GEN-TRIVIA-ENG-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-TRIVIA-ENG > 2008-08 > 1219811403
From: "Geo." <>
Subject: Re: [TRIVVIES] From The Carlisle Patriot Friday, February 13,1880/Death from Swallowing a Halfpenny.
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 12:30:03 +0800
They were a copper alloy - probably 97% copper, 2.5% zinc, 0.5% tin. However, the number of kids who've swalled copper coins over the years with no ill effects probably numbers into the thousands.
According to this and many other sites, the symptoms of copper poisoning are quite varied;
but "inflammation of the brain" doesn't appear amongst them.
Incidentally, while Googling this subject I came across this little gem;
it is very interesting and free to download.
I wonder if the child didn't die from some form of metal poisening--what was the halfpenny made of??
The Carlisle Patriot Friday, February 13, 1880
Death from Swallowing a Halfpenny.
An inquest was held before the Leeds coroner, on Tuesday, over the body of Henry John THORPE, a boy of nearly six years. The boy's grandfather said the child, who had lived with him since the death of his father three years ago, was playing in the house with a halfpenny. A cousin of the child's entered the room and said, "I will have that" alluding to the coin. The deceased clutched the halfpenny, and placing it in his mouth he swallowed it. He suffered considerably for some time, and in November was taken to the Infirmary, and three weeks ago he parted with the coin. Dr. ARMISTEAD had previously attended him, but it was found impossible to prevent the consequences of the mishap, the child dying on Saturday morning at one o'clock. The immediate cause of death was inflammation of the brain, and the doctor said the boy's system had gradually wasted away till there was little left of him but skin and bone. The verdict was died from accidental causes.