The Gentle Craft

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The Gentle Craft

#1 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 6:34 pm

All messages posted prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this CD need to contact admin@thehcc.org

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Rosemary Hutzler

Re: The Gentle Craft

#2 Post by Rosemary Hutzler » Tue Jun 11, 2002 11:24 am

Seeking info on Elvis Presley's shoes, boots, and footwear habits.

Researching a book on Elvis, and looking for anecdotal/historical or craft information relating to particular pieces or the totality of Elvis's extensive collection of shoes and boots. Some are San Remo (from Spain?), some are Giovanni, some Verde, some Vibram. Some have custom patterns of studs spelling out his initials or in the shape of a guitar. One beautiful pair of black-and-white checked ankle boots.

Anyone having further information on any of the above, please reply IMMEDIATELY to rhutzler@gjusa.com. Many thanks in advance!

Anonymous

Re: The Gentle Craft

#3 Post by Anonymous » Sat Sep 21, 2002 9:02 am

Hello All!

Another post from the frozen north Image
Actually, it's been the high 20's & low 30's here all week - 80' & 90's on Herr Farenheit's scale.

I have been doing a fair number of demonstrations this year, to the best of my limited ability, of historical cobbling, at various historical forts and re-enactments. My problem, admittedly minor, is as follows:

When I talk about the craft in English I carefully point out that I am a "cobbler", NOT a "shoemaker" or "cordwainer" and explain the distinction, but I encounter a fair number of French speakers, native Canadian and other, but so far I have been unable to find a French equivalent to "cobbler". I'd think, given the whole guild thing that there must BE such a term in most languages, but all my sources list "cordonnier" as the French equivalent of BOTH "shoemaker" & "cobbler".

Does anyone have any ideas? Do such equivalents in fact exist in German, Danish, etc. ? (I'm thinking of Mark here Image ) Any info. gratefully received.

Peter Monahan

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#4 Post by dw » Sat Sep 21, 2002 10:34 am

Peter,

I will immediately defer to any of the more scholarly wordsmiths or historians here, but I recall an article in an old issue of The Chronicle of early American Industries in which the French term for cobbler was "savetier". As I recall the article, the word also meant "bungler."

I wonder if it could also be the root of the English word "saboteur?" ...fishing... Image

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otherVolken

Re: The Gentle Craft

#5 Post by otherVolken » Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:31 am

Just happened to look into the forum and here I find something to add my grain of salt. Indeed the cobbler is called "savetier" (phonetic: sah-vuh-tiay) in french. There also was a distinction in the 13th C. called "savetonnier", they would make slippers out of basanne.

As to the "saboteurs" that would be "sabotier" for the clog makers, but the "sabotage" has an inderect link to clogs. There is one story that I have my doubts about but here it is : Apparently some french workers from the 19th. C. chucked theyr clogs into a machine to ruin the work as a form of protest where the sabots (clogs) caused the sabotage. Others say, that the origin might be found for describing a badly done work or a undermined quality that harms the business done, like a roughly hacked out clog. But as I say I wouldn't know which is true.

Best regards

Serge, (the other Volken)

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#6 Post by otherVolken » Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:32 am

DW, you cought a nice fat Swiss mountain trout there.. Image

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#7 Post by marc » Sat Sep 21, 2002 11:45 am

I know you are joking, but saboteur comes from sabotage, which either derives from (no one knows for sure) either

1) a (probably false even IF it showed up in a Star Trek movie) story of french workers who threw their wooden shoes into machinery while on strike; 2) striking french railway workers cutting the metal "sabots" (or 'shoes') holding rails in place; 3) loud clomping around in wooden sabots being equated with bumbling destruction (although how this links to intentional destruction is unclear to me), or 4) the fact that a wooden sabot looks like a spade, and a "sapper" undermined an enemies position.

