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Author Topic: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream  (Read 443896 times)

Rafael Krasnodebski

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #120 on: August 15, 2012, 09:20:27 AM »

Chastised by Mr Burell ...  I am not worthy  :) ... but the probability is only zero if the jar was manufactured after the Electra's disappearance. As I stated before, as far as we know, no one was on the island from about 1890 to 1929, at least no one of European/US origin. If the jar was manufactured in 1905, the first people who could have left it there were the survivors of the Norwich City. That was in 1929. That already makes the jar 24 years old ...  how absurd is that?  ??? What were a bunch of sailors doing with a 24 year old bottle of face cream? Ask your wife, mine doesn't know ... but it was there ... on the seven site. Or was it the US coast guard in the mid 1940s? What were a bunch of coasties doing with a bottle of 39 year old face cream? My wife doesn't know the answer to that either. Absurd ... is it not? All of these to me are pertinent questions. One of the ways to make sense of what may or may not have happened to Amelia Earhart is to understand and eliminate possible or plausible alternatives. If there was a known US/European presence on the island before WWI, I'd be with you in your convictions, but we're told by the researchers that it was deserted until 1929.
Raf
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #121 on: August 15, 2012, 09:46:05 AM »

... we're told by the researchers that it was deserted until 1929.

Since no one lived on the island routinely except for the colonial period, we cannot say with certainty who might have visited the island--or even become a castaway on the island--prior to 1939.

Strange things do happen.

People do things unexpectedly.

Some garbage floats.

Even if we had a signed agreement between AE and some cosmetic manufacturer, and even if we had a photo of her holding a transparent Hazel Atlas jar in her hand as she boarded the Electra, it would not prove that this jar belonged to her.

It would, of course, raise the odds that her presence on the island would account for the presence of the jar, but the two propositions do not logically entail each other.  These two propositions are false:

-- Amelia is the only person who could have brought the jar to the island.
-- The presence of the jar on the island proves that Amelia was on the island.
LTM,

           Marty
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #122 on: August 15, 2012, 10:51:16 AM »

Quote
Well it is the key if our suppositions that Earhart actually used the estimable Dr Berry's toxic freckle cream are correct, and we can find in our documentary sources that she was carrying this product on the flight. But there is more, we then must suppose that after the still quite hypothetical landing on Nikumaroro by the aviators, Earhart carried this jar of freckle cream ashore with her as the Electra slowly sank, with the sun, in the west.

You seem to think it is a stretch that of all things that she would bring her freckle cream ashore.  I would suppose she like most women would have a bag of sorts that held ALL of her personal items that she would take with her at her numerous stops around the world to freshen up or what not.  I would also suppose that her freckle cream would be in that bag just as Noonan probably had a shaving kit.  It would also contain her compact, rougue, etc.
 
My wife carries one of those bags and calls it a purse.  I've been tasked a few times in my many years of marriage to "get the (fill in the blank) out of my purse for me" and it is still unbelieveable to me that she carries that much stuff with her just go to the store.  I would suppose the contents would change somewhat for an around the world flight.

Lastly, the users of these products did not know that the product was toxic and I would think that the manufactor at the very least did not realize the health issues associated with long term exposure to mercury.  There was not an FDA then and a lot of products changed, were discontinued, or what they were used for changed after they discovered that they were unhealthy.  I received an email some time back with a collection of magazine ads from the 50's.  The one for Lysol stood out as it was being advertised for women to use it to douche with (google it).  These days it is used as a floor cleaner.  Do you think maybe the previous use for it was found to be unhealthy?

LTM,

Don
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Matt Revington

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #123 on: August 15, 2012, 01:31:25 PM »

Good points Don, when you think of AEs public image it would be very surprising if she didn't have a make up case on board, she had to look fresh at every stop to charm the male reporters and look feminine in any photos.  It would not be the first thing she would grab when the plane landed on the reef but with the likelihood of several return trips to the Electra to send the post loss radio messages there would be a good chance after a day or two that some toiletries would be nice to have.  As for old products, I agree with Chris that people of that generation would be much more likely to hang onto products for a longer period of time, I am old enough to remember my grandmothers house in the 1960s, her bathroom counters were lined with health and beauty products from the 30s and 40s.
Another issue that has been raised is the possibility of this not being a Dr Berry's jar, this form was apparently used by other facial creams however the presence of mercury rules out most of those, I can find no references to cold creams or vanishing creams ever containing mercury.  Mercury was found mainly in the freckle creams and skin bleaches ( correct me if there are other candidates). As an aside from researching this I learned that in many countries (ie India and Jamaica) these mercury containing skin bleaches are still sold legally.  In the US the FDA started to crack down on these in 1938.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 02:33:56 PM by Matt Revington »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #124 on: August 15, 2012, 01:56:05 PM »

