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Author Topic: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream  (Read 408311 times)

Randy Conrad

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #315 on: October 04, 2012, 09:33:24 PM »

Richie...I don't think so. I believe the one Joe was telling me about was on the www.worthpoint.com website!!!  According to this website, the jar actually has freckle cream still in it!!!
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #316 on: October 04, 2012, 10:54:09 PM »

Richie...I don't think so. I believe the one Joe was telling me about was on the www.worthpoint.com website!!!  According to this website, the jar actually has freckle cream still in it!!!

The jars you and I have collected, Randy, are different.

Joe Cerniglia
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #317 on: October 04, 2012, 11:45:51 PM »

Several nights ago, I stumbled upon a website, which I believe may solve this riddle as to the infamous jar found on Niku; if indeed it really belongs to Amelia. In reference to a Wikipedia discussion page, I firmly believe now that Amelia never used to treat her freckles with freckle cream, but to treat blemishes caused from the surgical procedures she had over the years when she suffered from chronic sinusitis. If most of you will look back in history over pages of photographs you might notice that its very hard to notice a picture of her with freckles. Most of them have a fine white tint to her complexion. Was she using freckle cream at the time? Maybe...maybe not! Anyway, according to the link on wikipedia, Amelia had been plaqued with sinusitis for most of her life. So here are some questions we could ask in reference to this .......

1. Did Amelia seek employment with Dr. C.H. Berry when her sister and mother moved to Chicago in 1914, while Amelia was completing high school?

2. As a nurse's aide at the Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto, Canada while visiting her sister Muriel, (while suffering from sinus problems) was Amelia aware of the ointment at that time?

3. When Amelia moved with her mother to Boston, and went on to Columbia University to study medicine...was she aware of the ointment then?

4. With her knowledge with Chemistry and Pharmacy and Nursing...would you say that she had the freckle cream on board, along with the other bottles? Did she use these for her flying laboratory?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 08:16:37 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #318 on: October 05, 2012, 05:43:15 AM »

That's some very interesting research, Randy...I may have something interesting in my files on this.  Let me look into it and see if I can suggest possible angles worth pursuing further.

I've had recent discussions with a few of our EPAC researchers in which we were pondering how Earhart's freckles do not seem to match up from one photo to the next.  This may be an indication that she was using cosmetics such as rouge at various times to conceal them.

Attached is the best image I have found of Earhart's freckles.

Best,

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #319 on: October 05, 2012, 07:17:39 AM »

-----
Hello all.  I'm having trouble with file attachment limits, so I am sending this post in installments.  The attachments will come separately, one per post.  My apologies if this results in this message posting twice:
-----
In reference to our recent discussion about Campana and Mark Pearce’s outstanding recent research yesterday on Canadian advertisements for Italian Balm aimed toward men (!), I had a chance to go through my files and compile a quick synopsis of the American version of Italian Balm advertisements from the 1930s and 1940s.  Files are attached.

I also have included a brief excerpt about Campana's U.S. markets from the book "Batavia: From The Collection of the Batavia Historical Society."

The U.S. version of the product apparently used a different marketing strategy than Canada's, one that would seem incompatible – from a marketing standpoint –  with a separate U.S. campaign aimed towards men.  (However, I remain open to suggestions to the contrary from this outstanding team!)

Bill Lockhart's preliminary answer to my query on Canadian supply chains is that "Many Canadian firms used bottles made by U.S. glass houses." He has some specific historical files he can check that may provide information on whether Owens Illinois (the maker of the artifact bottle) ever sold bottles like the artifact to Canada.

IF the artifact was purchased by a 1940s Coast Guardsman as a result of an ad aimed toward men, rather than toward women, I think he read that ad in Canada, not the U.S.  I can't find any U.S. ads from 1930-1946 (the probable - but arbitary - time frame I selected, during which owners of a 1933 Campana Italian Balm bottle would have seen them) that were aimed at men, but they might be out there for others to find.

Ric, did any of your research and interviews with surviving members of Loran Unit 92 turn up any U.S. Coast Guardsmen who had lived in Canada?

The ads I've attached provide a cultural context that led me to my original statement that this product was marketed exclusively to women.  I would suggest perhaps that we modify our Research Bulletin to reflect the new exceptions, pending, of course, further research that might modify it further.

The bottles of Skat Repellent with U.S. Patent 85925, which Jeff Carter located, would not seem to match the artifact because - so far as I can tell from these photos - they do not have the distinctive stamp on the bottom that the artifact does. I have, however, placed a question to the eBay seller inquiring about base markings/stamps, so that we might be more certain.

It's possible an insect repellent could have ingredients that might be confused with a hand lotion.  Ric's earliest assessment of this bottle was based on Winterthur scientist Jennifer Mass' conclusion in her lab report, which stated her spectral analysis was "consistent with its having been used as a lotion or skin cream bottle."

