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Rare Children's Old Time Radio Shows

Children's' programming took many forms; the most obvious examples are afterschool serials, stories which might not appeal to parents, but filled the airtime before Dad came home.

54 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 15 hours, 43 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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17 Audio CDs


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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

In the earliest days of radio, programming for kids seemed like a waste of time. After all, children could not afford radio sets, and they certainly could not afford to buy the items being advertised. As the technology advanced, home radios became an important feature in many families' living rooms. Advertisers realized that kids might not be spending money on sponsor's products, they had a big influence on what their parents choose to purchase.

Children's' programming took many forms. The most obvious examples are afterschool serials, stories which might not appeal to parents, but filled the airtime before Dad came home. These shows also taught the kids to ask Mom for the cereal sponsoring the show or to tell Dad from the backseat which filling station had the best premium. A more civic-minded example of kids' programming was educational shows. Some of these took the form of classroom broadcasts which were played during the school day to supplement school lessons.

  • The Adventures of Sally in Hollywoodland, June 3, 1947, Audition program. The story is about Sally, a little girl who visits the world of Woody Woodpecker, Andy Panda, and Wally the Walrus in her dreams. The sponsor breaks in this audition leave no doubt that the show is intended not just for kids but for grown-ups who love cartoons, too, and have all the spending money. Cartoons without pictures are a common theme in kids' shows.
  • The American School of the Air, November 24, 1936, CBS net, "Romeo and Juliet". Some wags would suppose that the real benefit of programs like this one, intended to be played in the classroom, was that they allowed the teacher to sneak down to the teachers' lounge to smoke a cigarette. This episode was targeted at junior high and high school and emphasizes Shakespeare's language.
  • Between the Bookends, September 14, 1945, ABC net, sponsored by Westinghouse Radio. Host Ted Malone speaks about the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and anthems of other nations. Malone's comments show his post-War perspective on the anthems of our former enemies. This does not detract from the history lesson.
  • The Bob Becker Program, November 27, 1938, WGN, sponsored by Red Heart Dog Biscuits. The story of mystery writer S.S. Van Dyne and his dog, Lassie. When Lassie does not show up to share Van Dyne's breakfast, he suspects that she has been dog-napped. Van Dyne is assisted by his stereotypical Japanese houseboy.
  • Bob BeckerBolero Time, AFRTS. The program is primarily intended as a celebration of Latin American culture for our servicemen, it also features useful Spanish language lessons, possibly even more useful than your high school Spanish class.
  • Bozo and Friends, Phonographic recording, 1946(?). Before he became TV's most popular clown, Bozo was featured in a series of records and picture storybooks. The idea was to listen to the record while looking at the pictures in the book, and turn the page when Bozo blows his whistle.
  • California Caravan, December 21, 1947, Don-Lee Network, sponsored by California Physicians Service, "How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar". Based on the story by Bret Harte, the rain has life at a standstill on Christmas Eve in the mining town of Simpson's Bar, and the bachelor miners are getting restless, but they come together to make a merry holiday for a sick boy.
  • The Colorscope Program, 1937, syndicated for General Paint. The kids want to build a "whoopee" room to entertain their friends, and Mr. Brewster is won over to the idea by "Color Astrology".
  • Exploring the Unknown, 1946, Mutual net. "Dramatic Stories of Science and Industry". In one episode we hear how Public Health doctors monitor teletypes for reports of infectious disease to prevent the possibility of epidemics reaching New York City, in another, Veronica Lake's character is saved from insanity by the miracle of brain surgery.
  • The Forty Million, 1952, NBC, presented by the Health Information Foundation. The program is dedicated to protecting the health of America's 40 million children. Episodes explore infectious diseases, nutrition, home safety, school health programs, even prenatal care. The programs are presented in fun and entertaining dramas.
  • Funtime, November 6, 1947, possibly presented on WHA Madison, Wisconsin as a school vacation replacement for Wisconsin School of the Air. Dorothy June leads the boys and girls through a series of songs and games on a day with no school. The program seems to be intended for a 1st grade or preschool audience.
