How It's Made (2001–…): Season 7, Episode 5 - Matches/Carousel Horses/Fine Porcelain/Automobile Fuel Tanks - full transcript

Discover the secrets behind matches, carousel horses, fine porcelain, and automobile fuel tanks.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Narrator:
TODAY ON "HOW IT'S MADE" --

MATCHES.

CAROUSEL HORSES.

FINE PORCELAIN.

AND AUTOMOBILE FUEL TANKS.

LIGHTING A CONTROLLED FIRE
WAS NOT ALWAYS EASY.

ONLY 200 YEARS AGO, YOU'D RUB A
ROCK ON STEEL TO CREATE SPARKS.

THEN A STUNNING DISCOVERY --

THAT COMBINING CERTAIN CHEMICALS
CAN IGNITE FIRE.

IT WASN'T LONG
BEFORE MATCHES WERE INVENTED,

PUTTING THESE CHEMICALS
ON HANDY LITTLE STICKS.

WELL, NOTHING
QUITE MATCHES THAT.

THE FIRST MATCHES LEFT BEHIND
A NAUSEATING ODOR.

BUT TODAY, THEY'RE SAFER,

AND THE SMELL DISSIPATES
IN SECONDS.

TO MAKE MATCHSTICKS,

THIS COMPANY STARTS
WITH RECYCLED PAPERBOARD,

WHICH IS INEXPENSIVE

AND THICK ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE
WEIGHT OF CHEMICALS ON ONE END.

A STAMPING PRESS PARTIALLY CUTS
THE PAPER, CREATING STEMS.

AS WE SEE IN THIS VIEW
FROM INSIDE THE MACHINE,

A DIE FIRST CUTS THE STEMS.

AND THEN A BLADE SLICES
THROUGH THE SHEET WIDTHWISE,

MAKING STRIPS OF 120 STEMS EACH.

AT ACTUAL SPEED,
IT'S ALL JUST A BLUR,

AS THE PRESS MAKES
NEARLY 500 STRIPS PER MINUTE.

NEXT, THE STRIPS
MOVE THROUGH A BATH OF HOT WAX.

IT SOAKS INTO THE STEMS
ABOUT 1/3 OF THE WAY UP.

THEN THEY DRY IN AN OVEN
FOR 15 SECONDS.

WHEN YOU LIGHT A MATCH,

THE WAX SLOWS DOWN
THE BURN SPEED OF THE CHEMICALS,

SUSTAINING THE FLAME
FOR FOUR OR FIVE SECONDS.

THOSE CHEMICALS
ARE GELATIN AND SILICONE --

TO BIND THE CHEMICALS
TO THE STICK...

POTASSIUM CHLORATE -- AN ANIMAL
PROTEIN GLUE FOR OXIDATION...

SULFUR TO FUEL THE FLAME,
AND TWO FILLERS.

THEY MIX 700 POUNDS
OF THE CHEMICALS

IN A LARGE VAT WITH HOT WATER.

THIS IS ENOUGH
TO MAKE THE CHEMICAL BATTER

FOR 25 MILLION MATCH HEADS.

A CONVEYOR RUNS THE MATCHSTICKS
THROUGH THE BATTER

TO COAT THEIR TIPS.

THREE ROLLERS IN THE TANK RAISE
THE SURFACE OF THE BATTER.

THE FIRST TWO ENSURE
THE FRONT AND BACK OF THE HEADS

GET COVERED.

THE THIRD ROTATES FASTER

TO REMOVE EXCESS BATTER
AS THE HEADS LEAVE THE TANK.

FROM THERE, THE MATCHSTICKS
TRAVEL ABOUT A QUARTER MILE

WHILE FANS AIR-DRY THEM.

THE FACTORY TEMPERATURE

IS A COMFORTABLE
72 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

JUST WHAT'S REQUIRED
FOR THE CHEMICALS TO DRY

AND HARDEN.

THESE MINERALS ARE SILICA
AND RED PHOSPHORUS.

ADD A LITTLE GLUE, AND YOU'VE
GOT WHAT'S CALLED FRICTION --

THE MATERIAL IN THE STRIP
YOU RUB THE MATCH AGAINST

TO MAKE THE HEAD IGNITE.

