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The Kansas Stone Industry

  • 1870 - Stone/Mineral Wealth of Southwestern Missouri – Excerpt from Mineral Wealth of Missouri, Lecture entitled “Description of South-Western Missouri and South-Eastern Kansas... – Hints to Settlers, &c.,” by Prof. C.D. Wilbur, Inspector of Mining Lands, Delivered in the Hall of Representatives, Jefferson City, Missouri, on February 18 and 19, 1870.
  • 1871 - Hutchinson's Resources of Kansas – 15 Years Experience, 1871, by C.C. Hutchinson, Topeka: The Author, 1871. Limestone was used all across Kansas to build homes, barns, watering troughs, and fence posts. A few of the towns that had operating quarries that supplied limestone to the state were Topeka, Cottonwood Falls, Dorrence, and Florence, Kansas. Stone was quarried by many settlers to obtain stone from their own land to build their buildings. (This site is presented on the Digitization Project web site.)
  • 1878 - Building Stone: Geology of Kansas - Economic Geology - Building Stone, 1878, First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-8, presented by Tom and Carolyn Ward, the KSGenWeb Project.
  • 1882 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry in 1882 (transcription), Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1882, J. S. Powell, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1883. Excerpts from the chapters on 1) "Structural Materials," 2) "Abrasive Materials," and 3) "The Useful Minerals of the United States."
  • 1883 and 1884 - The Kansas Stone Industry, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Years 1883 and 1884 (PDF images of sections), Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1885.
  • 1885 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry in 1885 (transcription), Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1885 (PDF images of sections), David T. Day, Geologist, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1887. Excerpt from the chapter on "Structural Materials," by H. S. Sproull.
  • 1886 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1886 (transcription), Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1886 (PDF images of sections), David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1887. Excerpts from the chapter on "Structural Materials," by William C. Day.
  • 1887 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1887, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1887 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1888
  • 1888 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1888, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1888 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1890
  • 1889 and 1890 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1889, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1889 and 1890 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1892
  • 1891 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1891, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1891 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1893
  • 1892 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1892, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1892 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1893
  • 1893 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1893, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1893 (PDF images of sections), J. W. Powell, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining Statistics and Technology, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1894
  • 1894 - Kansas Stone and Building Industry in 1894 (transcription), Excerpts from the Sixteenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey, Part IV.-Mineral Resources of the United States, 1894, Nonmetallic Products (PDF images of sections). Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1895. To view excerpts (transcription) from the chapter on "Stone" by William C. Day click here.
  • 1895 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1895, Excerpts from Seventeenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (PDF images of sections), Part III. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1895, Nonmetallic Products, Except Coal. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1896.
  • 1896 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1896, Excerpts from Eighteenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (PDF images of sections), Part V. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1896, Nonmetallic Products, Except Coal. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.
  • 1897 - Annual Bulletin on Mineral Resources of Kansas, For 1897, by Erasmus Haworth, Department of Physical Geology and Mineralogy, University of Kansas, The University Geological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1898. 98 pages. (This book is not available on this web site, but you can view the photographs by clicking here.)
  • 1897 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1897, Excerpts from Nineteenth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (PDF images of sections), Part V. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1896, Nonmetallic Products, Except Coal. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1898.
  • 1898 - Kansas Stone Industry, Excerpts from Annual Bulletin on Mineral Resources of Kansas, For 1898. Gold and Silver, Lead and Zinc, Coal, Oil and Gas, Gypsum, Building Stone, Clay Goods, Hydraulic Cement, Salt, by Erasmus Haworth, The University Geological Survey of Kansas, July 1899.
  • 1898 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1898, Excerpts from Twentieth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (PDF images of sections), Part VI. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1898, Nonmetallic Products, Except Coal and Coke. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899.
  • 1899 - Kansas Stone Industry, Excerpts from Annual Bulletin on Mineral Resources of Kansas, For 1899. Including a Report Upon Gold and Silver, Lead and Zinc, Coal, Oil and Gas, Gypsum and Gypsum Cement Plasters, Building and Other Stone, Clay Products, Hydraulic Cement, Salt, by Erasmus Haworth, The University Geological Survey of Kansas, May 1900.
  • 1899 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1899, Excerpts from Twenty-first Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey (PDF images of sections), Part VI. Mineral Resources of the United States, 1899, Nonmetallic Products, Except Coal and Coke. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901.
  • 1900 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1900, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1900 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining and Mineral Resources, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1901
  • 1900 and 1901- Kansas Stone Industry, Excerpts from Annual Bulletin on Mineral Resources of Kansas, For 1900 and 1901. Including a Report Upon Gold and Silver, Lead and Zinc, Coal, Oil and Gas, Clay Products, Gypsum, and Hydraulic and Portland Cements, Building and Other Stone, and Salt., by Erasmus Haworth, The University Geological Survey of Kansas, May 1902.
  • 1901 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1901, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1901 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director, David T. Day, Chief of Division of Mining and Mineral Resources, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1902
  • 1902 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1902, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1902 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1904.
  • 1903 - Kansas Stone Industry, Excerpts from Annual Bulletin on Mineral Resources of Kansas, For 1903. Including a Report Upon Lead and Zinc, Coal, Oil, Gas, Clay Products, Gypsum, Hydraulic and Portland Cements, Building Stone, and Salt, by Erasmus Haworth, The University Geological Survey of Kansas, May June, 1904.
  • 1903 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1903, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1903 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1904.
  • 1904 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1904, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1904 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1905.
  • 1905 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1905, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1905 (PDF images of sections), Charles D. Walcott, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1906.
  • 1906 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1906, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States - Calendar Year 1906 (PDF images of sections), George Otis Smith, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1907.
  • 1907 - The Kansas Stone and Building Industry, 1907, Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1907 (PDF images of sections), Part II.  Nonmetallic Products, George Otis Smith, Director, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey,  Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1908.
  • 1908 - The Kansas Stone Industry, 1908 (transcription), Excerpts from Mineral Resources of the United States, Calendar Year 1908, Part II - Nonmetallic Products (PDF images of sections), Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1909. Excerpts from the book are from the chapters on: 1) "Stone," by A. T. Coons and 2) part of chapter on "Abrasive Materials," by W. C. Phalen.
  • 1994 through 2008 - The Mineral Industry of Kansas - United States Geological Survey (1994 through 2008)
  • Anderson County, Kansas - Limestone and Sandstone Quarries (From William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois.) "Good building stone is abundant, of the best quality of lime and sandstone.."
  • Bourbon County, Kansas - Limestone and Sandstone Quarries (From William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois.) "The soil.is underlaid by limestone and sandstone at various depths all over the county...An extensive quarry of fine flagging stone is found about five miles west of Fort Scott. This stone exists in layers from two to five inches in thickness, is known as the Fort Scott stone, and is shipped in all directions and as far eastward as St. Louis."
  • Bourbon County - Kansas State Board of Agriculture First Biennial Report 1878. "Building Stone, etc.: Lime and sandstone of good quality is found in all localities."
  • Carnegie Libraries in Kansas – The book, "The Carnegie Legacy in Kansas," by Allen Gardiner and published in 1985, was written 150 years after the birth of Andrew Carnegie. The book discusses "Carnegie.s role in the development of Kansas library.through examination of the 59 public libraries he helped to construct in the state." Click on the link above to read the online version of this book.
  • Cherokee County, Kansas – 1904 History of Cherokee County Kansas. The information below is from the Cherokee County, Kansas, GenWeb Project web site hosted by Tom and Carolyn Ward.

