Posted by: Footler PJ15 AUG 2012
A survey of the Pacific atoll of Nikumaroro has so far failed to find any remains of the aircraft used by Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, who disappeared while flying from Australia to Hawaii in 1937. However, some items previously found on the island have been tentatively linked to the aviators. They include pieces of rouge, a compact and mirror and fragments of three containers that had held cosmetics or medicines.
One green fragment was from a bottle of St Joseph Bone and Nerve Family Liniment, which was used for muscular and joint pain and as a mosquito repellant. Its ingredients included kerosene, turpentine, capsicum, pine tar and the oils of pine needles, hemlock, cedarwood, citronella and camphor.
The remains of a jar that may have contained Dr C. H. Berry’s Freckle Ointment were found, although some experts say the jar was not quite the right shape or colour. Earhart was known to be concerned by her freckles. The ointment contained 12 per cent of ammoniated mercury and was advertised for “freckles, tan, moth patches, muddy complexion and all discolorations of the skin”.
Analysis of residues found in other fragments suggess that Earhart or her navigator used Campana Italian Balm. This product, one of the most popular skin balms available in the 1930s, originated in Canada during the 1880s. Its ingredients included alcohol, essential oils, phenol, benzoic acid, gum tragacanth and glycerin.
The innovative Campana company was among the first to use radio commercials and to offer free samples of its products in magazines. The balm was popular among US servicemen during the 1939–45 war, although the word “Italian” had to be dropped from the name because of anti-Italian sentiment.