“A few weeks later Crumbine was on board a train out of Kansas City, enjoying a cigar in the smoking compartment and talking to two young men who had just sold several carloads of cattle. Then one of the men took a common drinking cup off the shelf and disappeared into the toilet. His friend kidded him when he left and then explained to Crumbine that he needed the glass to hold the mixture he had to use to treat himself for gonorrhea. The doctor was horrified when the man returned and replaced the glass without washing it and the two men went back to their berths. The conductor was the first person to come in for a drink. “Leaping” to his feet, Crumbine grabbed the glass and threw it out the open window, explaining to the man why he had done it. A few days later a Topeka physician casually mentioned that one of his young patients, a “woman of excellent character,” had a “syphilitic chancre” on her lip, undoubtedly a result of the common cup she used on a train she rode a month earlier. At the next board of health meeting Crumbine carefully detailed his experiences. The members listened to his plea for a ruling against the common cup but decided they did not have the authority to issue one. If they did act, certainly the railroads would fight it.”
Reference: Lee, R. Alton. From Snake Oil to Medicine: Pioneering Public Health. Westport, CT:Praeger, 2007, p. 75-6.