Laurence H. White Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Donor
White, Laurence H.
Laurence H. White papers
1947, 2010-2011
0.1 Cubic feet , 2 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Laurence H. White graduated from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1948. While attending college, White was involved in an effort to create a chapter of The Baker Street Irregulars on campus. In order to gain full membership they were required to write a Sherlock Holmes story. The story they wrote was called "The Singular Affair of Mr. Phillip Phot." The chapter was known as The Greek Interpreters and was the fifth or "scion" chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars based in New York. Their chapter was accepted in 1947.

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Scope and Contents note

The Laurence H. White collection contains a story written by the group the Greek Interpreters for entry into the Baker Street Irregulars Club. Also included are personal reminiscences pertaining to Michigan State University events and activities. The manuscript story is called “The Singular Affair of Mr. Phillip Phot,” a Sherlock Holmes story written by White and other club members. The story follows Sherlock Holmes as he attempts to understand a mysterious telegram sent to him by his brother Mycroft. In order to solve the mystery Holmes must come out of his retirement in Sussex and return to Baker Street. When Sherlock attempts to contact his brother Mycroft he instead receives a clue: the name Phillip Phot. After receiving more clues and avoiding many dangerous situations, Sherlock uncovers a group of German spies and Hitler himself. After capturing the spies and Hilter meeting his end, Sherlock and Mycroft finally reveal the meaning of Phillip Phot. In this case it is a lengthening of the word pylpot, meaning swastika.

Also included are copies of correspondence between White and Michigan State University, in regard to the manuscript of “The Singular Affair of Mr. Phillip Phot.” One letter explains background on the Greek Interpreters and its members. Another letter explains the comment “Not bad at all” on the final page of the manuscript written by White’s godfather Stanwood W. Sparrow.

The reminiscences include a story about the football game between the Great Lakes and Michigan State during World War II. The MSC coach claimed he would walk on water if the Spartans won the game. After Michigan State won, he was forced to make an attempt at his promise.

The other reminiscence describes the June 7, 1937 Lansing Labor Union attempt to close businesses and companies in order to have a “Labor Holiday.” Within the description it discusses how Michigan State Students attempted to stop the union from shutting down business in the East Lansing area and mentions the eventual intervention of the Michigan State Police. Also included are reminiscences on canoeing on the Red Cedar River and crossing the Red Cedar River by climbing across using a rope.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections February 2010

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Baker Street Irregulars. (Organization : U.S.)
  • Michigan State College.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1948.

Geographic Name(s)

  • East Lansing (Mich.)
  • Red Cedar River (Mich.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir, 1859-1930


  • College campuses -- Michigan -- East Lansing
  • College students -- Michigan -- East Lansing
  • Football
  • Labor unions -- Michigan -- Lansing
  • Student activities

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Manuscript of "The Singular Affair of Mr. Phillip Phot" 1947, 2009, 2010 

F.D. 1

Reminiscences 2010-2011 

F.D. 2