Advanced search  
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Down

Author Topic: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)  (Read 99964 times)

Mark Pearce

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 163
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2014, 01:42:44 PM »


A quick search on the internet indicates that Gum Tragacanth was an ingredient in some after-shaves in the days when pharmacists made after-shave at the store using formulas in druggist trade publications and books...
 

Thanks Steve.  Here is clear evidence Gum Tragacanth was also an ingredient in some insect repellents as I proposed earlier.

http://www.google.com/patents/US2404698

INSECT REPELLENT COMPOSITION
US Patent Office, #2404698 A
Filing date Jan 4, 1945

"...Insect repellent compositions presently available are widely used with considerable effectiveness, especially in combating various types of mosquitoes. Great quantities of these materials are used by the armed forces operating in tropical zones where mosquito control is particularly imperative. These compositions are generally employed in liquid form. In this form,  however, they are characterized by a serious defect in that the period of effectiveness is too short.  Ordinarily the liquid repellent compositions are effective for less than 3 hours. Application, handing and shipping, wastage and undesirable stickiness also suggest the need for improvements in such products. Attempts have been made to prolong the effective period by additive ingredients designed to retard the volatilization rate of the active repellent components. Partial success has been achieved by preparing the compositions as emulsions or gels which may include, water soluble colloids such as gum tragacanth, waxes, oils and cellulose esters. However, previous products of this type are objectionable because of the large amounts of additive ingredients required to form gels and because of appearance, excessive dirt collection, stickiness, oiliness, or instability during extended storage or at high temperatures where there is a tendency to liquefy or at low temperatures where there may be a tendency to crystallize...


Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2014, 02:24:51 PM »


For all who wish to challenge the hypothesis that Artifact 2-8-S-2a contained Campana Italian Balm -  Joe Cerniglia has identified a product that matches everything we know about the artifact and its contents.  When you have done the same for an alternative product go ahead and make your case.  If it's as good as the case Joe has made we'll post it.  Until then, the moderators will not be approving your postings.  We have no desire to stifle legitimate review but the criticisms have degenerated into trollism. 
To assist you in doing meaningful research, I'll ask Joe to list the requirements for a viable alternative source for Artifact 2-8-S-2a.
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2014, 04:57:47 PM »

To assist you in doing meaningful research, I'll ask Joe to list the requirements for a viable alternative source for Artifact 2-8-S-2a.

Here is what the diploma should say:  ;D :D

Hear ye.  Hear ye.  Be it known by these presents that researcher [fill in your name here] has completed satisfactorily all the requirements of TIGHAR for presenting a candidate sibling for artifact 2-8-S-2a and has demonstrated knowledge of what these requirements are:

The product is contained in an imperial oblong bottle in the style of Edwin Fuerst's Jan. 5, 1932 patent, and the bottle has been so designated as an example of this patent by virtue of the patent number 85925 present on the bottom of the bottle.

The product has the maker's mark, plant code, date code and mold number in the same configuration as on the artifact bottle on the bottom of the bottle.

FTIR results (or any other suitable experiment you can design) from the contents of alleged sibling bottle have been shown by an ISO-accredited lab to be consistent with Tragacanth Gum.

Helpful but not required:
An ingredient list from an authoritative published source, as proximate in time to the 1930s or 1940s as can be found, that names Tragacanth as contained in the exact same sibling product, and specifically names that product by maker and brand name.

Labeling on the product bottle itself that states Tragacanth was present.

Done in the town of Oxford, PA, I, Ric Gillespie do affix my signature and the seal of TIGHAR on this date [insert date here].

(Church bells peal; crowds rejoice, etc., etc.)  ;)

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2014, 04:58:36 PM »

BTW, I admire the Tragacanth research above.  However, we must keep in mind two points.
First, a patent does not necessarily indicate a product from that patent was ever produced, much less sold.   There are many patents that propose inventions and innovations that never make it to market.

