Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Exhibitionism! Edited Transcript

Viv Trafalgar: Ladies, Gentlemen, Miss Serafina (who is abroad, but still with us in spirit) and I are pleased to welcome you to the September Aether Salon - Exhibitionism! A close look at the history and mysteries of Victorian Exhibitions. I am so pleased to be able to say that this is our tenth salon! We think you will find it enlightening and shocking, and then you will fall over dead when you see the craft. But that's later. First, I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today.

As many of you know, the Aether Salon meets to discuss steam and Victorian topics on the third Sunday of each month, in Palisades, New Babbage. We have had ten Salons since last October - each one spectacular and exciting - all thanks to our speakers and the amazing Babbage community. Next month we will mark our one-year anniversary with (we hope) all of our speakers emeritii in attendance, as well as a brilliant topic. We hope you will join us. We sincerely appreciate the support we receive from everyone in the community, and we humbly thank you all.

Many fine people have contributed to today’s salon: We are grateful to Miss Ceejay Writer, Miss Jedburgh Dagger, Miss Ghilayne Andrews, Miss Breezy Carver, Mr. Rafael Fabre, Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings for the chairs and the craft (dead I tell you, it will knock you dead). Please hold your questions until the end, and as a courtesy to all, please turn off everything that feeds the lag: all HUDs, scripts, AOs and so on. Please no weapons, bombs, or biting, without at least a modicum of wit accompanying. Mark your calendars for upcoming salons: Whimsy! in October, Furnishings! in November, and a field trip to Steelhead in December. We're keeping a log of things “overheard at the salon” on http://aethersalon.blogspot.com just in case you're looking for a good laugh. Please join the Aether Salon group and receive notifications of future salon events, click the lower right hand corner of the large brown sign by the entrance. As a reminder, all tip jar donations go directly to the speakers. Be shocked and amazed as I introduce our speakers today. They are Miss Breezy Carver and Mr Aeolus Cleanslate. (please hold your applause until i am finished) Lady SeaBreeze, Breezy Carver arrived in New Babbage in April of 2008 and after careful observation of the locals, desired to give back to the city in that way she knows best, fabulous events, well planned and marketed, and complete with her special signature style that always welcomes and includes all. Her passionate heart is what we love her for.r: Her saucy wit always inspires.

Each month since August 2008, Breezy's Piermont Landing has shown the grid that Industry Marches On, it also dances, and has a great deal of class and panache. That's 13 Balls and an election party, folks. That takes a lot of doing! Breezy's formal Balls and build contests are the place to be for residents of the steamlands, and indeed, many of us are recovering from last night's event at present, so please DO STOP THAT RACKET. ahem.

Breezy can be found in any number of her gorgeous residences in New Babbage: Piermont Landing & The Mark Twain Study, Wheatstone Waterways; Paul Sweedlepipe School, Wheatstone Waterways; The Lotus in the Vernian Sea. She is co-owner of Ruby’s New Babbage Canals and Steelhead Port, New Babbage’s Ambassador to Steelhead, and was New Babbage's Relay For Life Team Captain 2009 - and did an absolutely spectacular job, coordinating both an Exhibition Hall build and the stunning Mars build, as well as leading the Babbage team to raise L$723,462 for RFL.

Details on Mr Cleanslate prior to his arrival in Babbage last year are hazy, although there have been stubborn rumors. Two rumors he would like me to officially deny include the suggestion that he spent two years in the maximum security prison at Scrofulous Point (it was far less), and that he spent time performing under the stage name “Kandee” (completely mis-spelled). He has admitted to having spent far too long earning an undergraduate degree in history, however, concentrating in 19th century topics. Since his arrival in Babbage, Cleanslate has squandered his energy on a variety of projects without really mastering the skills necessary to excel in any of them. He is currently being treated (clandestinely) by several noted Babbage surgeons for “generalist’s disease,” which he assures us is not necessarily contagious.

Aside from his current position as Maceholder in the Tenk administration, Cleanslate has contributed several builds to the Babbage landscape (including the controversial streetcar system and City Hall), assisted in the formation of the City Militia, runs the Hotel Excelsior in Babbage Square, and coordinated last January’s Airship Regatta over the Vernian Sea. His recent involvement with the City’s Relay For Life campsite build brought him into intimate contact with today’s subject matter, and like many topics he comes across proceeded to monopolize his attention for far too long. Miss Breezy will begin with a sharply focussed commentary on a certain notorious worlds' fair. Mr Cleanslate will then clean up, with an amazing perspective on exhibitions and worlds fairs, and their impact on the world. Without further ado, I give you Miss Breezy Carver, who will be followed by Mr. Aeolus Cleanslate. Thank you and welcome all!

Breezy Carver: Grins Well thank YOU Viv for that wonderful intro (( was wondering who are those two folks grins )) I want well we all wish to thank YOU for coming .. as I do Love a good fair *smiles*


Ladies and Gentlemen I ask you to sit back and enjoy as I am about to share .. A behind the scenes look and just a tip of the folk lore and gossip behind The Great White City … More than any world’s fair before or since, the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893 had a lasting effect on its visitors, the taste of the times, and the lusty community that brought it forth !!! When the plans for the World’s Columbian Exposition were spread before him, banker Lynian J. Gage greeted them with disbelief. “Oh, gentlemen,” he said, “this is a dream. You have my good wishes. I hope the dream can be realized.”

The occasion—one of the sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens called “the greatest meeting of artists since the fifteenth century” The First Meeting was a day-long session in the architectural offices of Daniel Burnham early in 1891. Though the idea of a fair to mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Columbus’ lauding had been stirring in the minds of Chicagoans for a number of years, it had not taken practical form until 1889. New York, Washington, and St. Louis mused similar ambitions, but Chicago’s bid of ten million dollars (that was later doubled from other sources) had settled the matter. (( just like RFL on sl *smiles* ))

Note the corruption of the day as bids were backed with cash (( grins )) With Burnham’s famous slogan—“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood”—with Burnham himself as chief of construction, and with Frederick Law Olmsted (and his partner Charles S. Codman of Boston) engaged to lay out the grounds, a tract ol Chicago s swamp and sand was to become—as it was first and best known—a “Great White City.”

