SPINET ELECTRONIC ORGANS, DISHWASHERS, ELECTRIC LAMP BULBS, Motor scooters FROM EUROPE
They're often hard to read, even unreadable, and call for close and continuous attention by Federal and State food administration officials
The printing which is shown in the halftones accompanying this article was in each case much more legible on the package than it appears in the illustrations; necessary reduction of size in these pictures and limitations of the reproduction process do impair readability, but each of the pictures shown represents a case in which the manufacturer left the consumer poorly or incompletely informed regarding the ingredients of a prepared food mixture, or burdened his eyesight unduly.
Since about 60 percent of Americans have defective vision that would properly call for the wearing of glasses, according to information from the American Optometric Association, it is obvious that ingredients labels should be so designed that people with poor eyesight and the millions who should wear glasses in shopping, but do not do so, will have a fair chance to read the names of ingredients in the foods and drugs that they buy. There is no excuse for labels that are su itable only for the 40 percent of people who have normal or unusually keen vision.
If the officials whose job it is to supervise the labeling of packaged foods would get up from their comfortable chairs and shop for a few days in food stores and supermarkets, they would observe many things that call for drastic and summary correction. Manufacturers and package designers have found many ways to get around the requirements which call for clear readable declarations of the ingredients of packaged foods.
(Continued on page 31)
On this "Lady Fair" cake package, the printing was bad, and smeared besides; the dealer rendered the label quite unreadable by adding a "reduced for quick sale" sticker. This type of interference by the dealer with label declarations can easily be prevented by state food and drug officials, through issuance of the proper regulations to store owners and operators.
The manufacturer of this "TV time instant drink mix" achieved a high level of de-emphasis in his ingredient labeling. The lettering, at the very bottom of the package, where it will hardly be noticed, is in shiny aluminum against a shiny green background and only by using a reading glass and turning the label in various directions in order to get the light in the right direction for different parts of the wording can the consumer tell what the ingredients are of "TV time mix." This manner of treatment of the label can be very convenient for manufacturers whose products contain a considerable number of unfamiliar ingredients, or ingredients of kinds the housewife would not herself be likely to use in her own preparation of foods in the home.
The Consumers' Observation Post
SITTING TOO LONG BEFORE A TELEVISION SET may cause thrombosis of the major leg veins. Dr. Meyer Naide of Philadelphia in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports several cases where pain and swelling of the legs have resulted from long periods of sitting on chairs or benches before television sets. In one case the patient was in the habit of watching television with her legs tucked under her. Hospitalization was required in all of the cases. Dr. Naide suggests that television viewers should get up and move about frequently, at least once an hour, in addition to shifting the position of their legs frequently. For women, the doctor suggests that girdles and other tight garments should be removed before prolonged television viewing. Long automobile trips are also a cause of thrombosis in the legs. Tall men are reported to be particularly susceptible .
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RUGS AND CARPETS may be damaged by salt and ashes tracked in from slippery sidewalks. The National Institute of Rug Cleaning reports that serious discoloration and fiber damage can be caused by both substances. Salt attracts moisture and may keep a rug damp, causing a brown spot or a white crusty appearance when the rug dries. Ashes that are alkaline may affect the dyes adversely and also damage some fibers.
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FROZEN FOODS DECLINE IN QUALITY as a result of temperature changes. Quality losses are held to a minimum if frozen food is stored at 0°F, but even in frozen foods that feel solid, deterioration will occur, at temperatures of 15° to 25°F. Studies by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, for example, showed that frozen poultry loses flavor and attractiveness with increasing speed as the temperature rises. Turkeys are particularly sensitive to this change and may darken in two weeks' time if held at temperatures of 20° to 25°F. Cut-up poultry is more susceptible to damage than whole birds, and precooked poultry is even less stable. Mold was found to occur on chicken pot pies held nine months at 20°F.
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TUBELESS TIRES have given unsatisfactory wear life in a good many cases, according to reports received from CR subscribers. One who has kept careful records reports that he drives 236 miles each week on the New Jersey Turnpike. When he used tires with inner tubes, he averaged more than 37,000 miles on each set of tires. When he bought a new car with tubeless tires about a year ago, he noticed the tread seemed to be tearing loose at the end of a month. At the end of a few months he had turned in all four tires because they had gone to pieces, actually flying apart in use. In the light of his experience, he has found that tubeless tires are good only for 6000 to 8000 miles before they begin to shed rubber, and he has noted that the turnpike is full of rubber scraps, indicating that others have shared his difficulty.
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CARBONATED BEVERAGES obtained from coin-operated vending machines have been held to be responsible for two cases of copper poisoning in California. The State Department of Health has recommended that copper tubing through which water enters the carbonated beverage vending machines be replaced with stainless-steel tubing or other safe material in order to eliminate the possibility of formation of soluble toxic copper compounds. The Health Department's official publication points out that maximum concentrations of copper can be expected to build up when the machine has been unused for a period of time such as overnight or over holidays and week ends when the machine may not be in use in factories and offices.
MODEL AIRPLANE GLUE is not a harmless material, and it should not be used in an unventilated room. According to a report from Boise, Idaho, a number of youngsters had been "getting high" by sniffing fumes from a particular adhesive used in putting together model airplanes. The offending ingredient appears to be benzene, a dangerous hydrocarbon compound that produces a short-lived feeling of exhilaration followed by depression and nausea. Juvenile authorities warned that repeated inhalation might cause severe damage to the respiratory and circulatory systems.
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INSTANT COFFEE has greatly improved in flavor since its early days.
The reorientation of sources of supply during World War II when it was often impossible to obtain fresh coffee in many places was a factor in stimulating the industry to improve its product, according to Kenneth T. Farrell writing in Food Technology. In a large-scale consumer acceptance test in 1950, seven brands of instant coffee rated below fresh coffee beverage in acceptability. In 1956, 13 samples were rated higher than fresh coffee. Mr. Farrell points out that at the present time the instant coffees have about 35 percent of the coffee market, and he believes that by 1960 they will have at least 50 percent of the market because they are cheaper, have a uniform flavor, long shelf-life, and no grounds.
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USED CARS are now sold by some dealers under a car warranty plan that guarantees the car for a full year. The warranty, offered by the Car Warranty Corporation, a Universal C.I.T. Credit Corporation subsidiary, provides extensive coverage of costs of major mechanical repairs for one full year from date of purchase, regardless of the mileage, including repair or replacement of damaged parts. The component parts covered by the warranty are the essential features of the engine, standard transmission or automatic transmission, rear axle, clutch, steering mechanism (except alignment and adjustments), brake mechanism, universal joints, and water pump. This type of warranty program has also been offered on a nationwide basis by Bonded Cars, Inc. We should be glad to hear from subscribers who may have experience with the problem on how effectively the warranty terms are carried out by both companies, and whether they deal fairly and promptly with claims.
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MISLEADING CLAIMS IN ADVERTISING cashmere, camel hair, and vicuna clothing are a matter of concern to the National Cashmere Association. It is suggested that the Federal Trade Commission take action to clarify definitions of cashmere since the lack of proper quality distinctions and definitions in labeling makes it easy to overstate value and quality in advertising garments made of this fiber, as well as the other two mentioned.
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RUNNING A MODERN HOME with all the electrical appliances and mechanical gadgets that make for more comfortable living requires certain engineering skills to keep everything in good operating order. The do-it-yourself homeowner or homemaker can manage normal operation rather well except for major breakdowns, but the non-technically-minded person will often long for an expert engineer on the premises. To help select the proper serviceman for a particular job is the aim of two organizations that have recently made an appearance, one in California (Consumers' Observation Post, November 1957, page 34) and another called Allied Homeowners Association, Inc., P. 0. Box 4, Roslyn, New York. To homeowners who join the latter organization for a fee of $10 the first year and $5 a year thereafter. Allied offers to supply a serviceman on a 24-hour basis for a wide variety of home repairs, ranging from electrical appliances to installation of window screens. The homeowner is billed for the job by Allied after work is completed. The basic idea is a good one and we wish it success. If the plan works out satisfactorily, no doubt many more such services will make their appearance all over the country.
(The continuation of this section is on page 35)
THE ORIGINAL CONSUMER INFORMATION MAGAZINE
VOL. 41, NO. 2 CONTENTS FEBRUARY 1958
Those unreadable labels on food packages............................. 2
Motor scooters from Europe........................................... 6
The 1958 Rambler-Discussion and rating............................... 8
How to choose a pair of binoculars................................... 10
A special warning to our readers..................................... 12
Hazardous new electric teapots
Automatic dishwashing machines....................................... 13
A word of caution for car owners..................................... 16
Adhesives for household use.......................................... 17
Electronic organs for the home, with ratings of spinet models........ 20
Safeguarding electrical equipment by grounding....................... 24
New 35 mm. cameras and slide projectors.............................. 25
Moisture in fuel oil tanks........................................... 28
Electric lamp bulbs.................................................. 29
The heating system of your school and its controls................... 39
Are they safe, and properly inspected and supervised?
The Consumers' Observation Post...................................... 3
Ratings of Motion Pictures........................................... 33
Phonograph Records-Walter F. Grueninger.............................. 37
Off the editor's chest-Scare tactics and false claims in selling fire alarm systems........................................................ 38
Cover photographs: Phillip Phillips, Inc.; Baldwin Piano Co.
Zundapp Bella R153
Motor scooters from Europe
For those who can dissociate the motor scooter from the motorcycle, with the motorcycle's connotations of danger, noise, and frightening speed and acceleration, the imported motor scooter can offer economical and very convenient transportation on short runs. Its rapidly increasing popularity as a station vehicle for suburban commuters and as a vehicle for city dwellers to run errands is due to its economy in first cost and in operation, and its maneuverability in traffic and in parking. It has been estimated that about 750,000 motor scooters are now in use in the United States.
The four leading foreign makes, Vespa, Lam-bretta, Zundapp Bella, and Allstate Cruisaire (the latter is almost identical with the Vespa), ranging in price from about $320 to $510, deliver 90 or more miles per gallon of gasoline-oil mixture, can carry two persons, and are extremely economical in terms of depreciation, cost of registration, and insurance. On a per-mile basis, it may cost less to use a scooter than to take a bus or trolley.
The motor scooter can be angle-parked in three feet of curb space, leaned against the wall of a delivery entrance, or even carried up in a freight elevator for parking in a loft or office building if the fire-department code permits it. The scooter's maneuverability plus its good acceleration make it very effective in heavy-traffic areas, and in tests in congested traffic it has proved to be approximately twice as fast as a car.
The kick starter will start a properly tuned engine on the first or second kick, and the effort required is not great. Electric starting is available as an optional extra, but is not generally considered to be worth the extra cost. Buyers who have ridden a bicycle generally master the motor scooter in about ten minutes, but even riders with no bicycle experience seem to have little difficulty.
The scooter has an important difference from the motorcycle, in that it can be driven while one is wearing a full-length overcoat; the engine is so situated that the operator's clothing is completely protected from grease or oil stains.
The scooter has one serious disadvantage; it is absolutely unsafe on snow or ice and is rather uncomfortable in a heavy rain. When it rains, you must expect to get wet or resort to a closed car Some states prohibit the use of motor scooters on parkways. New York, for example, bans the use on parkways of vehicles with wheels smaller than 15 inches in outside diameter.
On good roads the motor scooter offers a cruising speed of 40 to 55 miles per hour, but a ride oi more than two hours' duration is likely to prove fatiguing to anyone who is not an enthusiast On poor roads, speed must be reduced because the 8-inch wheels (on all covered in this article except the Zundapp Bella, which has 12-inch wheels) make for rough riding at high speeds.
All four makes listed have good braking, good stability, and safe steering, but only the Zundapp has a headlight powerful enough for safe night
Zundapp Bella 203
driving at speeds of more than 25 miles per hour. When a scooter is involved in an accident, it is usually caused by the driver's failure to keep within his own lane; the scooter's maneuverability tempts him to weave in and out of the traffic pattern in order to gain time. Properly driven, the scooter is fairly safe and reasonably comfortable.
In terms of performance, the Zundapp Bella, because of its greater weight, higher horsepower, larger (12-inch) wheels, and four forward speeds, offers the most comfortable ride and the best acceleration. The Lambretta 125 LDM and 150 LDM, although of almost the same horsepower as the Vespa and Allstate Cruisaire, are judged to be better-balanced and therefore more maneuver-able machines.
A most important factor in the choice among models, however, is the availability and competence of the service agency. Motor scooters require very little maintenance other than lubrication and a change of sparkplugs, and most repairs can be made by anyone familiar with two-cycle engines-a mechanic who repairs outboard motors or power mowers, for example. Nevertheless, an authorized service agency is a real convenience and, since scooters are sometimes carried as a sideline by dealers who know very little about them, it is well to check on the dealer's competence, as well as on his stock of spare parts.
Some of the motor scooters on this page can be fitted with a sidecar (either cargo or passenger model) as an optional extra, but a sidecar reduces both acceleration and maneuverability so seriously that it is not recommended except in cases where it may be absolutely necessary. (A second passenger can be carried almost as safely and comfortably on the pillion seat.)
A. Recommended Lambretta 125 LDM Deluxe (Innocenti Corp., 45 Columbus Ave., New York 23)$350. Rated at 5 hp.
Maximum speed, 48 m.p.h. Weight, 187 lb. 2
Zundapp Bella R153 (Phillip Phillips, Inc., 5102 Broadway, New York City) $419 includes double seat, speedometer, and steering lock. Rated at 8 hp. Maximum speed, 60 m.p.h. Weight, 300 lb. 2
Lambretta 150 LDM Deluxe (Innocenti Corp.) $450 Model 150 LDA at $500 is similar except that it has a rear seat, luggage rack, and electric starter. Rated at 6 hp. Maximum speed, 50 m.p.h. Weight, 194 lb. 3 Zundapp Bella 203 De Luxe (Phillip Phillips, Inc.) $509, with electric starter. Rated at 10 hp. Maximum speed, 70 m.p.h. Weight, 320 lb. 3
B. Intermediate Allstate Cruisaire (Sears-Roebuck's Cat. No. 28- 9449) $319.50, plus freight. Rated at 4.9 hp. Maximum speed, 47 m.p.h. Weight, 189 lb. The Cruisaire is very similar to the Vespa. 2
Vespa (Vespa Distributing Corp., 270 Park Ave., New York 17) $389. Rated at 6 hp. Maximum speed, 55 m.p.h. Weight. 202 lb.
Although the Rambler Six and Rebel V-8 have over-all lengths 11 inches shorter than the Ford Custom, 15 inches shorter than the Plymouth, and 18 inches shorter than the Chevrolet, they are not to be regarded as substandard or specially small cars, for they have ample room for six passengers. Those who prefer the smaller Rambler on a 100-inch wheelbase, dropped three years ago, can wait for the new 5-passenger Rambler American, which it is said will be introduced shortly.
The Rambler is available with a 127-horsepower six-cylinder engine (138 horsepower with the optional twin-throat carburetor) or with a 215-horsepower V-8 engine; also a 270-horsepower V-8 on Rambler Ambassador. Instead of the dualrange Hydra-Matic transmission used last year, the Ramblers are now equipped with Borg-Warner Flash-O-Matic push-button transmissions, using a torque convertor with planetary gears. This transmission has D1 and D2 drive positions. In the D2 position, the car starts off in second gear.