Second, the finding above from a printed source that Campana regretted World War II shortages for Tragacanth ("one ingredient from Persia") that kept Italian Balm off the market ("there was no Italian Balm to be sold because Campana refused to use substitutes") IS significant, I believe.  Moreover, this type of shortage would affect EVERY wartime product that used Tragacanth, including mosquito repellents, if any.

There seems to be evidence the wartime shortage of the ingredient - Tragacanth - that was found clinging to the artifact bottle  - was real:
From Perfumery and Essential Oil Record, Volume 34, 1943
"The shortage of tragacanth has impelled reformulation problems not only in the field of cosmetics but also in the pharmaceutical industry."

It's looking a bit tougher to put tragacanth - of ANY kind - into the hands of the Coasties.  If Iran raised its prices to astronomical levels, which it seems they did, there was no profit in selling this product during the war years. 
"Prices of exports — carpets, dried fruits, lambskins and furs, gum tragacanth, leather and hides and wool — have been rising, while prices of imports have been falling." The Economist, Volume 151, p. 72, 1946

Of course, you could always ascribe such a bottle - if it existed - to the colonists, who lived there before the shortage, but then again, wouldn't the colonists have known well in advance of going to Nikumaroro that there are no mosquitoes there?

From Chemical Industries, Volume 59, page 742, 1946:
"No shipments of tragacanth have left the Persian Gulf for some months, and unless shipments reach the U. S. before the end of the year an acute shortage is in prospect."

Of course, no door has been shut for certain.  As Bill Lockhart once told me,
"Several times, in our research, the Bottle Research Group has accused me of the absurd, going off the deep end, positing something that is too extreme to be seriously considered.  A remarkable number of times, the strange and unlikely has proven to be correct -- once we were willing to entertain it.
 
This does not mean that I support spending an enormous amount of time and money chasing will-o-the-whisps through swamps -- but we should at least look to see if one of them really IS the answer."

That's my approach as well.

The bottom line is we have heard the proposals for hypothetical bottles that COULD have existed.  And make no mistake about it: They could have existed and still might be found.  In my observation, however, we have only one sibling that we actually have IN HAND with the specifications listed.
 

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C

 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 04:49:55 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2014, 05:58:39 PM »

*thumbs up to Ric* When the presentation of evidence degenerates into a "Got ya last!" contest, it's time to regroup and remember why (most) we're here.

LTM, who finds dry paint really interesting right now,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2014, 04:24:15 AM »

I removed Steve Lee's post that Joe replied to because it does not meet the standard I set for further discussion of this topic.
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2014, 05:46:22 AM »

A little perspective may be in order here to re-focus the thinking.  Ric has known and has said rightly, and I agree, that 2-8-S-2a is not going to solve the mystery on its own, or even in its context, compelling as the artifact may be to some, contentious as it may be to others.  At most it can stimulate discussion and interest in going after the things that WILL solve the mystery - such as finding the airplane, a future "smoking-gun artifact" from the Seven Site, or a mitochondrial DNA match to bone fragments found on Nikumaroro, or perhaps someday, in Fiji.  And this is no small thing when you consider how small this bottle is.  But perspective is in order: You could procure a notarized inventory of the Electra's contents at Lae with Italian Balm on it, and it still wouldn't solve the mystery.  (The critics would say "everyone and his brother had one," and you don't know that Earhart wound up on Nikumaroro to deposit it anyway.) You could invoke scientific tests that match the bottle to within 99.99% certainty to Italian Balm, and excludes all other brands and products, and it still wouldn't solve the mystery.  (It still doesn't prove it was Earhart's and that she brought it to Niku.)  You could prove very little of Tragacanth made it into the U.S. from 1942-1946, and it still wouldn't solve the mystery. (Critics would say that a few bottles made it to market and a Coastie brought it as part of a shaving kit.)   And they wouldn't be wrong for invoking these things, if the purpose of 2-8-S-2a was to solve the mystery.   

But it's not.  The purpose is to build the superstructure of circumstantial evidence, if possible, and always - always - to keep context in mind.   Archaeology accepts all kinds of context, discriminating against none.   Read up on the radio messages, Gallagher's correspondence, other artifacts, what the Navy thought and said during the initial search, and on and on.

