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Author Topic: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream  (Read 405760 times)

Randy Conrad

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #150 on: August 19, 2012, 06:16:00 AM »

For those of you who have read my latest post, that includes Alan and Dave...  I also ran across the same ad with the same jars in the same type of magazine in December 1919. So I'm not trying to snub someone into the ground on this...but very confused as to where the clear jar comes into effect. However, help me out on this endeavor...but I'm starting to believe that this jar in the beginning for a period of years was only "lined" with milk glass. Kinda of like dipped chocolate strawberries or something. Anyway, I also think that at some point in time that Hazel-Atlas might have been stealing someone's invention on the milk glass. Cause, why would you "patent" a milk glass jar when its already been invented by Ponds Cold Cream years before!! Doesn't make sense. Anyway, I'm now believing that this jar was only lined and what happened with fire and time is the thing became clear. Help me out on this please!!!!
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #151 on: August 19, 2012, 07:34:25 AM »


The History and Origin of Milk Glass

Although milk glass came from the 1500’s, the term ‘milk glass’ did not actually come into play until relatively recently. During the 19th century glass makers referred to milk glass as ‘opaque glass’ and was still considered a luxury item and a great collectable.

During the early 20th century, also known as the American Gilded Age, milk glass was synonymous with the cultural prosperity of the wealthy American culture. Milk glass made in the Gilded Age still remains some of the best ever made. It is known for the delicacy and elegance and were often seen on dressers and shelf tops in upper-class American homes.


However, during the 1930’s, milk glass made during the Depression was considered less elegant and delicate and more a production of the harsh times. Because of this, milk glass made during the 1930’s and 1940’s is often considered of lesser quality.

Could it be that the Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream jar that TIGHAR has is one of lesser quality and is more opaque than milk colored.  It looks like that to me imo.  Not all milk glass is pure white.  Some have a milky cast as in this Depression era milk glass creamer.
Doc
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« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 07:40:57 AM by Bob Lanz »
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #152 on: August 19, 2012, 11:09:17 AM »

Well I suggested that perhaps it was once more opaque and Ric said he talked with collectors who said that Milk glass would not turn clear. Never mentioned there were other milk glass examples that were practically clear to begin with. Case closed, and the reason we have all been looking for clear glass. Have we all been looking for a clear jar that never existed? Maybe.

So it appears this jar was either a very early pre WWI example or Ric's advice from collectors was incorrect, and it indeed faded to clear (maybe after being mostly clear to begin with). In fact one chemist on another article suggested just that. That milk glass made of tin and antimony would probably change color if heated in a fire pit.
I don't know. I am not a chemist, nor have I conducted heat tests on milk glass.
But I think it should have been done.

 I think that is the only option left if this is to be a relevant artifact dated to the right period. Either it was weak milk glass that turned clear and could have been Earharts, or it was clear glass all along, and has no connection with Earhart as the bottle would be too old.

I do find these announcements made to the press too early to be concerning. For instance when it was first found, all newspaper articles said Dr.Berrys was the ONLY glass found that matched this jar. The implications was there. This was a Dr. Berrys. There was no mention of 6 other products. I didn't find that on any press release by any news agencies. I found that information here and by doing some quick googling in a week.

As late as last month, newspaper reports said that not only did this product match Dr.Berrys', it was the ONLY item found that contained mercury.
Again not true. I brought up Velvetine which was a skin lightener, and skin lighteners contained mercury. Same jar style, shape and size and also opaque. Yet There is Breaking news, right now on this site, from Mr.Cerniglia that Dr.Berrys was the ONLY product that used this jar and contained Mercury. NOT TRUE!  I am not sure if the theory is if it's repeated long enough it makes it true. How many times has he told this to some gullible reporter? How many news stories have been done stating the same.
So the Mr C. is to this day putting out incorrect information in press releases and interviews possibly. Not good.

