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Author Topic: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time  (Read 78210 times)

Kent Beuchert

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #60 on: April 30, 2014, 12:18:31 PM »


We don't know for certain that it is a freckle-cream jar.  The great problem is that all freckle-cream jars found so far are milk glass, not transparent.


Maybe it's a shoe polish jar?

A shoe polish that contains mercury?
It was conjectured that perhaps Dr Berry's Freckle cream was mixed by the pharmacist and put into a
clear glass jar, like the one found.  Possibly, but I wondered whether Dr Berry's factory didn't produce two lines of their freckle cream, one low end, using the (presumably) cheaper milk glass for Sears customers and one high end for higher end retail shops. There would be no need to make any changes on their production line, except change the glass container, both of which were presumably the same size and shape. In the late 30's milk glass was getting rather old timey.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 01:56:09 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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Doug Ledlie

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #61 on: May 05, 2014, 05:55:02 AM »

Some questions come to mind after reading attached article:

- Mentions commercial freckle treatments containing either "ammoniated mercury" or "bichloride of mercury"...is chemical analysis of mercury trace in the artifact able to confirm actual type of mercury detected ie is it one of these?

- Mentions reduction in mercury content in such creams in 40's...can anything be interpolated from the analysis of the mercury trace found as to the mercury concentration of the original contents?

http://cosmeticsandskin.com/aba/freckles.php
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #62 on: May 05, 2014, 05:55:00 PM »

"...can anything be interpolated from the analysis of the mercury trace found as to the mercury concentration of the original contents?"

If the total mass of the material that had been leached off the jar had been measured, then a mercury concentration could be derived (concentration = mass of leached mercury / total mass of leached material). I don't think this was measured, however; I think they just measured the concentrations of the individual metals in the leachate. (The guys who wrote the report can correct me if I'm wrong about that.)

However, even if the concentration were available, it would only be an estimate, and wouldn't represent the initial concentration of the contents exactly. The jar had been outdoors, probably for a long time, exposed to the effects of weather. And if the contents had originally been compounded by hand, the initial concentration of the material may not have been homogeneous even when the jar was new.

In this case I think the presence or absence of mercury is more significant than a concentration would be. Though certainly it wouldn't hurt to know the concentration if we could (on the principle of, the more information the better ...)
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #64 on: July 05, 2014, 07:24:55 AM »

Hi All

thought i would post link in case anyone is interested

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-VINTAGE-MILK-GLASS-BEAUTY-CREAM-JARS/201111269109?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D7762948092986846217%26pid%3D100033%26prg%3D20131017132637%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D201111269109

Thanks Richie

Thanks Richie.

I really appreciate your taking the time to continue the hunt for these jars.  They're not easy to find.  I made inquiries with the seller of this item, which was for sale in a lot with 2 other jars.  I asked him whether the base of the jar that has the same shape as 2-8-S-2a also had the Hazel-Atlas logo on its base and did the cap have any information as to product or brand.  He answered yes to the first question and no to the second.   So we have yet another jar of this same shape that shares the same logo the artifact has, but we have no way of knowing what product - if any - it once contained.  The fact, however, that this jar is grouped in a lot with a DuBarry product provides a possible clue as to the general type of product represented in the lot as a whole.

Nice work, Richie.

Joe Cerniglia
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« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 07:28:15 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #65 on: July 20, 2014, 08:14:39 AM »

Just one more...

Greg George did some outstanding research earlier this year on period references to AE's concern about her freckles.  This front page drawing of Earhart sans freckles along with some other famous aviators of the day drew the comment from AE: "That's me, all right, but you haven't put in the freckles."


Note: A vintage masthead from the newspaper from which this was copied lacks a copyright notice; therefore, the attachments are in the public domain.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 11:54:53 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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richie conroy

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2014, 05:39:55 PM »

Hi All

Been taking a back seat on forum of late, Thought it would be nice for newer members to get involved in discussions and bring new idea's to the table.