I still think that further comparisons to any other bottles - IF they are found - would be of value to see whether this tells us about whether this piece of evidence is or is not as strong as we think it is.  So far those bottles have not come to light, and we have looked extensively and so have the critics.

One further point I would like to refine on the "diploma" stipulation above is that the materials scientists know how to interpret their results, so IF another sibling bottle were to be located, and IF that bottle had testable material, they would not base their interpretations and conclusions on whether or not the sibling contained Tragacanth, but rather on whether it contained functional chemical groups that are consistent with the FTIR spectral signature on the artifact.   If those scientists were to say that there is concordance between those spectral signatures - whether that is concordance between gums, oils or whatever - they would then aver that the sibling would, if it meets all the other requirements for the bottle itself, be a candidate "match."

But all this is a discussion of bridges we have not encountered much less cross.  My challenge is a fair one.  Further testing is warranted when rival or superior sibling bottles are located.  Find them, and we can discuss further.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C

For more on prior research, see the attachment of follow-up discussion on 2-8-S-2a from a while back.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 07:20:12 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2014, 07:58:44 AM »

I say again, if you think you have an alternative candidate for the source of the artifact present your case.  If it meets the criteria, we'll post it.  Speculation about possible alternative explanations for isolated parts of the equation will not be approved for posting if you're already on moderation or be removed as soon as we see them - and then we'll put you on moderation.
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2014, 10:06:23 AM »

The bottle that started this recent debate was discovered by Doug Ledlie.  It is for an imperial oblong bottle of Ideal Hair Dresser and Tonic, Greaseless, in the same style bottle as the artifact.  It has some similarities to the artifact 2-8-S-2a in the base stamp but lacks the artifact's stamped patent number and has no attached product remnant inside.  I purchased the bottle on eBay and it has arrived. 

A group of us who help out with bottle research for TIGHAR, historical archaeologist Bill Lockhart, chemist Greg George, and me, discussed this bottle last evening.  Attached are some preliminary points from our discussion thus far.   All are open to future revision and we would invite any who have research they can add to do so within, of course, the parameters of this Forum's prior cautions on the topic.  Additional attachments will follow this post if the site allows.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 01:58:17 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2014, 10:07:49 AM »

Additional attachments to the preceding post.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2014, 11:29:11 AM »

It has some similarities to the artifact 2-8-S-2a.

"Some similarities" doesn't cut it.
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2014, 05:50:00 AM »

Campana Italian Balm is still looking like the frontrunner of this identification process.  Other candidates (and right now I don't see any) can try but they know their work is cut out for them.   I did want to give this Ideal Hair Dresser bottle a legitimate go-round with the bottle research group that was as objective as we could possibly make it.

Yesterday our group stumbled on some information that dates the Ideal Hair Dresser bottle on eBay to as precise a range as we've ever been able to identify any bottle.  It appears from a reliable source that Royal Specialty Company, maker of Ideal Hair Dresser, was forfeited by 1941. See attachment. I was not familiar with the forfeiture concept but the state of New Jersey defines it as a lapse of 5 years in required legal filings (translation - didn't pay its taxes), so I assume this means that the company was years defunct by the later date of production for the bottle one could have derived from its date code.  1941 is completely ruled out as a production date for Ideal Hair Dresser, as is most of the latter half of the decade of the 1930s.  By process of elimination, this particular eBay Ideal Hair Dresser bottle was manufactured in 1931.  Bill Lockhart calls this a "smoking gun" of this dating process for Ideal Hair Dresser and if you know Bill, he's not given to that kind of hyperbole without merit.