A separate lever which locks the transmission in Park is provided under the dash. The N (Neutral) button must be in before the lever can be engaged in the Park position. When the Park lever is engaged, all the other push buttons are inoperable. The starter is actuated by turning the ignition key.
The dash controls were well placed, identified, and illuminated. Dual headlamps are standard equipment on all except the de luxe series. On low beam, only the two outside headlamps are on; on high beam, all four headlamps are on. Seats were comfortable and there was ample leg room and headroom. One criticism of this car was the location of the accelerator pedal, which was too close to the transmission hump; some drivers found this an uncomfortable operating position for the foot. Another fault was the presence of two sharp hood ornaments. The heater was very effective, and its fresh-air intake was located at the top of the cowl (desirable). There was some difficulty experienced in getting the heater regulated so that neither too much nor too little heat was supplied, but this is a very common difficulty with today's automobile heaters. Body and frame were one unit. Wheel nuts had left-hand threads on the left side, right-hand threads on the right (a feature considered very desirable from the safety standpoint).
Performance on road tests
The acceleration figures for this car were not fast by comparison with many American cars, but
considered adequate for normal drivers. Acceleration times were: from 0 to 30 miles per hour, 6.7 seconds; from 0 to 60, 19.0 seconds; from 20 to 50, 11.6 seconds; from 40 to 60, 11 seconds.
Gasoline mileage under test conditions
At a constant speed of 50 miles per hour, the gasoline mileage was 17.6 miles per gallon, about 15 percent less than last year's model which gave 21.1 miles per gallon. Over-all gasoline mileage during test period (1500 miles) was 16.9 miles per gallon. The difference may in part be due to the new Borg-Warner transmission (last year's test car was equipped with a dual-range Hydra-Matic).
Indicated speed, m.p.h.......30......50
Actual speed, m.p.h..........29......48
Approximately 4 percent fast.
The brakes performed satisfactorily; there was no abnormal brake fade on this car.
Riding and handling qualities
Riding quality was judged to be good, and, although not the equal of the Plymouth with torsion-bar suspension, would be satisfactory for most persons. Steering was easy (power steering considered unnecessary with this car). Cornering was very good, with a minimum of lean on the turns. The noise level in the interior was very low (the Custom 6 station wagon, which was the model tested, was very quiet). The Flash-O-Matic transmission operated smoothly, but judging by the gasoline mileage not as efficiently as the Hydra-Matic.
A. Recommended (tentative)
Rambler Custom 6 with Flash-O-Matic Transmission
A solid, well-built car but, for a car whose claim to distinction has hitherto been economy of operation, gasoline mileage was disappointingly low.
The Rambler's Specifications
Rambler 6 Rambler Rebel V-8 Rambler Ambassador
Taxable horsepower 23.4 39.2 51.2
Taxable weight, pounds 3045* 3360* 3480*
Cylinder arrangement 6-in-line overhead valves V-8 overhead valves V-8 overhead valves
Piston displacement, cubic inches 195.6 250 327
Rated horsepower at rpm. 127 at 4200 215 at 4900 270 at 4700
Compression ratio 8.7 to 1 8.7 to 1 9.7 to 1
Oil filter Partial flow optional Full flow optional Full flow standard
Gasoline required Regular Regular Premium
Cooling system capacity with heater, quarts 11 21 20
Chassis and body
Wheelbase, inches 108 108 117
Over all length, inches 191 f 1911 200t
Width, inches 72 72 72
Height, inches 58 58 57.5
Tires 6.40 x 15 7.50 x 14 8.00 x 14
Brake factor** 40 39 38
Minimum road clearance, inches 6.7 6.5 6.3
Turning diameter, feet 37.25 37.6 37.75
Steering wheel turns, full left to full right 4.7 4.6 4.7
Battery 12-volt 45-amp. 12-volt 50-amp. 12-volt 60-amp.
Gasoline tank, gallons 20 20 20
Windshield wipers Vacuum Vacuum Vacuum
Curb weight of car tested, pounds 32841- - -
Six Rebel V-8 Ambassador
DeLuxe 4-door sedan $2047 - -
Super 4-door sedan 2212 $2342 $2587
Custom 4-door sedan 2327 2457 2732
Custom Station Wagon 2621 2751 3026
Automatic transmissions 199.50 219.50 229.50
Radio 82.25 82.25 98.50
Heater 76.00 76.00 82.50
Power steering 79.50 84.50 89.50
Power brakes 38.00 38.00 40.00
* Custom model, includes automatic transmission, Station wagon, 194 inches, Station wagon, 203 inches.
** Brake factor is a number indicative of the probable relative life of brake linings.
How to choose a pair of
Today's market is flooded with binoculars- mostly from Japan-and the makes and brands are so numerous that a test by Consumers' Research that would cover even a modest proportion of the field would be impracticable. Manufacturers, in order to give dealers the advantage of selling an "exclusive" item, may put scores of different trade names on instruments that are otherwise identical. There are a great many new names now on the American market, in addition to the old-established brands such as Bausch and Lomb, Zeiss, Leitz, Hensoldt, Ross, and Sard.
Because of the great number of binoculars being sold, and because of the fact that many of them are of highly variable quality, it was deemed wise to set down methods of judging the quality of a binocular. It is hoped that these will help the consumer to choose a satisfactory instrument when he is without information on a brand name or make and has no means of ascertaining its general standing and repute, and when he wishes to consider buying such an instrument because of its very low price or other desirable quality. The tests given are not those that would be applied by a person trained in testing of optical instruments and possessed of optical laboratory equipment, but they will permit the average consumer to be reasonably sure that the binocular he plans to buy is not definitely inferior or unsuitable for his purpose.
Binoculars are not subject to radical changes in style and in special features and gadgets that characterize the cameras used by amateur photographers. The better binoculars are well made, and a few makers have produced real precision instruments for many years. With proper care, any well-made and well-adjusted binocular should give the consumer a lifetime of service; such binoculars, however, are expensive. The price of a first-class 7 x 50 binocular will be something like $180.
The consumer intending to buy a pair of binoculars should decide first what power or magnification he can best utilize for his specific purposes. In general, binoculars of power or magnification greater than 8 times (8x) are difficult to hold steady enough with the unsupported hand and
should therefore be used with a tripod if possible. Most persons will find a six-power glass advisable for general use. The diameter of the objective lens for such a binocular should not be less than 30 millimeters. Such a binocular will be plainly marked as a "6 x 30" glass, and so described in catalogs. The first figure refers to the linear magnification (the amount by which the binocular magnifies a distance between two points that are equally distant from the observer) and the second number gives the diameter of the objective lens (the larger of the two lenses that are visible) in millimeters. The ratio of these two numbers, 30/6, which gives 5, tells us the diameter of the "exit pupil" in millimeters. This number is important, particularly if the binocular is to be used under low7 illumination conditions, as at dusk or early evening. Since the entrance pupil of the eye is approximately 5 millimeters at these low light levels, designers of good binoculars seek to match the exit pupil of the binoculars with the entrance pupil of the eye. A 6 x 24 binocular will give a 4-millimeter exit pupil. Therefore, under conditions of low illumination, not all of the light-gathering capacity of the eye will be used with a 6 x 24 glass.
The 7 x 50 binocular is a fine glass for night use but has the disadvantage of large size and weight. The 7 x 35 is a very good compromise and is the choice of most discriminating users. The 8 x 40 binocular suffers from being somewhat high in magnification for many uses. In general, the higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view. It will also be immediately apparent to the observer that higher magnification (eight and above) gives no advantage over the lower powers when seeing conditions are poor, as, for example with fog or heat waves in the atmosphere.
After the choice of power and objective diameter have been made, the consumer should decide whether he prefers a central focus adjustment which moves the two eyepieces together (and also provides for individual focus of right eyepiece) of an individual eyepiece focus adjustment. The advantage of the central adjustment is the speed with which it can be used. However, this advantage is outweighed by the tendency of center adjustment binoculars to go out of collimation which means that the two barrels do not point in exactly the same direction (are not exactly parallel). The individual eyepiece adjustment is sturdier, will maintain true collimation for a
The objective lens and the eyepiece on the prism binoculars at the left are not on the same center line. The light (path shown by white line) is reversed in direction twice due to the action of the prisms at a and b The "imitation" prism binoculars at the right have bulges or housings that suggest the presence of the prisms that distinguish higher grade glasses, but they are actually ordinary (Galilean) glasses it can be seen that in the glass at the right the objective lens and the eyepiece are in the same line. Light travels "straight through" in these glasses. Prism binoculars give a much larger field of view and higher magnification than Galilean field glasses of the same bulk.
longer time, and stand more rough handling without loss of accuracy. Binoculars with individual eyepiece adjustment are usually lower in price than those with center adjustment.
Next the consumer should determine whether all of the optical surfaces that are in contact with the air are coated with a non-reflective film. The film should be of uniform purple color. One should not accept an instrument in which the glass surface colors are non-uniform or are of color other than purple. Each barrel of the simplest binocular comprises 10 air-glass surfaces. If these are not coated, the transmission will be reduced by surface reflection losses to about 65 percent. Coating the 10 surfaces will increase the transmission to over 80 percent. Coating of the surfaces has an even more important advantage in that proper coating makes objects stand out in sharper contrast. Increased contrast is of greal importance, particularly if the binoculars are to be used at night for stargazing or for the other uses where one is looking for or seeking to examine objects which do not stand out well against their surroundings.
Matters discussed in the foregoing paragraphs call for no testing on the part of the consumer, merely a knowledge of what use the binocular would serve and simple observation of such factors as eyepiece adjustment and coating of the lenses. With these considerations out of the way. the consumer would be well advised to perform the following simple tests, preferably under conditions where he can take his own time to do them carefully.
1. With the interpupillary distance set properly for the observer, the oculars (eyepieces) focused carefully for each eye alone, a distant object of fine detail should be observed (a church steeple or TV antenna will do). Under good viewing conditions and with the binoculars supported firmly with the help of one's elbows resting on a table or support, the image should be sharp and clear, and there should be no evident color fringing of the image. Images at the edge of the field should show no astigmatism, which means that vertical and horizontal lines should be equally sharp. (A small amount of refocusing is permissible to obtain the sharpest possible image at the center and edge of the field.)
2. With the binoculars adjusted as above but propped up on a firm platform, the observer should look through the glasses at the steeple or other sharply defined object for 30 seconds and then immediately look at the object directly. If the glasses are not properly collimated, he will be aware of an uncomfortable feeling as his eyes attempt to fuse the two images into one. The test should be repeated in the opposite sequence, looking at the object directly for half a minute and then looking through the binoculars. If the two images through the two barrels do not fuse into one image immediately, the binoculars are not properly adjusted, and should be rejected.
3. With the eyepiece end pointed toward a 60-watt light bulb, there should be no lint or dirt specks visible on the internal optics when these are examined through the objective (large) end of the binoculars.
The field lens (the inside element of the eyepiece) of the ocular in particular should be examined for dirt specks, as these would be visible to the eye in use of the glass in the normal way. When the prisms are examined from the objective end of the binoculars, they should have 110 moisture fog upon them. Prism cover plates in good binoculars are sealed tightly to the binocular body with a rubber gasket or a wax seal to prevent entrance of moisture into the binocular.
4. The binocular should be shaken vigorously while restraining the hinge motion. If there is a loose screw or optical part, it may be heard rattling around. This is not an unusual occurrence with glasses which have been poorly made or carelessly inspected. The objective lens should be struck sharply with the joint of the index finger. If this glass is loose, it can be felt to move in its mount.
5. Finally, the binoculars should be grasped, one barrel in each hand, and the hinge slowrly opened and closed several times. The hinge should not chatter but should work smoothly and evenly.
There are many imitation prism binoculars on the market advertised in the Sunday paper "shopping guides" and in the popular do-it-yourself and hobbyist magazines. These sell for as little as $4 and $5. They are cleverly designed, for they have a bulge in the barrel, which makes them look to the layman very much like regular prism binoculars. Actually they are just field glasses, with a very different optical system from binoculars, and field glasses of a very low grade at that. True prism binoculars can be distinguished by the fact that the objective lens is not in direct line with the eyepiece, regardless of the shape of the barrel (see illustration on page 11).
(A rare exception is a "direct view binocular" made by Hensoldt, which comprises an unusual type of prism.)
The glass next to be described is one of Japanese make, purchased by Consumers' Research from a large radio, television, and camera dealer supply house and examined according to the rules mentioned above. They were fairly well made and fulfilled the basic requirements for prism binoculars. This fact and their low price would make them satisfactory for the person who would need a binocular only for infrequent use and would not subject them to hard usage. They would be acceptable for sporting events and bird watching as well as yachting. The details are as follows:
Binolux Prism Binocular (Lafayette Radio, 165-08 Liberty Ave., Jamaica 33, N.Y.) $20.95 plus $2.10 federal excise tax, plus postage, including pigskin-covered case and straps. Made in Japan. 7 x 35, center focus. Field of view at 1000 yd., 341 ft. All optics were coated. Workmanship was good and operation of the movable parts was smooth. The same glass is available with individual-eyepiece focusing at $17.95, plus $1.80 federal excise tax.
Consumers' Research also purchased a cheap "imitation" of a prism glass, from a mail-order firm known as Thoresen Inc., New York City, which is a big advertiser in newspapers and popular magazines. The price of the cheap glass (made in Western Germany) was $4.98 postpaid, including case made of plastic and carrying strap. The appearance was good, but the workmanship was poor and likewise the optical design; the lenses showed marked color fringing and would not give a true binocular image. The optical quality was so poor that the instrument would not give a sharply focused image, as any good binocular should.
A special warning to our readers
A NEW AND POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS PRODUCT has appeared on the market in the form of an electric teapot. This appliance, which appeared in department stores and drugstores too late to permit a more complete examination and report in this Bulletin, is a ceramic pitcher with built-in open coil heating element in its base and a ceramic base dish or saucer which contains exposed electric contacts. When the pot is placed on the saucer in correct position, two prongs on the bottom of the pot touch the saucer contacts, which are connected by a line cord to a 115-volt socket. Removing
the pot from the base cuts off power to the heater, but the exposed saucer contacts are electrically alive, and at full voltage, so long as the plug is in the outlet socket! Because of the open heating element, the user could get a bad shock from just touching the water in the pot while it is heating. CR advises against the purchase of this imported product (made in Japan), and if one was received as a gift, the recipient would be wise not to use it or permit others to do so. A more complete report on this appliance will appear in the March 1958 Consumer Bulletin.
Automatic dishwashing machines
In an article on automatic dishwashing machines in the August 1957 issue of Consumer Bulletin, seven brands of dishwashers were discussed and rated. That reportdid notincludethe American Kitchens, Kitchen-Aid, or RCA Whirlpool machines for the reason that, at the time the tests were being conducted, the manufacturers of these three dishwashers were on the point of bringing out new models. Tests on the three brands have now been completed and we present the results of these and, for the convenience of readers of Consumer Bulletin, results of the previous tests.