Obviously been looking on site every day for updates on investigation into 2-2-V-1  been interesting watching from the side lines

Anyway i have been quietly searching for that darn clear glass jar and was surprised to find that the milk glass jar, housed many products including spices of all things  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kitschy-Hand-Painted-Footed-Round-Milk-Glass-Spice-Jars-10-Painted-2-Unpainted-/121446056938?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1c46bfc3ea



Another thing i stumbled across was a flying mag from years gone by with a few story's of Amelia in http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=-Z1VdBCfV9QC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Interesting reads

As for fund raising i think Tighar needs to create a simply advert that states what it has found on Niku and why it points to Amelia Earhart

Also in my opinion Tighar need to make people want to donate there hard earned money, Like if Tighar do find the electra in june next year 10% of proceeds will go to a charity of some kind heart or cancer something along them lines

thanks Richie 
We are an echo of the past


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« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 06:22:21 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2014, 05:22:45 AM »

Anyway i have been quietly searching for that darn clear glass jar

The glass jar isn't a clear jar, but the bigger question is why that mattered.  More on that later.  To test whether or not the jar was clear we sent both the artifact and a clear jar of the same shape and size as the artifact to an ISO-17025 accredited lab.  The glass from each vessel was tested for its complete elemental profile and the results were dramatically different.  Had both jars been clear we would expect the chemical formulations to be quite similar.  A little later, Greg George located a 1936 Hazel-Atlas Glass Company patent (the jar bears the Hazel-Atlas imprint on its base) that mentioned several unusual ingredients also found in the chemically tested formula for the glass of 2-9-S-1.  The patent described how this formula was used to create glass of "good color and brilliance."

Whether the jar was clear or not mattered because a clear glass jar would be a decidedly poor choice for ointments, which degrade in sunlight.  Thus, a clear jar could effectively be disqualified as an ointment pot, thus opening the door to the idea it contained pickles or mayo or what have you.  We could see the jar as it exists now was not very transparent at all, but burial deposition and wear were cited as the reasons for this.  When new and in use, some on the EPAC forum argued (convincingly, because they seemed convinced) that the jar had been as clear as a drinking glass.  I think the results of the experiments put this idea to rest.

Many individuals have used the term "clear jar" when describing the artifact, presumably as a way of distinguishing it from its white glass siblings.  This is entirely understandable, since household glassware today seems far more monolithic than that of the early 20th century.  But, as the patent shows, there was high interest in producing glass of diverse characteristics in this timeframe. 

More information on this and other aspects of the research into the possible origins of 2-9-S-1 can be found in our paper, A Freckle In Time.

Joe Cerniglia
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« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 04:36:42 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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JNev

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2014, 02:57:57 PM »

After some studyin', ah moved Krystal's post on fund raising from here to 'Niku VIII funding' - better fit there, know whut ah mean, Vern?
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Jon Romig

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #69 on: December 16, 2014, 06:25:14 AM »

Was Amelia Earhart Poisoned?

Mercury is a poison that can affect the central nervous system. A single gram of organometallic mercury is sufficient to cause death. Symptoms of chronic poisoning may include emotional lability and memory impairment. Symptoms also include visible effects on the skin like pink cheeks and numerous other symptoms like loss of hair, numbness of the extremities, etc.

According to the report "A Freckle in Time," as early as 1912 government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture were attempting (apparently unsuccessfully) to eliminate mercury from ointments such as Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream because of its toxic effects. It is not clear what quantity of mercury-containing ointment, if any, could cause poisoning in the user, but skin products of that era apparently contained the compound methyl mercury, of which Wikepedia says: "Mercury and many of its chemical compounds, especially organomercury compounds, can also be readily absorbed through direct contact with bare, or in some cases (such as methylmercury) insufficiently protected, skin." This suggests that methyl mercury was even more aggressive and readily absorbed than the other compounds of mercury.

I am intrigued by the possibility that AE may have been affected by this poison, and that we might be able to find in the record evidence of symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning. This would tend to support the hypothesis that AE used a mercury-containing ointment such as was apparently contained in 2-9-S-1.

Mercury poisoning may also help explain some of AE's behaviors and actions which, until now, have been ascribed to her "character flaws" rather than possible biological causes.

Our irresponsible aviatrix may in fact have been a "mad hatter."

Jon
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »

Interesting observations, Jon.