The Fair was projected on an enormous scale. When Compared London’s Crystal Palace had covered over twenty acres, and Philadelphia’s Centennial over two hundred, Chicago dwarfed them with over six hundred. Its vistas of ivory colonnades against the blue of sky and lake stretched the imaginations of Americans unused to such magnificence. “It’s too much for my mind,” said one visitor. “It fills you up with more ideas than you’ve got room for.”

Undoubtedly the uniform whiteness added to an effect of unreality and other-worldliness in this period when streets of alabaster and gales of pearl were familiar hymn-book images. In any event, the words “vision,” “dream,” and “enchantment” are frequently used in contemporary descriptions. Even |Truslow Adams refers to the Fair as “a vision of beauty which has rarely been equalled … compared with it the Paris Exposition of 1900 was an inchoate jumble of incongruous monstrosities,”

grins now please make note of these stats for there will not be a Quizz latte but more the interest on just how Large the scale. Almost forty years afterward Lloyd Lewis could write that it “still forces the belief that … it was the most wonderful thing of its time. It became the ruling passion of statesmen as well as architects, of religionists as well as artisans, of merchants, painters, engineers, musicians, soldiers, orators, and dukes. … Destiny brought to this young city an explosion of idealism, produced a miracle and then ordered the miracle to disappear. Hummm sound familiar … grins …

There is certainly evidence that to the public—the many millions who rambled through its miles of parks and gardens, drifted along its lagoons, or from the top of the Ferris Wheel watched the lighted prisms of the great fountain in the Court of Honor—the Chicago Fair was overwhelming, an impression that is only confirmed by Henry James’s sarcastic reference: “They say one should sell all one has and mortgage one’s soul to go there, it is esteemed stich a revelation of beauty. People burst into tears, cast away all sin and baseness, and grow religious under its influence.”

A preliminary dedication and parade were held on October 21, 1891, but the winter that followed produced an unprecedented scries of blizzards, alternating with arctic cold, which made construction a nightmare. Men worked bundled up like mummies; picks rang uselessly against the iron ground; and almost an acre of skylights fell under the weight of snow. Delivery of engines, boilers, and parts was delayed. The chief of mechanical construction resigned in despair.

In other words they had nothing but .. challenge after challenge YEt they still Made History and put forth the great show ON Earth especially in cities that had competed for the Fair, gleefully reported that nothing would be ready for the opening in May, that accommodations would be poor and extortion general. The railroads showed no interest and made only token rate reductions. But Chicago, stubborn as ever, managed a near miracle, transforming the slushy scrub-oak wastes along its lake shore into landscaped parks and islands where lagoons mirrored the white palaces above them.

To counteract eastern propaganda, an unexpected bit of luck turned up in the form of a spring meeting of the National Editorial Association in Chicago. The association’s members made their own inspection and circulated their conclusion that “rumors of the incomplete state of the Fair were much exaggerated, and rumors of extortion unfounded.” The Fair opened on May 1, with the presidential blessings of Grover Cleveland. “As by a touch,” he said in his address, “the machinery that gives life to this vast Exposition is now set in motion, so … let our hopes and aspirations awaken forces which in all time to come shall influence the welfare, the dignity, and the freedom of mankind.” The orchestra burst into the Hallelujah Chorus, electric fountains leaped skyward, cannons boomed, flags flew to mastheads, and the crowds went wild.

At the main gate of the Fair, The Electrical Building was especially attractive to a generation in which that still-mysterious force occupied in popular imagination the place held today by atomic power. The central station for the Fair was three times as powerful as those serving the rest of Chicago. “We hover about the beautiful terrible stranger, but we do not shake hands. His glance is blinding, his voice deafening, his touch is death.” People wondered whether the new force was “merely a dangerous toy or a new power brought to its knees in the service of man.”

Foreign buildings, too, were notable both for size and craftsmanship. The Emperor of Japan had sent his own workmen to erect the exquisite little structures known as Phoenix House (which survived until destroyed by fire during World War 11). The Siamese Pavilion was a jewel box, glittering with tiny mirrors and purple-and-crimson glass. The German Building was a lowering 150 feet of turrets, gables, dormers, and variegated tiles, costing $250,000. At Brazil’s huge and hospitable quarters free coffee was served daily. France’s contribution was a replica of the Great Hall at Versailles, and Spain duplicated the Lace Exchange at Valencia. At Victoria House, the British center, hours were short and visitors were hurried through the roped-olf exhibits as though by a firm English “nanny,” a situation probably resulting from recent American tariff increases and acute commercial rivalry.

“Even more important than the discovery of Columbus” said Mrs. Potter Palmer, social leader of Chicago and chairman of the Fair’s Board of Lady Managers, “is the fact that the General Government has just discovered woman,” and she noted in passing that Columbus’ voyage would not have been possible but for Isabella. Her board had taken its job seriously. (grins) At first, most of the foreign commissioners would say only that women in their countries “did not participate in public efforts of this sort.” But the undaunted ladies wrote directly to Europe and elsewhere in the world, and they were rewarded by warm responses from artists, writers, and leading women, titled and title-less. Queen Victoria herself approved the venture, “with its special efforts for women,” though confessing herself unenlluisiastic about fairs in general.

Queen Margherita of Italy and the Empress of Japan agreed to help. The Queen of Siam, evidently no less progressive than the King, sent a special envoy “to find what educational and industrial opportunities were open to women, so that Siam may adopt such measures as will elevate the condition of her women.” The Infanta Eulalia of Spain actually came to the Fair in person and seemed to like it very much, though she fended off local party-givers. And the ladies also had their own Woman’s Building at the Fair, designed by young Sophia Hayden, architectural graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Of classic simplicity, its principal ornament a delicate frieze of blue-green and white, it was described by one tired elderly visitor as “so light, it takes the weight off my feet just to look at it.” Beside it was the Children’s Building—housing a toy collection, a library, and a nursery—where trained attendants cared for infants and small children while their parents visited the Fair. Older children could read, listen to stories, or watch lantern slides.