Rather than repeat the general discussion of dishwashers, Consumers' Research suggests that anyone interested in the many important general questions regarding types and choice and the usefulness of dishwashers (under-counter and portable), minimum water pressure needed, and detergents needed for machine dishwashing should refer to the August issue. IVIany people, however, are of the opinion that with a dishwasher, dishes are washed in water of suffi -ciently high temperature for sterilization, that is sup -posed to kill all bacteria on the dishes. On that account, if for no other reason, they believe, a dishwasher is a desirable and needed appliance. It is in order, therefore, to discuss that subject briefly again here.
Are dishes sterilized in dishwashers?
Temperature of water is very important for washing dishes and for sterilization. The temperature at which dishes will be washed and rinsed in an automatic dishwasher depends primarily on the temperature of the water supplied to the machine. The actual washing temperature will always be lower, however, since there is marked lowering of temperature due to loss of heat in heating up the dishes and the tub of the machine. Consumers' Research found in its tests that although water was supplied to the dishwashers at 150°F, the initial dishwashing temperature in the machines was far lower-ranged from 102 to 135 degrees. At the end of the wash period, after the water had been heated for 10 minutes or so in the machine, the temperature was still surprisingly low, and ranged from 120 to 140 degrees. One of the dishwashers, the West-
inghouse, which reached the 140-degree figure, did so because the machine is so designed that the timer cannot advance until the water reaches approximately 140 degrees. As would be expected with this arrangement, the time required for the machine to complete a full cycle was extended by an amount of time that depended upon how low was the temperature of the incoming water. Of course, the cost of operation (for electrical energy) was also increased.
Table I gives the average temperatures in the dish spaces of the washer obtained in the tests for each machine. The figures in the column headed Initial are the temperatures found in the dishwashers five minutes after the machines were started or after the pipes had been emptied of their original content of cool water. The other three columns give the temperatures found at the
Temperatures at upper and lower racks, with water supplied at 1 50°F
Brand name I nitial End o wash End of rinse End of drying
Upper Lower Upper Lower Upper Lower Upper Lower
American Kitchens 120 120 125 125 135 135 145 165
American Kitchens, portable 115 115 125 125 130 130 135 140
Frigidaire 120 120 120 120 135 135 125 135
General Electric 125 125 135 135 140 140 125 125
Hotpoint 125 125 130 130 125 125 115 145
Hotpoint, portable 125 125 130 125 135 130 120 170
James, portable 135 135 140 140 135 135 * *
Kelvinator 115 115 125 125 130 130 150 160
KitchenAid 120 120 120 120 130 125 115 105
RCA Whirlpool 115 115 125 125 135 140 150 175
Westinghouse 120 120 140 140 140 140 160 170
Youngstown 105 105 120 120 135 135 115 135
*No drying cycle
end of each phase-wash, rinse, and dry periods of the full cycle.
While a temperature of 170 degrees or higher is required for washing or rinsing to kill bacteria, an investigator in one study reported finding that satisfactory removal of bacteria from dishes can be accomplished in a dishwashing machine if the temperature of the wash and rinse water is 140 degrees or higher, and if the dishwasher is kept clean. Since few of the machines reached even the lower temperature in either washing or rinsing, it would seem that even when 150-degree water was supplied-a temperature not likely to be exceeded in most homes-the consumer would be wise to base his choice of a machine primarily upon its ability to wash dishes clean, not upon any supposed effectiveness in sterilizing dishes and flatware.
Results of CR's tests
For the convenience of readers, we include in this report the test data and ratings on the 10 brands
tested (7 from the previous report). Estimated cost of operation per month for each dishwasher shown in Table II is based on the use of a machine three times a day with electricity at cents per kilowatt-hour (the national average rate, approximately). Where a dishwashing machine is used only twice daily, the figure would be two thirds of that shown in the table.
Unless otherwise stated in the listing, a machine was judged convenient to load.
American Kitchens, Model DW-2430 (American Kitch ens, Div. of Avco Mfg. Corp., Connersville, Ind.) $315 A front-opening, front-loading, under-counter model Performance in washing dishes and silverware (knives, forks, spoons), good. Operation of the machine was relatively noisy.
Frigidaire, Model DWUW (Frigidaire, Div. of General Motors Corp., Dayton 1, Ohio) $320. A front-opening, front-loading, under-counter model. Performance in washing dishes and silverware was good, but best
dishwashing results depend upon careful placement oi dishes. Strainer, which passed only relatively small food particles, required frequent cleaning. Careful preliminary scraping or rinsing of dishes helped with this problem.
Hotpoint, Model MCP27 (Hotpoint Co., Chicago 44) $370. A front-opening, front-loading, portable machine for mounting on casters or as a free-standing model. Machine washed dishes well, but showed poor performance on silverware. Loading of large pieces such as platters was somewhat difficult.
Hotpoint, Model MCP28 (Hotpoint Co.) $340. A front-opening, front-loading, under-counter model for permanent installation. The interior design and the operation of this model are the same as for the portable model. Comments on performance under MCP27 apply to this machine.
KitchenAid, Model KD-12P (The Hobart Mfg. Co., Troy, Ohio) $345. A front-opening, front-loading, under-counter model. Performance in washing dishes and silverware was very good, but this machine had a
smaller capacity than other makes of the same size. Machine was relatively easy to load, but information in the instruction booklet was poorly presented.
American Kitchens Roll-o-matic, Model DW-220S
(American Kitchens, Div. of Avco Mfg. Corp.) $220. A top-loading portable machine. Performance in washing dishes, good on lower rack but only fair on upper rack; performance on silverware was fairly good. A steam exhaust was located at the rear of the machine; this might present a problem in some cases if the machine were used close to a wall. The machine was relatively noisy in operation, and was somewhat difficult to load.
General Electric, Model SU-60P (General Electric Co., Louisville 1, Ky.) $300. A drawer-type, top-loading, under-counter model. Performance in washing dishes and silverware was fair. Control-dial action and markings were such that it was difficult to set the machine to
Important data on twelve leading dishwashers
Brand name Capacity- service for Dimensions, inches Number of pieces machine will hold* Time for complete cycle, min. Electricity Hot water, gallons
Watt-hr. per cycle Approx. cost per month, $
Width Depth Lower rack Upper rack
American Kitchens 6 24 26 24 24 34 635 2.00 6.8
American Kitchens, portable 6 22 25 24 26 34 520 1.65 6.2
Frigidaire 6 24 24 31 20 45 580 1.85 11.6
General Electric 6 24 25 29 21 37 630 2.00 10.6
Hotpoint 6 24 25 27 29 53 835 2.60 10.7
Hotpoint, portable 6 24 25 27 29 53 655 2.05 10.2
James, portable 6 25 18 28 22 14 145 0.45 6.0
Kelvinator ti 24 23 26 29 34 625 2.00 6.6
KitchenAid 6 24 25 22 18 43 150 1.40 9.1
RCA Whirlpool 6 24 23 24 24 34 640 2.00 6.2
Westinghouse 6 24 24 29 26 80 1220 3.85 7.8
Youngstown 8 30 24 43 24 36 605 1.90 7.2
* Except for the James and Youngstown, the figures include two small pans. No pans are included in the figures for the James; three small pans are included for the Youngstown, t Time to end of wash cycle; machine is not equipped with a heater for the drying operation.
Average time with incoming water temperature at 150 degrees. The time will vary with the temperature of the water supplied; decreased water temperature increases the time required and vice versa.
desired parts of the cycle. Loading of upper rack was somewhat difficult to carry out in spite of flexibility offered in the design of the rack for placing the pieces tc be washed, and the instruction book was not very helpful in this respect. The machine was somewhat noisy in operation. With the "Rinse-Dry" ejector-for adding a liquid wetting agent in the final rinse-this machine would be C. Not Recommended, for with the ejector there was excessive electrical leakage current on the sample tested, indicating a substantial degree of shock hazard. Washing results were fairly good on one of the two samples tested, and only fair on the other. The differences in washing results were found in the two impellers (fast-spinning fan-blade-like devices at the bottom of the tubs) which were identical except for their "leading" edges. (The impeller having sharp leading edges was more effective in washing than the one with somewhat blunt leading edges. If the dishwasher performance is not good, let a serviceman check to see if you have the preferred impeller.) Machines which have the preferred sharp-edged impeller (the later design) and do not have the "Rinse-Dry" ejector warrant an A-Recommended rating.
Kelvinator, Model UDW-P (American Motors Corp., Detroit 32) $320. A front-opening, front-loading,
under-counter model. Performance in washing dishes md silverware, fair. Relatively noisy in operation.
RCA Whirlpool, Model DDW240 (Whirlpool-Seeger Corp., St. Joseph, Mich.) $290. Performance in washing dishes, good on lower rack but only fair on upper
rack; performance on silverware was only fair. The machine was relatively noisy in operation.
Westinghouse, Model DWDA-24 (Westinghouse Electric Corp., Columbus 16, Ohio) $300. A drawer-type, top-loading, under-counter model. Performance in washing dishes was fair; on silverware, fairly good.
* * *
James Universal, Model 9900 (Cribben & Sexton Co., Universal Gas Appliances, Chicago 12) $280. Top-
opening, top-loading, portable model. Performance in washing dishes and silverware, relatively poor. The machine was somewhat difficult to load. Cleaning the strainer was difficult and inconvenient. The James was noisy in operation. Information in the instruction book was not well presented.
Youngstown, Model DW300 (Youngstown Kitchens, Div. of American-Standard, Warren, Ohio) $300. A front-opening, front-loading, under-counter model. Dishwashing action, relatively poor; food residues left on dishes and racks, particularly at points where dishes made contact with racks; performance in washing silverware, fair. The design of the upper rack for holding cups was considered poor, because of tendency for cups to fall off upon slight jarring of the rack. Strainer required frequent cleaning. Careful preliminary scraping or rinsing of dishes helped with this problem. Strainer was difficult to remove and clean, Model DW301, subsequently tested, performed somewhat better.
Photographs: Hotpoint Co.; American Kitchens.
Emendation to Consumer Bulletin
Automatic dishwashing machines Page 8, Aug. '57 Bulletin
In discussing the effect of dishwashing detergents on dishes the article referred to difficulties likely to arise with dishes that have underglaze decora-
tions. The statement should have referred to dishes that have overglaze decorations-that is, dishes on which the decoration has been applied over the glaze and are therefore not protected by the vitreous glaze coating.
A word of caution to the car owner
The vapors of alcohol-water mixtures containing as little as 10 percent alcohol by volume are flammable, and the danger of ignition and of a fire increases as the concentration of alcohol in the mixture increases.
In case there is trouble with the radiator and it is necessary to investigate, the radiator cap should be removed with the greatest care, being
turned part way first, so that any built-up pressure can escape safely. When the absence of noise of escaping liquid or vapor indicates that the pressure is fully released, the cap may be turned the rest of the way, counterclockwise, to remove it. Serious injury may result, if this procedure is not followed, for one may be scalded or sprayed with boiling hot water or anti-freeze solution.
Adhesives for household use
For some common household purposes, several kinds of glue or cement are satisfactory, but there s no one product that can be used for all the jobs likely to arise. Some of the available kinds of adhesive are animal and fish glues, polyvinylesin emulsions, urea resins, casein glues, resorcinol esins, mastics, and cellulose-base and other clear elements with volatile solvents. The nearest thing nowadays to an all-around household adhesive is he popular polyvinyl-resin emulsion glue.
Glues based on polyvinyl resins are white iquids of about the consistency of heavy cream, 'hey have a mild but distinctive acrid odor which
3 easily recognized. These glues are suitable for obs of many sorts common in the home, where /ood is involved, as furniture construction or epair, toy repair, etc. They are handier to use han the older type of animal and. fish glues, for he polyvinyl-resin glues set in a much shorter ime-about a half-hour as compared with several lours for animal and fish glues. The polyvinylesin glues are also good for pasting paper, leather, loth, bric-a-brac, and most porous materials, these glues harden by evaporation of water, and
0 cannot be used effectively to secure two non-'orous surfaces. (Any adhesive that hardens by evaporation will set on hard, non-porous surfaces nly near the edge of the glue line where it is exposed to air.)
Polyvinyl-resin adhesives are not suitable for se on outdoor furniture or anything likely to be exposed to high humidity for any extended period, or can they be used on articles subjected to 5mperatures much above 100°F. Joints made ath these glues tend to "creep" under long-continued stress, but fortunately most glued joints
1 the home are not subjected to continuous high
Repairing a broken dish with clear cement. Instructions for use of such products vary, but most manufacturers recommend letting the cement dry to a somewhat tacky state before pressing the pieces together. CR found that adequate tackiness developed very quickly-in a matter of 10 to 15 seconds, for most of these cements. The pieces should be assembled quickly to avoid formation of a thick visible cement line. For porous pieces, some instructions advise a preliminary or prime coat. This method also leads to thick cement lines, and makes it difficult sometimes to fit pieces together, unless the material to be cemented is so highly porous that the first coat sinks in almost completely.
stress. Most polyvinyl-resin glues are white and become nearly transparent when dry, but discolor when in contact with some metals.
To stick tightly and long, a glued joint must be well fitted and clamped firmly until the glue has set. Simply getting glue into a loosened joint is not enough to fix it. The joint must be tightened up by pushing loosened parts together, and then holding them in contact while the glue dries. If necessary, parts must be reworked to fit snugly or open spaces must be filled up with a suitable material-not with glue.
For this reason, devices for injecting glue into a joint (a chair round in its socket, for example), frequently advertised in newspaper mail-order columns and "do-it-yourself" magazines, are not very satisfactory. If the joint fits snugly, as it should, the injected glue will not spread to cover the contact area; if the joint is loose, filling it up with glue does not effect a sound, permanent repair.
For wood joints that must be moisture resistant, a urea-resin glue will prove satisfactory and reasonably convenient to use. The urea-resin glues, sold in powder form, are mixed with water before using. The moisture resistance of these glues is
Fragments of two mended saucers after being rebroken by being dropped on a concrete floor. Left: a saucer mended with Le-Page's Miracle Mender has separated along the line of the original break. Right: breaks mended with Seal-All have held together; the repaired saucer has fractured along new lines.
not, however, considered adequate for out-of-door conditions. A truly waterproof bond with wood calls for a glue based on resorcinol resin. The resorcinol-resin glues, which are quite expensive, are supplied in two-part packages, one part containing a liquid and the other a powder. The two materials are mixed together to form the glue, which remains usable for only a few hours.
Breathing fumes from clear, quick-drying cements, much used in model making, may be injurious to health, and such cements are highly flammable, as are the films left after drying. Parents should warn young hobbyists of these dangers, emphasizing especially the hazard of breathing the vapors and the need for good ventilation in work areas. Clear cements may also be used for mending decorative articles of china, glass, and the like, but such repairs are not likely to be sufficiently strong and long lasting to permit the repaired articles to be used regularly for serving food or in other hard use.
The repair and restoration of broken china and similar materials is an art involving many details that space limitations prohibit our describing here. An interesting and informative book on the subject is How to Mend China and Bric-A-Brac, by St.-Gaudens and Jackson, available for $2 from the publisher, Charles T. Branford Co., Box 41, Newton Centre, Mass.
