On a snowy day in February, a group of Greeters toured the Good Housekeeping Research Institute at 57th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.
Housed in the Hearst building, a paragon of modernism with sleek glass elevators, the Institute on the 29th floor has a much cozier feel. Much of this was because of our wonderful guide, Rachel Rothman, who welcomed us as if we were long lost family.
The Institute was founded in 1900 to improve the lives of consumers through product evaluation. Before Good Housekeeping Magazine accepts product advertising, that product must pass rigorous laboratory tests. Only those that pass become eligible for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, which involves more rigorous testing.
Rachel described the Good Housekeeping Seal as a symbol of quality and a beloved piece of Americana. If any product with the Seal turns out to be defective, Good Housekeeping will replace it or refund your money within two years of purchase.
And, oh, the things we saw in different labs! At the Beauty Lab, they test everything from hair coloring products to anti-aging creams to lipsticks, perfumes, eyeliners and more.
Next was the Kitchen Lab where all recipes are tested. They were in the middle of testing seventeen different tortillas! And since they knew we were coming, they baked us a (coffee) cake.
Consumer Electronics and Engineering had everything from smart phones, headphones, and laptops, to toilets and showerheads. In a recent test, the winning toilet flushed down 18 golf balls!
At the Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab we saw refrigerators, blenders, microwaves – anything used to prepare or store food. Rachel confided she would soon be testing Margaritas. As she nobly explained, “I do it all for you, in the name of science.”
To sign up for a 45-minute tour which is given on the second Friday of every month, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 212-649-5000.