quiz.  Dr. Julian Wolff took first place.

At midnight, Charles Honce proposed the toast: “To the Best and Wisest Man Whom We Have Ever Known!” Edgar W. Smith, in his capacity as Buttons-cum-Commisionaire, notes in the minutes that when he departed the festivities at 1am, twenty guests remained “who had not even then had enough – as none of us ever shall have enough – of Sherlock Holmes.”

Dinner Details: January 7, 1955
Cavanagh’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 1955 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)

BSI Honours List

Alvin E. Blomquist as Isadora Persano
James H. Bready as The Disappearance of James Phillimore
Anatole Chujoy as The Old Russian Woman
Marquis of Donegall as The Manor House Case
Don Hardenbrook as Huret, the Boulevard Assassin
Rosser W. Hunter as The Singular Adventures of the Grice Patersons
Edward Kilroe as The Sudden Death of Cardinal Tosca
Arthur L. Levine as The Cutter Alicia
William Passen as The Camberwell Poisoning Case
W. T. Rabe as Colonel Warburton's Madness
Otis R. Rice as The Paradol Chamber, changed to The Non-Conformist Clergyman
Red (Walter W.) Smith as The Netherland-Sumatra Company
Thomas A. Whelan as The Vatican Cameos
H. B. Williams as Old Abrahams
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

1955 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)

The Baker Street Journal v5 n2 (April 1955) pp. 104-107.  (available in the eBSJ)

List of 1955 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)

Key to People in the 1955 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)


None available online at this time.

Related Material

1955 Dinner Menu (digitized images at Harvard)
Cover, interior, and back. Sequence 48-50

Previous dinner: the 1954 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1956 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 1/28/15 by Tamar Zeffren
Page updated 5/24/15 by Andrew Solberg.
This page last updated 10/8/19 by Randall Stock.