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    Camp lanterns, 1972 Far brighter than a candle or a kerosene lamp, and more flicker-free, a good mantle-type camp lantern will glow with all the steady brilliance of a high-wattage electric bulb.

    Nerf balls, 1971 Nerf balls, 1971 The Official Nerf Ball is tested for flammability against the standard set by the 1969 Child Protection and Toy Safety Act. The Nerf Ball failed, bursting into flames about two seconds after contact with a lit match.

    Aerosol-can deactivator, 1971. Position a thoroughly emptied container inside Saf-Can's heavy metal frame, step on the plunger, and a spike drives into the can

    Food-waste disposers, 1970

    Candy pellets, 1973 For a nickel, a kid who buys Orbits with Blower gets a packet of tiny, hard candy pellets and a fairly large-bore plastic straw. It's dangerous to other kids when used like a pea shooter--and dangerous to a kid who might easily inhale the pellets.

    Cribs, 1971 We slam weights against the end panels, pound on the springs, have a technician raise and lower the sides 4,000 times, and examine the construction. And we conclude that all 20 cribs are acceptable.

    Frozen pizza, 1972 With tweezers and magnifying glass, a technician painstakingly removes meat and other ingredients for weighing.

    Cooking oils, 1973 Cooking oil is used to fry fish and then doughnuts to test flavor transference of the oil. The fried doughnuts did not pick up any fish flavor or aroma.

    Children's phonographs, 1972 A child's phonograph should have sound reproduction good enough to make speech intelligible and music pleasant, and should be simple and safe to use.

    Ecology kits, 1973 This Mr. Wizard kit, as its name implies, consists entirely of culturing molds and bacteria. That should be done only under professional supervision--even if you don't follow the kit's suggestion that you culture matter from dirty garbage cans. We rate it Not Acceptable.

    Household extension ladders, 1973 We judge overall rigidity, which combines resistance to bending, twisting, and side sway, by making close side-by-side comparisons of ladders at their fullest extension.

    Instant glue, 1973 One drop of this instant glue formed a bond between man and hammer in five seconds. We called it an instant hazard--and rated it Not Acceptable.

    Small sailboats, 1975 Capsizing should be no particular hazard for boats of this size. But they should be capable of being righted by their crew while afloat--a capability sometimes referred to as "self-rescuing."

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

    Car safety for children, 1977 This dummy, modeled on a 38-inch-tall three-year-old child, is used to test car safety seats for children. Devices inside the dummy registered the forces of a simulated car crash to gauge the risk of head, neck, and chest injuries.

    Blue jeans, 1956. To test resistance to tearing, the wedge-shaped part of this device is released to see if it tears the blue-jean fabric.

    Soaps, 1957 To determine which soaps are used up faster than others, we spray the bars with a controlled amount of warm water and rub each one with identical force.

    Automatic coffee makers, 1958 Of the 21 models we test, only three score high in performance and convenience. This isn't one of them.

    Fishing rods, 1957 An angler who wants to be ready for anything, we determine, should buy two good rods. One rod should be stiff enough to cast a heavy lure without "overloading" its tip; the other rod should be flexible enough to bend properly when the situation calls for a light lure.

    Hand luggage, 1957 In our static-load test, we place a 180-pound weight for five minutes on each side, on each end, and on the top and bottom. Some suitcases bend considerably, but all recover when the weight is removed.

    Automatic electric toasters, 1958 Toast piles up as thousands of slices of bread are used to test automatic electric toasters for toasting ability, convenience, and durability.

    Kids' sneakers, 1956. We tested 29 brands with the assistance of more than 300 boys and girls living in four New England orphanages. Among our incidental findings: City kids wear out the soles first; country kids wear out the uppers first.

    Car tires, 1958 Car tires, 1958 After this tire was inflated to its normal pressue, a 1 1/4-inch steel plunger was forced into it to test the toughness of the tire.

    Coffeemakers, 1958 To establish the percentage of dissolved coffee solids, which determines a brew's strength, measured samples of filtered coffee are oven-dried and weighed.

    The Edsel, 1958 Of the automatic transmissions we evaluate, the Edsel's Teletouch is the most difficult to get used to: The controls consist of a series of nearly identical push buttons at the center of the steering wheel.