    About 1904 the Cherokee County building stone quarrying was noted to be found in quantities that suggested a successful industry in that area. At that time sandstone quarries were noted near Columbus, and further stone quarrying in the future was foreseen to become one of the chief industries for the area.

  • Construction-Materials in Cloud County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 88, by Laurence P. Buck, Richard Van Horn, and Robert G. Young, prepared in cooperation with the State Highway Commission of Kansas. Prepared as a part of a program of the Department of the Interior for Development of the Missouri River Basin, Washington, D. C., January 1951
  • Construction Materials in Ellis County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 30, by Frank E. Byrne, Vincent B. Coombs, and Charles H. Bearman, prepared in cooperation with the State Highway Commission of Kansas. Prepared as a part of a program of the Department of the Interior for Development of the Missouri River Basin, Washington, D. C., April 1949.
  • Construction Materials in Graham County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 51, by Frank E. Byrne, Vincent B. Coombs, and Claude W. Matthews, Prepared in cooperation with the State Highway Commission of Kansas. Prepared as part of a program of the Department of the Interior for Development of the Missouri River Basin. Washington, D. C., January 1951.
  • Construction Materials in Phillips County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 21, by Frank E. Byrne, Henry V. Beck, and Max S. Houston, Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Washington, D. C., August 1948.
  • Construction-Materials in Republic County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 79, by Frank E. Byrne, Henry V. Beck, Vincent B. Coombs, and Wendell B. Johnson, prepared in cooperation with the State Highway Commission of Kansas. Prepared as part of a program of the Department of the Interior for Development of the Missouri River Basin, United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Washington, D. C., July 1950.
  • Construction-Materials in Rooks County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 27, by Frank E. Byrne, Henry V. Beck, and Max S. Houston, prepared in cooperation with the State Highway Commission of Kansas. United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Washington, D. C., April 1949.
  • Construction-Materials in Smith County, Kansas – Excerpts Relating to Building Stone, Geological Survey Circular 25, by Frank E. Byrne, Max S. Houston, and Melville R. Mudge, United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, Washington, D. C., November 1948.
  • Fort Riley Military Reservation and Vicinity - The Geology of the Fort Riley Military Reservation and Vicinity, Kansas Bulletin 137, by Robert Hay, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1896.
  • Independence Quadrangle - Economic Geology of the Independence Quadrangle, Kansas, Bulletin 296, by Frank C. Schrader and Erasmus Haworth, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1906.
  • Industrial Minerals in Kansas (Report), presented by the Kansas Geological Survey. ("Among the state's non-fuel industrial minerals are cement, clay and shale, crushed rock, dimension stone, gypsum, helium, salt, sand and gravel, sulfur, and volcanic ash.")

