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Nov 02

Dr. Samuel Crumbine's Resignation from the State Board of Health, 1923

Posted on November 2, 2021 at 9:39 AM by Bill Sowers

Crumbine photo

SAMUEL J. CRUMBINE'S RESIGNATION FROM THE KANSAS STATE BOARD OF HEALTH

The June 1923 issue of the "Bulletin of the Kansas State Board of Health" began with the headline, "After Nineteen Years of Service." Samuel Crumbine, executive officer of the State Board of Health had resigned after the Kansas Legislature had pulled funding from one of the Board's Departments dealing with the prevention of venereal disease... the last of several setbacks by state government and others unhappy with Crumbine's advanced methods of providing better public health.

Dr. Crumbine was definitely a mover and shaker of his time promoting good public health at every level.  He is most famous for his "Swat the Fly" campaign as well as his push to eliminate shared water glasses in public places. Clean water supplies, sewage treatment, food inspection, roller towels, trash dumps... all were part of Crumbine's quest to prevent the spread of disease. The 1915 creation of the Division of Child Hygiene provided detailed educational tools for parents and others in caring for newborns and children. The State Board of Health also published handbooks for the general public on small pox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, sexual hygiene, measles, etc.  

What comes to mind when I think of Samuel J. Crumbine is a line from a 1990s song:  

"Whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man!"

The article on Crumbine, which also lists many more accomplishments made during his tenure as head of the Kansas State Board of Health can be found in the State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library:

AFTER NINETEEN YEARS OF SERVICE