Sunday, April 2, 2017

Manitowoc Engineering Company

I recognize the name of Manitowoc as a manufacturer of submarines during World War II when I studied the swing bridges on the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Getting those submarines and other Navy war production down the canal required making the swing spans movable. Some sources said they added motors to the bridges while other sources say they just used boats and cables to move the spans. (Remember, the St. Lawrence Seaway was not opened until 1959.)

Manitowoc could not find a crane big enough to meet their ship building needs, so they engineered and built their own big cranes. [FacebookPosting] Since there was a market for big cranes, they started producing them as well. As they grew, the shipbuilding operation was moved to Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Before it made 28 submarines, Manitowoc was making other maritime equipment such as the big ferries used by the C&O's Pere Marquette. [Wikipedia]

Notes for specific Manitowoc models:

Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "A inside look at the old Manitowoc Engineering Assembly Bay. Along the Manitowoc river."
Ben Stalvey This building is still used to this day. Building and assembly of wind tower section now.
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Ben Stalvey posted
Manitowoc Engineering property. Manitowoc WI This is where 28 World War II Gato class submarines were constructed. The Manitowoc 3900 was designed originally in house to pick up the sections of the Gato class submarines.
Roger Thompson And VICON was developed to tension them out and pull them back to the dock when launched.
Jay Wilson Lot of WW2 sub captains wanted nothing less than Manitowoc subs.

Paul Rabenhorst posted
The S.S. CITY OF MILWAUKEE, at her launching in Manitowoc.
November 25, 1930.
The Manitowoc shipyards had side launchings because of the confined space of the river.
Tom Peery: The S.S.City of Milwaukee now resides in Manistee, Michigan. On Manistee river/lake. Its available for guided tours, overnight accommodations, and event rentals.

Paul Rabenhorst shared
Paul Rabenhorst shared
Matthew Alan: Pretty neat that the clipping is from a German magazine.
Paul Rabenhorst: Like Milwaukee, Manitowoc was once a very German city.
Pete Welch: They floated a lot of USN submarines the same way in the 40s there.

Ben Stalvey posted four photos with the comment:
A little Manitowoc history. Did you know Manitowoc also made Tunnel Boring machines? When crane production got slow in the 80s. Manitowoc was contracted out to do heavy fabrications. These picture above were the first TBM they had built. Manitowoc also built several automotive stamping presses...
Gerry Celia Did you know that Manitowoc made submarines during WWII? The took them by barge down the river to New Orleans and launched them, after sea trials in the lakes.
Bill Pohlmann They also built LCTs and YO self-propelled fuel oil "barges", and across the river Burger Boat built another 55 boats including minesweepers, ASW craft, tugs and various other utility vessels. My grandfather worked at Shipbuilding during the war, riding a bus up from Milwaukee every day with many others. My other grandfather worked at Allen-Bradley making Norden bombsights. Unlike more recent wars, it was an effort that truly involved the entire country.
Steve Khail Gerry Celia, not by barge but by a special floating pontoon.
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Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past. From Manitowoc WI back in 1960. This slide might bring back memories for some of the locals. Checkout the Edward L Ryerson being constructed back in 1960. Look at the custom tip on the 4600. Looks to be a hammerhead tip even

Ben Stalvey posted
Where it all started here in Manitowoc WI
[I see another Abt Trunnion Bridge has been lost. According to Historic Aerials, it, and the swing bridge on the other side of the peninsula, were removed between 2010 and 2013. According to the 2005 SPV Map, this area was served by C&NW and what is left is owned by CN.] 
Ben Stalvey posted
Here is the are where Manitowoc Engineering Now known as Manitowoc Cranes was located.