TO MAKE THESE STRIKER STRIPS,
AS THEY'RE CALLED,

A STEEL WHEEL
ROLLS FRICTION ONTO PAPER

THAT'S MOVING
THROUGH A CUTTING PRESS.

THIS ISN'T THE SAME PAPER FROM
WHICH THEY MAKE THE MATCHSTICKS.

IT'S A HIGHER-QUALITY
NON-RECYCLED PAPER,

SUITABLE FOR COLOR GRAPHICS,

BECAUSE MANY CLIENTS ORDER
CUSTOM-PRINTED MATCHBOOK COVERS.

ANOTHER PRESS WITH ROTARY BLADES
SLICES THROUGH THE PAPER,

CREATING SEGMENTS
THAT ARE 4.2 INCHES LONG.

THAT'S THE LENGTH
OF AN UNFOLDED MATCHBOOK.

NOW BACK TO THE MATCHSTICKS.

A WORKER ARRANGES THE STRIPS
INTO LAYERS OF TWO.

THE CONVEYOR THEN FEEDS THEM
INTO A MACHINE

THAT WILL ATTACH THEM
TO THE MATCHBOOK COVERS.

THE MACHINE PERFORMS
SEVERAL TASKS.

IT CUTS THE MATCHSTICK STRIPS
INTO ROWS OF 10 MATCHES EACH.

AND IT CUTS THE MATCHBOOK COVERS

TO THEIR FINAL WIDTH
OF 1.5 INCHES.

THE MACHINE FOLDS THE MATCHBOOK
COVERS OVER TWO ROWS,

OR 20 MATCHES,

THEN INSERTS ONE STRONG STAPLE
THROUGH ALL FOUR LAYERS.

NEXT, A CONVEYOR MOVES
THE ASSEMBLED MATCHBOOKS

TO ANOTHER MACHINE
THAT COUNTS THEM

AND CREATES TWO SIDE-BY-SIDE
ROWS OF 25 READY FOR BOXING.

THIS COMPANY
ALSO MAKES ITS BOXES

OUT OF RECYCLED PAPERBOARD.

EACH ONE HOLDS 50 MATCHBOOKS
AND SELLS FOR ABOUT A BUCK.

THAT'S A DOLLAR
FOR 1,000 MATCHES,

OR JUST A PENNY FOR 10 MATCHES.

Narrator:
CENTURIES AGO,

SOLDIERS TESTED
THEIR CAVALRY SKILLS

ASTRIDE THE RIM
OF A LARGE HORIZONTAL WHEEL.

EVENTUALLY, EUROPE'S WEALTHY
ELITE SAW THIS AS ENTERTAINMENT

AND TURNED THE PRACTICE
INTO A FABULOUS PAGEANT.

NOWADAYS, YOU CAN RIDE
A WHOLE MENAGERIE OF ANIMALS.

BUT THE STAR OF THE CAROUSEL
IS STILL THE HORSE.

THEIR LIFE REVOLVES AROUND
A FAIRGROUND,

BUT THEY'RE BORN HERE ON PAPER.

A CRAFTSMAN DRAWS A PATTERN
OF THE HORSE'S SILHOUETTE,

THEN FILLS IT IN WITH THE
SADDLE, STRAPS, AND A HARNESS.

SOME MODELS MAY INCLUDE
A SHIELD,

A COAT OF ARMS,
OR EVEN FLOWERS.

ANOTHER CRAFTSMAN THEN GLUES
TOGETHER BLOCKS OF LINDEN --

WOOD THAT'S LIGHTWEIGHT
AND EASY TO CARVE.

HE STACKS FOUR OF THEM TO CREATE
WHAT'S CALLED AN END BLOCK.

IT'LL FORM PART OF THE HORSE'S
BODY, WHAT'S KNOWN AS THE CORE.

HE CLAMPS THE BLOCKS TOGETHER
TO COMPRESS THEM

AND LETS THE GLUE SET
FOR 45 MINUTES.

THE FINISHED CORE INCLUDES
TWO END BLOCKS

SANDWICHED BY TOP, BOTTOM,
AND SIDE PANELS,

PLUS ONE WOODEN PIECE
THEY'LL CARVE INTO A SADDLE.

THE MIDDLE OF THE CORE
IS HOLLOW.

