"Don't Spit on the Sidewalk"

        Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine & Public Health in Kansas

Grade Level  —  4 - 9
Runtime    —  28 Minutes
Release Date  —  2004
CD-Rom Companion Teaching Manual  —  60 pages

One of the foremost leaders in health reform in the State of Kansas was Dr. Samuel Jay Crumbine. Although born and educated in the State of Pennsylvania, Samuel Crumbine came to Kansas to earn money to put himself through medical school in Ohio.

Dr. Crumbine was appointed to the Kansas State Board of Health in 1900. His second year of service on the Board was probably the turning point in his life’s work.

His campaign against the common housefly was probably his most famous battle. Dr. Crumbine became a household name
when he coined the phrase, “Swat the Fly.” Boy Scouts in Weir, Kansas went door to door with their scoutmaster’s new invention – the fly swatter. Fly ordinances and screening on windows soon followed.

The next issues were the common drinking cup and common hand towel. Crumbine was appalled when he noticed a small child drinking from a tin cup while riding on a train with tuberculosis patients. On September 1, 1909 the common drinking cup was banned in Kansas. Kansas was the first state to issue such a ban. Soon a similar ban on the common towel followed.

This led to the invention of the “health cup” by Fort Scott native, Hugh Moore. It soon became known as the “Dixie” cup.

Dr. Crumbine demonstrated his leadership skills as not only as Secretary of the State Board of Health but in every position he held, locally, regionally and nationally. His contributions give insight to how early public health efforts became a powerful force in shaping the health of our nation and giving us the quality of life we enjoy today.

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