  • Ted MaloneThe Hall of Fame, December 23, 1934, NBC net, sponsored by Hinds Honey and Almond Cream, "Christmas Stocking". A visit from Walt Disney and his gang, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, the Three Little Pigs, and others, featuring the music of the Silly Symphonies Orchestra. The show aired a year before the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), although the pioneering feature was in production at the time.
  • Indiana School of the Sky, 1948(?), Indiana University Radio Department. Quarter-hour classroom broadcasts probably intended for Junior High and High School audiences. Lesson topics include science history stories, such as the work of Charles Darwin, Einstein's theories, Greek Philosophers, Galileo, atomic power, and electricity.
  • Invitation to Learning, 1940s, CBS net. A very scholarly discussion of great works of literature and philosophy. We hear of the writings of Cicero and Lucretius's "The Nature of Things".
  • Jerry Dean, Boy Trooper, February 12, 1947, Mutual net, sponsored by Silver Cup Bread. Young Jerry Dean lives next door to the State Police substation at Black River and helps Corporal Craig foil crimes. The sponsor offers a premium which will allow boys and girls listening to join the Junior State Police.
  • Juvenile Jury, 1949, Mutual Net, sponsored by Gaines Dog Food and Log Cabin Syrup. A panel of youngster's answer questions mailed in by children. The questions selected can win a portable typewriter. The opening question comes from a girl who wants to change her birthday because she never gets a party because she was born on Income Tax day and her dad is always too upset.
  • Life at Boy's Town, September 1942, Boy's Town Syndication. Father Flanagan founded the orphanage in Nebraska in 1921, and it became famous after James Cagney starred in a movie about the Father in 1938. This program features stories about the boys who live at the facility.
  • 40 MillionThe Lone Ranger Polka, 1946, Dana Music. Vincent Justynski and His Worszaska Orchestra recorded this fun version of the William Tell Overture. Creator of The Lone Ranger, George W. Trendle, objected to the band using the theme to his program for a novelty record, which is ironic because Trendle supposedly chose the music for TLR because it was in the Public Domain and the show would not have to pay royalties.
  • Look What We Found, presented by the Minnesota School of the Air. A series of interesting people and jobs. This episode profiles the keeper of the Split Rock Light House in Minnesota.
  • Malcolm Claire, May 10, 1938, Red Network. "Uncle Mal" Claire has a daily story for the kiddies from Chicago. In "The Little Men of the Mountains", a shepherd boy comes down from the mountains, playing his crude wooden flute to find that the village is holding a festival for the Little Men, where the mythical creatures will give a prize of a golden flute to the person who pleases them the most. Interestingly, the program broadcast in the morning but its theme song was Brahm's Lullaby.
  • The Mystery Castle, December 1947, WKBN Youngstown, Ohio. A Christmas-time serial in the tradition of The Cinnamon Bear and Jonathan Thomas and the Christmas on the Moon. Ronnie and Happy the Rabbit try to steal a key from sleeping Santa Claus's belt to find the secret of the packages which have appeared around the castle.
  • National Boys' Club Week Fund Drive. The Boys' Clubs were formed in Hartford, Connecticut, 1860, to provide boys (and later, girls) constructive and beneficial activities in the period between the end of school classes and the tie their parents were done with work. Currently, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is considered the number one charitable organization in America.
  • Threshold, National Education Association syndication. Grandfather worries that Toby is not earning to read, but Toby's mom talks to his teacher who explains the Toby does not need remedial lessons, but there are plenty of things which Mom and Grandfather can do to help.
  • The Nation's Nightmare, 1951, CBS News Documentary. The series looks at how organized crime is harming America. This first episode of the series reveals the evils of DOPE, marijuana, heroin, and cocaine, the triumvirate of DOPE addiction.
  • Old Blueback Speller, November 28, 1953. An old-fashioned spelling bee from the studios of WSM Nashville. Listeners are encouraged to send in words they think will stump the spellers.
  • Safe at Home, 1948, American Medical Association syndication. Music and commentary on making the modern American home a safe place. Issues include toy safety and how kids can safely do more household chores.
  • The Silver Eagle, 1954, ABC Chicago, "Decoy for Death". Sponsored by Wheaties and Cheerios. Sergeant West of the Canadian Mountie and his companion, Joe Bideaux, hunt crooks in the Great White North.
  • The Sparrow and the Hawk, August 10, 1945, CBS. An after-school aviation serial. This episode may be interrupted with developing Victory news.
  • Standard School Broadcast, March 18, 1955. A California and West coast version of the School of the Air sponsored by Standard Oil. The emphasis is music appreciation, and the Oil Company provided a detailed lesson plan for teachers to order for free.
  • The World We Live In, ABC Radio and LIFE Magazine, April 1954. A scientific documentary intended to explain important concepts of the modern world. Episodes include "The Ocean of Air" and "The Age of the Dinosaurs". LIFE Magazine provides the information for the series.