ON A CAROUSEL WITH 50 HORSES,

THIS TRIMS THE OVERALL WEIGHT
BY UP TO THREE TONS.

AFTER COVERING THE CORE
WITH CARBON PAPER,

THE CRAFTSMAN
LAYS THE PATTERN ON TOP.

HE TRACES THE PATTERN WITH A
LEADLESS PENCIL CALLED A STYLUS.

THE CARBON PAPER UNDERNEATH

TRANSFERS THE DRAWING
ONTO THE WOOD.

HE'LL FOLLOW THESE LINES

TO CUT OUT THE BASIC SHAPE
OF THE HORSE.

LATER, THEY'LL CARVE MOST
OF THE FINER DETAILS BY HAND.

USING A BAND SAW, HE SLICES THE
CORE CAREFULLY ALONG THE LINES.

NEXT, HE DRILLS A HOLE
FOR THE POLE

THAT ATTACHES THE HORSE
TO THE CAROUSEL.

HERE, A CRAFTSMAN USES WHAT'S
CALLED A CARVING DUPLICATOR

TO CREATE THE HEAD.

FOLLOWING A TEMPLATE,

THE MACHINE SCULPTS A BLOCK
OF WOOD INTO THE HORSE'S HEAD,

A PAINSTAKING PROCESS
THAT TAKES 90 MINUTES.

THE DUPLICATOR CAN CARVE
UP TO FOUR HEADS AT ONCE.

IT ALSO ADJUSTS TO CARVE
SOME FINER DETAILS

INTO THE LARGER PIECES,
SUCH AS THE CORE.

THEY USE SOMETHING CALLED
A PARTING TOOL

TO SHAPE THE DECORATIVE TASSELS
ON THE BRIDLE.

THIS ONE HAS A FANCIFUL DESIGN,

WHAT AN ARABIAN HORSE
WOULD TYPICALLY WEAR.

THE CRAFTSMAN HAS A HUGE ARSENAL
OF TOOLS AT HIS DISPOSAL

TO CREATE ALL KINDS
OF SPECIAL FEATURES,

SUCH AS A FLOWING,
WINDBLOWN MANE.

THE TOOLS ARE SHARP,
AND THEY'RE PRECISE ENOUGH

TO SCULPT EVEN TINY,
INTRICATE PARTS

SUCH AS EYE SOCKETS,
NOSTRILS, AND TEETH.

AFTER APPLYING POLYESTER
ADHESIVE PUTTY

IN THE EYE SOCKETS,
HE ADDS TWO GLASS EYES.

UNLIKE REAL HORSES' PUPILS,
WHICH ARE OVAL IN SHAPE,

THESE HAVE ROUND PUPILS
FOR A FRIENDLIER LOOK.

A CAROUSEL HORSE IS ROUGHLY
HALF THE HEIGHT OF A REAL HORSE,

BUT THE SIZE OF ITS FEET
IS TRUE TO LIFE,

SO WORKERS NAIL ON
AUTHENTIC IRON HORSESHOES.

THESE PREVENT
THE WOOD FROM CHIPPING

UNDER THE FEET OF RIDERS
WHO GET ROWDY IN THE SADDLE.

WOODEN PEGS TEMPORARILY CONNECT
THE HEAD AND TAIL TO THE BODY.

ONCE WORKERS VERIFY
THE ALIGNMENT,

THEY'LL GLUE THE SECTIONS
TOGETHER.

AFTER SANDING DOWN THE ENTIRE
SURFACE, THE PAINT JOB BEGINS.

FIRST,
THREE COATS OF WHITE PRIMER.

THIS HIGHLIGHTS
ANY IMPERFECTIONS

THE SANDING MISSED.

ONCE THAT'S DONE,
THE ARTWORK BEGINS.

THIS HORSE WILL WEAR A BRIGHT,
MULTICOLORED HARNESS.

ITS COAT WILL BE IN DIFFERENT
SHADES OF THE SAME COLOR

FOR A REALISTIC LOOK.

IT TAKES UP TO FIVE COATS
OF PAINT TO GET IT JUST RIGHT.

UP TO SEVEN COATS OF VARNISH

WILL KEEP THE HORSE
LOOKING BEAUTIFUL FOR DECADES.

