Joseph Cox Jr.

According to Robert C. Vitz’s “At the Center: 175 Years at Cincinnati’s Mercantile Library,” in the highly contested 1891 election, Library members narrowly chose Joseph Cox Jr., a lawyer, to be the first professional (i.e. non-mercantile) president of the Library.

The above photo of Mr. Cox is from the Library’s Presidential Portrait Collection (or, as Scripsi calls it, our Facial Hair Through the Ages exhibit*) that hangs around the spiral stairs. One of ol’ Norm’s many jobs around here is to make sure departing Library presidents have a professional portrait taken, which is then framed and hung at the top of the stairs.  Sometimes newly-minted presidents emeritus will ask questions about what result we expect from the photo shoot.  “What should I wear?  Does it have to be a head shot?  Can I smile, or should I try to look distinguished?”  I answer “Well, you can always bring your fiddle…”

-Norm De Plume 

*Cox served in the twilight of the Mustache Era, his unadorned upper lip presaging by eight years the Clean Shaven Era, which extends almost unbroken until this very day.

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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