The recreational area of the Fair, the Midway Plaisance, featured the famous Little Egypt, who introduced to the scandalized Midwest the danse du ventre. Her costume, by today’s standards, had the “covered-up” look. U’iih Mowing trousers fastened at lier ankles, heavy velvet jacket and well-scarved midriff, she possessed, according to Charles Dudley Warner, “inordinately thick ankles and large, voluptuous leet.” Newspapers agreed that the dance was interesting “until it became monotonous.” The Midway itself was a billowing babel of dust, drums, donkeys, camels, and noise. Cries of the “Whoopcrs-in” and the donkey-boys—"Look owet! Allah good—boom-boom!” drowned out the muezzin on his balcony. Among the Persian sword dancers, the Dahomey villagers, the Chinese and Algerian theaters, wandered the public, timid or titillated, in a kind of daze.

*grins* are YOU all dazed yet *smiles* Then we shall look over our shoulders for a moment as I know mention .. another part of the .. of .. Fair "Like the man-eating tigers of the tropical jungle, whose appetites for blood have once been aroused, I roamed about this world seeking whom I could destroy" H.H. Holmes" this is a direct quote from another builder at the fair. Only he was a different kind of builder He is what our nation has come to .. note .. Perhaps America's First Serial Killer ..

D.O.B. : May 16, 1860 - D.O.D. : May 7, 1896 - Murderers committed: ? "Dr. Holmes, for unexplained reasons, seems to have been forgotten by many true crime enthusiasts. At the same time he was committing his crimes, "Jack the Ripper" was terrorizing London. Many people do not realize that Holmes was Americas first documented Serial Killer. There are several different accounts of Holmes's activities, not the least of which is the doctor's own confession written in 1896. While doing my research for this archive I have discovered many, many different versions of the story. Some even claim the Doctor is responsible for over 200 murders, but I have found no evidence to back up any of these statements.

Nobody can seem to agree on what actually took place. What I have written here is what I hope to be one of the most accurate accounts. Dr. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett on May 16, 1860, in Gilmantown, New Hampshire. Holmes Was often beat regularly by his drunken father, and the local neighborhood bullies. At an early age he was fascinated by all aspects of surgery. He would often capture stray animals and perform strange and crude experiments on them. Herman graduated high school at the age of 16, married Clara Loveringat, at the age of 18, and graduated medical school at the University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor in 1884 at the age of 24. While studying medicine at the University of Michigan, He would steal corpses, render them unrecognizable with acid, and then collect on the life insurance policies he had previously taken out under fictitious names. Herman got away with several of these frauds before a nightwatchman caught him removing a female corpse, hence he was kicked out of the university for "unusual activities".

Herman moved to the Chicago suburb of Englewood, Ill, in 1886, after abandoning his wife and committing a variety of felonies, even defrauding one of his own in-laws. He was know as a swindler, and decided it was time for a new lease on life and took on the alias: Henry Howard Holmes, AKA: "DR H.H. Holmes". In 1888 Holmes was hired as a chemist at a popular Chicago area drugstore located in the suburb of Englewood.

AND then ... and then .. In 1890 the proprietress of the drugstore, an elderly widow, mysteriously disappeared. Holmes quickly took over the business, and began selling patent medicines of his own invention by mail order, including fake "cures" for alcoholism. Holmes eventually amassed a nice fortune. Holmes soon wed Myrta Z. Belknap, without even bothering to divorce his first wife. Myrta soon bare foot and pregnant, left him within a year, and moved in with her parents. In 1888, Holmes bought a vacant lot across from his pharmacy business and began to build a "hotel".

During construction Holmes changed contractors several times and shuffled the workers around frequently so that no one was ever able to get a clear idea of the floor plan or what the building, was for. Most of the rooms had gas vents that could let off lethal or sleep inducing gases, the vents could only be controlled from a closet in Holmes's bedroom. Many of the rooms were soundproof and could not be unlocked from inside. It was a three-story building with shops on the first floor and a bizarre labyrinth of windowless rooms, false floors, secret passages, trapdoors, a well equipped surgery area as well as several instruments of torture, such as an "elasticity determinator," a contraption he claimed could stretch experimental subjects to twice their normal length. Those who viewed it said it appeared to be a medieval torture rack. A few rooms were lined with asbestos, and the place was filled with doors that opened to brick walls, stairways to nowhere, an elevator without a shaft and a shaft without an elevator. There was an airtight and soundproof vault, human-sized greased chutes leading from the living quarters to the cellar. The bedrooms had peepholes and were equipped with asphyxiating gas pipes connected to a control panel in Dr. Holmes' closet. Holmes was nothing if not thorough. Upon completion of the "castle", Holmes soon tapped into a city water line in his cellar, mixed the water with vanilla, and sold it for 5 cents a glass as an elixir called Linden Grove Mineral Water. He was eventually caught but no charges were ever filed. On another occasion he purchased a huge safe on credit, then moved it into his castle, he built a room around it with only a tiny exit. When creditors eventually came to haul it away, humorously they couldn't get it out.

During the Great Chicago World Fair in 1893, (the entrance to which was only a few blocks from Holmes's establishment), when the city filled with visitors, Holmes would rent rooms and/or lure girls and young ladies to his "castle" where he would attempt to seduce them before drugging them. They were then popped into one of the empty shafts that ran through the building. The hapless girls would come round only to find themselves trapped behind a glass panel in an airtight death chamber into which Holmes would pump the lethal gas. Afterwards the body would be sent down a chute to the basement which contained vats of acid and lime and, in the center of the room, a dissecting table. Mudgett would cut up the corpses, removing particular organs which took his fancy and dispose of the remains in the vats. After killing them, Holmes would sometimes sell the bleached skeletons to medical universities. In 1894 Holmes wed Georgiana Yoke, again not bothering to divorce his previous wife. His charm and good looks wooed countless women, and enhanced his talents as a schemer.

Only one man knew the truth of what was going on in the "castle", Herman Pitezel, Holmes lackey and accomplice. A weak man, Pitezel was easily controlled by Holmes. Despite his cleverness though Holmes was going broke. He knew his Chicago gig was almost up. In desperation, Holmes murdered two visiting Texan sisters and, rather than quietly dispose of their remains, he set fire to there house in an attempt to get the insurance money. The insurance company refused to pay and the police began an investigation into the blaze. Strangely, the police work was not pursued vigorously enough to produce any evidence of Holmes bloody activities; but the killer did not know this, and so he fled.

