Did Amelia Earhart — the famous, fearless freckled flyer — use a freckle-removal cream, notably one called Dr Berry’s Freckle Ointment? That’s what modern-day archaeologists want to know.
Could the freckle cream be an important clue?
Amelia and her navigator, Frederick Noonan, disappeared in July of 1937 while attempting to circumnavigate the globe.
A broken jar that seems to match the size and shape of Dr Berry’s Freckle Ointment was found among other artifacts on tiny Nikumaroro Island in the southwestern Pacific ocean. Researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) are excited by this find, as Earhart was known to have disliked her own freckles — and there’s the possibility that this jar could have been hers.
The problem is that wile the jar’s size and shape seem to be a match, the color of the shards they found — clear glass — don’t match any of the opaque white jars they have found of the stuff. TIGHAR is now asking for help finding existing jars of that particular ointment with the hope that they will be able to conclusively identify the cream, and then, perhaps, link it to Amelia Earhart’s eventual fate. (You can also see photos of the jar they found on that page.)
Here’s an ad for Dr Berry’s Freckle Ointment from the August 03, 1922 edition of Nebraska newspaper The Red Cloud Chief:
The cream’s active ingredient was ammoniated mercury (mercuric amidochloride), which accounted for 12 percent of the product. But could it actually fade freckles? Ah, that is yet another mystery.