Synthetic-rubber adhesives (not the ordinary rubber cement) will bond a wide range of substances. Even two non-porous materials can be bonded by applying heat and pressure after the solvent has been allowed to evaporate from the unassembled pieces. Pliobond is the only cement of this type that is in wide sale. The vapors of the Pliobond solvent are flammable and toxic and the adhesive must be used with good ventilation and care against fire. There is a very unpleasant odor for some time while the adhesive is hardening; it is advisable to let a Pliobond joint dry out of doors, if possible.
The average consumer's day-to-day adhesive needs would probably be well met if he were to have on hand a small quantity of each of the following, particularly the first and fourth.
A set of three maple blocks, glued together, was subjected to Increasing pressure in a hydraulic press, to measure the shear strength of the bond of the various brands of polyvinyl-resin emulsion glues.
Clear cellulose cement
Urea-resin glue Synthetic rubber adhesive
Best used for
Furniture repair, pasting paper, cardboard, etc.
Repair of dishes not in regular use, bric-a-brac, etc.
Moisture-resistant wood joints
Porous and non-porous materials, especially where flexibility and toughness are important
CR has made examinations and tests of polyvinyl-resin glues as used to bond wood blocks (maple), and of clear cements as used in mending dishes. The following ratings, on the basis of these tests, will probably apply to most ordinary uses of the cements, but do not necessarily indicate how well one of the listed products would perform if used for other purposes than those stated. The considerations entering into the price ratings are somewhat complex, and take into account both costs per ounce and package sizes.
(Tested and rated only as used for gluing wood)
Most of the brands tested are available in refill-able plastic squeeze bottles with applicator tips; many come in other types of containers also. CR believes a squeeze bottle is handiest for occasional home use, although the tip opening may occasionally become clogged and need to be cleaned with a stiff wire such as a straightened paper clip. Except where otherwise stated, the glues listed come in refillable plastic squeeze bottles. An economical procedure for a relatively large user would be to buy a small refillable squeeze bottle, and replace its contents as needed from a larger container (since the plastic squeeze bottle itself represents a major part of the price and many of the glues listed are available in larger quantities in other types of containers at considerably lower cost per ounce).
A. Recommended Handy Home (Armour & Co., Alliance, Ohio) 59c for
4 fl. oz. 1
Magic Tite-Grip Clean White Glue (Magic Iron Cement Co., Cleveland 27) 59c for 4 oz. 1
Weld wood Presto-Set Glue (U.S. Plywood Corp., New
York 36) 99c for 9% oz. 1
Ad Hero Quick Bonding White Glue (Paisley Prod
Left. Pliobond, an adhesive based on synthetic rubber, is the most widely distributed and best known product of its type. It combines strength with toughness and has many uses In the home.
Right. Two recommended brands of clear cement, Seal-AI and LePage's Miracle Mender.
Polyvinyl-resin glues. A few of the 17 brands now on the market which were tested by Consumers' Research.
ucts, Inc., Div. of Morningstar, Nicol, Inc., New York 19) 89c for 6 oz. 2
Elmei's Glue All (Borden Co., New York 17) 29c for Vy± oz. Non-refillable plastic squeeze bottle. 2
Franklin's Evertite Glue (Franklin Glue Co., Columbus 15, Ohio) 35c for 2 oz. 2
Fuller's Resiwood (H. B. Fuller Co., St. Paul 2) $1 for 8 oz. 2
LePage's Sure Grip White Glue (LePage's, Inc., Gloucester, Mass.) 29c for 1J4 oz. 2
Rivit (H. Behlen & Bros., Inc.. New York 14) $1.25 for 8 oz. 2
Willhold White Glue (Acorn Adhesives Co., Inc., Los Angeles 31) 39c for 2 oz. 2
* * *
Cementique (Antique Corner, Box 50, South Bend 24, Ind.) $1, postpaid, for 23^2 oz. Non-refillable plastic squeeze bottle. (More than twice as high in price per ounce as average of other polyvinyl-resin glues tested.) 3
The following brands produced fairly strong bonds, bui not as strong as those obtained with the glues listed in the A-Recommended group.
Champ (Champion Mfg. Co., Charlotte 6, N'.C.) 59c for 4 oz. Light tan color. 1
Fast-Set Glue (Chair-Loc Co., Lakehurst. N.J.) 69c,
postpaid, for 4 oz. 2
Fuller's All-Purpose Adhesive (H. B. Fuller Co.) 39c for 2 oz. 2
Dab-N-Stik (Millard Hanenson, Inc.. NI.Y.C.) 97c for 4 oz. 3
C. Not Recommended
The following brands had relatively low bond strength? in CR's tests on wood blocks.
Dunlap Quick Set Glue (Sears-Roebuck's Cat. No 9-8087) 49c, plus postage, for 4 oz. 1
SOBO (all-purpose) (Slomons Laboratories, Inc., Long Island City 1, N.Y.) 39c for 1^ oz. in metal tube. 3
(Tested and rated only as used for mending dishes of earthenware [the most common kind])
LePage's Miracle Mender (LePage's, Inc.) 29c for 1 oz. in metal tube. Strong bond. After soaking, retained considerable strength but was not as strong as Seal-All. 2
Seal-All (Allen Products Corp., 24170 Sherwood Ave.. Centerline, Mich.) 50c for % oz. in metal tube. Strongest bond of the clear cements tested. Retained strength well after soaking in water. 3
Each of the following 5-rated products gave a strong bond, which weakened somewhat after a period of soaking.
Ambroid (Ambroid Co., Weymouth 88, Mass.) 30c for 1% oz. in metal tube. Light amber color. 1
Duco Cement (E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., Wilmington, Del.) 15c for % oz. in metal tube. 1
Franklin's Household Cement (Franklin Glue Co.) 35c for 2 oz. in metal tube. 1
Magic Crystal Clear Cement (Magic Iron Cement Co.) 29c for 13^ oz. in metal tube. 1
Quick Mend Universal Mender (O. R. Chemical Co., Chicago) 15c for 1 oz. in glass bottle. Light amber color. 1
Testors Household Cement (Testor Chemical Co., Rockford, 111.) 25c for 1.9 oz. in metal tube. 1
DuPont All-Purpose Sealer (E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc.) 75c for 1 oz. in metal tube. More flexible after setting than Duco cement. 3
C. Not Recommended
UHU All-Purpose Concentrated Glue (Made in Western Germany; distributed by UHU Products Corp., New York 14) 25c for 0.4 oz. in metal tube. Not
strictly a "glue," although so labeled. Fairly strong bond; greatly weakened by soaking. More flexible after setting than other clear cements tested. 3
Electronic organs lor the home with ratings of spinet models
Small electronic organs, priced in a range competitive with pianos, are becoming increasingly popular. For some $1000 to $1500, a family nowadays may have the pleasure of owning either a spinet electronic organ or a spinet piano.
Many will prefer the electronic organ to the piano, for simple melodies can be learned in a short time on the organ with considerable personal satisfaction and far more fun. Its tones have, for many people, more appeal than a piano's. Further, a chord, once struck, can be held so that it lingers on and provides a background for the melody.
The tones of an electronic organ may be generated by any one of several methods: the spinning tone wheel employing magnetic "pickups" (Hammond), the vibrating free reed with capacitive pickup (some models of Wurlitzer), the vacuum-tube oscillator (Baldwin, and several other makes), the neon lamp (Kinsman), the transistor (Gulbransen), and the spinning disk-a photoelectric device recently adopted by Kimball. Of these, the vacuum-tube oscillator and neon lamp, in which the harmonics are inextricably associated with the prime tones in greater or less prominence, are deemed by most musicians and electronic engineers as capable of providing maximum variety and authenticity of tone colors. These two, as used in present electronic organ designs, provide an electronic parallel to the acoustic action in regular musical instruments. Both methods produce alternating currents at the different frequencies corresponding to the fundamental tones desired. Harmonics (overtones) are present as a by-product but some of the harmonics are selectively filtered out to provide the quality of tone desired. Brighter tones, such as trumpet and violin, are produced when there is a minimum of filtering and all of the associated harmonics are permitted to sound. It is thus possible to secure a wide range of tonal color that is direct and reasonably accurate, a characteristic not to be found in the other types of electronic tonal production. Organs incorporating this principle include Allen, Baldwin, Conn, Estey, Kinsman, Lowrey, Minshall, and Thomas. Not all offer the same tonal quality.
The other general type of tone-color tormation is known as harmonic synthesis and is used in
Consumers' Research gratefully acknowledges the aid and counsel of the several consultants who have given valuable and generous assistance to CR's technical staff in the preparation of this article.
Thanks are due Rowland W. Dunham, Dean Emeritus of the College of Music, University of Colorado, and William Harrison Barnes,
A.B., Mus.D., author of "The Contemporary American Organ," and an organ architect.
Estey, Gulbransen, Hammond, and some models of Wurlitzer. These organs provide what might be described as a bland tone with few overtones for each pitch. Basic tones are played in combination with higher tones of various degrees of loudness with relation to the basic tone to provide overtone structure. These instruments provide very distinctive tones but they are not imitative of ordinary orchestral instruments.
It should be noted, however, that the spinning tone wheel used by Hammond has proved itself over the years to be the most reliable, trouble-free system yet devised.
In this country today there are 11 or 12 different makes of electronic organs generally available. Most manufacturers produce several models, and a manufacturer's line may include a spinet organ for home use, a chord organ, and a larger instrument for use in churches or auditoriums.
Most spinet organs have two manuals (keyboards). These are offset so that the upper one of some 44 notes has a range that will cover melodies that extend to reasonably high notes. The lower manual, also of 44 notes, extends to lower bass notes and includes the middle pitch; it is played with the left hand to furnish harmony as an accompaniment for the main tune played on the upper keyboard with the right hand. Smaller spinets with a single manual are also available. The single manual restricts the usefulness of these spinets, for getting a suitable accompaniment to a melody requires that the keyboard be in two sections, the top one for melody and the bottom for accompaniment, as in the old reed organs.
Chord organs can provide pleasing music that will appeal to those having a minimum of playing skill and musical training. This method of operation permits the player to give a restricted performance with the fingers of the right hand, while pushing buttons with the left hand which produce simple chords.
The pedal board of the spinet electronic organ should have at least 13 notes (12-note pedal boards are not advisable). On most spinets, the pedals are played only with the toe or ball of the left foot. Pedal-playing technique of the character used in pipe organs, alternately using the heel and toe, is impossible since on the spinet models the pedal boards are hinged at the organ case, in front of the feet, and not on a frame as on the pipe organ. The pedal keys are only a fraction of the normal length. The pedals therefore can only be punched down, and tones are separated in each case, thus furnishing a kind of bass percussiveness, suitable for some popular music, but it is impossible to play the pedal keys in the normal, legato, organ style. Hammond and some others do have a
"pedal sustain" feature which causes a struck pedal tone to hang on until the next note is played.
The spinet organs are not to be confused with the larger electronic organs, which to a greater or lesser degree resemble in tone and dimensions the traditional pipe organ. In general, where a manufacturer makes both the larger and the spinet models, both use the same principle and produce the same general kinds of tone, though in the spinet there may be smaller variation, and tone color may be chosen somewhat differently to be more suitable for the playing of non-serious music.
The spinet organ is marketed generally to satisfy the demand for a physically smaller and cheaper organ. It is harder for the novice to learn to play than a large standard-facility organ since some skill is necessary to circumvent the lack of keys and pedals. Wherever a buyer can afford an organ with the full 61-key manual and 25 or 32 pedals and where his home affords the space, he should buy one rather than a spinet. These larger organs are just as suitable for non-serious
Baldwin Orga-Sonic Spinet
music as spinets and are actually more suitable and easier for the amateur despite the greater number of keys, pedals, and stops, which may at first glance appear to indicate greater complication. These larger electronic organs usually have two manuals or keyboards of 61 notes each, the upper (Swell) usually, but not always, overhanging the lower (Great). The 32-note pedal board (25 on some) is concave and radiating, conforming to the standard specifications of the American Guild of Organists. This size of electronic organ has an array of stops or drawbars or coupler tabs with which the player may set up a combination of harmonics, or overtones, so as to achieve the tone desired. The larger instrument is to be preferred for church use, for upon such an electronic instrument it is possible to perform (with more or less musical success) the complete literature of organ music. The spinets are generally suitable only for playing the simplest hymns. Church music, to be played as written, requires use of a full-keyboard instrument.
The prospective purchaser of the spinet organ who is shopping around among the retail outlets of competitive firms will find himself in the midst
of some troublesome contusion. All dealers have their own merchandising techniques, of course One common practice is playing in a manner to favor the various details and tonal characteristics of the particular make being demonstrated. A stop may be used that will be said to duplicate an oboe, a violin, a French horn. The power oi suggestion will often cause the layman to think that the imitation tone is close to the original even though the similarity would be almost non existent to a person not subject to the salesman's-persuasion. The layman, too, may be so unfamiliar with the stops on a conventional pipe organ that a "duplication" on the spinet may not be judged competently by him, since he has no way of knowing whether or not there is any real similarity to the organ tone being imitated.
One of the greatest difficulties will be in obtaining prices that can be compared. Be sure to find out whether the quoted prices are all-inclusive; sometimes the cost of a tone cabinet and attachments to provide particular effects may be expensive extras, even though the demonstration included them. Benches to "match the finish of the console," backs to the console, and even the pedals may suddenly appear as an additional charge when the contract is ready for signing.
Do not be impressed by so-called "case histories," alleged instances where a particular make has been demonstrated against a rival product before a "committee," and come off victor at about a 30 to 0 score. These are questionable selling practices at best, and may well be tinged with suspicion of collusion!
Try out for yourself any organ under consideration. The claims of salesmen must be tested, and it is best that they be tested by the person who is likely to play the instrument. Don't believe the salesman who tells you that anybody without previous musical experience can play a particular electronic organ after a few minutes of experimenting with stops, keys, and pedals. Some study and practice will be required, even by one with some skill in playing the piano. Pedal technique must be learned, too.
It is suggested that the purchaser first look for the largest possible variety of stops (tone colors), ranging from one or more bland, smooth flute tones, preferably at several pitch registers-several octavely related pitches being heard from a single key depending on which stop controls are used-to the sharp, biting tones of the reeds and the buzzy strings. He should then decide simply which organ has tones most pleasing to himself, without regard for authenticity either in relation to pipe-organ sounds or to orchestral instrumenl colors. The spinet will be used for lighter music.
and mere ability to duplicate existing sounds will not necessarily guarantee satisfaction to the customer; the organ should produce a large variety of tone colors which he himself enjoys listening to.
The demonstrator should be requested to play very simple music, especially if the buyer is a novice-simple chords and melodies at slow tempos. An organ's innate sound quality cannot be judged when the music is fast or showy, since the playing overshadows the instrument and may well obscure serious faults. On the other hand, if the buyer plays the instrument himself, he should not expect that all his playing will be pleasing, since, especially with the better instruments which have good strong reeds and strings, a little experience is necessary to choose the correct stops for a particular kind of music. In general, he should try the reeds and strings on the upper manual as single note melody stops, with a softer flute or diapason accompaniment on the lower manual.