Having re-read the account of the grounding of the Norwich City in 1929 I would be surprised to say the least if the glass jar in question arrived on Gardner Island via the Norwich City. Of all the things you might need to risk your life for while the ship was ablaze and the weather being naff before abandoning ship, a glass jar seems odd to say the least. Still, that said it may have had some other value which we can only guess at. Maybe a very self conscious sailor concerned about his freckles? a studious writer protecting his ink supplies? Opium?
Whatever it was it wasn't worth risking your life for.
Must have arrived AFTER 1929
IMHO of course
This must be the place
 
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #125 on: August 15, 2012, 02:00:53 PM »

Rafael, you contradict yourself. And I am just trying to make you see a point, not chastise or argue, really I am not. Some people get so wrapped in something that tend to make every little item fit their hypothesis.
You state it is not critical to know the date of this jar.
Then you state, well it might be important if it was made after 1937.
But you state if really doesn't matter if it was made in 1905 because "someone" had to leave it.
Talk about circular reasoning.
Then you start talking of PROBABILITIES of who would have left it, if it
dates early, say 1905-1915.
Well when you start discussing probabilties you certainly need a date to get the data to arrive at an accurate probability.
Therefore a date is extremely critical.

Lets discuss probabilties.
If it dates to 1911, we are down to few options.
1.The NC had it aboard, and it was another old bottle in an old tramp steamer no doubt full of junk. It could have then washed out or been taken by a survivor or a subsequent islanders. I am sure the islanders who were desperate for manmade materials got aboard that ship. To ignore this huge beached depository of possible canned food, mirrors, medicine, metal chains, on and on, there is a small probability they ignored this wreck and didn't strip it of everything that wasnt tied down. We don't need an injured seaman on the NC to bring it ashore. Those islanders looked at the wreck for decades, every day. they could have easily brought it ashore. The probabilies are hight they removed items.

2. thatanother way an early date jar could be there was we can have a previous castaway we know nothing about. There was also a mention of periodic crab and oyster fisherman on the island that predates AE. Remember this jar didn't just hold freckle cream. We have known exampes that it held cream called "skin food", and Vanishing cream among other creams.
I suspect the probability is fairly high another castaway or a fisherman left it behind after using the last dab of it. If I had a sunburn from oyster digging off a small boat in 1915, I don't think it's a large stretch to think someone applied a type of face cream to stop the burning. Remember this is was a non inhabited island. It doesn't mean people didn't use it. Big difference.
Hence the footprints and gun discovered by TIGHAR. We don't have a record of who was there, but obviously someone was using this island. Most probable  its been used for decades before AE. For turtles, eggs, birds, easy to catch fish, clams...

3. It simply washed up. probable high-we know it happens all the time. It happened with the aluminum skin artifact. And it could have washed up from any ship that sailed pre WWI. The oceans are full of trash and in 1911, passenger lines, as well as merchant ships dumped tons of trash overboard.
It is a stretch to think some early 1st decade 20th century debris washed ashore? Not really. Actually it's probably what happened if this jar dates to pre WWI.

4. Last option, AE with her "flying laboratory" was using a facial product in a jar that was made 25 years earlier if we use the 1911 date. Don't you think she could afford a .25 cent new jar? Or she just preferred deteriorating old oily cream that probably wasnt in the greatest of condition by 1937. we would have to assume she took this ancient face cream with her or bought during layovers. We have to assume AE did not mind smearing this old deteriorating cream on her face. When every store held ponds, or noxema. scores of facial creams she could have bought for a quarter.
Which is unlike any woman I have ever met.

So there are the choices, Which is the most probable way it arraive on Niku if it was made in 1911. 
It could have been left in multiple ways as suggested above.
AE carrying an ancient bottle of cream seems the most far fetched.
But impossible? No,not impossible. Improbable.