I've done a search for ingredients of Skat but have been unable to find any but the active ingredient lists.  It would be interesting if someone could find evidence that insect repellents in the 1930s commonly had things like Tragacanth Gum, lanolin, and rapeseed or linseed oil, because these were the spectrally identified ingredients found on the bottle.  First, however, we really would need a picture of the Skat bottles that shows that distinctive stamp.

I appreciate all the amazing research members are accomplishing here.

Best,

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #320 on: October 05, 2012, 08:30:51 AM »

Here are the attachments I had promised to include in the earlier post but had been unable due to server constraints:

Attachment 1.
File name: Campana Factory.jpg

Excerpt from "Batavia: From the Collection of the Batavia Historical Society" by Jim and Wynette Edwards.  Arcadia Publishing, 2000.

A synopsis of Campana products and Campana Company's target market in the U.S.

Attachment 2.
File name: Campana Life Magazine Feb 15 1943.jpg

This advertisement is typical of American ads I surveyed from the Coast Guard Loran Station era on Nikumaroro.

Attachment 3.
File name: Campana_Skin.jpg

This advertisement would have been typical of a 1930s American ad for Campana products.  The caption is telling.

The contrast with the Canadian ads Mark unearthed is most interesting.

That's all I have for now.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #321 on: October 05, 2012, 10:09:07 AM »

The seller of the Skat confirms the stamp does match 2-8-s-2a in general characteristics.  I've put in a bid.  We may at some point wish to test this by FTIR to see whether it might match the artifact.  I can see from a preliminary web search that lanolin (lanolin alcohol), Tragacanth Gum (as an emulsifier), and linseed oil (natural repellent properties) cannot necessarily be excluded from insect repellents.

This insect repellent angle is the first product I've seen that actually might be an alternative to Campana Italian Balm.  It's problematic to my hypothesis the artifact was Campana Italian Balm in that it apparently had a military first aid kit application.  Most interesting!  We may need to revise the Lotion bulletin in time to include this alternate product.   The other interesting angle, of course, is that I have a line of research suggesting that insect repellents may have been important things to have on the world flight.

Only a test now may tell for sure if this product really is a good match.

I'll be away from emails or posts for the long weekend.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #322 on: October 05, 2012, 10:22:34 AM »

On the other, other hand there are no mosquitoes on Niku.  I don't know exactly how that affects the probability a Coast Guardsman intentionally brought insect repellent there.  He may not have known what to expect in any case.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #323 on: October 05, 2012, 11:15:48 AM »

On the other, other hand there are no mosquitoes on Niku.  I don't know exactly how that affects the probability a Coast Guardsman intentionally brought insect repellent there.  He may not have known what to expect in any case.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078CER

2 oz. insect repellent appears to be part of the standard "Kit, Jungle, Medical, Individual, M-2" which was supposedly "supplied to each soldier fighting in jungle areas".  Would it have been also issued to the Coast Guard?
http://www.med-dept.com/individual_kits.php





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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #324 on: October 06, 2012, 01:37:23 AM »

2 oz. insect repellent appears to be part of the standard "Kit, Jungle, Medical, Individual, M-2" which was supposedly "supplied to each soldier fighting in jungle areas".  Would it have been also issued to the Coast Guard?

The "M-2" kit is no doubt Army.  This 1943 pamphlet issued by the Commander Air Force Pacific Fleet [i.e. Navy] contains guidance for "naval personnel about to go to advanced bases in the South Pacific".  On pages 3 and 20 it confirms the Navy (and perhaps by inference, the Marines) also issued insect repellent.

Quote
Recent correspondence indicates that an insect repellent is being provided for all units in the South Pacific.

Note, however, that this info does not mention "Skat" by name, and of course still doesn't answer your question about the Coast Guard.

Also, for a good, clear 1943 illustration of a Skat bottle, see this eBay ad.  (Interesting that the ad is priced higher than the actual bottle on eBay.)
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Greg George

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #325 on: October 06, 2012, 12:20:46 PM »

Randy Conrad writes:


Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply from Randy Conrad on: October 04, 2012, 11:45:51 PM »

Quote

"I firmly believe now that Amelia never used to treat her freckles with freckle cream, but to treat blemishes caused from the surgical procedures she had over the years when she suffered from chronic sinusitis. "

Randy, I'm a chemist assisting with the project.   This is certainly one possibility.    As you know, mercury has anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, and was sometimes prescribed in skin creams for this purpose.   It is possible that she treated the wound from a small sinus drain tube with the cream.   With her background in chemistry and experience working in the pharmacy, AE would have dispensed many mercury based compounds which were in very common use during the period she was in nursing training.   I have observed elsewhere that mercury vapors, which would be released on enzymatic methylation of the metal by the tissues, are documented to cause sinusitis, as described by a German researcher in 1926:

http://www.stanford.edu/~bcalhoun/stocketcMatsHansen.pdf

If she used the cream, it may have actually exacerbated her sinus troubles.   A more likely purpose in applying the cream, I think, might have been to lighten a scar caused by the sinus drain tube.    Mercury of course inhibits melatonin pigment formation through known pathways and can actually lighten darkened scar tissues.   You make a very good observation that the cream may have had another purpose.