Now there is Much more on Mr Holmes. We had the Midway where he stalked, full of life and people .. then there were the Ladies - the Women of the Midway! The Columbian Exposition was notable for its impressive architecture and large international attendance. Of particular importance was the Women's Pavilion. The first of its kind to have been designed by a female architect, it revealed much about the social plight of women at that time, and the need for further progress in the movement for equal rights. While its existence did not trigger significant changes for the Women's Movement, this pavilion was certainly a promising first step that would set a precedent for women's involvement in later years. All aspects of women's involvement in the Chicago fair were overseen by the Board of Lady Managers. This governing body, the first of its kind, had authority over all the decisions regarding the Women's Pavilion. It was headed by Mrs. Potter Palmer of Chicago, and composed of a diverse group of women from all over the United States and territory as well as nine from Chicago.

Invitations were extended to women across the world for their participation. Delegations from England, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Russia, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, Algeria, Siam and Japan all participated in the planning ,and particularly the interior decoration. Many of these organizers belonged to the upper-class or even aristocracy of their societies. The first women's pavilion had been erected in 1876 in Philadelphia. The previous year, women had been given their own section in the main fair building, but at the last minute this decision was revoked. Instead, women were told if they wanted a display, it would have to be in their own building and from their own funding. They did collect enough funds for construction of the pavilion, but Mrs. E.D. Gillespie, President of the Women's Executive Committee said that, "..weary and longing for rest, we never thought of employing a woman architect...."

Even among women themselves, it was generally thought that there were few reliable female architects and indeed there were few women in the field at the time. Those that were in the field also received little public acknowledgement. At this Philadelphia fair, November 7th was chosen was "women's day", based on the assumption that the women should take advantage of the fair while the men were casting their ballots. This angered the suffragettes, who proceeded to boycott the fair. The women's pavilion placed "...particular emphasis on those activities generally acknowledged to be within the women's sphere" with little information in the areas of science and discovery.

Most of the art work done by women was nowhere to be found in the women's pavilion, but instead was in the main Fine Arts building. While the Board of Lady Managers was supposed to have "general charge and management of all interests of women in connection with the Exposition", they were denied a say in the selection of the actual architect. This decision instead was made by a board of men. In order to select the architect, work was examined from fourteen distinguished women in the field. It is noted that none of these applicants was over the age of twenty-five. The woman who was chosen was Sophia Hayden, who had just graduated from the School of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

facade set on the lagoon. It is rather idealistic as no other buildings can be seen in the background. People can be seen as they strolled around the waterside watching a lone dingy. Detail on the building itself has been simplified while the trees and shrubbery on the edges of the lagoon and the sun reflecting off the water are vividly rendered. This image also makes the building appear a little larger than it actually was. However, since the larger surrounding buildings are missing, the scale is left more to the imagination. The Women's pavilion was located just north of the Horticulture building, with its eastern front facing a man-made lagoon. The scene was picturesque, with a terrace extending to the tip of the waterline. The building which measured 388 by 199 feet and cost nearly 150,000 dollars, was "Grecian" in character, with decorative elements such as terraces, porticos and colonnades derived from Antiquity and the Italian Renaissance. On the ground level, a landing and stairway led up from the lagoon to a terrace six feet above the water. Upon ascending another staircase, one would enter the pavilion, set back about 108 feet from the water. The first terrace contained lovely flora ??? low shrubs and flowerbeds ??? that transported one immediately to a villa in the Italian countryside. The first story was set ten feet from the ground line, with a wide staircase rising to the central pavilion. There were a triple arched entrance and open colonnade on the second story. At no other time had woman had such a fine place in the working Many History!

At the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 a Dress Reform Congress was held. Among the fruits of this revival of an earlier Cause were the Rainy-Day Clubs forthwith organized in many cities, and the popularization of the "Rainy-Day Skirt." This novel garment, completely Clearing the ground, was regarded as very practical in sloppy weather. The alterations in women's behavior, however, were at that time more subtle than sensational. And, though sloppy weather continued to appear, this shortened skirt might have disappeared altogether in favor of the standard length had it not been for the development in women's behavior largely occasioned by the bicycle.

In 1893, at the Egyptian Theater on the World's Columbian Exposition Midway in Chicago, Raqs dancers performed for the first time in the United States. Sol Bloom presented a show titled "The Algerian Dancers of Morocco", which included Spyropoulos, though she was neither Egyptian nor Algerian, but Syrian. Spyropoulos was billed as Fatima, but because of her size, she had been called "Little Egypt" as a backstage nickname. Spyropoulos stole the show, and popularized this form of dancing, which came to be referred to as the "Hoochee-Coochee" or the "shimmy and shake". At that time the word "bellydance" had not yet entered the American vocabulary, as Spyropoulos was the first in the U.S. to demonstrate the "danse du ventre" (literally "dance of the belly") first seen by the French during Napoleon's incursions into Egypt at the end of the eighteenth century.

Ahnyanka Delphin winks over at you as she playfully flicks her gossamer skirt, lifting it just enough to show a flash of ankle before sashaying into a leisurely turn.

Breezy Carver: Ladies and Gentlemen I give YOU .. grins Little Egypt a hand please *smiles*

Breezy Carver: okay the word "hootchy-kootchy" generally means an erotic suggestive dance and is often erroneously conflated with the group of dances originating in the Middle East that we now call bellydance. Subsequently, several women dancers adopted the name of Little Egypt and toured the United States performing some variation of this dance, until the name became somewhat synonymous with exotic dancers, and often associated with the Dance of the Seven Veils. Spyropoulos then claimed to be the original Little Egypt from the Chicago Fair. Recognized as the true Little Egypt, she always disliked being confused with Ashea Wabe, after Wabe's performance at the Seeley banquet. Spyropoulos danced as Little Egypt at the 1933 Century of Progress in Chicago at the age of 62.

Ahnyanka Delphin's eyes seem to sparkle as they look directly into yours from above her veil. You almost don't notice the increased motion of her hips due to the steady gaze.

