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Consumer Reports is a product testing and consumer advocacy nonprofit organization based in Yonkers, N.Y., founded in 1936 as Consumers Union. Consumer Reports institutional records includes all materials received from the Consumer Reports Archives which were not segregated and processed into individual collections (persons, departments and other entities, genre-based collections). The collection includes records of lesser-documented departments, committees, task forces and special-purpose groups, along with institutional reference files that document corporate anniversaries; grounds and facilities maintenance; relations with external organizations in the consumer advocacy and cooperative movements; and the history of Consumers Union as well as that of more general consumer interests as they developed through the 20th century. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

The collection includes annual reports; articles; bylaws and certificates of incorporation; clippings; correspondence and memoranda; employee directories and manuals; financial and tax records and reports; meeting and conference materials; and other printed materials. Topics addressed include environmental justice; health care and health insurance; the history of Consumers Union from the employee strike and separation from Consumers' Research in 1935; household economic budgets and credit availability; political issues (including Great Depression recovery; World War II-era consumer policy, price controls and rationing; and Cold War-era allegations of communist influence); product standards and safety; and western regional office operations. Individuals and organizations represented include Chester Bowles, Colston Warne, Consumers' Research, the International Organization of Consumers' Unions, League of Women Shoppers, Mildred Brady, National Bureau of Economic Research, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, National Consumers League, New York Office of Consumer Counsel, and the Office of Price Administration.


The J. Walter Thompson Company World War II Advertising Collection documents the war-related activities of the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) advertising agency during 1940-1948, including a few post-war assessments. In particular, it shows JWT’s contributions to the war effort by its in-house documentation and work on government, civilian, and war-supporting charitable organization accounts. Materials include lists, memos, press releases, correspondence, notes, and advertisement tearsheets and proofs. Many of the materials in this collection are products of campaigns conducted under the auspices of the War Advertising Council, as well as those sponsored by civilian clients. These advertisements and pamphlets supported food rationing, fuel and rubber conservation, the purchase of War Bonds, the United Services Organization (USO), military recruitment, and women's employment in war-related jobs. Other advertisements arose from JWT's work in 1941 and 1942 for the Navy Relief Society. Items produced by the JWT London Office supported British War Relief (Ministry of Food, 1940-1941) and the Food Facts series (recipes and cooking tips for foods available despite rationing).

The collection includes corporate-sponsored advertisements relating to the war effort. Companies represented include: the American Association of Playing Card Manufacturers (recreation for convalescent service-men, in cooperation with the Red Cross); Anthracite Industries, Inc. (fuel conservation); Eastman Kodak Company (U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps); and the Institute of Life Insurance (ads to fight inflation produced in cooperation with the Office of Economic Stabilization, and a "Keep Well" campaign). Other advertisements were backed by Lambert Pharmacal Co. (women's employment); Libbey Glass Company (recruitment of women Marines and nurses' aides); National Retail Dry Goods Association (nurse recruitment); Owens Illinois-Glass Company (paper salvage); Petroleum Industry War Council (campaigns for saving tires, rubber, and gasoline); Shell Oil Company and other petroleum and rubber companies (salvage of scarce materials); and Textron (nurse recruitment).

Related materials may be found elsewhere in the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives, including the papers of JWT executives such as Samuel W. Meek, Walter O'Meara, Helen Lansdowne Resor, Stanley Burnet Resor, Ruth F. Waldo and James Webb Young. Similar materials may also be found in the R.C. Maxwell Company Outdoor Advertising Archives; the War Effort Mobilization Campaigns Poster Collection; and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives.


The War Effort Mobilization Campaigns Poster Collection spans the years 1942-1945 and contains miniature reproductions of billboards designed by the War Advertising Council that advertise various government campaigns during World War II. A broad range of campaigns are represented in this collection, including war bonds, civilian employment, women’s Naval Reserve (WAVES) service, food rationing, civil defense, and fire prevention. Campaigns were approved by various government agencies. The Treasury Department is the most heavily represented agency in this collection, but other agencies such as the Office of Civilian Defense, the War Food Administration, the War Manpower (or Man Power) Commission, the National Housing Administration, and the Office of War Information are also included. Most of the posters are in full color and feature images depicting scenes involving military activity, civilian and family life, women’s war contributions, and patriotic symbolism. Many of the posters come with attached promotional literature or form part of "sales kits" designed to encourage businesses to purchase and sponsor a billboard to promote war effort campaigns in their community.

Included in the collection are examples of outdoor advertising for the Second through the Seventh War Loan drives. Examples of advertising for the First Bond drive (which was primarily promoted through newspapers and radio advertising) and the Eighth War Loan campaign may be found in the Ad*Access collection on the Web.

The War Effort Mobilization Campaigns collection consists of two series. The H.E. Fisk War Poster Collection Series contains war effort posters collected in a scrapbook by H.E. Fisk, an executive of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The War Effort Sample Posters Series contains a wide range of war effort posters. There is some overlap between the two series.

Related materials may also be found in the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Archives, the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives: World War II Advertising Collection, and the Advertising Council Records. For additional information on advertising campaigns during World War II, please see for an article titled "Brief History of World War II Advertising Campaigns." This article, part of the Ad*Access on-line image database, highlights six major advertising initiatives including the conservation, V-mail, and war bond campaigns.

Collection consists of ration coupons, stickers, permits, and certificates for tires, bicycles, typewriters, sugar, shoes, fuel oil, gasoline, and food which were issued by the Office of Price Administration between 1942-1946. There are duplicates for a few items.