The bottom line is efforts could be expended to locate a bottle of Ideal Hair Dresser WITH the correct patent number approved by the U.S. Patent Office in 1932 and WITH remnant inside that could ultimately be tested and did correspond with the artifact's remnant, but the end result of testing this hypothetical bottle - which is not yet known even to exist - would at best only be to entrench more firmly the identification of 2-8-S-2a within the castaway era and bring it chronologically more distant from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Cheers.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
« Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 01:02:00 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Doug Ledlie

  • T2
  • **
  • Posts: 78
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2014, 07:50:28 PM »

Here's a thought that I didn't find discussed yet and might serve to eliminate the co-op store as a source for the artifact, at least per the '39 inventory list...

Says Brilliantine - 21 bottles - 2-5-6, which I think means the total value of the 21 bottles was 2 pounds, 5 shillings, 6 pence.

To divide that by 21 I need to understand vintage British money:
20 shillings per pound
12 pennies per shilling
http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/moneyold.htm

So 2.275 pounds for 21 bottles in 1939 if I did the math right.
Therefore 0.11 pounds per bottle
Convert that to 1939 U.S. dollars....not a clue

So...Guessing a similar exchange rate as today suggests price per bottle was only about 20 cents.  I have to think that would be a very small bottle ie smaller than the artifact.

Sound math and assumptions?

I think a while back someone posted scans from an old sears catalog in relation to the Dr Berrys cream, if they have a full catalog that also includes hair tonic with container size and pricing (any brand would probably be in the ballpark), we could confirm.
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2014, 08:24:51 PM »

Fascinating line of research, Doug.  We have a few imprecisions, however:
We don't have the volume capacity of the artifact because the only piece recovered was the bottom.  It's been estimated at between 2 and 3 ounce size, but no one knows for sure.
The year the Co-op store inventory cited was written was 1939, wartime for Britain, and price fluctuations in wartime are common.
We don't know if American sizes of bottles and sizes of bottles imported to Gardner were equivalent. (I would bet these imports weren't American, as the artifact is.)
There are probably a dozen others that could be thought of.

Even so, I did do a back-of-the-envelope estimate of the prices involved.

I agree with your math of 2.275 pounds as equivalent to 2-5-6 (2 pounds, 5 shilling, 6 pence).  According to a graph someone made of exchange rates around the period of the Co-op Store, the pound and the dollar had apparently been "pegged" in World War II at $4.03.  Today's exchange rates aren't a valid comparison.

At 2.275 pounds X $4.03 dollars/pound, I get 9.16825 dollars.  Divide that by 21 bottles and I get $.43658 per bottle.  Call it 44 cents per bottle of Brilliantine.

In 1939 America, you could buy Vaseline Hair Tonic in the Fir Drug Store for 39 cents for a small and 69 cents for a large.  I don't know what that means in ounces, but Campana Italian Balm in 1939 sold 29 cents for 2.25 oz., 47 cents for 4 oz., and 79 cents for 9 ounces (price held steady all year in the Sears catalogs from 1939).  Based on those price ranges, the 44 cents sounds like a medium bottle, so a best guess would be 3-4 ounces.  If the volume estimate at 2 oz. of the artifact is reasonably close and if the price-to-volume ratio estimate of the Gardner Brilliantine bottles is within the ballpark, the artifact would have been a smaller size bottle than the Co-op Brilliantine.

But notice I said "would have."  That's a guess masquerading as a fact.  But we can intuit some things just as easily - and possibly even be right:  If the artifact bottle really is the small size for the product it contained (and one can't deny it does look small), that's an unlikely choice for an islander in a remote place who doesn't expect store shipments all that often.  It's also the least economical size for someone who might not have very much money to spend on hair tonic.  It might be a highly likely choice for a "travel size," for someone who just needs enough for a trip. 

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C


« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 03:55:31 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 284
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2014, 05:22:59 AM »

It's worthwhile noting for the record Gallagher's personal inventory did contain skin cream and hair cream.

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Gallagereffects2.html

I've been reading about the importance of context to archaeologists such as K. Kris Hirst.  Her article here has relevance.

I don't think there will ever be a single agreed-upon story for this artifact, but that's OK.  The analysis has succeeded in avoiding what Hirst decried, an over-simplification or ignoring of context.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5   Go Up
 

Copyright 2024 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP