The illustrated Australian Souvenir 15 Studies ‘envelope’ was addressed to Dr. G.H. Earp-Thomas, Bloomfield, New Jersey, U.S.A., and the pair of the red KGV Head stamps as well as the green ½d KGV Head stamp were cancelled SYDNEY/ 3 JE 15/ 14 (Figure 1).
One of the 15 Studies is shown as three trucks laden with bales of wool and each pulled by at least a dozen bullocks, through a hilly area (Figure 2).
George Earp-Thomas emigrated to the United States from New Zealand, in the early 1900’s? Early in the 20th century, he bought a small farm in New Jersey. As a research scientist, he studied intestinal bacteria at the Pasteur Institute in France from 1910 to 1912. When he returned, he set up his own laboratory with the several strains of bacteria he brought with him. He was the first to work with acidophilus cultures to restore intestinal bacteria.
On his farm, he noticed one day that his cows had their necks through the fence and were straining to lick the recently graveled road. After analyzing the gravel, he realized his cows knew instinctively that they needed cobalt. Cobalt is a naturally magnetic element.
Dr. Earp-Thomas then devoted himself to the study of minerals and soil. After developing a measuring instrument sensitive enough to detect minerals in soil in parts-per-million, he discovered New Jersey soils were losing valuable trace elements. Earp-Thomas also discovered that if plants are starved for a particular nutrient they will still grow to maturity by substituting other elements. “If lime or potash is lacking in the soil, or if present in a form nature cannot use, she may substitute, as food for the plant, the minerals magnesium and soda. Or, she may substitute in the place of sulfur, toxic levels of selenium. When the soil is deficient in some particular element and where there are no others to substitute, the plants will grow to maturity bearing only a fraction of that mineral.” This was a dire warning. Earp-Thomas had discovered that plants may look normal but if the soil is deficient in beneficial trace minerals, the plant will absorb instead the elements available–possibly to toxic levels.
The soil scientist also knew soil is alive or fertile and supports lush plant growth because of bacteria – the bacteria eat rocks to produce soil and then pass the minerals along to plants. He understood that plants grew best when they received their minerals predigested by soil bacteria. This helps to explain the problems created by today’s chemical fertilizers.
Earp-Thomas with the help of a Rockefeller Foundation grant and a team of researchers was able to study soil microbes all over the world. His research showing the importance of soil microbes to the health of plants was well documented.
By 1938, he had developed a three-stage process to duplicate the process from rock to plants and thus more efficiently to the human cell. Before developing a formula he observed mineral uptake in wheatgrass to see what elements the plant used. The process he developed to produce a product the cells would readily absorb involved water, bacteria and electromagnetic spin–an electrolytic mineral solution was born.
Working with doctors, Earp-Thomas used his product to successfully treat cancer patients. The war brought an end to his research. After the war he published and distributed his own literature warning about the depletion of soils and the successful treatment of cancer patients using his electrolytic or electromagnetic formula. The timing was not in his favor as huge chemical companies were now based in New Jersey. Chemical farming had begun. Then, in 1948, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) charged Dr. Earp-Thomas with providing medical advice. Earp-Thomas won the resulting court case but before he could leave the building, the deputy director of the FDA warned him he would be back in court again next year if he didn’t stop distributing his material. The FDA man asked Earp-Thomas if he wanted to spend $100,000 each year defending himself. Shortly after his laboratory mysteriously burned to the ground destroying his equipment and priceless research data.
There were 2 entries in the New York Times, the first dated January 3, 1914 and it was headed RADIUM TRIED HERE TO DESTROY CANCER: “Tube of the healing agent turns up in the possession of a Jersey Bacteriologist. In use in three cases. Known American supply is increased nearly One-third – Tube was obtained of Mme Curie”. The bacteriologist was the New Jersey Dr. Earp-Thomas, and the long account was somewhat surreal with unsubstantiated claims for cure. Of interest it gave a short account of his education in New Zealand, as follows: “Dr. Earp-Thomas had obtained his medical education from a preceptor in New Zealand when regular medical schools had not been established there. He had practiced there, as Dr. Hancock recalled, and had used the radium tube, but on removing to this country had settled down to laboratory experimentation with plants and seeds and had never obtained a licence to practice medicine here”.
The other New York Times entry on March 29, 1922 was of a more personal nature and was headed ‘ELOPED, WED, DIVORCED. Philadelphia Court Grants Decree to Mrs. Earp-Thomas’, and this is shown as Figure 3.
There are reams of entries at multiple Health Food sites praising Dr. Earp-Thomas’s work with a panacea for all ills, namely wheatgrass.
References: Fire in the Water, David Yarrow, 1999. ISBN 1-928820-02-6 and Electrolytes the Spark of Life, Gillian Martlew, N.D., 1994. ISBN 0-9640539-0-X.
Addendum (April 2011): Scott Reid of California emailed me re his maternal grandfather. “Your apparent skepticism regarding some of the claims made in his name are reasonable as his own daughter (by his 3rd marriage), my mother, knew him as a spinner of tales in a continual effort at self-promotion. You’ll also notice that the many of the “cobalt” and “wheatgrass” claims are made in connection with someone purporting to have worked for him who is – no surprise – promoting the GH Earp-Thomas story to promote his own products. Where the truth lies is a guess at this point,”
“The handwriting of the address is familiar enough to make me wonder if GH didn’t send the card to himself while on a trip back to New Zealand (I can’t see him going as far as Australia and not returning to see relatives in the Wellington area of N Z, as well, but who knows)”.