descriptive image

The Consumer Reports Archive

Post contributed by Joshua Larkin Rowley, Reference Archivist, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History acquired the archive of Consumer Reports, the consumer advocacy and education non-profit, in October of 2019.  Staff were thrilled with the new acquisition and eager to make these fabulous collections available to researchers as soon as possible.  Then…the pandemic hit.

Finally, after nearly three years and hours of work by staff and interns in the Rubenstein Library’s Technical Services Dept. approximately 65 individual collections have been fully described and made available.  To mark the occasion we’ve published a website dedicated to highlighting the breadth of the Consumer Reports Archive, the history of the organization, a selection of archival collections, recently cataloged print items, and its interdisciplinary potential in teaching.  Explore the site here and check out some highlights from the collection below.

Two fake mouths mounted on a cylinder with red lipstick residue from testing.
Lipstick tester from the testing equipment collection.
Image showing cover of Consumers Union Reports.
First issue of Consumer Reports, May 1936.
Letter on Consumers Union letterhead.
Consumer Reports founder Colston Warne’s sworn statement that he’s never been a member of the Communist Party, April 1953, from the Colston Warne Papers
Image showing pen testing equipment with six pens writing on a white sheet of paper.
Pen tester from Consumer Reports Iconographic Collection.
image showing a room of television sets
Television set test from the Consumer Reports Iconographic Collection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.