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    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.



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    Sunglasses, 1952 We test 38 brands -- and find 23 of them Not Acceptable.

    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.

    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.

    Instant Button-On, 1965 Most of our panelists didn't find this device difficult to use. But we judge that it's unsuitable for anything much besides work clothes or rugged outer garments and sportswear. Our conclusion: Hang on to your needle and thread.

    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.

    Permanents, 1938

    Toothpastes, 1949 Pepsodent and several of the other toothpastes we test don't meet the federal specifications for consistency. But although they're somewhat thin, all do an acceptable job of cleaning teeth.

    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    olden timey binocular view

    Happy homemaker

    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.

    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.

    Retro-Futuristic, We come in peace

    Girl with Edison Phonograph, c.1910

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

    Toys, 1958 Safety is the first consideration. Toys for infants and toddlers should not have parts that might come loose and be swallowed.