The buyer can check some points. When a note is played, it should not be accompanied by a click or thump coming from the loud-speaker. The keys should not be mechanically noisy, especially when pushed down, and then released very quickly. The pedals should have no side play and should not cause mechanical noise in use. Registration-selection of stops or tone colors- should be easy and unmistakable, with tablets plainly labeled with the names of the sounds they produce. Changes in registration should be possible while playing, without unusually long pauses. The vibrato should if possible be variable in some way, preferably in intensity. The case should be inspected carefully for quality of materials and workmanship to the extent of the buyer's familiarity with such matters.
Some retailers offer a rental plan whereby an instrument can be left in the home for some two months on a rental basis; the payments can later be applied to the purchase price of an organ. Sometimes private lessons are provided, also, as part of the rental plan. We recommend the rental plan since the consumer should not buy an instrument without satisfying himself that it will be entirely satisfactory over a long and pleasant future.
If you can't conveniently arrange to have the organ in your home, at least give yourself the benefit of a private demonstration apart from the attractive-sounding demonstration in the showroom. Play the electronic organ yourself or ask a friend to play for you. Remember that a basic tone quality that must be altered by addition of harmonics may sound monotonous, despite salesmen's claims to the contrary.
Included in the buyer's satisfaction, of course, is the availability of repair services, should they be required following the expiration of the original 90-day warranty. An electronic organ must be reliable, durable, and easy to service. Some instruments will stay in tune indefinitely; others may require frequent correction of intonation. On organs of the kind that produce their tones by means of vacuum tubes, replacement of tubes may be necessary. Check that your dealer will provide continuing service for a reasonable amount or find out where it can be obtained.
The following are listings of spinet model electronic organs. There are a number of cabinets and finishes available, and detailed information on those of a particular make may be secured from each company. Sales outlets are to be found in most of the larger cities. All the organs listed had 13-note pedal boards, except as noted. Prices are exclusive of tone cabinet, which is usually extra. Tone cabinets will be about $300 up. In most homes, the speaker housed in the organ console will be satisfactory. A tone cabinet housing a separate speaker and amplifier will provide added tone quality and acoustical effects and will also make it possible to cover a larger area with sound
Baldwin (Baldwin Piano Co., Cincinnati) $1290-$1432. Has vacuum-tube oscillators for tone production.
Conn (Conn Organ Corp., Elkhart, Ind.) $995-$1435 Has vacuum-tube oscillators for tone production.
Hammond (Hammond Organ Co., 4200 W. Diversey. Chicago) $1350-$1440. Has synchronous motor-driven wheel for tone production. Tones are considered inferior musically to others in the group, but the fact that this organ may need servicing only infrequently may place il in the A classification for those who like its tonal qualities.
Allen (Allen Organ Co., Macungie, Pa.) $1520. Has vacuum-tube oscillators for tone production. This organ is deserving of an A-Recommended rating on the basis of musical quality, but it has a past history of service troubles.
Estey (Estey Organ Corp., Brattleboro, Vt.) About $1395-$1450. Has 18-note pedal board. Has vacuum-tube oscillators for tone production. This organ has a past history of service trouble usually attributed to the necessity for and use of carefully selected parts. It employs harmonic tablets which, because of their number, are more difficult to operate than drawbars or stops.
Gulbransen (The Gulbransen Co., Melrose Park, 111.) $1470-$1588. This organ, employing transistors, has not yet been in use for a sufficiently long time to warrant an A-Recommended rating.
Kinsman (Kinsman Mfg. Co., Laconia, N.H.) $795-$1195. Spinets of one and two manuals. Has neon-lamp oscillators. This organ is deserving of an A-Recommended rating on the basis of musical quality, but it has not been on the market long enough to determine the amount of servicing required.
Minshall (Minshall Organ, Inc., Brattleboro, Vt.) $695-$1595. Has vacuum-tube oscillators. This spinet has given trouble with service since its tone generators, although economical, are not very securely synchronized and extreme climates and age may cause malfunctioning. Recent models have been improved, but have not been in use for a sufficiently long time to warrant an A-Rec-ommended rating.
Thomas (Thomas Organ Co., Div. of Pacific Mercury Corp., Sepulveda, Calif.) $695-$1245. Has vacuum-tube oscillators. On this organ, each oscillator takes care
of two or three notes, so that in many cases adjacent halftones or whole tones cannot be played simultaneously (an undesirable limitation). Tuning, which involves resistance variation, is not particularly stable, and since oscillators are individual, the tuning operation must be carried out on every note.
Wurlitzer (The Wurlitzer Co., North Tonawanda, N.Y.) $1275-$1421. This type of spinet, which has vibrating reeds for tone production, has given trouble with warp-age of the mechanical linkages connected with the registration system. The reeds stay in tune over very long periods but they are difficult to retune if retuning is necessary.
Wurlitzer (The Wurlitzer Co.) $960-$995. Wurlitzers in this price range have vacuum-tube oscillators for tone production. This organ has not been in use for a sufficiently long time to warrant an A-Recommended rating.
Safeguarding electrical equipment by grounding
In an article in the January 1956 Bulletin, we included a widely-favored recommendation that "dielectric unions" should be used at all points where dissimilar metals, such as steel, aluminum, and copper, are joined in pipes, tanks, fittings, etc. Dielectric unions are unions in which non-metallic gaskets separate the metal parts so that electricity cannot flow through the joints. We had in mind that some water heater warranties are voided unless the insulating unions are installed; and second, that the special unions are helpful in reducing electrolytic corrosion, which is a problem wherever dissimilar metals join or are in close contact in the presence of moisture.
Further investigations and inquiry indicate that, in a region where severe lightning storms are a possibility, there are good reasons why insulated bushings or couplings should not be present in the water piping of a home. These reasons have to do with the fact that during a lightning storm there occasionally arise electrical conditions which make it desirable that all parts of the water and the drainage system should be connected electrically to ground.
Discussing the effects of electrical discharges to the ground through the wiring which comes from the power plant to the home and thence through electrical wiring and appliances in the home, Mr. O. K. Coleman, an electrical engineer expert on electrical code questions, points out in a paper entitled "Why Ground?" that differences of potential due to a lightning stroke may, on very rare occasions, be so high as to cause
insulation failure at one or more appliances. From that time on, one or more appliances or a tank or piping or an exposed frame of an appliance may, due to the lightning-caused insulation failure, be at full line-voltage-a most hazardous condition-even though the usual ground wiring is present in the wiring of the house, and remains after the immediate effects of the storm have passed.
This potentially dangerous situation is one that the householder would not be aware of. When dielectric unions are not present, and all tanks, frames, pipes, etc., are tied together electrically by direct contact of piping or by suitable ground wiring, the protective fuse or other device will operate to disconnect the dangerous appliance from the power line if an insulation failure occurs, as may happen in rare instances. This out-of-service condition will continue until an electrician has examined the situation and repaired the defective appliance so that service can be restored. Often insulation failures of this sort will require complete replacement of the electrical parts, or at least the motor or heating element of the damaged appliance.
Thus there are advantages and disadvantages in the dielectric union. It is a widely accepted means for mitigating corrosion troubles in tanks and piping, or at a water softener, but in view of the hazard that might exist in the very exceptional circumstance mentioned, it is felt that on the whole the house piping and appliances will be safer without use of the insulated or dielectric pipe connections for hot- or cold-water piping.
New 35 mm. cameras and slide projectors
We think that some of our readers who do not have an interest in photography may underestimate the importance of this topic, both economically and from a standpoint of the ultimate consumer of photographic equipment and supplies. About half the families in the United States have one or more cameras, and many of the people who take pictures regard their cameras as indispensable, and prize them almost as much as their automobiles. Something like 27 million persons are using 35 million still cameras to take 2 billion pictures a year, and are using
in the process nearly half a billion flash bulbs. There are said to be more than 6000 local camera clubs, from which it may be assumed that a very considerable number of photographic amateurs take their hobby quite seriously, and are not concerned merely with snapshots of vacation scenes and people. It is estimated that American consumers are spending about half a billion dollars a year on photographic equipment, photofinishing, and photographic supplies. (By comparison, the number of movie cameras in use is quite small, about 1/10 the number of still cameras.)
Interest in cameras and photographic equipment continues at a high level, and while there have been no really important developments in design, a constant stream of new models is coming into the market with features to provide greater versatility and convenience in operation. A Light-Value System (LVS) or Exposure-Value System (EVS) is now incorporated in many new cameras, which was intended to simplify the operation of medium-priced and expensive cameras for the benefit of inexpert or inexperienced amateurs. In the new system, the shutter speed and stop opening (aperture) controls are coupled together and the light-value number, which can be read directly from many of the up-to-date exposure meters, is set opposite a dot or other reference mark. This is supposed to give the correct combination of shutter speed and stop. If the photographer, before making the exposure, decides to change to a different shutter speed, changing to another shutter speed changes the F stop or aperture to the correspondingly correct value by a mechanical linkage. The Light-Value System seems not to have proved very popular; in fact, many owners of new cameras with this feature dislike it and prefer the old system of shutter speeds set independently of the lens aperture settings (F stops).
Very fast camera lenses, F1.2 and F1.9, are becoming common, but with the availability of fast black-and-white film, a new very fast color
film, and the almost universal use of synchronized flash, use of such lenses is wholly unnecessary except for a very few amateurs who have quite unusual photographic problems. Indeed, lenses of F2.8 or slower speeds will be found ample for the needs of almost anyone, and such lenses will give much better photographic results and be much lower in price than the newest super-fast lenses.
35 mm. cameras
Minolta A-2 (Distributed by FR Corp., New York 51) $69.95. Case, $8.95. BC flash gun, $8.50. Made in Japan. Rokkor f/2.8 lens of 45 mm. focal length. Optiper MXV shutter with rated speeds of 1/400 to 1 second, and bulb. Built-in M-X synchronization. Delayed action release (self-timer). Click-stops on aperture (diaphragm) control. The camera includes a device to prevent double exposures. A shoe is provided for attachment of flash gun or other accessory. Coupled
range-finder of superimposed-image type with single window for view-finder and range-finder. The viewfinder has a luminous white frame which outlines picture area (very good; the best type for those who wear glasses). Flash guide scale on lens mount. Camera focuses from 2.7 ft. to infinity by a knob which rotates the lens mount. The film is advanced and the shutter cocked by single stroke of a lever. Quality of lens, very good; it resolved 68 lines per mm. at the center, 40 lines per mm. at edges, at full aperture (one of the best yet tested by CR). Errors in shutter speeds exceeded permitted tolerances at 1/25 and 1/200. Weight without case, 1 lb. 6 oz. 1
Aires 35-IIIL (Aires Camera Ind. Co., Ltd.; distributed by Kalimar, Inc., St. Louis 10) $99.50. Case,
$12.50. Made in Japan. H. Coral Fl.9 lens of 45 mm. focal length. Seikosha MXL shutter with rated speeds of 1/500 to 1 sec., and bulb. Built-in M-F-X synchronization. Light-value scale cross-coupled to aperture and shutter speed settings (see text). Click-stops on aperture (diaphragm) control. The camera includes a device to prevent double exposures. A shoe is provided for attachment of flash gun or other accessory. Coupled range-finder of superimposed-image type with single window for view-finder and range-finder. View-finder has a luminous white frame which outlines picture area (very good); it also includes special marks to provide correction for parallax. The camera focuses from 1.7 ft. to infinity by movement of the lens in its helical mount, controlled by a lever (focusing to 1.7 ft. would be a real advantage for some users). Film is advanced and shutter cocked by a single stroke of a lever. Quality of tens, fairly good; it resolved 56 lines per mm. at the center, 20 lines per mm. at edges, at full aperture. Quality of image was good when lens was stopped down to //4 and smaller apertures. Shutter speeds were all within permitted tolerances. A very well-made camera, but somewhat heavy. Weight without case, 1 lb. 13 oz. (25% heavier than the Minolta A-2). 2
Canon, Model L-l (Canon Camera Co., Inc., 550 Fifth Ave., New York 36) $259 with Canon 50 mm. //2.8
lens; $440 with Canon 50 mm. //1.2 lens. Case, $14. Canon 35 mm.//1.8 lens, $160. Made in Japan. Focuses by movement of lens in helical mount from 3.5 ft. to infinity. All lenses had click stops. Coupled superimposed-image type of range-finder with single window for range- and view-finder. Turning a small knurled wheel adjusts view-finder for field of view of lenses of 35 mm. and 50 mm. focus, and finder can also be set to allow 13^x magnification of range-finder image for critical
focusing. Cloth focal-plane shutter with rated speeds-from 1/1000 to 1 sec., time, and bulb. Synchronized for F, FP, and M flash bulbs and X (electronic flash). Flash shoe for Canon flash gun on top of camera has built-in contact (separate flash contact is also provided to accommodate other flash guns). Shutter has doubleexposure prevention device, which permits double exposures when desired. No delayed action (self-timer). Rapid-wind lever on top of camera for advancing film and cocking shutter. Die-cast aluminum body. Quality of lenses at full aperture: 50 mm. F2.8, very good (resolved 56 lines per mm. at center, 40 to 56 lines per mm at edges); 50 mm.F1.2, fair (resolved 40 lines per mm. at center, 14 lines per mm. at edges); 35 mm. F1.8, good (resolved 56 lines per mm. at center, 40 lines per mm. at edges). Errors in shutter speeds exceeded permitted tolerances at 1/1000, 1/500, and 1 sec. 3
Canon, Model VT Deluxe (Canon Camera Co.) $277 with 50 mm. F2.8 lens; $458 with 50 mm. F1.2 lens. Case, $14. Same as Model L-l, except has self-timer, and rapid-wind lever located at the bottom of the camera instead of at the top. 3
Nikon SP (Nikon, Inc., 251 Fourth Ave., New York 10) $415. Case, $12.50. Made in Japan. Nikkor-S-C f/lA lens of 50 mm. focal length. Focal-plane shutter with rated speeds of 1/1000 to 1 sec., time, and bulb on one "click-stop" dial. Built-in self-timer for 3, 5, and 10 sec. delay. Built-in synchronization for F and FP bulbs and X (electronic flash at 1/60 sec.). Click-stops on aperture (diaphragm) control. Double-exposure prevention. Shoe is provided for attachment of flash gun. with additional electrical contact for cordless flash guns. Coupled range-finder of superimposed-image type with single window for view-finder and range-finder. Viewfinder has luminous frames to go with interchangeable lenses of 50, 85, 105, and 135 mm. focal lengths (very good feature). (A knob on the top of the camera permits selection of the frame to match the lens being used, and all frame lines are visible at the 135 mm. focal length setting, to permit the user to select the lens best suited for the picture he wishes to take.) A separate optical view-finder, corrected for parallax for lenses of 28 and 35 mm. focal length, is also provided. This camera focuses from 3 ft. to infinity by movement of lens in helical mount, controlled by knurled wheel set in top of camera body. Film is advanced and shutter cocked by single stroke of a lever. Bayonet lens-mount will accept lenses of some other makes. Quality of lens, good (resolved 40 to 56 lines per mm. at the center, 20 to 28 lines per mm. at edges, at full aperture; image
quality was very good when the lens was stopped down to F4 and smaller apertures). Shutter speeds, satisfactory except at 1/500 and 1/1000, which were slow. An exceptionally well-made camera. Weight, 1 lb.