Savetier does appear to mean "cobbler" though (there is a cute poem about a savietier at http://cage.rug.ac.be/~dc/Literature/Mallarme/Mal32.html BTW), not to be confused with SavAtier, which may refer to a kick-boxer Image Savate refers to a clumsy idiot/oaf or (showing the link to Savetier) a worn out slipper [La Savate is a, of course, a particular form of martial art that uses a lot of kicking and stick work].

Marc

other Volken

Re: The Gentle Craft

#8 Post by other Volken » Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:30 pm

yep you're right there the saboteur is the one who commits the sabotage, the origin of the word being 20 Cent. French. Personally I do know and believe that it is connected with clogs "sabot" but more in the sense that workers kicked the machinery with their poor-peoples-and-peasant-shoes, the clog, that was wide spread in France and looked exactly the same as the famous wooden clogs in the Netherlands.

And here is also etymological link "sabot" in acient french to "çabot" wich seems to be a variation of "savate" (spanisch "zapata", italian "Ciabatta", arab "sabbat" and Berber "sappat" ) The meanings can vary, in all cases it does mean shoes, but in some languages like French and Italian it specifically means bad or worn out shoes, from which a figure of speech derives, indicating a quite worn out person, personality or even look. BTW the french "savetier" has its Italian equivalent "ciabattino".

As to the railway "sabot" it is specifically a wedge shaped piece of iron that is put on the rail to block a wheel (there must be a specific english word for it... might be wheel blocks). Also in Paris there is the famous "sabot" a big yellow wheel-locking device so you can't drive away your badly parked car without going to the next police station and pay them, to have that thing removed they put them selves on in the first place (wicked Image )


Serge

other Volken

Re: The Gentle Craft

#9 Post by other Volken » Sat Sep 21, 2002 12:40 pm

Peter,
Sorry got carried away in french and forgot to mention the German translation for cobbler:
The most currently used is "Flickschuster" (spelling: flick-shoe-ster) but there is also a long list of terms from older sources and dialects, here a short list :

-Altmacher : as in old maker, the one who only works with old leather
- Altbutzer, Albuzzer, Altpletzer, Altreussen, Oldrüsen... and there are some more I cant say from the top of my head.

Serge

Anonymous

Re: The Gentle Craft

#10 Post by Anonymous » Sat Sep 21, 2002 4:58 pm

DW, Marc & Serge

Thanks for all the wonderful information! I'll definitely add "savetier", "ciabbattino" and "altbutzer" to my vocabulary, and maybe even to my sign!

BTW, I had heard the "sabotage" story as being what disgruntled French workers did to their
(now-German controlled) factory machines in "occupied" Alsace & Lorraine after the Franco-Prussian unpleasantness of 1890. ("Occupied" in quot. mks for Serge, who may have his own ideas as to who rightfully owns those two bits of real estate Image )

I also managed to get a French dictionary of British origin which gives an "archaic" subsidiary meaning for "sabotier" as "bungler", which isn't that far off some of the sense of "cobbler" to a real "cordwainer"!

Interesting how the right answer to "which linguistic origin is correct ?" often seems to be "A little bit of all of them." Thanks again for the prompt responses.

Peter Monahan, Cobbler, Ciabattino, Altbutzer,
Savetier AND Sabotier

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#11 Post by dw » Fri Aug 29, 2003 5:31 pm

NEWSFLASH!!

An amazing artifact has been found at an ongoing archeological "dig" in eastern Virginia. Several large tuns of what can only be described as salted, ground corn, crisps were uncovered in the cellar of what was thought to be one of North America's first "drinking establishments." The large wooden barrels had been imported from Spain, by all accounts, and were labeled "El Primera Fritos"

But the really interesting find was of a large and extremely detailed portrait that was found under the barrel, sandwiched between the pages of a ledger of some kind, which had been preserved by the salt and oil leaking from the aforementioned provender. It depicts a group of four rather unsavory characters who appear to have taken over the local Thom Macann establishment and are preparing to convert it into a bawdy house. Either that or they are a group of bold shoemakers about to set off to join Boney's forces in Egypt.