AFTER A LENGTHY
PRODUCTION PROCESS

THAT TAKES ABOUT TWO MONTHS,

THESE STRIKING CREATURES
ARE READY FOR THE FAIRGROUND.

Narrator:
PORCELAIN IS OFTEN CALLED CHINA

AFTER THE COUNTRY THAT INVENTED
IT MORE THAN 1,200 YEARS AGO.

IT LOOKS DELICATE

BUT IS ACTUALLY THE HARDEST TYPE
OF CERAMIC MATERIAL.

IT'S EVEN USED
IN ELECTRICAL INSULATORS

BECAUSE IT WITHSTANDS
VERY HIGH HEAT.

BUT MOST PEOPLE THINK
OF PORCELAIN AS DECORATIVE.

THIS COMPANY MAKES
40 DIFFERENT PORCELAIN ITEMS.

IT ALL STARTS WITH A SKETCH
OF THE PIECE --

IN THIS CASE, A TEAPOT.

AFTER THAT,
A MASTER MOLD OF THE PIECE --

A NEGATIVE MADE OF PLASTER.

CRAFTSMEN USE IT
TO MAKE A PRODUCTION MOLD.

PORCELAIN BEGINS AS POWDER,
A BLEND OF THREE MINERALS --

QUARTZ, KAOLIN, AND FELDSPAR.

THE WORKSHOP MIXES THIS POWDER
WITH WATER

TO MAKE A WET PASTE CALLED SLIP.

A CRAFTSWOMAN
FILLS THE MOLD WITH SLIP.

WITHIN 10 MINUTES OR SO,

THE POROUS PLASTER
ABSORBS THE WATER,

LEAVING A CRUST
OF HARDENED SLIP.

AFTER POURING THE REST OUT,

SHE WAITS ANOTHER 30 MINUTES FOR
THE CRUST TO CONTINUE HARDENING.

THEN SHE PEELS AWAY THE MOLD AND
GETS A FIRST LOOK AT HER TEAPOT.

HERE, SHE REMOVES EXCESS CRUST
FROM A DIFFERENT MOLD

FOR THE SPOUT.

SHE WAITS ABOUT 10 MINUTES,

UNTIL THE SPOUT
IS HARD ENOUGH TO HANDLE

BUT STILL SOFT ENOUGH TO SCULPT.

WITH A UTILITY KNIFE, SHE CARVES
OPEN THE END OF THE SPOUT.

WITH A LITTLE WATER
AND A SPONGE,

SHE SMOOTHES OUT THE EDGES
AND CURVES THE RIM.

NEXT, SHE EXTRACTS THE HANDLE
FROM A THIRD MOLD.

THEN SHE PIERCES 12 HOLES
IN THE SPOUT SIDE OF THE TEAPOT

TO FILTER OUT THE TEA LEAVES
WHEN YOU POUR.

SHE BRUSHES ON SOME SLIP TO
ATTACH THE SPOUT AND THE HANDLE.

THIS MODEL HAS A WEDGE
ALONG THE COLLAR

TO HELP ALIGN THE HANDLE
CORRECTLY.

OTHER DESIGNS
HAVE SMALL NOTCHES INSTEAD.

SHE BRUSHES ON MORE SLIP
TO ENSURE THE PARTS WILL BOND,

THEN SPONGES THE SURROUNDING
SURFACE TO SMOOTH OUT THE DRIPS.

AFTER THE PIECE DRIES
FOR TWO MORE DAYS,

SHE CARVES AWAY THE LINES ALONG
THE HANDLE AND UNDER THE SPOUT

AND SANDS DOWN THE RIM.

THEY MAKE SOME PIECES USING
A PRESSURE-CASTING SYSTEM --

THE MOLD'S MADE OF RESIN

AND TINY POLYESTER BEADS
THAT CREATE PORES,

WHICH ABSORB THE WATER
IN THE SLIP.

AFTER A HYDRAULIC PRESS
CLOSES THE MOLD,

THE MACHINE INJECTS SLIP
INTO THE CAVITY.

12 MINUTES LATER,
A CRAFTSMAN USES A SUCTION PLATE

TO REMOVE WHAT WILL BECOME
A SERVING PLATTER.

HE PLACES THE PIECE
ON A PLASTER BLOCK.