In the beginning of this thread it was suggested that the example be tested for mercury on any residue remaining. Ric said there was no residue to test for mercury.
So there is no residue, but finally 2 years later the glass is tested for mercury? If there is no residue, how can the glass itself show mercury?
Glass in inert, and I do not believe it absorbs the surrounding elements.
But it took all this time to test it?
And it was tested by a guy who just happened to hear the story and took it upon himself to do some testing?
I understand budget constraints, but seems like the artifact evidence is being analyzed haphazardly, if at all, some by volunteers who happen to read a news story. Some by Tighar forum members.

I think all the science should be done professionally, and an exhaustive search done for any clear bottles, also testing to find whether an opaque bottle heated to near red changes color(not just relying on the word of a glass collector), and finally any other known examples shared with the public as well.
Like I said, I understand budget constraints, this is being done on a shoestring compared to the navy sponsoring Dr.Ballard,  but It took Joe.C two years to find the above ad from National Druggist in 1921 that this jar was produced in opaque only?
I have been looking at jars for a week and found these same references in Google books.
So not to discredit Mr.Cerniglias work, he is probably working for nothing, but a lot of press releases were made that this was the only bottle found that matched this shape, now it's released to the public, Dr.Berrys was the only bottle found of this shape that had mercury.
It seems like folks wanted to believe something and released it as news, because neither of those press releases were exactly correct.
Now, like the movie JFK, the internet stories have been done with an incorrect version of the truth. you can't take it back. There are a lot of people out there who think that absolutely a mercury containing freckle cream from Dr.Berrys has been found with an exact bottle that matched the time of the flight.
Not proven. Do the science right, take your time, then do the press release.
Just my opinion and probably not a popular one, so shoot away.
I still believe Gardner is it based on the radio transmits, but this glass stuff was put out way too early before testing and exhaustive archive research and it creates a perception that may be invalid, and once that perception is put out there by NBC, CNN, Discovery, its tough to modify it.
Otherwise, if new information does come up, it looks like Tighar wasnt professional or thorough enough and raises credibility doubts.
(Not from me I hasten to add, but there are rumblings out there even Ric  and Tighar members are keenly aware of).
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 12:21:04 PM by dave burrell »
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #153 on: August 19, 2012, 02:11:56 PM »

Dave...the ad with the opal jar came from my searching. Please don't discredit Joe for this finding. We as members are all trying to come up with solutions to these findings. Its taken TIGHAR and Ric, Monte, Thomas King, and a whole list of others almost twenty years of searching. Its taken countless hours and days to get to this island. So you have to understand, this jar is a gem, a treasure, or something of significance. Its not like we found it in a Walmart sack on the beach or wherever. I hope you realize our intentions. You also have to step back and see the big picture. That includes the hypothesis photo of the landing gear. If tonight, or whenever we see the big show we will know one way or another if we're headed in the right direction. As for your views, I am very understanding, and understand too that alot of this don't make much sense. But, alot was done differently in that time and age. So, as for Joe, please don't discredit his image or anyone's  image on the forum. Alot of people have put alot of time into this endeavor. Thanks!!!
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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #154 on: August 19, 2012, 02:23:17 PM »

The discussion is already moving past this, but here's a little more info.  First, thanks to Randy for the excellent clue in Reply 175 that "The National Druggist" (TND) was one publication in which Hazel-Atlas (HA) regularly advertised.  There are additional issues of TND available online . . .

It backs up other references I found to 1922 those jars being white, and 1926 also being white. This ad backs it even further up to 1921 being white ONLY.
So like I said, the clear jar was LIKELY made in the teens, probably 20 years easily before Earhart could have landed there.
This might be a good time for you to visit Vegas, it appears 20 years may be exactly right.  HA's ads for 1920, 1919, and 1918 are identical to the one Randy showed for 1921.  Additionally, with a clearer view, I take back what I previously said about a different jar number, the jar of interest is indeed labeled as No. 1995.  The first attachment below is from TND Vol. 48 for 1918.

There is no HA ad in the 1917 issue of TND.  However, for 1916 and earlier the ad is significantly different.  Significantly in that instead of "Opal Glass Only" we find "Opal, Flint, and Amber Glass".  (Flint glass is a high-quality clear glass.)  Also the "No. 1995" jar is not shown, but I don't attach any particular significance to that.  The second attachment below is from TND Vol. 46 for 1916.  Earlier years, such as 1914, have the same ad.