Ben Stalvey posted
Hans van Vliet W.W 2 picture I think? with al the Libertyships on the photograph.
Robert Nuke Thompson Hans: WWI, not WWII. The ships are real; the cranes are also real, and were used for years after they became obsolete. The steam whirleys were in operation until the late 1960s, and the electric bridge gantries were repurposed to service the steel racks, and were used until the 1990s.
Arthur Zuehlke Thanks Ben. Shipbuilding was the main show in the day. Cranes were a sideline then. What eventually became the 4100 was developed to help build the subs and other boats built there in WWII.
Arthur Zuehlke Robert ...also remember the steam Whirleys. My wife's grandfather Ben Reed ran one for some years.

Ben Stalvey posted
This is the same island where Manitowoc Engineering now known as Manitowoc Crane got started. In Manitowoc WI
[Actually, I think it was a peninsula instead of an island.]


Ben Stalvey commented on the above posting
How the area looked prior to when Manitowoc Cranes moved to the new South Works plant in Manitowoc WI.
Robert Nuke Thompson Probably early 1970's. The McMyler steam cranes have been replaced with a single gantry-mounted 3900, the electric bridge gantries have been moved to service the steel racks, and the floating drydock has been moved to Sturgeon Bay.

Ben Stalvey posted
1983

Ben Stalvey posted
How times have changed blast from the past. Manitowoc Engineering. Manitowoc WI.

Ben Stalvey posted
Manitowoc World Most Versatile Cranes.. No doubt even to this day yet..............
James Prellwitz Any idea what year this photo is from?
Ben Stalvey 1970s
Stephen Randolph Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the hell out of running Manitowoc cranes. My dreams and nightmares always take place in a red crane. However I’ve had the pleasure of running some other crane manufacturers rigs and there versatility and new innovations are hard to dismiss.
This photo shows why they moved ship building to Sturgeon Bay, the ships were growing too big to get down the river.
Hans van Vliet commented on his own posting

Deborah Wiegand commented on a post
This is the Edward L Ryerson( 730') being towed out by the tug Green Bay from the Manitowoc shipyard for her shake-down cruise. (Aug 1960) My dad Les Gamble was the captain on the Green Bay. Also inches on each side to clear each of three bridges. (Photo by Jeff Rueckert)

Hans van Vliet posted
Early luffing jib attachment on a Manitowoc. Picture made in 1952 during the completion of the Great Lakes freighter John G. Munson, build at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co.
Ben StalveyBen and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts. Shot in Manitowoc WI. Manitowoc Shipbuilding was building the ship. Also cranes at this time as well


Manitowoc is moving the manufacturing of its crawler cranes to Shady Grove, PA. I have not been able to determine if anything else is manufactured in Wisconsin. Or if the town will be left with just paper-pushing (keyboard-pounding) jobs. Now the Wisconsin facility is for sale. The fact that the offer includes "corporate office space" makes one wonder about the retention of headquarters and engineering in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, it is a link to a closed group, but I want to save Ben's history and photos about the shipbuilding, which was moved to Sturgeon Bay WI in 1972. In 2008 the whole shipbuilding and marine division was sold off.

The peninsula is still used for heavy industry. One product is windmill towers and I have seen pictures of them being loaded on a barge. So they still take advantage of the peninsula's access to the Great Lakes.
Satellite
Update:
Ben Stalvey posted
Just look at all them cranes how it use to be in Manitowoc WI.
Robert Nuke Thompson The three McMyler steam cranes are still by the floating drydock, and the bridge gantries are still in use at the cement plant and the powerplant.
Yeah, that's old.
Reuben Zimmer Before Shipbuilding moved out

Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past. The area where Manitowoc Engineering use to be located. Along the Manitowoc River in Manitowoc WI. This shot was taken in 1956. LOL I was born in 1983 so before my time.