Breezy Carver: but there is more *smiles* Corsets were big business. At World Fairs in Philadelphia in 1873 and Chicago in 1893 there were special rooms devoted to corset innovations, concepts that promised faultless figures, grace and even health. Even in pregnancy, special corsets were worn. Corsets where perhaps the Most Popular Display The Ladies and The Fair Took Corset and the Ladies that modeled them and wore the to a whole never level Doors were opened that had never been a jar before and the world of women's fashion as we knew it was no longer the same. There also were "bum pads" tied around the waist to add girth to the derriere, and bust enhancers, garments that could be stuffed with cloth and attached at the cleavage to create the monobosom. Chemises, corset covers, drawers, petticoats and stockings completed the underwear suite, all of which was expected to match the woman's outer dress. Ditching the corset was not an option for any woman who wanted to be accepted in genteel Victorian society. Of course Men had it easier, wearing wool union suits in winter, and silk


If the Centennial marked the emergence of the United States as an economic power, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 marked the country's coming of age as a political and industrial power. It represented the change from a predominately agricultural America concerned with domestic problems to a modern urban and industrial nation involved in world economy and politics. For the Exposition, Chicago built an entire new city--"The White City"-- larger, more elaborate, and more truly international in scope than any previous fair. The White City represented an unprecedented collaboration of artists, architects, engineers, sculptors, painters, and landscape architects who joined forces to create a single work - an ideal model city. Lauded as an American Venice, the White City was composed of a "Court of Honor" of classically styled white buildings with columns and gilded domes linked to the other parts of the grounds by a series of lagoons and canals. Leading national architectural firms including Richard Morris Hunt, McKim, Mead, and White, and Louis Sullivan designed the major buildings. Well-known sculptors such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French were involved in the architectural decoration.

There were 65,000 exhibits displayed at the fair, showcasing every conceivable product from a 1,500 pound chocolate Venus de Milo to a 46-foot cannon by Krupp, the German munitions manufacturer. Among the many products introduced at the fair were Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima Syrup, Cream of Wheat, Pabst Beer, and Juicy Fruit gum. The Fair also introduced picture postcards to the American public, as well as two mainstays of the late-twentieth century diet--carbonated soda and hamburgers.

While the public may have been awestruck by the grandeur of the architecture and impressed by the array of consumer products, what kept them at the fair was the Midway Plaisance, a commercially-sponsored self-contained amusement area. It featured popular entertainment such as German beer halls, the original Ferris Wheel, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and exotic dancers.

The Fair was immensely popular, drawing over twenty-seven million visitors from around the world during its six-month run. Visitors included Frederick Douglass, Jane Addams, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Scott Joplin, Susan B. Anthony, Henry Adams, and L. Frank Baum, who would go on to transform the White City into the Emerald City of Oz. Although the products, inventions, and amusements were what visitors remembered most about the event, its long-term legacy was in the interplay of consumerism, technology, and entertainment. The corporate-designed amusements and mix of product with entertainment led directly to the late twentieth-century fascination with the late twentieth-century fascination with Disneyland and McDonald Happy Meals.

This is a mecca to all around the world there was never anything like nor will be again I thank YOU for your time and Now please thank My lovely Ladies of the Midway. And I hand the stage to dear Mr Cleanslate *smiles*

Viv Trafalgar: Folks please hold your questions for Breezy until the end - i know you have many

Ahnyanka Delphin winks and bobs a curtsy.

Viv Trafalgar: what an outstanding presentation! Next up, is the honorable and venerable Mr. Cleanslate...

Breezy Carver: nudges AE *smiles* whispers wake up

Aeolus Cleanslate waves!

Breezy Carver: oh good *smiles*

Ahnyanka Delphin slinks off stage with a wink over her shoulder.

Aeolus Cleanslate: hi everyone! that was amazing...

Viv Trafalgar: Mr. Cleanslate - we await your wisdom!

Aeolus Cleanslate: I want to give her another round of applause... Now - if you'll reorient your attention a bit - I'll just mosey over to the other side of the Salon... I've been meaning to try this - please give me a sec to swap in my machine...

Viv Trafalgar: folks Mr. Cleanslate will speak, we will have questions for both speakers, and then i will lay out the craft

Viv Trafalgar: I cannot tell you what a phenomenal start to the season this is

Aeolus Cleanslate: aha - there we go. Thank you all so much - Today I'll be attempting to illustrate my remarks with the newfangled "kinoscope" device. For more information, please tap the poster to my right

[ see Mr. Cleanslate's marvelous slides here ]

In Gibson and Sterling's The Difference Engine (required steampunk reading, by the way, for those who have not yet had the pleasure), the kinoscope (shortened from "kinetic-scope," meaning "mechanical instrument for viewing") was a kind of cinema screen made from a 2D matrix of rotating prisms. Each laquered wooden prism had a different colour on each face, and they spun to switch to different colors, making each one a sort of mechanical "pixel." When viewed as a whole the result was a physical passive-matrix display (like a moving painting or the screen of Amazon's Kindle) rather than the active-matrix light-emitting devices on a laptop. In the novel, analytical Engines many generations beyond Babbage's original design drove the display of these screens, and programmers (referred to as 'clackers' from the sound the prisms make when they rotate) used punchcard technology (derived from common jacquard loom technology of the time) to instruct the prisms when to turn and what to display. Sets of punchcards encoded in such a way were the CDs of the day. Such kinoscopes were used as background illustrations behind popular lecturers to enliven what could otherwise be rather dry presentations.

Okay so here we go with the main event - After the recent Relay For Life build, I was privileged enough to absorb some of the research and lore of the 19th century World’s Fairs. It's a wonderful area - As many of you know, the Fairs were all the rage in the latter half of the century. There were many dozens of them. But a few caught the zeitgeist, as it were, and really set the tone for the age. And as we will see (and Breezy has shown), cast cultural reverberations down through the centuries to the present day. I thought that I would touch a bit on the most prominent few, providing a bit of context, some history, and an emphasis on noteworthy structures (my personal favorite) and happenings, as well as a bit of a comment on their longer term impact *ahem*

So we’ll go chronologically – the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, the 1889 Exposition Universale in Paris, a brief bit on the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, and if we have time, the 1900 Exhibition in Paris- which set the stage for the 20th century. Before 1851, fairs were relatively small, and national in focus – sponsored by the nations and designed to promote national interests exclusively. But the 1844 Paris fair caught the eye of a Briton named Henry Cole, who resolved to do more. Cole was a character - he (arguably) invented the postage stamp, christmas cards, and industrial objects under a pseudonym (to insulate his elite status from more prosaic pursuits). but it was The involvement of Prince Albert brought unimpeachable prestige to what might otherwise have been an overlooked project of the new capitalists. Without him funds for the fair would not have been raised. The 1851 Great Exhibtiion arguably set the standard for future fairs, and all that followed were compared to it