    The Eastern one-third of Kansas is the most important area to produce stone processed as crushed stone. Limestone, dolomite, and quartz of Cretaceous age account the stone quarried by a few of the crushed rock operations in central Kansas. In northwestern Kansas small operations use the stone of "Ogallala of Tertiary Age.Major uses include construction applications and cement production. In 1998, over 350 quarries produced 22.6 million metric tons of crushed rock valued at $102 million."

    In the past the stone used in Kansas. dimension stone industry originated from all over the state. Stone from the Lower Permian Age limestones is actively quarried in recent years, and quarries produce these limestones in Chase, Cowley, Pottawatomie, Shawnee, and Wabaunsee counties in eastern Kansas. Pennsylvanian limestones in Leavenworth and Johnson counties and sandstone from Bourbon County account for small amounts of the building stone produced from these areas.

  • Jewell County, Kansas - Limestone and Sandstone Quarries. "The principal building stone is magnesian limestone, it being found in every township except Highland. When first quarried it is generally soft and easily cut with a common saw, but by exposure becomes hard. Sandstone is found in the extreme south." (From William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL)
  • Kansas Aggregate Producers' Association and Kansas Ready Mixed Concrete Association (includes list of producers)
  • Kansas Geological Survey
  • Kansas Limestone Usage - "Geologists Study Keys To Concrete," news release dated August 19, 1999, from the University of Kansas, Office of University Relations. According to this news release, limestone is the "key ingredient in good concrete." New methods used to identify the types of limestone would produce "high-quality concrete" which could lead to longer lasting roads in Kansas. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) enabled a study of the commonly quarried limestones in eastern Kansas. The focus was to be on the Farley Limestone. Limestone is quarried in several places in northeastern Kansas, "particularly the area around Kansas City." The ground up limestone is added to other materials to make concrete.
  • Kansas Stone Quarries from Pages 721-746 from volume I of Kansas: A cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago: 1912, 3 v. in 4.: front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar.

    “Building Stone: Many of the limestone horizons in the Kansas Coal Measures produce excellent building stone and the broad prairies are dotted here and there with scores of stone quarries, some of which already have reached a considerable magnitude of production. The sandstone beds here and there interbedded with the shales likewise produce good flagging stones for making walks and for other constructional purposes. Should the time ever come when a larger amount of high grade building stone is required, either limestone or sandstone, the Coal Measures of Kansas may be called upon to increase the present production many hundred fold.”

    “Building Stone: The Permian affords some of the best building stone in the state, principally limestone. Here and there throughout the entire area from the north side of the state to the south good building stone is available.”

    “…the Benton complex of limestones and shales, aggregating a thickness of about 400 feet. It is composed almost entirely of alternating beds of soft, light colored limestone and darkly colored, sometimes almost greenish shales, which in other places are practically black…They lend themselves readily to quarry purposes and may be broken readily into long slender pieces suitable for fence-posts, for which they are used to a great extent throughout the entire Benton area of the state. In fact, one riding east or west across the state on any of the trans-state railroads north of the Arkansas river can recognize when he is in the Benton area by the limestone fence-posts so readily seen from the car window. This fence-post zone is from 30 to 40 miles wide and practically outlines the area throughout which the Benton formation covers the surface of the ground. The stone is so soft it can be cut with a carpenter's saw and shaped at pleasure. Upon exposure to the atmosphere it dries and hardens so that it becomes quite serviceable for structural poses, and many pretentious buildings are built of it.”