Ben Stalvey posted again
Youri Marien litle extra fun fact : the grove factory in germany was also a part of the german U-boat plant . if u check it on google earth u see the bay where the submarines started their journey to sea.
Ben Stalvey posted again with a little darker exposure
In this photo you can see where Manitowoc Cranes started. Which use to be called Manitowoc Engineering. Right on the old Manitowoc Shipbuilding property here in Manitowoc WI. Manitowoc shipbuilding built great lake freighters, barges, tugs, crane barges. During World War II they even built 28 Gaton Class submarines. Which were side launched. Here is some Manitowoc history. The Manitowoc 3900 evolved because Manitowoc Shipbuilding needed a large capacity crane to handle sectional sub components for the submarines. So the engineers in house teamed up engineered and built two cranes specifically for the job. It later turned out to be the Manitowoc 3900. Sadly not only did shipbuilding leave Manitowoc WI years ago. Recently Manitowoc Cranes also did due to consolidation operations to Shady Grove Pennsylvania. Times have sure changed.
Ben Stalvey In order to fulfill a major submarine-building contract during World War II, Manitowoc's crane division built two Model 3900 cranes capable of lifting 30 tons at a 30-foot radius, its largest cranes to date. The 3900 and its upgrades remained in the product line for some four decades, and larger models of similar design were produced.
John Bouschor Ben, I read your comments on the origin of Manitowoc Cranes. You may want to do a little research into Moore Speed Crane. The 3900's you are speaking about say Speed Crane on the point of the boom where it now says Manitowoc. Manitowoc actually acquired the first patents and design after Moore Speed Crane was unable to pay their debts. In the early 1920's Moore Speed Crane put their cranes in the shipyard and after the financial troubles the name was changed to Manitowoc Speed Crane in 1931. I have operated 3900's and 4000's that had Speed Crane forged in castings in the engine room.
Ben Stalvey John Bouschor correct Moore had a contract with Manitowoc to build cranes for them. Moore defaulted on payment to them. Manitowoc acquired the patents.
Arthur Zuehlke All true enough. Manitowoc engineers most certainly borrowed ideas and parts from the Moore designs. And though the 3900 was a fundamentally different machine built for a purpose and scale the Moores never envisioned, it is still a direct descendant of the Moore crane IMO. But yes. The 3900 was built to lift the sections of the sub.

Ben commented on his post

Ben Stalvey posted
The way Manitowocs used to be hauled out of Manitowoc WI. Checkout this 4600 being barged out
Ben Stalvey posted
1968 picture of Manitowoc Engineering
Ben Stalvey reposted
Gabriel Gene Great pic. I remember runny around inside the "blue castle" when i was a kid and it being fully staffed. Also when most of the floors were cleared out after the move to southworks.
Ben Stalvey posted
A piece of a TBM [Tunnel Boring Machine] built in the 1980s.
Ben Stalvey commented on his posting
Tom Burkart It is part of a press that's was built for the auto industry. It was hauled by a company called Press Express
Ben Stalvey posted
Derik Wolfe dug up some stuff for you man. Chicago bridge and Iron used a 5 drum Manitowoc model 560 hoist for this derrick crane. Located in Memphis Tennessee. you can see it in the first picture on here lifting a 750 ton nuclear reactor. Manitowoc also built this transporter in the pictures below.
Ben Stalvey commented on his above posting
 Info on this job

Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past. So how well do you know your Manitowocs??????? This barge was built by Manitowoc Shipbuilding. Manitowoc Engineering supplied the crane which was fitted on it later. Does anyone know who's this was or what model Manitowoc went on it???????
David Cannon 4600
Ben Stalvey commented on his above posting
Here it is finished
Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "It took Manitowocs to build Manitowocs. This was a shot of construction of Manitowoc Engineering. Along the Manitowoc River."

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Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "Here are a few shots of the construction of Edward Ryerson in Manitowoc WI at Manitowoc Shipbuilding. Checkout the tip on that 3900."