Anyway, here's a scan of the portrait in question.

2527.jpg


The 18th c. Shoemaking Program, Department of Historic Trades, The Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, August 2003.

(From left to right): Valentine Povinelli, Apprentice; Timothy R. Wilson, Journeyman; D. A. Saguto, Master; Andrew Caire, Apprentice.

DR OBUV

Re: The Gentle Craft

#12 Post by DR OBUV » Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:53 am

Greetings everyone,

What a wonderful archaeological find DW. Fortunately this image has a legible caption with the names on, so many of them do not. I was able to cross-reference and search these individuals in my data base. It seems the date is a bit off--"August 2003" is actually code for the artist's name (not available).

I have been able to turn up the following. Each individual was indeed a shoemaker, but judging by their dress, and the size-stick Saguto is holding, I'd put the date of the portrait at closer to 1770-5, well before the Napoleonic Wars.

"Povinelli, V." shows up on a list of pressed seamen, taken in Leisland (a Baltic state near present day Lithuania) serving on the "Good Ship Venus" under the assumed name of "Laslo Cyzmi". He was marooned when the ship foundered off Madagascar in a storm in September 1773, and made his way to Virginia on a series of coal tenders out of Newcastle, on which he served as head cook and bottle-washer. His poor command of English is noted in the county court records of James City County, Virginia in 1775, where he was called to testify in a case involving a stolen cutlass, but apparently he could only utter "yes" and "excellent" with a thick Baltic accent. He was arrested later for poisoning wells in Charles City Co., and drops off the record.

Timothy "Xeta-Jones" Wilson, a Welshman "by birth" he claimed on his enlistment papers, is listed as a "Cordwainer/Kippers Dealer" from Brecon, having served with distinction in the 23rd Foot, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, first as drummer, then as ensign. He apparently migrated to Virginia from Upper Canada after the Seven Years War, to claim his veteran's land grants and seek his fortune in Kippers--not finding any, he reverted to shoemaking by 1761. Interestingly his name also appears in a list of Jews exiled from Prague, who had been caught cheating the royal court there on exotic floor coverings. But this might be another Wilson.

D. Saguto, or "d'Saguto", is a curiosity. He shows up in the record, first, in Maryland, the colony just north of Virginia, and served his apprenticeship in the area formerly know as "The Forest of Leek" in southern Frederick Co., where he bought and sold several small parcels of land, and was arrested for shooting his neighbor's horse. The next time we encounter him is on the muster rolls of Capt. Norman MacLeod of MacLeod's Co. of the 71st Regiment, Fraser's Highlanders in 1781, where he's enumerated as "1st Batt., D. MacSaguto, bagpiper, the Vacant Coy., serving with the Legion". This regiment was raised in 1775-6 for service in North America, and we can only surmise that Saguto, or "MacSaguto", abandoned shoemaking for the King's shilling, and the splendid uniform. He was captured with Cornwallis' forces at Yorktown, in 1781, and apparently never left Virginia.

Andrew Caire, AKA "Phillipe Louis Francois Duhamel du Monceaux" was born in Turkey of French parents serving as legation from King Louis XIV. Having escaped enslavement at the hands of the Turks c.1755, disguised as a char-woman he swam to France and took up service in the household of the Duc (duke) d'Orleans. He arrived in Virginia with a group of Huguenot bed-rug weavers in 1772, and worked as a brass-founder and day-labourer. Where he served his shoemaking apprenticeship is not known. Perhaps with Saguto?

All four men signed a petition in the 1790s protesting the importation of cheap shoes from Massachusetts, naming a shoemaker there, "Peter Oak--", or "Oakleif"(?).

What a wonderful piece of shoe-anna. I will continue my research into these chaps when I return from my lecture tour of Poland round Christmas.