THE POROUS PLASTER
LETS THE UNDERSIDE DRY

WITHOUT LEAVING MARKS.

THEY FIRE THE ITEMS
IN A GIANT KILN.

THE KILN HEATS UP GRADUALLY,
TAKING EIGHT HOURS

TO REACH A SEARING
1,800 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

THEN 12 MORE HOURS TO COOL DOWN.

FIRING HARDENS THE PORCELAIN

AND ENABLES IT TO BETTER ABSORB
A COAT OF ENAMEL.

AFTER BRUSHING OFF ANY DUST,

THE CRAFTSMAN
DUNKS EACH PIECE IN ENAMEL --

A PROTECTIVE COATING.

THE PORCELAIN ABSORBS IT
RIGHT AWAY,

AND THIS GLAZE
TURNS INTO A SHINY SKIN

ONCE THE PIECES ARE FIRED AGAIN.

SHE HANDLES EACH PIECE
IN A PARTICULAR WAY

TO AVOID LEAVING DRIP MARKS.

IN THE SECOND FIRING,

THEY MAKE THE PORCELAIN
PURE WHITE

BY CAREFULLY CONTROLLING
THE AIR IN THE KILN.

REDUCING THE OXYGEN LEVEL
REMOVES ANY UNDESIRABLE COLORS.

THIS TIME,
THE TEMPERATURE IS HIGHER --

2,500 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

IT SHRINKS THE PIECES
BY ABOUT 15%.

AFTER A QUALITY CHECK,

A CRAFTSMAN APPLIES THE COMPANY
LOGO WITH A TRANSFER DECAL.

THE LOGO MELTS IN WHEN
THE PLATE GOES BACK IN THE KILN

FOR ANOTHER 12 HOURS
AT 1,500 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

IN THE END, THE PORCELAIN
IS TRANSLUCENT ENOUGH

FOR LIGHT
TO SHINE RIGHT THROUGH.

OTHER PIECES OFFER
MORE ILLUSTRATED DISPLAYS

FOR AN ELEGANT
DINING EXPERIENCE.

Narrator: CONSIDERING
HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO FILL THEM,

IT'S NO WONDER TODAY'S GAS TANKS
ARE MADE TO BE TOUGH.

FACTORIES DESIGN A GAS TANK

TO SAFELY FIT
A WIDE RANGE OF VEHICLES.

WORLDWIDE, THE INDUSTRY MAKES
60 MILLION TANKS A YEAR

FOR NEW CARS AND TRUCKS
AND MILLIONS MORE

TO REPLACE OLD OR DAMAGED TANKS
IN EXISTING CARS.

MAKING A GAS TANK BEGINS
WITH A SIMPLE SHEET OF STEEL.

IT'S NICKEL-PLATED
TO MAKE THE TANK RUST-RESISTANT.

A WORKER PLACES THE STEEL
IN A HYDRAULIC PRESS

THAT APPLIES
800 TONS OF PRESSURE.

THIS COMPRESSES THE SHEET
BETWEEN TWO DIES

THAT SHAPE THE BOTTOM HALF
OF THE TANK.

THE PRESS FORCES THE MALE DIE
UP AGAINST THE SHEET

AND INTO THE CAVITY
OF THE FEMALE DIE.

TO MAKE THE TOP HALF
OF THE TANK

OR DIFFERENT-SIZE TANKS,
THEY SIMPLY CHANGE DIES.

ON THE TANK'S TOP SECTION,
A STAMPING PRESS

IMPRINTS INFORMATION SUCH
AS THE PRODUCT AND LOT NUMBERS,

AND THE MANUFACTURER'S NAME.

A HYDRAULIC PUNCH THEN PIERCES
TWO HOLES --

ONE FOR A TUBE TO FILL THE TANK
AND ANOTHER TO VENT IT.

THIS MACHINE MAKES AN OPENING
FOR A COMPONENT

CALLED THE FUEL-DELIVERY MODULE,
OR FDM.

IT WILL SEND FUEL TO THE MOTOR.

A CONVEYOR MOVES AS MANY
AS 180 TOP SECTIONS PER HOUR

TO THE NEXT PRODUCTION PHASE.