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Mark Goodrich commented on Ben's posting
Ben Stalvey posted
[Note that the big ship on the left side is in a dry dock. The company started as a ship (submarines during WWII) building company. They started building cranes because they could not find ones built by others that were big enough to handle what they needed done to build the ships.]
Ben Stalvey posted
Construction of the massive Manitowoc Sea Crane boom in Manitowoc WI
Ben Stalvey commented on his posting
Here is the Sea Crane complete
Matt Tuomala How long ago was that built? Who did they build it for?
Ben StalveyGroup Admin Matt Tuomala 1969
Jim Kratzer With all that crane to look at, you almost miss the helicopter about to land.
Ben StalveyGroup Admin A 3900 also on board as a assist crane
Ben StalveyGroup Admin Tetra Heavy lift owns it now
William Platou Might check, but I Remember this 600 seacrane boom being built at Todd Shipyards in Houston..

Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "The good old assembly days down at Manitowoc Engineering."
Reuben Zimmer It’s hard to believe how many cranes rolled out the doors I those days.we shipped more cranes and attachments in a Month. Than they do in a year.

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Ben Stalvey posted
The good old days of loading out a Manitowoc by rail. A 4100 with hammerhead top.
Chuck Tadych In 1969 to 1976 I saw this many times!!!

Neil Dhein posted
Hey Ben Staley, look what I found...
Neil commented on his posting
Ben StalveyGroup Admin Manitowoc debarking machine
Steve Khail Manitowoc made mechanical debarkers, large barking drums, and chain flails.
Bubba Roberts I believe that's a ring debarker. The whole debarking division, ring, flail and the drums, were all sold in about 1993.
Ben StalveyGroup Admin Randall Hughes Manitowoc also made tunnel boring machines, kilns, presses even for the automotive industry


Ben Stalvey commented on Neil's posting
Here is part of the TBM being hauled away.
Frank K Messercola They also make ice machines for hotels and restaurants.
John Hopkins Manitowoc Food Service is now Welbilt and headquartered in Florida. It is no longer associated with the Manitowoc Company but rather a separate publicly traded company.
Thomas Catras We had a Manitowoc ice machine behind the bar at our old union hall. Louder than a 4600. Business manager used to demand it be unplugged during union meetings.


Eric Ross posted
An old wall hanger.
[Unfortunately, the low resolution makes it unreadable and there is no date, but it is still interesting.]
Ben Stalvey posted
A neat overall shot of Manitowoc Cranes back in the 90s.
Michael Fuller Like 95
Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past Manitowoc WI. This would bring back memories to some from Manitowoc WI'
In this photo wooden piles which were used as keel block supports are being replaced. With concrete ones. Checkout the early Manitowoc Speedcrane
J. Mike Poupore 3000 ?Ben StalveyBen and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts. CorrectReuben Zimmer It’s all still in the ground

Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past in Manitowoc WI. To bad the whole crawler division left Manitowoc WI.
Ben Stalvey 1930s Manitowoc 3000 shovel hard at work digging near the Manitowoc Shipyards.
Ron Klenk DIPPER STICK .3000
Arthur Zuehlke Yes. Most any innovation in the lattice boom crane world I can think of was done first in the small town of Manitowoc. Have lost track of all the variations/methods used to extend CTWT explored in my time there and before.


Matt Mohd Ji commented on Ben's post
[Look at the misc yellow discs placed on the big discs to get a precise test load.]

Ben Stalvey posted
A little bit of blast from the past Manitowoc Wisconsin style. Back when Manitowoc Cranes would be shipped out by ocean going vessel. At the old plant along the Manitowoc River. Just a neat photo from my collection I wanted to share with everyone. I believe the oil/ fuel tanker acrossed the way by Wisconsin Fuel and Light was the SS Meteor.
James Long The Pilot was the biggest ship in the West Indies Shipping line. I worked on them for 3 summers in high school on the docks in Houston.
Vincent Umstot Full counterweight with no boom, that's touchy !
Ben Stalvey posted four photos with the comment: "Blast from the past some 4100 Ringers loading out of Manitowoc WI."
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Ben Stalvey posted seven photos with the comment: "How we use to do it in Manitowoc WI. Sad all good things come to a end. So much history and past with crane building. All production of crawler cranes has been moved back in 2017."