10 oz. 3
35 mm. single-lens reflex
Contaflex III (Carl Zeiss, Inc., 485 Fifth Ave., New York 17) $176 with Zeiss Tessar f/2.8 lens of 50 mm. focal length. Made in Germany, Soviet Zone. Between-lens Synchro-Compur shutter with rated speeds of 1/500 to 1 sec., and bulb. M-X synchronization and built-in self-timer. Removable front-lens cell permits using supplementary Zeiss 35 mm. F4 Pro-Tessar lens ($89) and Zeiss 85 mm. F4 Pro-Tessar lens ($99), with rear cell. Shutter mechanism is not exposed when front lens cell is removed (this protection of the delicate shutter mechanism is a good feature). Eye-level coupled split-image range-finder and reflex ground-glass focusing. The camera focuses from f/2 ft. to infinity by movement of lens in helical mount. Quality of Zeiss Tessar f/2.& lens, good (resolved 40 lines per mm. at center, 40 to 56 lines per mm. at edges, at full aperture). A well-constructed camera, but it was somewhat hard to wind the film; a lever-actuated winding mechanism would be a decided improvement. 2
Contaflex IV (Carl Zeiss, Inc.) $199. Same as Contaflex III except that the IV has built-in exposure meter. 2
Twin-lens reflex (2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inch)
Minolta Autocord. Model L
Minolta Autocord, Model L (Distributed by FR Corp., New York 51) $124.50; case, $11. Made in Japan.
Rokkor coated f/3.5 taking lens of 75 mm. focal length. Rokkor coated f/3.2 viewing lens. Seikosha-MX shutter with rated speeds of 1/500 to 1 sec., and bulb. M-F-X synchronization. Built-in photoelectric exposure meter, calibrated in light values (LVS), instead of F stops and shutter speeds, with reading scale and dial on left-hand
side of the camera. Light meter operated satisfactorily when new, but for a number of reasons we advise users to choose cameras without the built-in exposure meter. Depth-of-field scale on right-hand side of camera. Shutter speeds and stops are indicated in two small windows on top of the lens mount (arrangement similar to Rollei-flex). Waist-level focusing on ground glass with Fresnel lens. Automatic film positioning; after film is once sel to proper starting point, film is advanced by turning a crank which also cocks the shutter. Small window on side of camera shows red when film is advanced and shutter is cocked ready for exposure. Double-exposure prevention, with provision for double exposure when desired. Camera has safety lock on release button to prevent accidental exposure. Focusing from 3.3 ft to infinity by lever on front of camera. This camera is-not corrected for parallax (not a matter of great importance for most camera users). A shoe is provided on the side of the camera for mounting flash gun or other accessory. The lens mount is designed for bayonet accessories (filters, hood, etc.). Quality of lens, fairly good (resolved 40 to 60 lines per mm. at center, 14 to 28 lines per mm. at edges, at full aperture). Errors in shutter speeds exceeded permitted tolerances at 1/500, 1/5, and 1/2 sec. Shutter was not well protected against entrance of dirt, sand, or dust.
FOR 2x2 INCH SLIDES (FOR PICTURES TAKEN BY 35 MM. CAMERAS)
Kodak 300 (Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester 4, N.Y.) $64.50 with Kodak Readymatic changer; $74.50 with Airequipt changer. Capacity, 36 cardboard-mounted slides. Neither changer will accept regular glass- or metal-mounted slides (a point of no great importance, however, as relatively few amateur photographers use glass- or metal-mounted slides). Coated f/3.5 Kodak Projection Ektanon lens of 4-in. focal length focused with rack and pinion by a knob at the top of the case. 300 watt lamp, double condenser, with one tinted lens. A shutter in the changer closes while slides are being changed. Turbine-type fan connected directly to power cord*Yuns as long as projector is plugged in (desirable, as it prevents use of the projector without the cooling effect of the fan). Lamp is turned on and off with a switch. The Readymatic changer, with which sample tested was equipped, operated satisfactorily.
It had the advantage of requiring no slide trays. Up to 36 slides are placed in the front compartment, and after each slide is shown it is transported to the rear compartment of the changer. Light output was about average for a 300-watt projector. Evenness of illumination, good. The projector is well baffled against light leaks. Resolution of lens, good. Temperature of slide, unusually low (115°)-very desirable. The Kodak 300 satisfactorily projected the new "Super Slides" without cutting off corners of the picture. The projector passed the usual tests for electrical safety. It is small, compact (size, 11 x 11 x 5 in.), and fitted into a case which is readily capped by a lid that covers the lens and all other parts. Weight, in case, about 9 lb. 2
C. Not Recommended
FOR 2x2 AND 2-3/4 x 2-3/4 INCH SLIDES
Dualet (Ansco, Binghamton, N.Y.) $39.95. Same
as Realist 620. 1
Realist 620, Model 3101 (David White Instrument Co., Milwaukee) $39.95, including adapter for 2x2 in. slides. Non-automatic. Built-in storage spaces for cord and 26 2% x 2% in. cardboard-mounted slides. The Realist will project slides in cardboard, glass, or metal mounts, f/3.5 projection lens of 5-in. focal length focused by turning lens in its helical mount. Focusing movement was much too tight (hard to turn). 300-watt
horizontally-burning lamp, with double condenser and heat filter. Lens is not enclosed when projector is carried; the manufacturer should have supplied a suitable lens cap. To clean condensers or replace lamp, bottom of projector, held in place by four knurled screws, must be removed. Shutter closes while slides are being changed. Plugging in projector turns on lamp and fan simultaneously (there was no switch for the lamp). Fan was very quiet in operation. Light output for slides was below average. Evenness of illumination, fair. Louvered sides permit light from lamp to be used for selection and handling of slides. The Realist failed to pass overvoltage test for electrical safety (due to faulty assembly of sample tested, not to inherent defect of design). Resolution of lens, fair. Temperature of slide, 215° (much too high). A compact projector (size, 8 x 13 x 15 in.). Listed by UL.
Moisture in fuel oil tanks
Even a small amount of water in a steel tank encourages rusting and may greatly shorten the tank's life. The condensation of moisture in a storage tank for domestic fuel oil can be kept to a minimum by keeping the tank as full as possible at all times, thus reducing the space available for air. (The same applies to gasoline tanks on automobiles as well; prevention of moisture deposits in such tanks is especially important during cold winter months.) However, since all fuel oils deteriorate to some extent in storage with formation of sediment and sludge, there is also some advantage in leaving the oil tank for the home oil burner as nearly empty as the season permits.
While these considerations raise some uncertainty as to whether it is better to keep the storage tank nearly full or nearly empty, it can be noted that an outdoor tank that is not buried in the ground is subjected to much wider and more frequent temperature changes than is an underground or even a cellar tank. Hence, outdoor above-ground tanks should be kept as full as is practicable, at all times, with reliance upon a well-designed filter placed ahead of the burner for removal of excessive sludge. (Caution: Be sure that all such filters are serviced regularly.)
With a buried tank, temperature changes are relatively slow and more likely to be of a seasonal nature only; therefore, buried tanks suffer much less from corrosion due to condensed moisture. In one study, 89 percent of the tanks replaced because of leakage were basement tanks, and only
11 percent were those buried underground in the yard. It is known that outside buried tanks last several times as long on the average as tanks inside. A disadvantage, however, is that with a buried tank a small leak might go undetected for a considerable time.
The presence of a chemical additive can reduce tank corrosion. However, don't be too hasty to buy and use some extravagantly advertised nostrum. Anti-rust additives work in different ways, and not all additives are necessarily compatible with each other. The oil in your tank may very possibly already contain anti-rust materials added at the refinery or by your dealer. Chemicals to control sludge may also be present. It is unwise to add anything to fuel oil except as advised by the refiner, who knows what is already there. At best, the stuff you're tempted to put in may not be necessary; at worst it may react unfavorably with chemicals already present in the oil.
Electric lamp bulbs
Ordinary incandescent lamp bulbs function according to a rule that may be stated thus: with high efficiency, lamp life is short; with low efficiency, lamp life is long. Here, efficiency refers to the total amount of light given off by the lamp during it's life, divided by the amount of electricity used.
Because bulbs can be and are designed to have lives of a few hours or several thousand, depending upon their intended use, or to be very efficient or relatively inefficient, manufacturers build their designs around a life period that has been found to be satisfactory, when all things are considered. Thus, when a life of 1000 hours is chosen for a standard 60-watt 120-volt bulb, the intensity of the light and the amount of light it will supply during its life are pretty much predetermined. If one chooses a 60-watt bulb rated for a 2000- or 4000-hour life, then one must expect a corresponding reduction in the amount of light supplied by the bulb and in its efficiency in the use of electricity.
The clear and frosted bulbs you purchase at the supermarket or other outlets are almost always of the so-called "standard" type for which the manufacturers have selected rated lives varying from 1200 hours for the 15-watt size to 750 hours for the 100-watt size (see table).
The specific figure for rated life is not chosen on a hit or miss basis but rather represents what the manufacturers claim to be the most practical life
Some characteristics cf different types of bulbs
Initial Rated Price of
Wattage TypeJ light output* life hours lamp, cents
15 s 9 1200 21
25 RS 14 1000 37
25 s 16 1000 21
40 TS 22 2000 28
40 S 28 1000 21
50 RS 28 1000 40
50 S 41 1000 21
60 TS 35 f 4000 30
60 TS 41 2000 25
60 S sit 1000 21
75 s 70 750 21
100 RS 75 1000 43
100 TS 79 2000 37
100 S 100 750 23
t Traffic signal bulbs (TS) are designed to be used in base-down to horizontal positions only.
S-Standard; RS-Rough Service; TS-Traffic Signal.
* Compared to a 100-watt standard lamp taken as 100. t Note that a standard 60-watt bulb, for example, gives 46 percent more light (at a given moment) than a 4000-hour traffic signal lamp also rated at 60 watts.
The long-life lamps now being widely sold by department stores give only about 65 to 70 percent as much light for a given expenditure for electricity as the common frosted incandescent lamps you are accustomed to buying. Long-life lamps are thus not a good buy except in the unusual circumstance that the lamp is so located that it is difficult to replace when it burns out.
Standard 75-watt lamps give about the same total amount of light during their life for only $4.00 as the long-life lamps give for from $5.35 to $5.90. There is thus an economic advantage (considering costs for both lamp and electricity) of about 40 percent in favor of the standard frosted lamp of the kind most widely sold.
for the particular size when such factors as original cost, amount of light given off, cost of burning, and frequency of need for replacement are considered. If any one of these factors is to be stressed, however, compromises must be accepted in regard to the other characteristics involved. (Thus photoflood lamps used by photographers, which have a very high brightness, have working lives of only 3 to 10 hours.)
The light bulbs included in the tests reported in this article are all non-standard types. The Eternalite, which is being widely advertised as "guaranteed to burn for 5 years," may very well do just that. (CR's tests were stopped after 2000 hours so that the results could be published in 1958 rather than 1962 when they would be of academic value only as to the lamps purchasable at the present time.) It should be noted, however, that such a bulb isn't difficult to design and is not at all "an incredible development" in the sense the ad-man intended. To overcome the handicap of low light output, characteristic of this kind of lamp, you may find it necessary to substitute a 100-watt long-life lamp for a 75-watt lamp of the standard type, for example. Obviously, it will cost more to burn the 100-watt bulb, yet you will only get about the same amount of light from it as was previously given by the 75-watt bulb.
The manufacturer of the Eternalite bulbs was apparently aware that buyers might note the reduced amount of light supplied by his bulb when compared to a standard bulb. To offset in part the noticeable difference in the amount of light given off, he designed his "75"-watt lamp so that it actually consumed more than 80 watts. Even
Imagine a bulb that's guaranteed to burn for 5 years
Fabulous new ETERNALITE BULBS
ONE OUTLIVES A DOZEN ORDINARY BULBS!
Science score again with a new bulb that's absolutely amazing! Imagine-it't guaranteed to burn for 5 years under normal household conditions. An incredible development by Electrotvatt of Zurich . .
A long-life electric lamp isn't an almost impossible development as the many newspaper advertisements for at least one make would indicate. Indeed, a lamp was recently turned on in General Electric's Research Laboratory at Schenectady, N.Y., which is expected to burn continuously until at least the year 2057. GE's director of research pointed out at the time that "this 100-year bulb is fine as a forward-looking symbol, but it is no bargain in actual light-output-per-penny when compared to the efficiency of the ordinary bulbs now most widely sold " (The GE 100-year lamp is pictured at the left.)
with this higher wattage, however, the Eternalite provided a light that was only % as bright as a 75-watt frosted bulb of the usual kind. The Sylvania, listed as having a 1000-hour rated life (but in CR's tests burned for over 2000 hours), was noticeably inefficient as would be anticipated for a lamp of such long life.
The test results for the General Electric Coloramic came out about as might be expected. There was a visible reduction in the amount of light supplied by the Coloramic lamps as compared to standard frosted lamps of identical rated wattage. However, it should be noted that a colored lamp, such as the GE or Sylvania, cannot fairly be compared to a standard frosted lamp since perhaps one does not buy this type of lamp with expectation of efficient light production. Rather, it is purchased because it offers a kind of light which enhances the decor of the room and perhaps flatters the occupants as well.
None of the four types of 75-watt bulbs tested gave nearly as much illumination as an ordinary frosted 75-watt bulb. When only the light output at a given moment is considered, indeed, they should more properly be compared to ordinary 60-watt bulbs. The cost figures given in the
listings include both the price ol the lamp (or lamps) and cost of electricity for 2000 hours of operation, with electricity at 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average amount of light furnished by each brand over a 2000-hour period is given as a percentage of the amount that is given by standard 75-watt bulbs replaced every 750 hours. All the lamps listed were rated at 75 watts, 120 volts. Ten samples of each brand were tested
Eternalite (Eternalite Inc., 704 International Bldg., New Orleans 12) $1.05. Guaranteed 5 years. Made in Switzerland. Operating cost, $5.90. Amount of light furnished (see text immediately preceding), 75%.
General Electric Coloramic Pink (General Electric Co., Cleveland 12) 29c. 1000 hr. rated life. Operating cost. $5.80. Amount of light furnished. 80%.
Marvel 2000 Hours (Marvel Lamp Co., Hoboken. N.J.) 14c. Guaranteed for 2000 hours. Operating
cost, $5.35. Amount of light furnished, 65%.
Sylvania Softlight (Sylvania Electric Products Inc., Salem, Mass.) 29c. 1000 hr. rated life. Operating cost. $5.50. Amount of light furnished. 70%.
Those labels on packaged foods (continued, from inside front cover)
Another ingredients label in extremely small type and letters in shiny aluminum. Very hard to read except with a reading glass. The type is 2-1/2 to 3 point-far too small to be readable-whereas 6 point is the small body type used in Webster's unabridged dictionary (the Merriam-Webster).
The picture above shows a package on which the labeling is almost impossible to read with any reasonable expenditure of time. The multiple reflections from the shiny cellophane call for much twisting and turning of the package to get some degree of readability; even then some of the words cannot be read.
When a manufacturer designs his label, he is very likely to find ample space for his name and that of his product and for taste-tantalizing descriptions, or even recipes, and he will use type of good size contrasting strongly with the background color; but he will often leave only a small and cramped or half-concealed spot for the required declaration of ingredients. Or perhaps he will use for this statement of ingredients a size of type or a color of ink and background that makes the wording difficult, and in some cases impossible, to read.
