Common Cup Countdown–October 27, 2012

Samuel J. Crumbine, Public Health Ad

October 27, 2012:  Common Cup Countdown-3 days to the 100th anniversary of 1st U.S. drinking water regulation-railroads and the janitor. 

“It required much time and experience to destroy the traditional common cup. Trains traveling through Kansas complied with the ruling, then replaced the cup when they crossed the border into the next state. Even in Kansas it did not go smoothly. Schools failed to comply with the ruling until Crumbine asked the state superintendent of public instruction to intervene and issue an order to conform. Then the Kansas railroad commission advised the Missouri Pacific railroad that they, not the board of health, had total jurisdiction over rail lines, a rivalry the doctor had to adjudicate. When Crumbine finally decided he had conquered the menace of the common cup, a news reporter enjoyed informing him that one still existed at the water cooler on the second floor of the state building where the doctor had his office. Upon inquiry the building custodian agreed it was there and would remain because it was under his jurisdiction! This declaration required a quick visit to the governor’s office to have the cup removed permanently. As Crumbine confessed, his campaign ultimately succeeded because his educational efforts had resulted in ‘a general sanitary awakening of the people to the danger of the common cup.’”

Reference: Lee, R. Alton. From Snake Oil to Medicine:  Pioneering Public Health. Westport, CT:Praeger, 2007, p. 76-7.

About safedrinkingwaterdotcom

McGuire is an environmental engineer and writer. He has worked in the drinking water community for over 50 yrs
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