So the cut-off for clear jars appears to be right about 1917.  To be objective, I have not personally found/seen ads for every later year up to 1937, so I can't prove they didn't suddenly return to clear glass in, say, 1932 or something.  But in my opinion the likelihood is very high that, if the artifact jar was originally clear and has not "faded", it was manufactured before 1918.  Re the "fading", I am not a chemist, but from what little I've read it sounds like the additives used to produce Flint and Opal glass, respectively, are sufficiently distinct to be identified by analysis.

As a reminder, the data we have coming from the "Dr. Berry's" end of the problem is that that specific Freckle Cream came in jars in the shape of HA No. 1995 until 1933, and was in jars of a completely different shape by 1936.

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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #155 on: August 19, 2012, 04:02:55 PM »

I also think that at some point in time that Hazel-Atlas might have been stealing someone's invention on the milk glass. Cause, why would you "patent" a milk glass jar when its already been invented by Ponds Cold Cream years before!!

I rather think the patent issue may not be very relevant.  From a cursory look around the web, basic opal glass (or milk glass) was first developed in Venice in the 16th century.  It was also developed in China (to imitate porcelain) at an unknown date but probably even much earlier than that.  The patents probably pertain either to alternate chemical additives newly discovered to produce the desired opaque effect; or to special decorative embellishments, as I believe was mentioned by Dave.  As a piece of trivia, the specific name "milk glass" is much more recent than the product and has been traced back to 1869.
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #156 on: August 19, 2012, 04:14:39 PM »

The discussion is already moving past this, but here's a little more info.  First, thanks to Randy for the excellent clue in Reply 175 that "The National Druggist" (TND) was one publication in which Hazel-Atlas (HA) regularly advertised.  There are additional issues of TND available online . . .

It backs up other references I found to 1922 those jars being white, and 1926 also being white. This ad backs it even further up to 1921 being white ONLY.
So like I said, the clear jar was LIKELY made in the teens, probably 20 years easily before Earhart could have landed there.
This might be a good time for you to visit Vegas, it appears 20 years may be exactly right.  HA's ads for 1920, 1919, and 1918 are identical to the one Randy showed for 1921.  Additionally, with a clearer view, I take back what I previously said about a different jar number, the jar of interest is indeed labeled as No. 1995.  The first attachment below is from TND Vol. 48 for 1918.

There is no HA ad in the 1917 issue of TND.  However, for 1916 and earlier the ad is significantly different.  Significantly in that instead of "Opal Glass Only" we find "Opal, Flint, and Amber Glass".  (Flint glass is a high-quality clear glass.)  Also the "No. 1995" jar is not shown, but I don't attach any particular significance to that.  The second attachment below is from TND Vol. 46 for 1916.  Earlier years, such as 1914, have the same ad.

So the cut-off for clear jars appears to be right about 1917.  To be objective, I have not personally found/seen ads for every later year up to 1937, so I can't prove they didn't suddenly return to clear glass in, say, 1932 or something.  But in my opinion the likelihood is very high that, if the artifact jar was originally clear and has not "faded", it was manufactured before 1918.  Re the "fading", I am not a chemist, but from what little I've read it sounds like the additives used to produce Flint and Opal glass, respectively, are sufficiently distinct to be identified by analysis.

As a reminder, the data we have coming from the "Dr. Berry's" end of the problem is that that specific Freckle Cream came in jars in the shape of HA No. 1995 until 1933, and was in jars of a completely different shape by 1936.

First of all Alan great work. YOU did it. And Randy as well. 1917 would put it right where I originally estimated, 1915 to 1920. If what you have found is correct, and this jar number was in Flint glass for 1917, YOU HAVE YOUR DATE.
I got lucky, but it was educated guesswork, looking at catalogs for Hazel and finding only Opaque jars in the mid 20's.

