Common Cup Countdown–October 26, 2012

October 26, 2012:  Common Cup Countdown-4 days to the 100th anniversary of 1st U.S. drinking water regulation-swabs and communion.

“The scientific doctor decided he needed evidence for the board to rule against the common cup effectively to make certain that it would be sustained in a court action. He persuaded Professor Barber to take swabs of all drinking cups on trains coming into Union Station in Kansas City for a week. He took similar swabs of cups and glasses in the public schools of Wyandotte, Kansas. This collection, and the subsequent testing of the samples, took time but at last he had sufficient scientific proof of the danger. He then approached the general managers of the railroads operating in Kansas. They were quite aware of his concerns, activities, and reputation and, after his explanation, they agreed to comply with a board ruling he expected to obtain outlawing the cups on their trains, in schools, and in public buildings. The board of health issued his requested order, wisely excepting churches because of the sacrament of communion, to take effect from September 1909. Meanwhile, the doctor was promoting his campaign against the cup and meeting some resistance. One writer declared that he had always used the common cup and ‘no thing serious has ever happened to me.’ Another believed there might be a danger involved but it was not as great ‘as dying from thirst when you travel by train.’”

Reference: Lee, R. Alton. From Snake Oil to Medicine:  Pioneering Public Health. Westport, CT:Praeger, 2007, p. 76.

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About safedrinkingwaterdotcom

McGuire is an environmental engineer and writer. He has worked in the drinking water community for over 40 yrs
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