At one time, drinking cups could kill.
Samuel Crumbine (1862–1954) is considered a national pioneer of public health
. Since 1955 a national Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award has been given annually to a local environmental health jurisdiction demonstrating unsurpassed achievement.
One of his most successful campaigns helped stop the use of public drinking cups. Trains, train stations, and public and private schools all had shared drinking cups. Each cup was reused multiple times by anyone needing a drink without being cleaned between uses. When Crumbine observed the use of these cups he found young children drinking from them after people sick with serious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Crumbine believed that the spread of disease could be reduced by banning the public drinking cup. In 1909, Kansas became the first state to do so.