And Randy, I am in no way putting down Mr.C's work. I understand he is not in this for fame or fortune. Unfortunately There are a lot of people worldwide that now believe this was Mrs.Earhart's freckle cream jar. It appears that would not be the case unless the viewer is determinely stubborn to make this jar fit. I wish the press releases would have been held back until all the evidence of its manufacture was done. But what is done is done. Maybe a retraction would be in order...

So I understand the big picture, and wish the best for the success of Tighar and all it's contributers, and I am very glad this artifacts provenance has finally been identified. Now onto the plane....
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 04:35:08 PM by dave burrell »
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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #157 on: August 19, 2012, 04:50:46 PM »

Thank you.  Not technically "armchair" work, it was "computer chair" work, i.e. still not in any way comparable to people risking dehydration, sunstroke, drowning, attack by sharks and giant crabs, etc.  So no big deal.

I also meant to remark in that post that the production of clear jars until 1917 overlaps the 1915 date that Mark found for European distribution, so that alternate route for the jar to have reached Niku is still open for consideration.
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #158 on: August 19, 2012, 06:10:18 PM »

When all the discussion is done it remains that the freckle cream jar, if indeed that's what it is, still has no proven provenance to Earhart except that once she is recorded as saying that she didn't like her freckles. Now while TIGHAR may not have encouraged the media's take on the issue this jar now is being billed as Earhart's with only a few obligatory caveats just to make it look like the reporters are being cautious. I am amazed that any organization would allow this story to have developed to this point because the truth is that the over-hyped media attention is making TIGHAR look faintly ridiculous. Mercury in the form of calomel (mercury chloride) was widely used in the many medicines and creams for treating everything from freckles, to whiten teeth, to stop bleeding, as a disinfectant, a laxative and as a widespread treatment for syphilis. It's purported presence in a jar found on Nikumaroro means very little given just how common its presence in patent and other medical products was. It comes back to demonstrating that Earhart used Berry's cream, demonstrating that she had it on the flight and also demonstrating that a patent medicine containing mercury which was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century could not have found it's way to the island by any other means and importantly in the form of a medicine that was not intended for use other than treating Earhart's freckles.
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #159 on: August 20, 2012, 12:11:27 AM »

When all the discussion is done it remains that the freckle cream jar, if indeed that's what it is, still has no proven provenance to Earhart except that once she is recorded as saying that she didn't like her freckles. Now while TIGHAR may not have encouraged the media's take on the issue this jar now is being billed as Earhart's with only a few obligatory caveats just to make it look like the reporters are being cautious. I am amazed that any organization would allow this story to have developed to this point because the truth is that the over-hyped media attention is making TIGHAR look faintly ridiculous. Mercury in the form of calomel (mercury chloride) was widely used in the many medicines and creams for treating everything from freckles, to whiten teeth, to stop bleeding, as a disinfectant, a laxative and as a widespread treatment for syphilis. It's purported presence in a jar found on Nikumaroro means very little given just how common its presence in patent and other medical products was. It comes back to demonstrating that Earhart used Berry's cream, demonstrating that she had it on the flight and also demonstrating that a patent medicine containing mercury which was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century could not have found it's way to the island by any other means and importantly in the form of a medicine that was not intended for use other than treating Earhart's freckles.

The jar's presence means even less now that we know it was made before 1918. She didn't carry 20 year old cream with her. Or else she used very small dabs for two decades to make it last.  :)
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #160 on: August 20, 2012, 03:51:55 PM »

In reference to posts by Dave and Alan, found very interesting as to the "Flint" glass and jar No# 1995. If indeed this a special type of glass per say, such as flint or otherwise known today as "Lead Crystal". Wouldn't the scientists be able to conduct a ringtone test on the top of the jar. As I was searching references to Flint Glass I stumbled upon the fact that we now call it lead crystal today! So it would definately be interesting if Jeff would do this test or see if it can be done. Also, did a little test of my own and thought of something not thought of. But, let's say this was just anyones jar...and they were castaways...how long do you think the cream would last under those extreme temperatures. I found an old cream jar at the same antique store I found the box and set the contents inside on fire. The cream definately burned, but also turned everything to oil. Eventually, overtime, with heat and water and etc, the contents wouldn't last long! So, I'm believing that this jar wouldn't be a surviving mechanism if needed to be. If the pictures of temperatures on Niku are right, then there is no way that this cream could even survive. Just the jar!
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #161 on: August 20, 2012, 05:50:34 PM »

To be objective, I have not personally found/seen ads for every later year up to 1937, so I can't prove they didn't suddenly return to clear glass in, say, 1932 or something.