THAT is why it is indeed important to date this jar if possible. Because there is a huge new set of probabilties to an AE link if the jar was made 1905 to 1912, versus finding a catalog showing 17,000 jars were produced in this same style fromt 1932 to 1941.
If you cannot see the difference a date would make, and how a later date strengtens the probability of an AE link, and continue to claim a 1905 jar has thesame evidential weigh as a 1935 date, there is no sense continuing this line of talk.
You are denying common sense and logic.
Even Tighar understood the importance of locating the date of the green bottle made in 1933 in New Jersey.
The date is a vital clue.
In this instance, its extremely important.
Because nobody but extremists would argue that a 1905 dated jar has the same evidentiary value as a jar dated in 1935,
This is common sense.
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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #126 on: August 15, 2012, 02:03:55 PM »

and I would think that the manufactor at the very least did not realize the health issues associated with long term exposure to mercury.

If Dr. Berry didn't know before, he/she certainly got a clue when the USDA seized 180 bottles of the stuff in 1911 and issued judgment in 1912, saying ". . . said product is injurious, in this, to wit, that it contains a large quantity of a poisonous substance, to wit, 11.63 per cent of ammoniated mercury."

A bit off topic, sorry, but interesting.  Also disheartening in that, as a previous post says, the legal tools to actually regulate the product did not arrive until 1938.  All that could be required in 1912 was a change in the product literature to remove assurances that it was non-toxic.
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Rafael Krasnodebski

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #127 on: August 15, 2012, 02:22:24 PM »

Marty,
I fully agree with you that the presence of the jar at the seven site does not prove AE's presence there, but my argument is that Don's adamant supposition that the age of the jar discounts this possibility almost entirely is equally mistaken. Yes, we don't know who, if anyone, was at the seven site prior to our known 'actors', but the possibility of any of the known visitors dumping the jar there is just as equally implausible if we take Don's argument to its logical conclusion ... Yet it was there. So either Don's view is rather hasty, or someone with access to American cosmetics was there earlier. Have we done any research on pre-Norwich City western visitors or shipwrecks in the vicinity? We are talking about a period that was reasonably well documented, if only for political or insurance purposes, from about 1890 to 1929.
Raf
 
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Rafael Krasnodebski

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #128 on: August 15, 2012, 02:57:01 PM »

Don,
I agree! I said earlier that dating the jar was important, but that if we find it's too old for her to plausibly have purchased it as usable face cream we cannot dismiss the possibility that she found it and left it at the seven site, which I understood to be your argument. Your proposition was, at least as I understood it, that if we find it is too old we can conclude it had nothing to do with her and is therefore 'junk'. For me, this is a huge value laden assumption. AE wouldn't use a 30 year old jar of ointment, so it has nothing to do with her. Fine. In that case, neither would the Norwich City survivors, nor Bevington, nor anyone else for that matter. It was too old for all of them, yet as I keep saying (in my twisted, obsessive manner) ... It was still there. Just because she may not have brought it with her on the Electra, doesn't mean she didn't leave it at the seven site for Ric ands his colleagues to find. I'm not saying she did, but we can't dismiss this possibility out of hand just by dating the thing. We need more information to come to your conclusion.    :)
Raf
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #129 on: August 15, 2012, 04:55:52 PM »

I fully agree with you that the presence of the jar at the seven site does not prove AE's presence there, but my argument is that Don's adamant supposition that the age of the jar discounts this possibility almost entirely is equally mistaken.

Agreed.

It's one thing to say, "We know with certainty that AE could not have brought an old jar to the island."

It's another thing to say, "It seems unlikely that AE would have brought an old jar to the island."  (I'm not convinced it is a 1911 jar, by the way--but I'm going to leave the dating problem to our jar experts.)

Quote
Have we done any research on pre-Norwich City western visitors or shipwrecks in the vicinity? We are talking about a period that was reasonably well documented, if only for political or insurance purposes, from about 1890 to 1929.

My supposition is that visitors to Niku and shipwrecks "in the vicinity" (stuff can drift a long way in the Pacific, so "vicinity" has to be very loosely defined!) are not well-documented.

The Pacific is ringed with nations and ports.  Ships moved around a lot in the early 20th century, with little, if any surveillance.  There is no central authority that would keep records of every departure from all those ports, of every route taken after departure, or of every ship that failed to reach its purported destination.  It's a big ocean and a lot of boats. 

OK--insurance claims might be a way of tracking some shipwrecks.  That seems like a good angle.  But that won't cover yachties who might decide to spend some time on a deserted Pacific island, leaving behind some cosmetics, or flotsam or jetsam from other traffic.
LTM,

           Marty
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #130 on: August 15, 2012, 05:41:27 PM »

Lets stir the pot a little...

