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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Suspects > Maybrick, James

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  #4411  
Old 04-24-2018, 11:46 AM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Herlock, if you imagine the Diarist scribbling madly away while snorting, chewing, or fumbling with his charcoal tablets, you've fallen at the first hurdle. The black powder was not found in the Diary per se, but found in the edges of the cut-out pages, so it must have been associated with those now missing pages. I also suspect that you'll find that the charcoal used to treat indigestion,etc is not made out of animal bones for obvious reasons. Bone char is, however, commonly used as a pigment in inks and paints. It's easier for me to imagine Barrett scraping away at something with his Stanley knife or experimenting with a powdered ink that used bone char as its pigment.
Which were located in.....the diary.

To say that they must have been associated with the missing pages can’t be taken as a fact. The black powder just fell into the gap left by the missing pages and could easily have occurred long after the pages had been cut out.

Didn’t Barrett just say that he bought a bottle of Victorian ink? It’s hard to see him now as someone experimenting with bone char pigments surely?
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  #4412  
Old 04-24-2018, 11:47 AM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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I also suspect that you'll find that the charcoal used to treat indigestion,etc is not made out of animal bones for obvious reasons.
I'm not sure what those reasons are RJ. This is from a "Note-book of Materia Medica" by Robert Edmund Scoresby-Jackson, 1867:

Carbo-Animalis Purificatus – Purified Animal Charcoal – Bone black deprived of its earthy salts. Bone black, ivory black, or impure animal charcoal, is the powdered residue of ox and sheep bones, which have been exposed to red heat, with the access of air. In this state it consists chiefly of phosphate and carbonite of lime, carburet and sulphuret of iron, and sulphuret of calcium, with from ten to twenty per cent of charcoal, and to remove the salts in order to render it useful for pharmaceutical purposes, is the object of the following preparation process:-

PREPARATION. – Take of bone black sixteen ounces; hydrochloric acid, ten fluid ounces; distilled water, a sufficiency. Mix the hydrocholoric acid with a pint of the water, and add the bone black, stirring occasionally. Digest at a moderate heat for two days, agitating from time to time; collect the undissolved charcoal on a calico filter, and wash with distilled water till what passes through gives scarcely any precipitate with nitrate of silver. Dry the charcoal, and then heat it to redness in a covered crucible.

Dose. – From a few grains, frequently repeated, to a table-spoonful or more, occasionally, before or after meals in painful dyspepsia; or as an antidote, in doses of an ounce and upwards, according to the quantity of poison taken.
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  #4413  
Old 04-24-2018, 12:58 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Simple hygiene, I would think. Old Doc Scoresby-Jackson may have been still grinding up charred cattle bones circa 1867, but I think you'll find a lot of indigestion medicines in the 1870s and 80s proudly advertise the use of "vegetable charcoal."

Bragg’s Vegetable Charcoal, for “Bile, Flatulence, Heartburn.

Medicinal charcoal is now made out of food grade charcoal--coconut shells, etc. And what of that statute mentioned by Valentine Blake in 1889 forbidding the use of bone black in arsenic preparations?

But as all the indications are that the Diary was created in the 1990s, I somehow doubt I need to worry too much about an unidentified black powder—which could be associated with an ink or a paint--in the spine of the missing pages. It’s always the minutia that interests the conspiracy theorists, who are happy to wear blinders when it comes to the big ticket items like the purchase of blank Victorian paper only weeks before showing up in London.


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Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
It’s hard to see him now as someone experimenting with bone char pigments surely?
Eastaugh suggested the black powder was based on bone black, not that it was pure bone black. It contained other chemicals. As bone black is already an ingredient in some powdered inks, I am hardly suggesting Barrett made up it from scratch.
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  #4414  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:09 PM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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. Eastaugh suggested the black powder was based on bone black, not that it was pure bone black. It contained other chemicals. As bone black is already an ingredient in some powdered inks, I am hardly suggesting Barrett made up it from scratch.
Its been ages since i read anything about the diary but, and please correct me if im wrong, didnt Barrett say that he just bought a bottle of ready-to-use Victorian ink?
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  #4415  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:15 PM
rjpalmer rjpalmer is offline
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Yup. Diamine Manuscript ink from Bluecoat Chambers Art Shop. Later subjected to experiments by Nick Warren and Melvin Harris who found it a credible claim. But who said he hit a home run his first at bat? You don't think forgers experiment with ink?
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  #4416  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:47 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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Originally Posted by rjpalmer View Post
Simple hygiene, I would think. Old Doc Scoresby-Jackson may have been still grinding up charred cattle bones circa 1867, but I think you'll find a lot of indigestion medicines in the 1870s and 80s proudly advertise the use of "vegetable charcoal."
That may be but in the Pocket Pharmacopoeia by Charles Edward Armand Semple of 1891 (being an abridgement of the British Parmacopoeia of 1885 with the Appendix of 1890) we find the same thing being said as in 1867, i.e.

"Animal Charcoal. Bone Black. The residue of bones, which have been exposed to a red heat without the access of air. Consists principally of carbon, and phosphate and carbonate of calcium. Used in preparing Carbo Animalis Purificatus. Used in cases of poisoning, and in dyspepsia..."
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  #4417  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:49 PM
David Orsam David Orsam is offline
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And what of that statute mentioned by Valentine Blake in 1889 forbidding the use of bone black in arsenic preparations?
According to Levy, commenting on Blake's affidavit:

"The statute requires arsenic sold by chemists to be mixed with soot or indigo, not charcoal..."
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  #4418  
Old 04-24-2018, 01:49 PM
Herlock Sholmes Herlock Sholmes is offline
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Yup. Diamine Manuscript ink from Bluecoat Chambers Art Shop. Later subjected to experiments by Nick Warren and Melvin Harris who found it a credible claim. But who said he hit a home run his first at bat? You don't think forgers experiment with ink?
Im not going to press this point because i cant recall enough about it but i seem to recall Harris and Warren’s testing requirements coming in for considerable critisicm regarding the information that they requested. Anyway, of course i accept that he might not have ‘hit a home run his first at bat.’ Im sure that forgers do experiment with ink but i dont think that anyone is suggesting that Mike was an experienced forger? Surely he would have looked for the simplest option....a usable ink? Would he have had enough knowledge to come up with some kind of compound good enough to prevent alarm bells from immediately going off?
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  #4419  
Old 04-25-2018, 02:26 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Alec Voller, the Chief Chemist of Diamine Inks Ltd, was confident that the Diary ink was not Diamine.

Graham
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  #4420  
Old 04-25-2018, 08:07 AM
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..........But as all the indications are that the Diary was created in the 1990s, I somehow ............
Are you trying to lay this down as Fact? Please elaborate on the indications, but please omit any b*ll*cks about Barrett & Co. being involved in its creation.

IMHO all indications are that the 'Diary' was actually created in 1888/89.
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