Cheers,

DR OBUV

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#13 Post by dw » Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:39 am

Doc,

You da man!! Marvelous research. I congratulate you. It's one thing to pick up on an interesting item all too briefly thrown in amongst a welter of other miscellany in the newspaper and quite another to present us with as detailed and fascinating a look at the late 18th century as you have.

These flash rogues certainly led interesting, if unseemly lives. I was particularly impressed by Andrew Caire's swim from Turkey to France...the raiments of a char woman make anything but a demur dip difficult, at best. And Wilson...I think his family is still into exotic home construction materials. There is currently a class of faux marble being diddled by a Wilson...nearly as expensive as the real thing...which is obviously intended to mollify the middle class and make them content with their station in life.

But you don't mention anything about their origins. I know that the records are often spotty especially for this class of individual. Most were probably born in poverty to "working women"--tarnished doves in another era--and never knew their mothers. Likely they grew up boning watches and pocketbooks. It's a wonder none of them ended up doing the morris jig at the end of the Kings hemp.

Tight Stitches
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DR OBUV

Re: The Gentle Craft

#14 Post by DR OBUV » Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:23 pm

Dear Frommer,

I am glad you enjoyed what I found.

"Caire's Big Swim" (Turkey to France) actually inspired a popular 18th c. ballad by the same title. And the absurdity of performing such a feat in char-woman's attire was an amusing twist in the third verse of the oldest version of the song we have:

"...inflating his petticoats like a floatie, and using his apron for a sail, fair Caire did sail most of the way, fishing for sturgeon, fa, la, la, la...", etc. (See: Childe Ballads Collection, vol. LXXI, item: 460).

Later versions, collected interestingly enough in the Appalachian mountains of America, have the hero swimmer-character dressed as an otter instead, which most scholars attribute to an origin in a Scandinavian folk tale.

The royal faux flooring scandal of Prague is well documented in Postlethwait's, 'Historii a Praha' (History of Prague), published in 1897, pages 97-102, however there is no mention of Wilson. In fact I'm not sure what the name "Wilson" would be in Czech. Perhaps one of your readers might know?

As I spilt tea all over my notes this morning, I can't go back and double check, however, if memory serves, Povinelli's father, a diamond-cutter by trade, was killed by a speeding ox cart on his way home from a Masonic meeting, his mother remarried a local ship's chandler, and young Valentine was raised by Jesuits. Wilson's father was either an extra in 'How Green Was My Valley", if Welsh, or a Moyle in Prague, depending on which "Wilson" he was. Saguto's mother married several times in Ann Arundel Co., Maryland--none of the husbands lived long, so it's hard to tell. Parish records at All Hallows Church, Davidsonville, trace the family back a few generations, but as far as I could discover they were all convict-servants, but one, an illegitimate son of Charles I. Caire we know the most about. His parents were diplomats from the court of Louis XIV. His father's family was of noble birth, and hailed from Bordeaux. His mother's family were successful Spanish peanut merchants in Toulouse, one of which was burned as a witch in 1543 for refusing to speak French. In fact Caire himself had a devilish habit of replying to a question in any foreign language other than that in which the question was posed. First German, then Portuguese, then Spanish, then French, but never the right one.

Cheers,

DR OBUV

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#15 Post by marc » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:05 pm

Since I can't post to the HCC Bulletin Board

Pardon my French, but roughly:



Laced boots with the boots

Sixteen square meters entirely dedicated to 2000 years of history of the shoe were inaugurated yesterday in Rôtillon. The day before the old day of Saint-Crépin, Patron of shoe-makers.

This isn't large. It's even very small. Sixteen square meters and with that, two thousand years shoe history recalled in the wink of an eye. Located in the heart of the old Lausannois artisan's district in the saved (?) part of Rôtillon -- the small workshop of Serge and Marquita Volken, a museum since yesterday, does not pay a mine. It is however enough to push open the door after having passed a quick eye on the temporary display space in the shop window -- shoes for babies and small pages (?) to realize the error. Inside, Ali Baba's cave in shoes is spread under the visitor's immediate gaze. Fortunately, the Volken couple burns with a shared desire, the same one which justified them to create a museum: to transmit their art, display their know-how and to communicate their passion.