Often times the food manufacturer will find it convenient to put the -required wording in an out-of-the-way corner or over a fold or edge, or on shiny cellophane, so that much twisting or turning of the package will be needed to find the list of ingredients and to make all of the important wording visible.
Printing with metallic inks on a metallic background and with weak-tint colored inks on cellophane or other transparent plastic wrapping are devices that have become increasingly popular with the men of the package designers' trade. 'Twin-packaging," two cartons enclosed in a single cellophane or plastic film wrap, is another means that helps the package designer reduce a label to an absolute minimum of conspicuousness and readability.
The pictures accompanying this article illustrate a few of the packaged foods which have ingredients labels that are difficult (in some cases indeed impossible) to read, or that call for extra care or close attention on the part of the consumer. We shall appreciate it if our subscribers will send in other hard-to-read labels that come to their notice in their shopping.
It is evident that grave abuses have crept into this field. It may be expected that as a result of the information here presented, state and federal officials will take steps to correct the present grossly unsatisfactory practices in package labeling.
The official regulations, for example, require that information specified by the food and drugs act shall appear on a part or panel of the label which is displayed under customary conditions of purchase, and the information is to be placed in a sufficiently large space for prominence, and appropriate size, style, and contrast against the background.
If a food product is one for which a standard identity has not been prescribed by regulations (a great majority of prepared foods have not been covered by such regulations), the common or usual name of each ingredient must be given The chief groups of "standardized" foods (not requiring ingredients labeling) include cocoa and chocolate, flour, meal, farina and macaroni, bread
"Sunnyfield rice puffs" has its net weight labeling and content labeling in white ink on cellophane over a white background of puffed rice. Needless to say, the person who attempts to read this will have to go to considerable trouble and turn the package backward and forward until the bright reflections from the cellophane do not interfere with the reading of a particular word.
The labeling of a good-sized box containing 10 Tootsie Roll Pops was such as to discourage the consumer who would wish to read the list of ingredients. An ornamental band on the package wrapper covers a part of the ingredients label, and legibility is further interfered with by reflections from multiple-layer shiny cellophane just where the ingredients list and the net weight marking appear.
milk and cream, cheese and processed cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressing, canned fruit and fruit juices, preserves and jellies, and tomato products.
Persons who would like to see proper labeling established for prepared foods may wish to bring the situation in their state to the attention of the office of the governor. Leave to the governor's office the problem of referring the matter of better food package labeling to the right authorities of the state. Incidentally, some of the state food and drug departments are poorly organized for their work, and a good many are relatively inactive, with a tendency to leave the real technical and legal work of food, drug, and cosmetic control to the Federal bureaucracy. On the other hand, a few states do a good job in this field. Connecticut, North Dakota, and Maine particularly deserve mention; the published reports of Connecticut's and North Dakota's food and drug chemists are and have long been outstandingly effective and useful to consumers.
With respect to the Federal government's food and drug control agencies, which have jurisdiction over foods that are shipped in interstate commerce, and whose influence more or less dominates the state officials and particularly the regulations under which they operate, it would be well to write to one of the senators from your state or the congressman from your district. These legislative officers will have no difficulty getting proper attention on the part of the Food and Drug Administration to a matter involving package labeling. We shall be glad to see copies of letters which you may write and receive in this connection.
On this package, the type itself is of satisfactory size and legibility, but a pattern of cross-hatching reduces its readability. Note that the package designer did not allow the cross-hatching to interfere with the brand name and the words of the central part of the label.
A "twin-pack," in which the outer wrapping, which is only semi-transparent, conceals the ingredients labels (which are just to the left and right of the big letter K and below the word special). On the original package the wording can be read, though not at all easily, by pushing the cellophane or plastic film outer wrap into contact with the label underneath.
There are many things wrong with the label declarations of food products besides size and style of type and background color and contrast; other important aspects of the labeling problem will be discussed in future articles.
Ratings of Motion Pictures
THIS SECTION aims to give critical consumers a digest of opinion from a wide range of motion picture reviews, including the motion picture trade press, leading newspapers and magazines-some 19 different periodicals in all. The motion picture ratings which follow thus do not represent the judgment of a single person, but are based on an analysis of critics' reviews.
The sources of the reviews are:
Boxoffice, Cue, Daily News (N. Y.), The Exhibitor, Films in Review, Harrison's Reports, Joint Estimates of Current Motion Pictures, Motion Picture Herald, National Legion of Decency, Newsweek, New York Herald Tribune, New York Times, The New Yorker, Parents' Magazine, Release of the D. A. R. Preview Committee, Reviews and Ratings by the Protestant Motion Picture Council, The Tablet, Time, Variety (weekly).
The figures preceding the title of the picture indicate the number of critics whose judgments of its entertainment values warrant a rating of A (recommended), B (intermediate), or C (not recommended).
Audience suitability is indicated by "A" for adults, "Y" for young people (14-18), and "C' for children, at the end of each iine.
Descriptive abbreviations are as follows:
c-in color (Ansco, Eastman, Technicolor, Trucolor, Warner Color, etc.) car-cartoon com-comedy
cri-crime and capture of criminals doc-documentary dr-drama fan-fantasy
hist-founded on historical incident tnel-melodrama mus-musical mys-mystery
nov-dramatization of a novel
war-dealing with the lives of people in wartime wes-western
Abominable Snowman, The
Across the Bridge (British)..
Action of the Tiger (British)
Admirable Crichton, The
Affair in Havana
Affair in Reno
Affair to Remember, An
All Mine to Give
Alligator Named Daisy, An
Amazing Colossal Man, The
And God Created Woman
April Love n
As Long As They're Happy
Baby Face Nelson
Back from the Dead
Badge of Marshall Brennan,
Band of Angels
Beginning of the End
Bermuda Affair (British)
Black Patch, The
Black Scorpion, The
Black Tent, The (British). .
Body is a Shell, The
Bop Girl Goes Calypso
Bridge on the River Kwai,
Brothers in Law (British). .
Buckskin Lady, The
Careless Years, The
Cast a Dark Shadow (British
Cat Girl (British)
Colditz Story, The (British)
Constant Husband, The
Courage of Black Beauty.... Curse of Frankenstein, The
Dalton Girls, The............
Deadlier Than the Male (Fre Death in Small Doses.......
Decision Against Time
Decision at Sundown..........
Devil's Hairpin, The.........
Doctor at Large (British). . .
Domino Kid, The..............
Don't Go Near the Water. . .
18 and Anxious...............
Enemy Below, The.............
Enemy from Space (British).
Escapade in Japan............
Escape from San Quentin. . Every Second Counts (Frencl Fedra, the Devil's Daughter
Fernandel the Dressmaker
Flesh is Weak, The (British)
Four Bags Full (French)
From Hell It Came............
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The Gentle Touch, The (British)
Giant Claw, The..............
Girl in Black, A (Greek).... Girl in Black Stockings, The
God is My Partner............
Golden Virgin, The (British) Green Eyed Blonde, The... . Gun Battle at Monterey... .
Guns Don't Argue.............
Hard Man, The
Hear Me Good
Helen Morgan Story, The... i
Hell Canyon Outlaws
Hell on Devil's Island
Hired Gun, The
House of Numbers
How to Murder a Rich Uncle
Hunchback of Notre Dame,
I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Invasion of Saucermen
Invisible Boy, The
It Happened in the Park
Jail house Rock
James Dean Story, The
Joker is Wild, The
King in New York, A (Britisl
Kiss Them for Me
Ladv of Vengeance (British)
Land Unknown, The
Last Bridge, The (Austrian)
Last Stagecoach West
Light Across the Street, The
Long Haul, The (British). . .
Love Slaves of the Amazons
Lovers' Net (French)
Maid in Paris (French)
Man Escaped, A (French). .
Man in the Shadow
Man of a Thousand Faces..
Man on the Prowl
Mister Rock and Roll
Monolith Monsters, The. . .
Monster from Green Hell, T
Monte Carlo Story, The.. . .
My Gun is Quick
My Man Godfrey
Naked in the Sun
No Down Payment
No Time to be Young
Novel Affair, A (British)....
Pajama Game, The
Parson and the Outlaw, The
Passionate Summer (French
Paths of Glory
Pickup Alley (British)
Please! Mr. Balzac (French)
Pride and the Passion, The.
Pursuit of the Graf Spee (British)
Raiders of Old California
Rape on the Moor (German)
Reform School Girl...........
Ride a Violent Mile..........
Ride Out for Revenge.........
Rising of the Moon, The. . . Rock Around the World
Roots, The (Mexican).........
Sad Sack, The................i
Satchmo the Great............
Search for Paradise..........
She Played with Fire.........
Short Cut to Hell............
Silken Affair, The (British). Sins of Casanova (Italian). . Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Smallest Show on Earth, Th
Story of Mankind, The........i
Stowaway Girl (British)
Street of Sinners............
Sun Also Rises, The..........
Sword for Hire (Japanese). .
Tall Stranger, The...........
Taming Sutton's Girl.........
Tarnished Angels, The........
Three Faces of Eve, The. . . . Three Feet in a Bed (French
3:10 to Yuma, The............
Tijuana Story, The...........
Time without Pity (British)
Tin Star, The................
Tip on a Dead Jockey.........
Town Like Alice, A (British]
Town on Trial (British)......
Triple Deception (British)..
27th Day, The................
Two Grooms for a Bride (Bi
Unholy Wife, The.............
Until They Sail..............
Virtuous Scoundrel, The
Walk into Hell...............
Wayward Girl, The............
White Horse Inn, The
Wild is the Wind.............
Will Success Spoil Rock
Witness for the Prosecution Woman in a Dressing Gown
Woman of the River (Italiai
Young and Dangerous..........
Young Don't Cry, The.........
The Consumers' Observation Post
(Continued from page '4)
ROSES AND OTHER FLOWERS will keep fresh for a longer time after they are cut if certain precautions are taken. The Commercial Rose Growers Association suggests using a clean container filled with warm water at about bath temperature and adding a good commercial "flower food." Then place the flowers in the container in a cool location and allow the water to cool naturally, filling the container at least once a day to the depth needed to keep the stems submerged. The stem should be cut with a sharp knife, and the leaves which would be under water should be removed. Flowers deteriorate faster at high temperatures and are best placed at some distance from a warm location such as a spot near a radiator or on a television set.
* * *
READY-TO-COOK SEA FOOD ITEMS are sometimes a disappointment. There are no standards for breaded frozen shrimp, oysters, fish sticks, and crab cakes, and the consumer has no way of telling how much fish and how much "bread" he is getting in any particular brand except on a trial-and-error basis. The same problem exists in the heat-and-serve items and, in addition, who knows how well the items have been cooked? One Maryland food control official points out that some processors have thermostatically-controlled devices that enable the cooking time and temperature to be standardized. Others use manually-operated cookers, and the time of cooking and temperature of the oil will vary with the operator. Some batches of sea food may be well done, while others are only half cooked. Cooling after cooking may be achieved by adequate mechanical refrigeration or on trays allowed to sit at room temperature until the food cools naturally, with the possibility of contamination and development of bacteria before it is put into the freezing chamber. The amount of crab meat in crab cakes may vary from 45 percent to 90 percent in the "all-meat" cakes.
* * *
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST to have the motor of your automobile rebuilt?
The answer to that question is one that is most important to get in writing before you authorize a service station to do the job. The Better Business Bureau reports the sad case of an automobile owner who took his car to a firm that advertised rebuilding motors for $100 and later discovered that he had to pay something like $300 for the completed job. In addition to the charge for a rebuilt motor, there was an item of $40 to install the motor, and around $150 more for various parts including an oil pump and an engine block.
* * *
ZIPPERS OF ALUMINUM may cause fabric damage. This warning is issued by the American Institute of Laundering which points out that when a zipper of aluminum combined with another metal remains in contact with a damp fabric that contains some residual detergent or other substance that conducts electricity, a weak acid is formed. If a hot iron is applied, the activity of the acid is increased to a point where a brown spot or hole appears. The A.I.L. advises homemakers not to sprinkle or roll garments containing aluminum zippers.
* * *
THE INDIVIDUAL WHO CRAVES ALCOHOL may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency. According to Professor Robert J. Williams of the University of Texas, in laboratory experiments well-nourished animals have shown little or no desire to drink alcohol. Poorly nourished animals always drank alcohol at a high level. Animals placed on a diet that was deficient in a certain food element drank heavily, but ceased drinking when the missing food element was supplied. Dr. Williams noted that alcoholism is the fourth most prevalent disease in America, after heart disease, cancer, and mental illness. It is his observation that nutritional treatment of alcoholism is extremely effective and that thousands of alcoholics have found that by supplementing their diets with the missing elements their craving for alcohol is lessened or may disappear entirely.
CARS JUNKED during the current year will amount to some four million automobiles, according to a report from Detroit. Figures compiled by the Automobile Manufacturers Association indicate that the scrapping of old cars is increasing each year, but the average life of an automobile has about doubled since 1925. At that time, the passenger car had a life of 6-1/2 years, but in 1955 it was over 12 years. The expected mileage life of the average car has improved from 25,750 miles in 1925 to 110,000 miles in 1955. Whether the new cars keep their appearance as well as the older models is another matter.
* * *
PLASTIC PICNIC BAGS that are so convenient for packing sandwiches may be a safety hazard. The death of a 4-year-old boy who poked his head inside a plastic bag and could not get it off was reported late last year. Body heat trapped in the airless bag made him perspire, causing the bag to stick to his skin and cutting off the air supply. He suffocated before his mother discovered his predicament. There is apparently nothing that children will not use in a way that may get them into serious trouble.
* * *
THE CAR AS WELL AS THE DRIVER is an important factor in road safety. The instruments on the panel board and the wheel become a part of the driver's nervous and perceptive system; the pedal controls and levers are extensions of his hands and feet, comments the British Lancet in a discussion of safe driving. The journal considers the design of many modern cars an insult to the intelligence. The editor takes particular exception to dials that are hard to read, levers that are difficult to reach, switches that are troublesome to operate, seats conducive to bad posture, and obstructions to the clear vision of the driver. Safety hazards include knobs of various controls that are of identical shape and placed close together, as well as dials hidden behind the steering wheel that are difficult to read quickly. The Lancet also points out that small amounts of carbon monoxide escaping through leaks in the exhaust system can significantly lower the driver's power of concentration and lull him into mental and physical lethargy. It is to be hoped that Detroit will eventually get around to listening to advice from design and safety engineers rather than stylists in working out the design of new automobiles.
* * *
HOW MUCH ELECTRICITY IS USED by individual household appliances in terms of watts is set forth in an attractive booklet entitled What Every Woman Should Know About House Power. The woman who is surrounded by electrical servants of all sizes, shapes, and voltages from vacuum cleaner to record changer should know when a circuit is overloaded, where to find the main electric circuit box, how to replace a fuse, or reset a circuit breaker, how to tell whether her home has inadequate means for the supply of electricity and what to do about it. In clear, pictorial fashion the leaflet shows how the monthly bill for electricity is figured from the meter reading. With such information in hand, the homemaker doesn't need to be an electrical engineer to understand certain aspects of the workings of her electrical appliances. (Available at 15 cents from Channing L. Bete Co., Inc., Box 506, Greenfield, Mass.)