Fair comment

Also, people keep and use containers for other uses after the product in them runs out.
If you are traveling light, small used containers like this little jar are a good choice to store supplies of any other product that may have been available only in a bigger container. It saves weight and space.
3971R
 
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #162 on: August 20, 2012, 06:08:15 PM »

In reference to posts by Dave and Alan, found very interesting as to the "Flint" glass and jar No# 1995. If indeed this a special type of glass per say, such as flint or otherwise known today as "Lead Crystal". Wouldn't the scientists be able to conduct a ringtone test on the top of the jar. As I was searching references to Flint Glass I stumbled upon the fact that we now call it lead crystal today! So it would definately be interesting if Jeff would do this test or see if it can be done. Also, did a little test of my own and thought of something not thought of. But, let's say this was just anyones jar...and they were castaways...how long do you think the cream would last under those extreme temperatures. I found an old cream jar at the same antique store I found the box and set the contents inside on fire. The cream definately burned, but also turned everything to oil. Eventually, overtime, with heat and water and etc, the contents wouldn't last long! So, I'm believing that this jar wouldn't be a surviving mechanism if needed to be. If the pictures of temperatures on Niku are right, then there is no way that this cream could even survive. Just the jar!

Kind of lost me Randy with burning of the cream test. Are you saying that the freckle cream would melt in the heat and only the jar would be left? I guess so.
As far as the Lead crystal association, I am pretty sure they had an ancient connection, but haven't in a hundred or more years. Flint glass for the last hundred years is just basically clear glass which may have different amounts of silica or other elements, but no lead.
So when the catalog said this jar was offered in flint glass, it just means clear. Nothing more really. It's not lead crystal.
And When their catalog says offered in Opal, it means white.(or milkglass if you prefer)
Therefore we are back to the reference Alan found. It clearly states that flint(clear) glass was last offered in 1917 in this style ointment jar.

That is evidence, not theory, and not my personal opinion.
It's just the facts found by hours of research. Same as any evidence.
I found some good leads that opal was the primary glass used by 1921.
But couldn't date it past then.
Alan found hard evidence this jar in clear was not made after 1917.
Everything else about it, even what it contained, is pretty irrelevant once you accept that Hazel Atlas said this recovered clear jar was last produced in 1917.

Now could AE have used the jar for her earrings? Yes, I suppose so. But I thought the whole reason we were attaching such weight to it was she had freckles, this was freckle cream, Womans ect?
So yes we can reach a bit and still try to tie this to AE, despite the manufacturers date, by saying she may have kept her rings in a 20 year old jar.

Or it could be a jar dumped with tons of other trash off a passenger liner or boat back in 1918 and it washed up on Niku beach during a storm.
For each to decide I suppose.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 06:14:31 PM by dave burrell »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #163 on: August 20, 2012, 08:00:24 PM »

What's interesting to me is that if this is true, it creates an even bigger mystery...who left it there then?  Too early for AE (1937), too early for Norwich City (1929), too late for Arundel (1892).  I'm not 100% sure that we've heard the last of the dating of the jar question, but assuming this holds, it raises even more questions.  Assuming the castaway theory is correct (and I personally think the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor, not just the ground in situ but taken with what Gallagher described) is the castaway someone else who died on the island during or just after World War I?  If so, who? 
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dave burrell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #164 on: August 21, 2012, 07:59:02 AM »

Adam, nobody may have left it. The ocean is full of trash.
As far as not hearing the last of the dating you are correct.
Someone will try to poke holes in it and may find other evidence trails.
  We are never going to get a signed affadavit from hazel atlas glass saying this jar was produced on this date.
We can only go with the evidence we have.
The best evidence at the moment says 1916-1917 was the latest this jar could have been made.
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