It was held in Regent’s Park in the heart of London, and had pavilions from other countries scattered all over. (there it is there in the middle .. *grin*) But of course the highlight was the Crystal Palace. Designed by Joseph Paxton (a greenhouse expert) + structural engineer Charles Fox; the build committee included IK Brunel (Icky, to his friends) (me and Icky are like this...) The Palace was 1848 feet (about 563 metres) long by 454 feet (about 138 metres) wide, and went from plan to grand opening in nine months. It was one of the largest structures ever built at that time and has been inspiring structural engineering ever since today's atria and modern architecture are arguably direct descendants of the Palace. The original was never intended to be permanent but was so popular it was Moved to Sydenham (South London) afterward, but destroyed by fire in 1936

Some other noteworthy points about 1851 – over 13000 exhibits were featured; including the programmable heart of the British textile industry, the Jacquard loom; a revolutionary envelope machine, and dozens of other firsts. Of particular interest to me was the digital fax machine, using telegraphy and dot-matrix technology. In 1851. Amazing. They had all the basic back then - it's weird that it never really materialized.

Interms of its impact, the very idea of a fair of this sort worried people. Crowds were scary, of course – this was just a few years before Great Stink, and a few years after revolutions of 1848, which Britain had escaped. The British deliberately stationed 10,000 soldiers in London during the Exhibition, just in case. Luckily admissions decreased as summer wore on and the wealthy left London. Marx loathed it, calling it “quintessential capitalist fetishism” (which means it was awesome) Iit was profitable - the surplus funding dozens of institutions that still exist and of course cemented Britain's reputation as the leading world imperial + industrial power.

But perhaps most important was its cultural impact - arguably, it provided the British utilitarian response to the Luddites who were relatively powerful at the time and to Dickensian and clerical critics of the unmitigated evils of industrialism. The central question of the early industrial revolution was this: is this technology stuff a good idea and will it eventually destroy us? We now know it's impossible to go backwards, but at the time it was an open question. The Exhibition gave the answer: the fruits of the industrial revolution bring glory to the nation and should be used to benefit the common man. note - the common man. From there to today's consumer culture and global economy - a straight line

Okay - moving on! A generation later – the 1876 Exhibition in Philadelphia designed as a “coming out party” for the U.S. in the post-Civil War era. Held on 100th anniversary of signing of US Declaration of Independence, it presaged US industrial expansion and was the only fair where U.S. states (as well as countries) were invited to display. A few architectural notes – the main exhibit hall was – again – the largest building in the world by area at the time, enclosing twenty-one and a half acres. It had a 75-foot high ceiling. Exhibits from the United States were placed in the center of the building and foreign exhibits were placed around the center based on the nation's distance from the United States. Japan was out in the back. Kidding. But still, an interesting cultural point of American opinions of global predominance.

The Statue of Liberty was still a pipe dream at the time, and a decade or so from taking up station in New York Harbor. But the Hand and Torch were erected in Philadelphia and used as a way to raise funds. Visitors were charged 50 cents to climb to the top – about twenty feet – but receipts largely funded the completion of the statue. A great building I came across was the Horticultural hall – used for organic display from around the world – and a great example of a unique architectural form. It lasted almost a century, and would still be with us except for a damned hurricane (I've got to come back and build a version of that one in SL - too cool...) and soooo steampunk.

The Machinery Hall (a new innovation in Fair architecture) featured the the monumental Corliss Centennial Engine. (one for Merryman to reproduce...) It was so large it had to be dismantled after the Exhibition ended since no factory in the country required an engine of its size. George Pullman purchased the engine in 1880 to power his new railroad car factory then under construction - in Chicago. And in a nice historical irony, the fire at his plant in 1896 destroyed many of the buildings of the 1893 Fair ...

Other notes – America’s first steam engine - John Bull steam locomotive (1831) – made an appearance; as did Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, early typewriters, Heinz Ketchup and Hires Root Beer. There was also a fantastic steam monorail … the steam monorail - another project worth exploring and reproducing, I'm sure... "good engineers mimic - great engineers steal"

The Turkish exhibit introduced marijuana to the US for the first time and was – quite understandably – the most popular exhibit at the Fair. ... and probably how they got people to pay 50 cents to climb twenty feet in the air. In terms of impact, the fair Lost money, but stimulated Philadelphia’s depressed economy, which was a major undertaking. It was deliberately positioned to help heal Civil War sectional rifts, and much of the debate at the time was around whether Southerners should attend.

A cool quote I found: "At the very threshold an important question occurs that requires patient consider-ing — a question that is asked probably in the South thousands of times a day—“Shall we go to the Centennial?” By this is meant really, “Shall the South patronize the International Exhibition?” With proper deference we would with emphasis respond — “By all means, whether or not your State has contributed money and material, let all go who can afford to do so, for it is our Centennial as well as the Centennial of the Northern people.” We are a part of the Union. This country is our country. Here we were born and reared, here we live, and here we must die. In the past we had our fierce antagonisms, our sorrows and disappointments; but it is now more than eleven years since the last Confederate gun was fired and the battleflag of the defeated hosts was furled. Let the dead past bury the dead. Let all bittermemories be forgotten. The jury is out as to whether it worked.

Moving forward to 1889 – the fair after which our RFL build was patterned. The French were arguably at their cultural and industrial high point. In many ways, 1889 was directly designed and perceived as an opportunity to display French cultural and material supremacy ... in light of the perceived threat from the Kaiser’s Germany, France was 20 years away from having been beaten by Bismarck in 1870 and losing Alsace-Lorraine, and just five years away from the Dreyfus affair. This would have been a good time to be French. At the 1889 fair there were 28,000,000 visitors ... and 61,722 exhibitors, of which 55% were French.

