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Automatic electric toasters, 1956 In our tests of 22 models, three that are otherwise high in overall quality also present a serious shock hazard. We rate them Not Acceptable.

Gaylord the Pup, 1963 We check out a reader's complaint and determine that this mechanical basset is one hungry hound. It eats up a set of four D batteries in about two hours. In six months of regular play, we estimate, the cost of batteries will exceed the cost of the toy itself.

Television consoles, 1960 Our tests of eight "private label" televisions--such brands as Anrea, Muntz and Setchell-Carlson--find nothing to justify their reputation for being better than mass-produced models.

Steam irons, 1951 During tests to measure the life of steam irons, a Silex iron is judged Not Acceptable. The thermostat failed to function, and the soleplate melted in two different test samples.

Binoculars, 1962 Notice the curved lines on the edge of the building and on the window framing. This distortion is typical of the poor optical performance of some binoculars.

Record changers, 1950 The world of records has become complicated: three speeds, three diameters, two groove widths, and two center-hole sizes. But we've found a new record changer, the Webster, that can accommodate any of these formats and play a stack of 10 or 12 records. But it's not completely automatic. With 45-rpm records, it plays the last record endlessly.

Pocket totalizer, 1960. The Clicker Quik-Chek lets you quickly check your total purchases--or double-check the sales clerk--by clicking off the price of each item.

Spot removers, 1977 This surrealist scene is composed of hundreds of swatches drying in our lab after being stained, then treated with spot removers.