Never underestimate the ingenuity of Kansans.
At the turn of the 20th century, when Samuel Crumbine became secretary of the Kansas State Board of Health and thus one of the leading doctors in the nation in leading reform and awareness against community drinking cups and illnesses related to the common house fly, other Kansans stepped forward with ideas to aid in the reform.
In the far southeast corner of the state in the town of Weir, a Boy Scout leader created a campaign for his scouts to carry “fly bats.” Frank Rose cut pieces of wire screen into small four-inch squares and attached them to yard sticks. The scouts gave the contraptions away and encouraging people to swat the flies. Weir was the first town in Kansas to pass an ordinance detailing the dangers from the common house fly.
At the same time, another Kansan was working on developing a throwaway cup made of paper.
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Hugh Moore, who was born in Fort Scott, was living in Boston when Crumbine led the efforts in 1909 to ban community drinking cups. Moore partnered with Lawrence Luellen in developing a disposable paper cup.
They went through many designs at first, from one that opened like a paper bag to some that had pleats.
They finally arrived at a design that could be used in a semi-automatic vending machine — for a penny, people could use the cup and get cool, clear water.
When the flu epidemic of 1918 struck, paper cups were even more in demand – thus sealing the future for Moore’s new business.
At first, the paper cup was called the Health Kup. But after the war, other companies copied Moore’s idea and began mass producing paper cups.
Question: To set their company apart from the others, what was the Health Kup soon named?
This is the final question in our Kansas 150 Trivia contest. Thanks for playing.
Answer to Friday’s question: Inman’s Sam the Cat was immortalized in Kansas artist Stan Herd’s mural of downtown Inman. Sam was depicted strolling underneath a carriage.
Check back in this spot Sunday for the answer to today’s question.