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Ben Stalvey 600 Seracrane boom

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Ben Stalvey Part of the 600 Sea Crane as wellJames Daniel Jones Tracks for rollers ...center pin and slip rings ..

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Randall Kyson Sirbaugh Why blue? Custom order? Kinda looks like Lampsons blue.
Ben Stalvey Correct custom order
Carl Logan Refurbished ???
Ben Stalvey brand new
Carl Logan  Ben Stalvey wow !!! Looking just at the photo I would have sworn that that was the house of a 3900 Vicon ???
Ben Stalvey  Carl Logan sure does look that way

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Ben Stalvey posted
One of the very first 4100 down at the old Manitowoc Shipbuilding yard. Note in the background you can see the old Manitowoc Shipbuilding trolley Cranes... Sadly here in Manitowoc WI we no longer build cranes. It was relocated back in mid 2017 to Shady Grove Pennsylvania. The end of crane building in Manitowoc WI after 91 years..................
Thomas Sawyer Whoever designed the 4100 was an absolute genious and like Delorion knew how to desighn comfort as well as function. A real pleasure to operate..
Steven Paul The crane that made Manitowoc.
The crane that nearly broke them, they never wore out.

Ben Stalvey posted three photos with the comment: "Of course when you need a big crane to install some massive machinery in house. Why not just bring in a 400W. With short hammerhead top. Manitowoc sure comes up with everything. This one was being used at the Manitowoc Engineering plant. Year 1985 in the 4600 shop"
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Ben Stalvey posted
Massive cranes require massive machinery to machine them. This Ingerosoll is still used to this day.. Interestingly it was moved to south Works once Manitowoc outgrew the peninsula along the Manitowoc River. It was put in at the South Works location. When Manitowoc ended crane production in Manitowoc WI. It was sold locally and brought back to its original spot on the peninsula.
Ben Stalvey I believe it was nick named the twin towers. Someone from the South Works plant or Engineering would know.
Eric S Manners Bob Brickman horizontal milling machine
Bryan Koskela It's a horizontal boring mill, used for facing,milling,drilling and boring. this is a floor type, which means the table is built into the floor and the upright travels along a bed in the pit.you can see the small conveyor at the near end of the pit for removing any chips that fall down the front of the pit.
Erwin Haban Good old 816.
Erwin Haban The Twin Towers was a pair of Scharman HBM's on a 150' bed or "x" axis to replace 858 when we made the move to South Works.
Erwin Haban Exactech bought it for $200K and years later Manitowoc bought the whole facility (Port Washington plant) from them because they had gotten proficient at the fabricating and yes machining of the Carbodies and Crawlers for them.
Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "Some other massive weldments made by Manitowoc Engineering. Back when times were tough, diversify."
Kevin P. Moller Welded on many debarking drums...my first job as a journeyman welder/set-up, after finishing blueprint class was the cutterhead for the Robbins Co.
Roger Thompson Debarking Drums for the forest industry and Bow Thrusters for ships.
Brian Peterson I see those now thrusters on the ore boats on Superior. They dock those 1000 footers like a fishing boat!
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Marlene Pleuss Before hard hat days.
Dan Otto What was this piece, looks very similar to a single stage compressor housing we had when I worked at AC Compressor. But ours was a one piece cast unit.
Barry LaBoube Looks like a pump shell for a dredge.
Pierre Lacoste That was my first thought too...

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Scott Wilson Manawa debarking drums
Ben Stalvey posted three photos with the comment:
Well it's throwback Thursday everyone. Blast from the past this was taken in December of 1980. Manitowoc Engineering along the peninsula. Maybe some of you employees remember this day. Not everything goes great in the test yard The massive crane in the background is a Manitowoc 7000 and one wrecked Manitowoc 3000.

