Charles Francis Hall's Coffee Cup
Coffee cup


Charles Francis Hall


Coffee cup


Produces its own coffee when held


Coffee is heavily laced with arsenic



Collected by

Arthur Nielsen and Claudia Donovan



Date of Collection



Origin Edit

Charles Francis Hall (1821 – November 8, 1871) was an American Arctic explorer. His third, known as the Polaris expedition, was his last before his death.

The expedition ship's crew of 25 also included Hall's old friend Budington as sailing master, George Tyson as navigator, and Dr. Emil Bessels, a German physician and naturalist, as chief of the scientific staff. The expedition was troubled from the start as the party split into rival factions. Hall's authority over the expedition was resented by a large portion of the party, and discipline broke down.

Polaris sailed into Thank God Harbor (now called Hall Bay) on September 10, 1871 and settled in for the winter on the shore of northern Greenland. That fall, upon returning to the ship from a sledging expedition with an Inuit guide, Hall suddenly fell ill after drinking a cup of coffee. He collapsed in what was described as a fit. For the next week he suffered from vomiting and delirium, then seemed to improve for a few days. At that time, he accused several of the ship's company, including Dr. Bessels, of having poisonedhim. Shortly after, Hall began suffering the same symptoms, and finally died on November 8. Hall was taken ashore and given a formal burial.

Effects Edit

When held, this cup produces coffee to the precise liking of the holder. However, it is heavily laced with arsenic, which will poison and potentially kill those who drink it.

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