The site was selected as part of urban renewal – large areas of Paris were torn down to build it. But of course it became one of the best-known areas of Paris. Of course the huge cultural signature of 1889 was the Tour Eiffel. Mr Gustav Eiffel’s design was selected out of 100 submitted. 300 prominent names (including Zola and many others) protested it before it was built: calling it “useless and monstrous”. Which it was. But it was also awesome. Interestingly – it was originally called “Le Tour 300 Metres,” but changed after the notoriety of its designer hit record heights. A bit of technical context here – the Tower is 1069 feet (320.75 meters) high, about **105 stories**. Let me repeat that - 105 stories. Remember, this was in 1889. (are your jaws dropping? mine is wide open). The World Trade Center was 110. It was made of “purified” wrought iron (a term used to describe the alloy process used to get rid of impurities). It weighs 7300 metric tons…less than the air that surrounds it. The Tower sways six inches in the strongest winds ever recorded over Paris, but it was designed by Eiffel to sway 30 inches – in a classic engineering overdesign that explains why it is still here. It's a bit cliche now, but any site visit will remind you how remarkable is was. Incidentally – the “glass cage” elevators were designed by the American firm Otis, whose brand still decorates elevators today.

Okay I'm going to pick up the pace a bit - you're all very kind for hanging in there. I’ll touch briefly on my favorite building from 1889 – the Galerie De Machines. In many ways the sister structure to the Tour Eiffel, but long forgotten. Indeed it is - and always will be romantic to smooch and die from. What better legacy for an architect? The Galerie de Machines was the inspiration for my contribution to the RFL site. Again, it spanned the longest interior space in the world at the time, and was in its own way as much of an engineering feat as the Tower. Made of ‘prefabricated hinged arches’ cast from iron (steel was too expensive and slow), it could easily (and did) house airships indoors. The structure was used for the 1900 fair and destroyed by fire in 1910. *sighs again*

A couple of notes about 1889. There were naturally extensive French Colonial exhibits, including war materiel around the raging arms race that would eventually lead to WWI. Another amazing bit - the Human Zoo was an exhibit of indigenous peoples in native dress and mimicked environments – by far the most popular exhibit at the Fair, and perhaps the least politically correct display I’ve ever heard of. I didn't include pictures for fear of disturbing our 21st century sensitivities. A whole ugly side of our culture. More firsts - Claude Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music at the 1889 fair, arguably the beginning of the Ambient genre. Heineken received the Grand Prix at the exposition (a Dam Good Bier), and Buffalo Bill and American sharpshooter Annie Oakley performed for packed audiences. I love the 1889 Fair - my favorite, I think.

Even while 1889 was going on, Chicago was planning the 1893, so wonderfully highlighted by Breezy. I’ll skip past a bit, pointing out that in grand Worlds Fair traditions, most buildings were designed to be temporary proved to be when they were damaged extensively by fire just a short time after the fair closed – during the seminal labor strike at the Pullman factory nearby. Good old Pullman. Great shot there.

Aeolus Cleanslate: here's a map of the Midway - One noteworthy structure worth pointing out – The world’s first Ferris Wheel. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower and deliberately designed to be the ‘distinctive structure’ for the 1893 fair. Designed by George Washington Gale Ferris, either on the spur of the moment, over a dinner napkin, or designed years earlier, and just revealed. The jury is out on that historical point, but no matter - Ferris was 30 when he proposed it. So either way, fricking AWESOME. No one had ever imagined doing something like this before. It was designed and built in four months, powered entirely by steam. There were 36 cars, each 24 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 10 feet high, weighing 26,000 pounds. Twisted wire chairs were provided for 38 of the 60 passengers, and a conductor was assigned to each car to help reassure the passengers, few of which had ever been more than a few dozen feet in the air. Remember: prior to this there had been no flight, balloons were new, and skyscrapers – even in Chicago - unusual. It freaked people out.

Interestingly, Ferris died in 1896 at only 37 years old. The Wheel was reassembled for St Louis Exhibition in 1904, but dynamited in 1906 as an eyesore. A great quote from the time - “The wonder of two continents by reason of its cost, its dimensions, and its utter uselessness … Chicago was glad to get rid of it and St. Louis is said to have witnessed its destruction with satisfaction.” Another structure I wish I could have visited.

Briefly - the World's Congress Auxiliary Bldg is now the Art Institute of Chicago… Some quick passing notes – the Palace of Fine Arts is still standing, and is now Chicago’s Museum of Fine Arts. And was featured in the movie Flatliners in the 80s, a point I love to make. *grin* The World's Congress Auxiliary Bldg is now the Art Institute of Chicago… … and the Maine State Building was moved to Poland Spring resort after the fair – (the home, for us Americans, of Poland Spring water) *grins*

Other noteworthies - the John Bull locomotive returned - now 62 yrs old. And the electrotachyscope (aka Geissler tube) competed with zoopraxiscope … all early moving picture technologies. And of course, John Philip Sousa played daily, Cracker Jack, hamburgers, Hershey chocolate, Scott Joplin/ragtime, Hawaiian hula dancers all made firsts.

Okay - two more minutes and I'll rush past 1900 and into the 20th. hang in there

The 1900 Exposition in Paris was arguably a retread of 1889 except punctuated by SO MANY 20th century technologies it's worth mentioning. Same location - same Eiffel Tower, except - the Palace of Electricty stole the show. Aand there were full - bore moving sidewalks installed throughout the entire fairgrounds. Unbelievable. All-weather, electrically powered. Really interesting about 1900 were the amazing motion pictures recorded there by Edison (who won the bid, by the way). The videos are all out there and digital, and worth watching. They made me tear up.

And of course, not to be outdone, the French decided to beat the Americans at their own game. The cars for the French version were so large, they were removed and used as homes for French families in the region devastated in World War I. Another one I wish I could have seen, demolished in 1937 to build a mall

The centrepiece of the Palais D'Optique was the largest refracting telescope ever built. Immense, and open to the public. Noteworthy from 1900 -Talking films, escalators, Rudolf Diesel exhibited his diesel engine, running on peanut oil. The Human Zoo made another appearance - again hugely popular.