"1. Did Amelia seek employment with Dr. C.H. Berry when her sister and mother moved to Chicago in 1914, while Amelia was completing high school?"

No evidence for this.   The cream was likely manufactured in Aurora, IL for Berry.   The cream was available throughout the country including other locations AE frequented, such as Albequerque.

"2. As a nurse's aide at the Spadina Military Hospital in Toronto, Canada while visiting her sister Muriel, (while suffering from sinus problems) was Amelia aware of the ointment at that time?"

See above.   It is doubtless that many mercury-based drugs were dispensed at this time, and AE worked in the pharmacy.

"3. When Amelia moved with her mother to Boston, and went on to Columbia University to study medicine...was she aware of the ointment then?"

Berry's President had set up major operations in New York by this time.   The cream was in fairly widespread use, and there were many competitor's products with similar formulations.

"4. With her knowledge with Chemistry and Pharmacy and Nursing...would you say that she had the freckle cream on board, along with the other bottles? Did she use these for her flying laboratory?"

Its not clear what kind of experiments she would be doing.   Having access to the best medical care of the day, it seems unlikely she would experiment on herself.   She may well have been advised to use the cream, as you suggest, for its medicinal properties, or as I have suggested in order to lighten scar tissue.   The effects of mercury medicines were very well understood by this time, including toxicity, which was regarded as a manageable side-effect.    The use of the cream to treat freckles still seems a good bet for AE.

- Greg G.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 04:24:57 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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richie conroy

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #326 on: October 06, 2012, 07:53:27 PM »

Hi All

Gary's thread about Earhart pistol, On the link, There is an article near the bottom of newspaper with an interview with Noonans wife and it say's she owned a beauty parlor is that correct ?

If so surly she would know what cosmetics Earhart carried with her an there use.

Have Tighar Interviewed Noonan's wife ? 
We are an echo of the past


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #327 on: October 06, 2012, 08:19:50 PM »

Hi All

Gary's thread about Earhart pistol, On the link, There is an article near the bottom of newspaper with an interview with Noonans wife and it say's she owned a beauty parlor is that correct ?

If so surly she would know what cosmetics Earhart carried with her an there use.

Have Tighar Interviewed Noonan's wife ?

Mary Bea was Fred's second wife. They were married in April 1937 while the airplane was being repaired. She ran a beauty parlor in Oakland. I know of no reason to think she knew much of anything about Amelia.
Mary Bea died long before TIGHAR was founded.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #328 on: October 07, 2012, 10:29:30 AM »

I have some new information about Skat Insect Repellent that may be of interest.  According to a registration with the Canadian Patent Office, Skat's earliest use date was September 29, 1942.
http://books.google.com/books?id=btUnc0c7_AoC&q=skat+insect+repellent+1937&dq=skat+insect+repellent+1937&source=bl&ots=eohK9RWM9W&sig=FiCtHDny1AdNRhpNRKqCLJgzD34&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bPVwUJPcOqep0AHL34CwCg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAQ

This information is consistent with the August 9th, 1943 edition of Life Magazine, which states that Skat was then a "new insect repellent" for troops that would soon be but was not yet available to regular consumers.

http://books.google.com/books?id=T1AEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=skat+insect+repellent+first+introduced+in&source=bl&ots=9WhqAtv1sk&sig=jBASaehLBVFz4oFOuNVXuvTAvVY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HfZwUJGuH6230gGpyIHoCQ&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=skat%20insect%20repellent%20first%20introduced%20in&f=false

The bottle of Skat for sale on eBay is dated with a "3" for the year code on the base of the bottle.  The seller informed me this morning that his bottle of Skat, which is labeled in such a way as to suggest it was for troop use (mentions uniforms), has a period after the numeral 3, which means, according to a rule that has been established by TIGHAR's bottle expert Bill Lockhart, that the bottle dates to 1943. 

The Niku bottle also has a 3 on its base but no period afterward (again, according to Bill's rule concerning periods). It therefore dates to 1933.  What this tells me is that for the Niku bottle to be a bottle of Skat, it would have to have been filled 10 years after it rolled off the line in 1933 Bridgeton, New Jersey.  That seems possible but unlikely. It also helps confirm that Bill's "period rule" should be reliable for dating these Owens-Illinois bottles. (The rule applies only to Owens-Illinois bottles, of which the artifact, and Skat, are examples.)

In many other ways, I can see a high potential for confusing Skat with the artifact bottle.  Both bottles have the Bridgeton, New Jersey factory code of 14.  That's one mighty coincidence. If the period had not been on that Skat bottle, I would have had serious doubts about whether in fact the Niku bottle might not really be a bottle of Skat.  But the period resolves my doubts. 

I would maintain the Niku bottle, 2-8-s-2a, is not a bottle of Skat.

Joe Cerniglia
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #329 on: October 07, 2012, 11:40:52 AM »

Did you win the auction? 
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