I agree it can be fun to speculate.  Mercury exposure, for instance, can cause edema of the feet.  Would that lead one to select shoes larger than normally worn?  A shoe of a size larger than what is believed to be AE's size was found at the Aukaraime South site.  Mercury exposure can cause gastric problems.  A cap for a 1930s acidosis medication, Alka Zane (or perhaps a laxative), was found at the same site.  The list could grow but conclusions would always be elusive, and the more one grows it, the shakier the propositions become.

The type of mercury in Dr. Berry's Freckle Ointment was ammoniated mercury, an inorganic form.  While arguably less toxic than organic forms, due to its lower lipid solubility, chronic mercury toxicity would result from long term use and all exposures are bad.

I was reviewing the lab reports in our paper just last night.  I'm thinking there may have been another source of toxicity in the jar that may have been even worse than the mercury.  I'm wondering if anyone can guess what that is by reviewing the report... Extra credit goes to anyone who can add what recent comment on the forum caused me to see this source in a new light.

BTW, I don't see evidence AE's mercury exposure, if indeed she had this, had progressed to brain symptoms.  In my opinion (and that of a 747 pilot with whom I spoke), Earhart was handling the aircraft with a good degree of coordination and skill, especially during the later stages flying over monsoon areas.  Mercury affects coordination along with the central nervous system, so if the symptoms had been that severe, it's unlikely, in my opinion, she could have gone as far around the world as she did.

Joe Cerniglia
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JNev

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2014, 04:30:08 PM »

Interesting observations, Jon.

The list could grow but conclusions would always be elusive, and the more one grows it, the shakier the propositions become.
...

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR 3078ER

True.
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2014, 07:20:03 PM »

Mercury is toxic, but many forms of it can be tolerated for long enough that mercury has been used medicinally, though it's not something I would recommend now. (Look up "calomel," for example, if you want some good old historical toxicology reading.) (Also if you want to read about historical exposures to mercury in other famous figures, look at Lewis & Clark, and Mark Twain. Their blithe handling of mercury is shocking by today's standards.)

I would be surprised if the mercury in AE's ointment affected her final flight, though I suppose anything is possible. A lot would depend on the concentration in the cosmetic, how often and how thickly she applied it, and for how many years.
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #73 on: December 16, 2014, 07:31:14 PM »

I'm thinking there may have been another source of toxicity in the jar
Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR 3078ER

Do you mean the arsenic? That was also used for skin lightening.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time
« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2014, 09:19:58 PM »

I'm thinking there may have been another source of toxicity in the jar
Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR 3078ER

Do you mean the arsenic? That was also used for skin lightening.
Hi Jennifer.
I hadn't thought of arsenic but that could be another source.  The lab report listed arsenic (As) at 12 ug/L on the inner surface and 6 ug/L on the outer surface of the jar.  Arsenic was used for skin lightening.

The element I had in mind was lead (Pb).  Its reading was 5 ug/L on the inside of the jar and below detection limits on the outside.  Swiderski, who wrote a book on the effects of mercury in cosmetics through history, states lead was used in some mercuric ointments to conceal the discolorations eventually caused by mercury.  Ironically, mercury would cause what it was intended to cure.  I have not found any particular product that I know used both mercury and lead in skin lightening; on the other hand, comprehensive ingredient lists are hard to locate.

The topic of other toxic substances in the jar was not one we really considered when we tested the jar.  At the time we were only interested in the mercury since it was the element that seemed most diagnostic for a skin-lightening ointment.  As a result, we lack comparative measurements for other glass at the Seven Site and for other ointment jars that would help to reveal whether such elements as lead, arsenic, and zinc, all of which were found at higher concentrations in the jar than outside it, are in fact unusual enough to be considered significant.  We set up all of these controls for the mercury, which is why we feel confident in saying that its presence on the jar is significant.

Scott Mitchell's superb post on parallels with the Franklin expedition of 1845, prompted by Friend Weller's initial suggestion of the similarities, prompted me to read how lead in poorly soldered tin cans had played a pivotal role in the ultimate demise of the crew of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.  I highly doubt that lead was similarly fatal to the world flight.  But it is a fact that lead was found on the jar and I think it's not an unreasonable thing to at least wonder why and to ponder whether a seemingly insignificant detail such as this played even a small role in the fate of Amelia and Fred.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078ER

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