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Gregory Kolacz The way she's lying there, almost looks as if it was pushed over!!
Ben Stalvey Maybe the 7000 crawled into it?
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Ben Stalvey posted
Throwback Thursday here is a shot of a Manitowoc 7000 lower works being assembled...
Mike Dicenzo Was this the largest in that series ? 6000 , 7000. ?
Ben Stalvey Correct the Manitowoc model 7000 was the largest.
6000, 6400 then 7000 series machine.
The 6400 was a dedicated dragline. 7000 is a liftcrane.
Depending how the 7000s were set up capacity was from 350 to 800 tons.
Jim Browne I thought the 800 ton was a retrofit by Sindorf?
Mike Larson I never saw an 800-ton rating from Manitowoc for that model. Could've happened after I'd left the company, though. The 7000 wasn't designed with a high maximum capacity in close in mind. It was to have a high capacity on longer booms and longer radii.
Ben Stalvey A Manitowoc 7000 could be equipped with 400ft of main boom and 100 ft of jib.
Conrad Kustka I remember the lower rating because you could only have so much load when you swung 360 degrees.becaure the ring was not supported by the cut outs for track pads.

Joe Jenkins What year was this thing produced?
Ben Stalvey 1981 Only 5 7000s were ever built believe 4 out of 5 are still good.

Ben commented on his post
Here it is setup complete

[The ring is welded directly to the deck of the ship, Atlantic Challenger.]
Blaise Plant The one mounted on the ship that Diavas has out of Mexico. The company that owns it is out of Norway. The ship is actually an old Norwegian Ice Breaker Ship. I wanna say it’s been de-rated to like 270 ton machine though.

Ben Stalvey posted three photos with the comment: "1966 Manitowoc 3900 being built and assembled. Note the special raising mast gantry ."
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Ben Stalvey posted
This elevate cab Manitowoc 4600 was built for the construction of the Panama Canal.
Robert Nuke Thompson Well,,, for dredging the Panama Canal. It was opened in 1904.

Ben Stalvey posted eight photos with the comment: "How technology has changed in time building Manitowocs. Various pictures of some Manitowoc Cranes/ Engineering employees. Also some other weldments Manitowoc worked on such as automotive presses and debarkers."
Mike Dicenzo Ben , are Manitowoc ice machines the same company as cranes ??
Ben Stalvey Mike Dicenzo it use to be all under one overall company. Called the Manitowoc Company. Which was Manitowoc Cranes, Manitowoc Shipbuilding and Manitowoc Equipment works. Manitowoc Equipment works was Manitowoc Ice. Which makes the Ice Machines.
Randy-Barb Schmitt Do you know what year these photos were taken?
Ben Stalvey 1980s

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Ben Stalvey posted
Loading a Massive Manitowoc 7000 onto Ocean Going Vessel
Conrad Kustka Went to mohommedia Morocco
Ben commented on his post

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Meacham has a couple of photos from when Manitowoc was still building boats here including the first side launch of a submarine.

A photo tour of their current (Grove, PA) factory (source, the comments blame Carl Icahn for destroying the jobs in Manitowoc, WI.  Another posting of the link)

Don Clark posted a request for unconventional Manitowocs. He got several examples in the comments.

Video of a tandem lift loading a self-unloading boom onto a barge So some of the former crane boom welders get to use their old skills?

(Facebooked)


In Sept 2020, I got hit with a Double Doomsday. Both Facebook and Google changed their software. I said "changed" instead of "updated" because the new software is not better. In fact, Google's Blogger software is far worse except for a search function that works. Specifically, it has three bugs concerning photos and their captions. So I'm no longer copying photos and interesting comments from Facebook. I'm just saving the link. I hope you can access posts in Private Groups.



Ben Stalvey posted five photos that include a USACE elevated cab 3900 crane on a barge and two 888's helping to build the Konecrane.












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