"She's the hand, I'm the talker and one divides the brain", Says Serge Volken with a joking air.. It happens like that in the house of the Volkens. And in ten years of research in calceology -- the science of the shoe --, and old leathers, it is to say if the data touching of near or by far leather in general, the shoe in particular, accumulated in the workshop and research center of the couple. The museum isn't one of brick as much as it is the realization of a dream. "Until now, the results of our research were transmitted only by the means of publications. Now people can come and touch." Arranged with the image of the workshop of traditional shoe-maker, display space gathers around the wood stove, the shoe-makers tools, also said the St. Crepin, who limits himself to an awl, a cutter, a foot of iron and a hammer. And of wild boar bristles, to make the needles.

Is is allowed to try one?

"You want to try out a pair?", Serge Volken shoots forward, indicating a shoe found in Freiburg in 1640. Here it's allowed. You can't break it since each shoe was reconstituted starting from archaeological fragments found at the time of excavations. Serge Volken, former cook, opened his workshop in Rôtillon in 1983. As years have gone by he's become familiarized with the old techniques of leatherwork of leather and ends up keeping these skills from falling into oblivion. In 1993, He and his wife Marquita, created the center of calceology, a first in Switzerland. Reinforced in their knowledge by the teaching of the man they call their "Master", Dutch archeologist Olaf Goubitz, the two researching craftsmen quickly become the authority on the matter. Elected by the archaeological services of various cantons as well as by European institutions, they live today of their craft industry. And cherish a motto: "I forget what I hear, I remember what I see but I understand what I do."

By LAETITIA KIRIANOFF

The other Volken

Re: The Gentle Craft

#16 Post by The other Volken » Sat Nov 08, 2003 1:11 pm

marc,

Félicitations pour cette excellente traduction, votre compréhension de la langue de Molière est exquise.

You got me by surprise on your linguistic talent :O).

other V.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#17 Post by marc » Sat Nov 08, 2003 9:51 pm

Thank you, it was my pleasure. My composition is pathetique, but I -can- read it Image

Marc

Victor White

Re: The Gentle Craft

#18 Post by Victor White » Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:35 pm

Leon White was my grandfather, and he started the L. White Boot and Saddle Shop in 1886 in east Texas. He moved the shop to Fort Worth in 1909 at 2461 North Main in the Stockyards. He actually started making boots first, and later added saddles. His hand-made boots were his forte, and many famous movie and western stars owned his boots, including Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Dale Robertson, Rex Allen, etc. Other famous folks who owned his custom-fit boots included Presidents Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, Lou Gehirg, and New York Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia.

In the 1920s, Leon trained his sons, Louis and Victor White (my dad), for the family business. The shop made all the prize saddles for the National All Round Championship Rodeo held at Madison Square Garden in NYC for many years. Some of the champions who won L. White saddles included Jim Shoulders, Harry Tompkins, and Casey Tibbs. The shop also produced the prize saddles each year for the National High School Championship Rodeo. A number of the shop's boots and saddles are on display at the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum in Oklahoma and in other museums around the country.

Leon died in 1943, and his sons continued running the business and producing hand-made boots and saddles until both Victor and Louis died in 1970. The shop was permanently closed that year. The Texas Trail of Fame in the Fort Worth Stockyards hopefully will recognize Leon and the shop's contributions to the western culture in the near future. Our family is assembling a collection of information and products for the Trail of Fame and its museum, so if anyone has anything to contribute, please let me know. Our family is also purchasing some items, such as boots and saddles for our grandchildren, so that they can always remember their legacy. We would greatly appreciate any information on finding old boots and saddles that might be for sale.

