By: Kevin Grace
In the October issue that just hit the newsstands, Cincinnati Magazine has an illustrated article called “The City’s History in 50 Objects.” The magazine’s editors, writers, and fact-checkers began this endeavor several months ago, calling upon libraries and archives, museums and individuals, to submit ideas for items that help tell the story of the city’s heritage.
Of the dozens of suggestions they received, the editors decided upon one of the items in the holdings of the Archives & Rare Books Library: our freshman beanie from the turn of the 20th century. The provenance of our beanie is unknown; it’s just one of those things that eventually end up in the University Archives, but brings an interesting bit of history (rather like our life-size cutout of former UC president Nancy Zimpher that now stands guard in our Rare Books Room!).
In the case of the cap, we also happened to have a little booklet called “The Ten Commandments: Freshmen: Read and Heed!” And one of those commandments is injunction number five, which requires freshmen to wear the “small green cap” at all times. Though it is no use to lament how the times have a’changed over the decades, still; for us aging, balding alums, a freshman beanie such as this could bring some small physical comfort while at the same time displaying loyalty to our alma mater!
So, check out the current issue of Cincinnati Magazine and see what you think of the 50 objects they have chosen to tell the Queen City story. And in the same issue is a lengthy article that de-mythologizes George Sperti, the UC alum, inventor and think tank fellow credited with such things as Prepartion H, the modern sunlamp, and concentrated orange juice. The editors also graciously used three photos of Sperti from the University Archives holdings.