THERE, A WORKER
USES A STEEL AND NYLON JIG

TO INSTALL A STEEL RING
THAT WILL POSITION THE FDM.

HE SPOT-WELDS THE RING
IN SIX SPOTS,

FUSING IT TO THE TOP SECTION.

TWO NOTCHES ON THE RING
WILL ALIGN THE FDM PROPERLY.

WORKERS TACK THE TOP
AND BOTTOM SECTIONS TOGETHER,

ALIGNING THEM PROPERLY

FOR COMPREHENSIVE WELDING
THAT FOLLOWS.

TWO METAL WHEELS COMPRESS
THE SECTIONS TOGETHER,

AND WATER COOLS THE AREA AS
A MACHINE CALLED A SEAM-WELDER

FUSES THE UPPER AND LOWER HALVES
OF THE TANK.

USING A GAS TORCH,

A WORKER FUSES STEEL TUBE
TO THE TANK WITH LEAD SOLDER.

THIS IS THE FILLER TUBE

INTO WHICH YOU INSERT
THE GAS NOZZLE

WHEN YOU FILL UP AT THE PUMP.

FUEL FLOWS IN AND AIR VENTS OUT
THROUGH THE TUBE SIMULTANEOUSLY.

A SENSOR AUTOMATICALLY SHUTS OFF
THE GAS PUMP

WHEN THE AIR PRESSURE INSIDE THE
TUBE REACHES A CERTAIN POINT.

MOST TANKS FILL
ONLY TO ABOUT 80% CAPACITY

TO LEAVE ROOM FOR VAPORS
CAUSED BY HOT WEATHER.

ROBOTS WELD THE TANKS
DESTINED FOR BRAND-NEW VEHICLES,

BECAUSE THE WORK HAS TO BE
PRECISE AND CONSISTENT

IN ORDER TO AID
THE ASSEMBLY-LINE ROBOTS

AT THE AUTO PLANT.

THE HUMAN-WELDED MODELS ARE SOLD
TO AUTO-REPAIR SHOPS

AS REPLACEMENTS
FOR DAMAGED TANKS.

THEY DON'T REQUIRE
THE SAME PRECISION

BECAUSE A MECHANIC DOES
A CUSTOM INSTALLATION.

WHEN THE ROBOTS FINISH
WELDING THE TANKS,

THEY TRANSFER THEM
TO A CONVEYOR BELT

THAT MOVES THEM
TO THE NEXT PRODUCTION PHASE.

THERE, A WORKER ATTACHES
A TIN-PLATED VENTING TUBE.

TIN MAKES IT RUST-RESISTANT.

HE ADDS A STEEL COMPONENT
CALLED A BAFFLE

TO THE BOTTOM SECTION
OF THE TANK.

THIS REDUCES THE SLOSHING
OF FUEL INSIDE THE TANK.

THE RESULT --

LESS NOISE FOR THE DRIVER AND
LESS METAL FATIGUE FOR THE TANK.

THEY'RE USUALLY JUST FOR TANKS
FOUND IN LARGER VEHICLES,

LIKE SUVs AND SMALL TRUCKS.

A WORKER NOW PLACES THE TOP
SECTION ONTO THE BOTTOM SECTION,

PULLING THE HOSE
THROUGH THE OPENING IN THE TOP.

THIS HOSE WILL CONNECT
TO THE FDM.

AFTER A WELDING MACHINE FUSES
BOTH HALVES TOGETHER,

ANOTHER MACHINE
BENDS THE SIDES DOWNWARD.

THIS GIVES DESIGNERS
EXTRA SPACE TO WORK WITH.

THEY TEST EVERY TANK FOR LEAKS
BY DUNKING IT UNDERWATER.

AFTER BLOCKING
ALL THE HOLES IN THE TANK,

THEY PUMP A LITTLE EXTRA AIR
INSIDE IT.

THEY SHINE BRIGHT SPOTLIGHTS AND
LOOK FOR BUBBLES IN THE WATER.

IF AIR CAN ESCAPE,
SO CAN GASOLINE.

NO BUBBLES, AND THE GAS TANK
PASSES INSPECTION.

ONLY THEN IS IT READY
FOR SHIPPING

AND A STARRING ROLE IN YOUR CAR.

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ABOUT THE SHOW,

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