Campbell's Soup was awarded a gold medal (an image of which still appears on its label). So - fifty years have gone by, almost exactly. Fairs are a common occurrence, more or less but then another event creeps in - the Olympic Games. Iin 1900, a sideshow to the fair, even more so in 1904 in St Louis. Fairs were increasingly used as propaganda and after WWI, the idea of industrial and military and imperial might became decidedly passe. The Olympics were kinder and gentler, by comparisonAeolus Cleanslate: and slowly eclipsed their more materialistic forebears while providing a forum for the same nationalist/competitive ideas. Of course by the mid-20th century the same could be said about the Olympics, but they are arguably the legacy of the Fairs - as is Epcot. Not only was it inspired by the format of the Worlds Fairs dating back to 1851. Its architecture was directly related. As Fairs became showcases for national supremacy, they also suggested how nations would be *in the future*. And Disney took that sucker home

Aeolus Cleanslate: folks - thanks so much for your attention!
[ see Mr. Cleanslate's marvelous slides here ]

Viv Trafalgar: ok before you start peppering the speakers with your questions I have a few announcements! And then we will have questions.: First, thank you so very much Mr. Cleanslate and Ms Carver - you are phenomenal speakers and guests. Thank you to everyone here for being a fantastic audience! Please remember that the speakers jar goes directly to the speakers, and also beside the stage you will find The Carousel of 1893. This wonderful Carousel is a music box complete with the Death March theme created by New Bababge’s very own Canolli Capalini. Commissioned by Breezy Carver To remind all of the wonders of The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition Midway in Chicago. We hope you enjoy it for years to come …… please do pick up your copy of this phenomenal craft. Now. back to our speakers. Who has questions?

Edward Pearse: Mr. C, when was the last of the Fairs held?

Aeolus Cleanslate: well technically they're still going on. There is an international body that makes them "official"

Edward Pearse: Are they still called World Fairs?

Aeolus Cleanslate: they are - if they're official. But in many ways they lost their cultural importance after 1968

Viv Trafalgar: Why do you think things trended big at exhibitions Mr. Cleanslate?

Aeolus Cleanslate: apparently Brisbane may get the 2020 fair... *grin*

Edward Pearse now remembers "Expo '88"

Aeolus Cleanslate nods - and London 2000

Charlemagne Allen: i was wondering about the 1851 fax machine...

Jana Wizenheim: you know about franz reichelt?

Aeolus Cleanslate: I'm sorry I don't

Jana Wizenheim: he made a parachute test from the eiffel tower in 1912

Viv Trafalgar: Like base jumpers do Miss Wizenheim?

Jana Wizenheim: the funny thing is, there still exists a video footage

Breezy Carver: Yes there is a good deal

Linus Lacombe: Ah...I am wondering if there has been any consideration given to a Steamlands exposition..

Breezy Carver: grins well .. thats something that always can be Proposed although New Babbage just did a nice one and may plan .. do something local in 2010 looks at Mr Cleanslate

Aeolus Cleanslate: I think a Steamlands Fair would be awesome

Obedience Mactavish: Sir, of all the Fairs, which in your opinion was the most impressive?

Breezy Carver: well After Mr Cleanslate gets charge of the Sceince and .. umm .. steam build

Jana Wizenheim: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BepyTSzueno

Aeolus Cleanslate: well I'm partial to 1851, Miss Mactavish, but I think 1851 would have to take the cake

Aeolus Cleanslate: sorry - I'm partial to 1889

Breezy Carver: grins i am a 1893 gal myself

Aeolus Cleanslate: well I think 1851 was so far ahead of its time -

Breezy Carver: the most scandles really the chicago way

Aeolus Cleanslate: technologically and culturally

Obedience Mactavish: ah, with things like the fax machine

Aeolus Cleanslate: and the Palace itself, a huge leap forward

Aeolus Cleanslate: but they all have their moments and charms, no doubt

Breezy Carver: each one was really when you think of time and years

Aeolus Cleanslate: I think the way they fit in with history is fascinating

Breezy Carver: agreed

Aeolus Cleanslate: in context, each one is amazing

Breezy Carver: we are junkies on the topics

Aeolus Cleanslate: and worth time traveling back to - should I get the chance

Breezy Carver: topics can you all tell *smiles*

Viv Trafalgar: I wonder how much research has been done about this other Holmes - the Chicago Holmes - piles of it?

Breezy Carver: grins they are still looking into him. To this day truth! I think he is an over sight. Too many dont even know about him. He was secret for decades.

Jasper Kiergarten: so able to charm, true to a serial killer

Breezy Carver: he has his own site - hhholmes.com. That was not his real name. Ii have his real name if YOU would like

Ghilayne Andrew smiles. "Dr. Watson, your question was next?"

Elilka Sieyes: Ah, it is entirely trivial, and does no justice to these masterful presentations but....

Elilka Sieyes: A medal...for soup?

Aeolus Cleanslate: haha! Remember, before refrigeration, the idea of exported *prepared* food was extremely odd. Most canned goods were poor, and spoiled rapidly. Better than raw food, but not by much

Edward Pearse: Soup in a tin that you didn't have to make from scratch would have been rare

Aeolus Cleanslate: exactly. So *any* food of any quality in a can was remarkable. And for its day, Campbell's wasn't terrible. The brand was premium until fairly recently, actually.

Linus Lacombe: So it was not so much the quality of the soup but rather the novelty of living to tell about it after consuming it...

Aeolus Cleanslate laughs - exactly. folks - this has been wonderful, but I'm afraid I must make my departure... excellent work - everyone. Breezy - it was an honor to share the stage.

Viv Trafalgar: Are there any more questions for Miss Carver?

Viv Trafalgar: I will notify on the new babbage ning when the transcript is available. And please do not miss next month's salon. Next month ... I shouldn't say now. I should say in a few days, maybe... weeks.

Ghilayne Andrew: oh, just tease us a little, Viv.

Viv Trafalgar: oh yes. mhm. This was a stunning salon and i'm happy to just bask in it a bit. It was a wonderful finish to our first year. And the next salon will be our first anniversary salon. The topic will be Whimsy! And the speakers... well what do you think Breezy, should I tell them?

Breezy Carver: yes

Viv Trafalgar: aw. you sure?

Breezy Carver: YES

Viv Trafalgar: it's hard on them to have to follow you and Mr. Cleanslate

Breezy Carver: makes faces

Viv Trafalgar: The speakers for Next month's salon will be Dame Ordinal Malaprop and Miss Hyasynth Tiramisu. And we will recognize all of our speakers from this year at the start of the event. With a special treat. It's stunning.

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