* * *
WINTER FABRICS with a brushed or napped surface have been quite popular this year. They are made from a variety of fibers, wool, rayon, acetate, nylon, Arnel, or a combination of these fibers, knitted or woven.
The National Institute of Drycleaning has issued a warning that napped or brushed-surface garments must be handled carefully in dry cleaning because they are easily damaged by rubbing, mechanical action, or spot-removal procedures. Brushed knit fabrics that have not been stabilized for shrinkage control during manufacture will shrink during dry cleaning or laundering.
* * *
CORRECTION, PLEASE! The address for the Pure Milk Association is Kansasville, Wisconsin. In discussing a new liquid milk concentrate in the July Observation Post, the address was incorrectly given.
BY WALTER F. GRUENINGER
Please Note: The first symbol applies to quality of interpretation, the second to fidelity of recording.
Cherubini: Symphony in D. Vienna Symphony under Zecchi & Weber: Symphony No. 2. Hague Philharmonic under van Otterloo. Epic LC 3402. $3.98. Off the
beaten path, polished works that are a joy to hear. Both are beautifully played and recorded. AA AA
Gliere: Ilya Mourometz. Houston Symphony under Stokowski. Capitol P 8402. $3.98. Another superb
disk of this lengthy work, abridged here as usual. This seems to be a Stokowski special. His previous recording goes back to 1941. The piece demands dramatic flair, technical excellence from the musicians, and high fidelity from the engineers. All are present in full measure. AA AA
Granados: Coyescas. Rubio, Iriarte, Torrano, Ausensi, etc., under Argenta. 2 sides, London XLL 1698. $4.98. Spanish opera sung admirably. Tuneful music and most flavorsome. Fine recording. AA AA
Grieg. Lyric Pieces. Menahem Pressler (piano). MGM E 3198. $3.98. Books V and VI, incorrectly labeled on my pressing. Altogether, 12 delightful melodic miniatures by "the Chopin of the North." Included are the "March of the Dwarfs," "Bell-Ringing," "Notturno," "Vanished Days," and others you are likely to have heard. Currently, virtuosi shun them because they offer little chance for display. Pressler plays them simply, intelligently, atmospherically, as befits the music. AA AA
Hindemith: Concerto for Organ and Chamber Orchestra. E. Powrer Biggs (organ) with the Columbia Chamber Orchestra under Burgin & Rheinberger: Sonata No. 7 for Organ. E. Power Biggs (organ). Columbia ML 5199. $3.98. The Hindemith is an exciting work, typical of this contemporary composer, in which the engineers have achieved a commendable balance between organ and orchestra. Rheinberger, a contemporary of Brahms, writes in the style of the romantic 19th century. Both sides are impressively performed. Recommended to those who wish an unusual organ record. AA AA
Liszt: Six Paganini Etudes, Spanish Rhapsody, Feux Follets. Ruth Slenczynska (piano). Decca DL 9949. $3.98. For the most part these are pieces designed to show off the technique of the player and the resources of the piano. Slenczynska is sensational and she is beautifully recorded. AA AA
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2. Detroit Symphony under Paray. Mercury MG 50142. $3.98. Very likely
Rachmaninoff's most popular orchestral work. The performance is a model of controlled emotion, with highly commendable attention paid to nuance. There's none better in the catalog. The recording sounds a little thin for romantic music, particularly when the violins are supposed to soar. AA A
Saint-Saens: Concerto No. 3, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Havanaise. Grumiaux (violin) with the Lamoureux Orchestra under Fournet. Epic LC 3399. $3.98. Grumiaux has never sounded better on records. There's elegance, nuance, pleasing tone in his playing of these standard French works. The orchestra is nearly as good, too. One of the top disks of the season. AA AA Schubert: Two Sonatinas (Op. 137 Nos. 1 and 2). Johanna Martzy (violin), Jean Antonietti (piano). Angel 35364. $4.98. Since these works are not very showy,
they are usually avoided by recitalists. Yet, the essence of Schubert is present. Played simply and warmly as befits the music. Well recorded. . .Fuchs and Balsam play the Op. 137 No. 1 and two other Schubert selections on Decca DL 9922 with less warmth, but more drama. AA AA
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2. Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy. Columbia ML 5207. $3.98. The .
Philadelphians perform Sibelius often and their manner of doing it closely resembles the lyric, throbbing, well-turned phrase style heard when European orchestras play
this composer. The work remains one of Sibelius' most monumental-thrilling, deeply moving. There's no better disk of this symphony. AA AA
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier. Schwarzkopf, Edelmann, Ludwig, Waechter, etc., under von Karajan. 8 sides, Angel 3563D/L. $15.92. Strauss' lush, farce-satire gets under way slowly, but on the whole it's an enchanting opera. The cast is top notch and so is the direction. Miss Schwarzkopf as the Marschalin contributes a ravishing voice and musical understanding, but outstanding is Mr. Edelmann as Ochs who is presented as a nobleman rather than a buffoon. There's no better recording, though London L-LLA 22 is mighty good, too. AA AA
Tartini: Devil's Trill Sonata, Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Sonata in G Minor. Erica Morini (violin). Westminster XWN 18594. $3.98. Rich, standard concert
pieces which Miss Morini plays well, but without the depth of a master in regard to musicianship and tone. But the disk is more attractive than her Brahms' Sonatas on Westminster XWN 18592. A AA
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Ballet. Philharmonic Symphony of London under Rodzinski. 4 sides, Westminster OPW 1205. $9.98. The complete ballet from which the more familiar Suite is taken. Flexible, unusually pleasing performance which tops competitors. Richly recorded. AA AA
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Ballet (excerpts). Philadelphia Orchestra under Ormandy. Columbia ML 5201. $3.98. Tuneful, strongly rhythmic music that pleases nearly everybody. Dancers would probably find it difficult to maintain some of the "concert" tempi, but there's no better performance or recording of this piece in the catalog. AA AA
A Schumann Song Recital. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone). Decca DL 9935. $3.98. Nineteen songs
performed by one of the top lieder singers of our time who is in excellent form here. AA AA
Around the Horn. Joseph Eger (French horn). RCA Victor LM 2146. $3.98. Unique record featuring the
French horn. Included are the Mozart "Horn Concerto No. 3"; Haydn "Trio in E Flat"; the Rossini "Prelude," "Theme and Variations," and a group of transcriptions and commentary by Mr. Eger. He has attained technical mastery of his instrument, but some of his contemporaries reveal more musicianship. A AA
Dance Till Dawn. Howard Lanin and His Orchestra. Decca DL 8612. $3.98. A collection of 25 dance tunes played by a 25-piece orchestra recorded at a party. Included are such hits as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "This Is It," "Bloody Mary," "Ja-Da," "Blue Danube," "It Had To Be You," "12th Street Rag." The playing is solid, loud, strongly rhythmic. AA A
Rita Streich Sings Great Opera Arias (soprano). Decca DL 9943. $3.98. Arias from "Barber of Seville," "Se-
miramide," "Rigoletto," "Mignon," "Cosi Fan Tutte," etc. Strong technique, pleasing tone, good musicianship- but too little excitement for the coloratura repertoire. A AA
The Art of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Vol. I (piano). RCA Camden CAL 396. $1.98. These performances of the
Chopin "Sonata in B Flat Minor" and the Schumann "Carnaval" were recorded about 27 years ago. It is remarkable how they have been updated, sound-wise. Main objection is a fairly constant background noise as heard on the old shellac 78's. No one played like Rachmaninoff. Here he plays glorious music. At $1.98- what a bargain! AA B
The Music of Salomone Rossi. N.Y. Pro Musica under Greenberg. Columbia ML 5204. $3.98. Unusual record -the neglected music of a fine composer who flourished around 1600. Madrigals, liturgical pieces, instrumental pieces. Beautifully performed and recorded. AA AA
OFF THE EDITOR'S CHEST
Scare tactics and false claims in selling fire alarm systems
Few homeowners give much thought to fire protection and fire warning systems. According to one survey, 52 percent of private homeowners had never heard of home fire detection systems; 25 percent felt they were not needed. Yet many people are very susceptible to personal salesmanship for overpriced and sometimes ineffective fire alarm systems sold by high-pressure and fraudulent methods. Better Business Bureaus, district attorneys, and the Federal Trade Commission all have had occasion to take action in a number of cases recently.
One homeowner, for example, signed up for a fire alarm system calling for monthly payments of $21.52 over a three-year period for a device that was reported to cost only $25.
In Brooklyn, New York, the District Attorney brought action against 10 men who were using scare pictures of a 1952 fire in which seven persons died to impress prospective customers with the importance of buying the salesmen's particular battery-operated alarm bell. The District Attorney pointed out that the alarm system could be purchased and installed for $50, but on a time-payment basis the customers were charged $456 for installations in four or five rooms, plus $50 each for additional rooms. In some cases, the price contracted for was as high as $750, on which the salesmen collected 20 percent to 30 percent commission. In another case before a county grand jury in New Jersey, the prosecutor charged that the particular company involved priced its home fire alarms at $250, sold them at $165.90, and that the component parts cost no more than three dollars.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued complaints against several companies for selling home fire alarm systems by the use of scare tactics and false advertising, including the use of salesmen who claim they are merely calling to give a fire prevention talk and who, on getting into the home, use scare techniques by showing news clippings and horror pictures to dramatize the need for protecting the family, children particularly, from fire hazards. In addition, the F.T.C. has charged that the cost of the alarm systems is misrepresented, and in some cases the customers have been induced to sign blank contracts and promissory notes. In some cases, the alarm systems will work if properly installed, but they are greatly overpriced. The type of apparatus fire currently sold is a box that contains a bell and a light, attached with electrical wiring in a critical spot where heat will set off the bell and turn on the light when the air at that point reaches a certain temperature.
These alarm systems do have some value, although it has been pointed out that any fire alarm that depends on a rise of temperature for its operation has a serious disadvantage, namely the time lag before the critical temperature is reached, particularly when the indicating device is at some distance from the original seat of the fire. The Westinghouse Home Wiring Handbook recommends that, in installing an automatic fire alarm, detectors be placed in the oil burner or furnace area and in storage space areas at the very least. The alarm bell or warning apparatus should be installed in the master bedroom and in other sleeping areas if possible. The Handbook further suggests that the warning signal system should be operated from a separate bell-ringing transformer, independent of that which supplies the doorbell or other, device of the sort, because of the possibility that the fire might affect or cut off current to that part of the household wiring system. The successful and sure operation of a home fire warning system demands great skill and care in installation.
The householder who is approached, particularly by high-pressure salesmen, to purchase an alarm system should first of all make certain that the particular system is approved by the Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc. (207 East Ohio Street, Chicago 11).
If there is some suspicion that the salesman is a racketeer, or if he uses unduly aggressive tactics, get in touch with the nearest Better Business Bureau and report his activities. If he is a high-pressure salesman with a previous record, the Better Business Bureau will be glad to know of his current scene of operation.
Keep in mind that in addition to a fire alarm system, it is essential to have adequate fire extinguishers at strategic points, and these should also by all means carry the label of the Underwriters' Laboratories (UL).
In a home where there are young children, invalids, and elderly people, some simple, clear, workable plan of what to do in case of fire and how to prevent a fire from starting is essential in order to prevent possible tragedy.
The Keating system of your school and its controls-
Are they safe, and properly inspected and supervised?
Your child's tile may depend on control devices being correctly set and in good order. If you are a member of a school board, you should take note of what can happen when heating plant details are left to chance, or determined by someone not qualified to settle an engineering problem.
Persons who have a house heating system with a thermostat for automatic control are sometimes unaware that the correct action of the control can be vitally important, and may affect the safety of the house and, indeed, the lives of those within it. Recently, because of certain defects in the circulation equipment of the forced warm air system of a school building a change was made to gravity air circulation. In order to get enough heat delivered into the building under these conditions, for which the plant had not been designed, the fire had to be forced beyond a safe limit. The effect of the overheating was to burn out the furnace; eventually an explosion and fire occurred which spread with appalling rapidity, and caused the death of a number of small children. The school board was legally responsible to the parents of the children who perished in the fire. The amount of damages agreed upon in the out-of-court settlement was so great that a bond issue will have to be floated to pay the indemnity.
Persons on school boards should be aware of their responsibility to see that school heating systems are maintained in proper working condition, and checked at regular intervals by an ex-
pert. This will require a personal inspection from time to time to see that the plant is conscientiously and competently maintained by the custodial force, and above all to see that controls and auxiliary controls-all of them-are in good working order. A failure or mal-adjustment of a thermostat or of one of the upper temperature limit controls or of a low water cut-off could bring about costly damage to the plant or the building, or even cause a fatal explosion or accident of the kind which has just been described. If there's doubt, and the school board members do not know how to check the operation of each of the controls, they should call in a competent heating plant man or engineer and ask him to go over the controls with them and demonstrate by actual trial that they work as intended and will shut the plant down in case of overheating or overpressure. In school installations, it would be wise to provide the most vital controls in duplicate, and wired in series, so that if one should fail, the duplicate unit will take over and shut down the plant before pressure or temperature has risen above a safe limit. A similar extra safeguard will often be warranted in a home or office.
Testing automobiles at Consumers' Research
Automobile test equipment designed and built by Consumers' Research checks and records results of speed, acceleration, braking, and gasoline-mileage tests of cars.
The choice of items lor test
Readers sometimes write us to ask how we choose the items that are to be tested. We devote a substantial portion of our test work and reports to the more expensive and complicated products such as automobiles, automatic washers, washer-dryer combinations, television sets, and there are very good reasons for this policy. Such purchases represent a large expenditure for almost any family. Furthermore, as such items must be used over a long period, a serious mistake in selection of a make or model can mean a financial tragedy in many homes.
With some products, such as a package of frozen peas or a pair of men's garters, or a woman's slip, the problems raised by an error of choice are small. Even if a mistake is made, the product will usually provide some useful value, and on the next visit to the store, a different and more satisfactory item can be chosen. There are, of course, many purchases which involve questions primarily of personal opinion or taste, women's handbags and jewelry, for example, on which the laboratory cannot be of much help.
There is a further class of articles where the product itself is relatively inexpensive, but its use or installation may cost the purchaser a great deal of time and trouble. Such products include paints, automobile waxes, caulking compounds, and scouring powders; with these, serviceability is a primary consideration.
If the product performs badly, the cost of doing the work over or replacing another item-a sink, for example, which has been damaged by an overharsh scouring powder (the most common kind)-may be many times the amount spent in buying the unsuitable product. The item itself may be small and inexpensive, and seem to be of no great importance in itself, but the consequences of its use or the dangers to its user may be of the greatest significance.
As to many items the consumer buys, their suitability and safety for their purposes can be determined only by actual test, and no amount of personal opinion or belief is a substitute for facts. Judging a television set for defects which may constitute a hazard to the life of a young child through electrical shock is an example. By proper choice of items for test and reporting the findings freely and without favoritism, Consumers' Research not only helps consumers save money in their expenditures, but also saves them time and labor, and possibly expenses for the services of others. Consumers' Research tests also help to assure that the product will be safe and will not cause damage to property or injury to the user.