pablo

Re: The Gentle Craft

#19 Post by pablo » Mon Nov 24, 2003 10:50 am

Victor,
I've spooken to your uncle Bernard about his recollections of the L.White shop and hope he is still with us.
Do you recall the name of your grandfather which he had in Poland ? Bernard could not but suggested it like Wincherski.
I also spoke to you aunt Mary briefly in 1980's when she worked at TCU. She lamented not having retained any of the shop records or tools. I asked who she and your grandmother sold them to - she simply couldn't recall.Were you told who bought those items and did you get any ?Incidentally, the city directory lists L.White on E.Exchange years before moving to Main street.
pablo

andrea

Re: The Gentle Craft

#20 Post by andrea » Fri Dec 05, 2003 8:42 pm

Probably most of you on this board don't take the British journal "Textile History" so I thought I'd let you know the current issue has the following article - I've copied the abstract here. The article contains lots of very nice charts and graphs and photos of extant shoes (and please see my post on "Shoemaker Wanted" - I have a personal interest in this time period!)

Textile History 34 (2), 107-133, 2003

"La chaussure a la mode: Product Innovation and Marketing Strategies in Parisian and London Boot and Shoemaking in the Early Nineteenth Century, by GIORGIO RIELLO

After 1815 a large range of French goods could enter Britain free of duty. Many London trades had to face new, French products that had fashionable status and were often considerably cheaper than the equivalent British products. This article analyses the relationship between the Parisian and the London shoemaking trades during the first half of the nineteenth century. Its aim is to understand the economic transformations that posited London in direct competition with Paris. Starting with a quantitative analysis of the competition between the two cities, the article focuses on the differences of products, materials and the selling and marketing techniques of the Parisian and the London boot and shoe trades. The article aims to show how differences in the way products were marketed played an important role in the success story of French shoemaking."

Anonymous

Re: The Gentle Craft

#21 Post by Anonymous » Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:35 pm

Andrea, does the article say that French footwear was superior to English footwear and their fashions copied by the English?

andrea

Re: The Gentle Craft

#22 Post by andrea » Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:15 pm

Yes, that's a large part of it. The article addresses how the British shoe industry had to respond to consumer demand for French shoes. I've only skimmed the article, so I'm afraid I can't give you any specific examples. It's my bed-time reading this week - by next week I should have (cumulatively) stayed awake long enough to get through the entire article.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#23 Post by das » Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:15 pm

[proxy posting for June Swann, in which writes]:

Fancy Riello turning up again. Summary seems to be very similar to his paper given at Econ. Hist. Soc. conference early 2000, title of which also began La Chaussure à la Mode, which was a right mess: trying to draw conclusions from what Eng. men had said about nice French leather boots, compared with French women's silk shoes. In fact, rarely specified when he was referring to men's/women's, leather/silk, as though it was all the same; obviously had no idea there were several sep. trades: men's bootmakers, men's shoemakers, women's shoemakers, women who made the silk shoes, who really weren't shoemakers at all - no last nor practically any other shoemaker kit required, sold by haberdashers. And he seemed to believe the women's 1830 B&W square toed silk ballet-type started immediately after 1792, which confused things even more. Completely overlooked the fact France lost the war in 1815, and set out to conquer the world commercially, as Germany & Japan post 1945. Also mentions cheap Fr. imports, but for some reason people were willing to pay more for them than for the English equivalent, which they didn't! Frankly, it's very difficult to tell the difference between 1830s French & English silk ballet-type if you don't look for straight sole and no back seam, or unless you can see a French printed label. Anyone could write on gauche/droit, which is doubtless what the English workers did making the so-called French shoes. English likely to fit better. Nor did he seem to know Paris had set women's fashions, amongst others, since c1660.

andrea

Re: The Gentle Craft

#24 Post by andrea » Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:20 pm

Riello exposed! (And also, perhaps the Textile History editorial review board needs a better shoe industry historian.)

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#25 Post by das » Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:53 pm

Andrea,

Hey, I just posted what June sent Image

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