 Nice boat with tall mast bump rock... nice boat with tall mast sinks to bottom... captain of nice boat with tall mast escapes with wife... cosmetics float away from nice boat with tall mast... Old bottle of skin cream washes up on shore... airplane crash-lands on shore... occupants disembark... stub toe on skin cream bottle... "Oh look! Just what I need!"... use up skin cream treating sunburn, minor skin abrasions... bottle used for hauling water... funny things swimming in water... boil water to stop funny things from swimming around in water.... fire too hot... water too hot... bottle breaks... time passes... tall man with white hat and small shovel cuts toe on bottle pieces... tall man with white hat brings bottle pieces back... friends tell tall man with white hat that bottle pieces had skin cream on them... other friends find out about bottle pieces... other friends argue about how bottle is too old... too white... too clear... never used... over used... other friends of tall man with white hat and band-aid on toe read what other friends are argueing about and finds it extremely funny... other friends look at big picture of all the stuff tall man with white hat and scar on toe has collected in 20 years and say... maybe!

Brad
Brad

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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #131 on: August 15, 2012, 07:21:35 PM »


You seem to think it is a stretch that of all things that she would bring her freckle cream ashore.  I would suppose she like most women would have a bag of sorts that held ALL of her personal items that she would take with her at her numerous stops around the world to freshen up or what not.  I would also suppose that her freckle cream would be in that bag just as Noonan probably had a shaving kit.  It would also contain her compact, rougue, etc.


I was being whimsical.

However it doesn't alter the fact that the dating of both the jar itself and the date of its deposition at the site are from an archaeological perspective unknown. There is no reliable relative dating and no certain date as to its arrival. Simply put it could have arrived at the island anytime from when the jar was first manufactured up until the time it was actually found by TIGHAR. Therefore any relationship to the hypothetical presence of Earhart and Noonan has to be determined by direct evidence linking it to them. So far that has not been achieved.   
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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #132 on: August 15, 2012, 09:26:51 PM »

Mercury was found mainly in the freckle creams and skin bleaches ( correct me if there are other candidates).

Not correcting, just adding . . . the 1934 publication Modern Cosmetics gives common formulas for a wide variety of cosmetic products.  It shows three product categories that were sometimes formulated with mercury compounds:  (1) Acne, Blackhead, and Eczema Creams; (2) Bleaching Creams/Lotions; and (3) Freckle Creams/Lotions.  I am pleased to see that the author did take pains to point out the toxicity of mercury.  (I am less pleased to imagine that similar publications from the decades prior to the '30's might well have offered additional uses for mercury and/or been less forthcoming about the warnings.)
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #133 on: August 16, 2012, 07:55:18 AM »

... It was still there. Just because she may not have brought it with her on the Electra, doesn't mean she didn't leave it at the seven site for Ric ands his colleagues to find. I'm not saying she did, but we can't dismiss this possibility out of hand just by dating the thing.

Think about what you just said. "just because she may not have brought it with her on the electra doesnt mean she didn't leave it at the seven site"

Talk about reaching.
So AE may have found an old bottle after she landed, and then she may have used this old bottle or touched it, so we cannot discount a link to her. Holy cow!
I guess if TIGHAR finds ANY old object dated pre WWI on the island we can say it's possibly linked to AE. That is what you are saying. If they find a 1600 spanish anchor, well AE may have used it by drying her shirt on it!
Find a pair of civil war era shoes? Well Amelia may have found those shoes on the island and wore them around a bit!
This is just ridiculous and shows the lenght some will go to support a hypothesis.
Instead of admitting the obvious, that if this cream jar was made in 1905, however it got here, whether an old fisherman or just sea trash washed up, the probability is it has nothing to do with AE.
That is the most logical conclusion.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 08:01:39 AM by dave burrell »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #134 on: August 16, 2012, 08:35:10 AM »

... if this cream jar was made in 1905, however it got here, whether an old fisherman or just sea trash washed up, the probability is it has nothing to do with AE.
That is the most logical conclusion.

I agree with your assessment of the probabilities--if you are correct that the jar could not have been produced later than 1905.

What the other poster has been saying is that the 1905 jar (if it is a 1905 jar) ended up in a very strange part of the world, which shows that something highly improbable actually happened.

"Improbable" never means "impossible."  It is illogical--actually, it is a logical error--to change the meaning of a word in the middle of an argument.  It's called "equivocation."  When all is said and done, it is logically correct to say that there are two tenable positions:
  • It is unlikely that the pieces of the jar support the Niku hypothesis.
  • It is possible that the pieces of the jar are consistent with the Niku hypothesis.
LTM,

           Marty
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