  • Lacrosse, Rush County, Kansas - Lacrosse Post Rock Museum (Rush County Historical Society) The Post Rock Museum exhibits tools, technology used in relation to the Limestone fenceposts created and used in the area, stories about the limestone fencepost rock, and an authentic stone quarry re-creation.
  • Limestone Quarry - Danish Settlements in Kansas Timeline. In 1869 a group of Danish Baptists began to reside in the neighborhood of Jamestown, Cloud County. Their leader, Niels Nielson, helped them form a Baptist congregation in 1871, and their church building was completed by 1877. The limestone quarried for the building was quarried by the church members. The location of the quarry is not stated in this account. (This information is no longer available on this web site.)
    <http://www.roadsideamerica.com/roger/QueryTips.php3?tip_State=KS>
  • Limestone Quarrying in Kansas. The following quote is taken from A Guidebook to Mining In America: Volume 1: West (The Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and farther West), by John R. Park, Stonerose Publishing Co., Miami, Florida, April, 2000, available at Stonerose Publishing Company. The quote is used with Mr. Park.s permission.

    Limestone "post-rock" fence posts are characteristic of North Central Kansas. Post-rock has also been used as a dimension stone in construction, and at least one post-rock quarrying firm is still in business.

  • Lincoln County, Kansas - History of Limestone Fences in Lincoln County
  • Map of Abandoned Mines Available (Kansas Geological Survey, 1995) Many of the hundreds of abandoned quarries and small mines in Kansas were former limestone mines or sand and gravel operations. Limestone quarries in eastern Kansas produced stone for gravel or building stone. In north-central Kansas limestone quarries were common "where a rock layer known as 'fence-post limestone. produced stone for buildings, bridges and fence posts." Abandoned sandstone quarries can be found in central Kansas along with other types of quarries and mines. (This article is no longer available at this link.)
    <http://www.urc.ukans.edu/News/95N/JuneNews/June29/abdmines.html>
  • Mineral Resources of Elk County (including limestone and sandstone), by Robert Kulstad, Norman Plummer, Walter H. Schoewe, and Edwin D. Goebel, presented by the Kansas Geological Survey.
  • Post Rock - Limestone Post Stones in Kansas - Arthur Sayler, "The Stone Post Craftsman - "In Memory of a Member," Taken from the Tiller & Toiler, Larned, Kansas, July 25, 1989, by Carl Immenschuh, on the Santa Fe Trail Research Site of Larry and Carolyn Mix. (This article includes the history of the post rock industry in Kansas.)
  • Post Rock Museum, LaCrosse, Kansas, presented on the Rush County, Kansas, web site. "The museum includes an authentic stone quarry re-creation illustrating the methods used to cut posts for fencing as well as tools and items depicting the history of the post rock unique to this region." Quarry-related photographs on this web site include: Display of quarrying tools and techniques; men using a hand drill and some of the feathers and wedges are also a part of the display; and a limestone corner post with barbed wire. (The following quotation is used with the permission of Rush County Economic Development.)

    "These industrious pioneers discovered a layer of rock, located only a few feet below the soil surface, that could be used to make permanent, weather resistant, beautiful buildings. This rock layer is known as limestone and due to the geological formation is just the right thickness (8 to 12 inches) for building stones and posts. When limestone is first exposed it is soft and chalky, making it easier to drill and dress (form). However, once the stone has been exposed to air, the edges become hard making it an exceptional building material for the plains pioneer. At first, limestone blocks were just used to form the walls of dugouts. As the pioneers recognized the structural potential of limestone, more permanent all-stone buildings were constructed. Limestone blocks quickly became a common building material throughout north central Kansas. Stone blocks were used to build schools, churches, homes, bridges, posts, decorative stone, window trims, steps, hitching posts, troughs (feed and water), tombstones, and walkways."

    "Early limestone quarrying was done at the edges of ravines or outcroppings where the limestone layer was exposed by erosion of the surrounding soil. At first, pioneers "sledged" out building rocks and dressed (formed and sized) each block with stone hammers. "Sledging" describes the use of hand drills and hammers to make a straight line of holes along the exposed layer. Once the holes were drilled pinch bars were used to pry the blocks loose. Smaller drills and hammers were then used to size and shape each block for building."

    "Pioneer innovation quickly changed the method of quarrying with the invention of specialized tools. Now blocks and posts were quarried using hand-operated drills to place holes into the limestone strata 8 inches apart. Then feathers and wedges were placed in each hole and pounded until the rock split into desired lengths. Some historical sources report that stone blocks could be quarried in the winter by filling the drill holes with water, as the water froze it would expand and split the rock. In the late 1800's, Sanky, a local blacksmith invented a machine that used a Maytag engine. This machine operated like a sewing machine, when the drill operator stepped on a low handle, the engine would power the drill."

  • "Post Rock Museum" in LaCrosse, Kansas near the Santa Fe Trail - "Post Rock's in the Making" (photographs and history) presented on the Santa Fe Trail Research Site by Larry and Carolyn Mix.
  • Quarry-Related Photographs on "Photos with Subject of Industries," presented by the Kansas Geological Survey. (Many of these photographs are presented on this web site under the location name of the photo. Several of these photographs are placed below and used according to the Kansas Geological Survey Terms of Use Statement.)

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