On December 11, 1976, Saturday Night Live aired its first “Consumer Probe” sketch on the sale of unsafe toys. Drawing on print and broadcast safety warnings from organizations like Consumer Reports and the recently-established Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the sketch lampooned the U.S. toy industry for endangering kids to maximize profits. Featuring Candice Bergen… Read more →
Alex is a historian of science, technology, and medicine completing his Ph.D. on the histories of home accidents and U.S. consumer product safety from 1920 to 1980. His research examines how the voluntary safety system of education, markets for “safe” goods, and product engineering sought to protect citizen-consumers from accidents and its downstream effects on public health and federal regulation. Alex has published with the Journal of the History of Biology, Isis (forthcoming), and the Washington Post.