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The 1987 BSI Dinner group photo

The 133rd “well-attended and thoroughly Sherlockian” birthday dinner also marked the 100th anniversary of “A Study in Scarlet,” which first appeared in the 1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual. Edith Meiser, who brought to us the radio series that featured William Gillette, Basil Rathbone, and many others in the role of Sherlock Holmes, was deservedly honored as “The Woman.” This was the second time that Meiser was so honored. Long before the BSI formalized an annual “The Woman” honor in 1961, the BSI periodically invited a woman to the cocktail hour that preceded the BSI Dinner and honored her.  Edith Meiser was the first, in 1942. While it is not clear if she was specifically toasted as The Woman in 1942, the BSI considers the honour to have begun in that year. This was the first Dinner presided over by Tom Stix, Jr.  He announced that there would now be two other officers, John Bennett Shaw as “Simpson” and Robert E. Thomalen as “Cartwright.”  Albert M. Rosenblatt gave a poetic toast to Mrs. Hudson.  James C. Cleary presented a well-illustrated and finely crafted lecture on Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockians. Norman M. Davis fervently defended “The Chicago Four.” Steven Rothman offered a history of the new BSI necktie. William D. Jenkins discussed Sherlockian pastiches and parodies, and Chris Steinbrunner reminisced about recent and not-so-recent annual dinners.

The cocktail party on the following day, January 10, honored Julian and Eleanor Wolff. The BSJ recounts that Eleanor received a Queen Victoria Medal, acknowledging her long service as the BSI’s “most devoted camp-follower.” Attendees were also treated to Isaac Asimov's new Sherlockian song that year, which was set to the tunes of "Yankee Doodle" and "Der Tannenbaum.”

Dinner Details: January 9, 1987
24 5th Avenue, New York

Dinner Photo Information

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Key to People in the 1987 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)

BSI Honours List

Ray Betzner as The Agony Column
Robert C. Burr as The Rascally Lascar
T. Michael Kaylor as Practical Handbook of Bee Culture
George R. Skornickel Jr. as Heidegger
Kiyoshi Tanaka as The Japanese Cabinet
Edward J. Vatza as A Typical American Advertisement
Richard S. Warner as High Tor
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?

Two-Shilling Award:
Walter Klinefelter
Fritz Sonnenschmidt*
Ezra A. Wolff
* received the Two-Shilling Award at another event during the year
What is a Two-Shilling Award?

The Woman:
Edith Meiser
What is The Woman honour?

"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Not listed in the 1987 BSJ report.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”

Morley-Montgomery Award:
No awards were given from 1981-1995.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?

Reports on the Dinner

The Baker Street Journal v37 n1 (March 1987) p. 47 (available in the eBSJ).

Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 1987), p. 1.

List of 1987 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time)


None available online at this time.

Related Material

1987 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized images at Harvard)
Three pages. Cover, interior, and back. Sequence 118-120.

Ticket to the Saturday Cocktail Reception (digitized images at Harvard)
One page. Sequence 117.

Previous dinner: the 1986 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1988 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 3/26/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 4/3/2016 by Andrew Solberg.