  • Timmy Discovers Christmas, United States Air Force Syndication. The USAF Band and the Air Force Singing Sergeants present a delightful story of a little green elf named Timmy who discovers the meaning of Christmas. Narrator William Conrad provides the only spoken voice and treats us to his version of the carol "Do You Hear What I Hear?" at the end of the broadcast.
  • Tizzie Lish, December 19, 1952, ABC audition. Bill Comstock gives us five minutes of fun as man-crazy and somewhat nutty health and cooking expert Tizzie Lish. Get out your pencils to copy her recipe for Atomic Pudding.
  • Twilight Tales, Kasper-Gordon Syndication. Elinor Gene reads bedtime stories, including Oscar Wilde's "The Young King" and Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes".
  • Ned Locke of Ned's SquadronUncle Ned's Squadron, 1950, WMAQ Chicago. After School kids' program with an aviation theme. Uncle Ned interviews studio audience members who have actually ridden in real airplanes. He has life lessons for his "little pilots" as well as examples of aviation lore like deicing boots, three-point landings, and model airplanes.
  • Wonderful World, January 14, 1945, Blue Network March of Dimes fund appeal. This thought-provoking radio play by Arch Oboler sounds more like a moralistic War Bond show than a March of Dimes pitch. It is a story of an active youngster and his bedridden pal.
  • Youth Builders, 1946-47, WNYC New York City, a radio campaign featuring voices of the City's youth with messages of how to make life better for all residents.
  • Young At Heart, December 4, 1947, Audition program. Alan Reed hosts and narrates this program of adventure stories. The audition is an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    54 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 15 hours, 43 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      54 shows - total playtime 15 hours 43 minutes
      1. Adventures Sally Hollywood Land 470603 Aud Wwoodpecker.mp3
      2. Between The Bookends 450914 The Star Spangled Banner.mp3
      3. Bolero Time Afrts138 1st Song Bolero Version Of Hava Nagila.mp3
      4. Bozo And Friends Bozo And Birds.mp3
      5. Bozo And Friends Bozo And His Rocket Ship.mp3
      6. Bozo And Friends Bozo At Dog Show.mp3
      7. Bozo And Friends Bozo At The Circus.mp3
      8. Bozo And Friends Bozo On Farm.mp3
      9. Bozo And Friends Chug Chug.mp3
      10. Bozo And Friends Dog Spells Dog.mp3
      11. Bozo And Friends Gerald Mcboing Boing.mp3
      12. Californiacaravan 471221 Howsantacametosimpsonsbar.mp3
      13. Colorscope Program 11 370705 Pencil Date Building.mp3
      14. Colorscope Program 12 370712 Colorscope Red.mp3
      15. Funtime 471106 Michael Who Was One Too Many.mp3
      16. Indiana School Of The Sky Darwin Puts It Into Words.mp3
      17. Indiana School Of The Sky Einstein Looks For A New Answer.mp3
      18. Indiana School Of The Sky Elictricity Begins To Work.mp3
      19. Indiana School Of The Sky Galileo Passes A Crucial Test.mp3
      20. Indiana School Of The Sky Greeks Honor Their Thinkers.mp3
      21. Indiana School Of The Sky The Atom Yields Power.mp3
      22. Indiana School Of The Sky What Are Men Made Of.mp3
      23. Invitation To Learning 500521 Ciceros De Oficiis Afrs 27.mp3
      24. Invitation To Learning Nature Of Things.mp3
      25. Jerry Deanboy Trooper 01.mp3
      26. Juvenile Jury 490619 Changing Ones Birthday.mp3
      27. Life At Boys Town 420913 Bad Day .mp3
      28. Lone Ranger Polka Vincent Justynski Worszawska Orchestra.mp3
      29. Malcolm Claire 380310.mp3
      30. Mystery Castle 471200 09 Trying Solve Mystery Of Packages .mp3
      31. Mystery Castle 471200 Trying To Solve Mystery Of Packages.mp3
      32. National Boys Club Week Chordettes Excerpt.mp3
      33. National Boys Club Week Jackie Gleason.mp3
      34. National Boys Club Week Joe Dimaggio Excerpt.mp3
      35. National Boys Club Week Roy Rogers And Gang Excerpt.mp3
      36. National Education Association Ep316 Threshold.mp3
      37. Nations Nightmarethe Narcotic Evilbill Downs 510719.mp3
      38. Old Blueback Speller 531128.mp3
      39. Safe At Home 5 Safety In Toys.mp3
      40. Safe At Home 8 Sharing Duties.mp3
      41. Silver Eagle 540720 Decoy For Death.mp3
      42. Sparrow Hawk 450810 Log Rolling [partial1m36s] .mp3
      43. Standard School Broadcast 550318 Ep020 Romeo And Juliet.mp3
      44. The World We Live In 540416 The Ocean Of Air.mp3
      45. The World We Live In 540423 The Age Of Dinosaurs.mp3
      46. Timmy Discovers Christmas Usaf Xmas Special William Conrad.mp3
      47. Tizzie Lish Audition Pgm 2.mp3
      48. Twilight Tales Emperors New Clothes.mp3
      49. Uncle Neds Squadron 5x.11.11 Title Unknown .mp3
      50. Wonderful World 450114.mp3
      51. Young In Heart 471204 Treasure Island Audition.mp3
      52. Youth Builders 520305 Childrens Round Table 1.3 Sanitation.mp3
      53. Youth Builders 520312 2.3 Making Democracy Work School.mp3
      54. Youth Builders 520319 3.3 Voting Rights-Responsibilities.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    54 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 15 hours, 43 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      54 shows - total playtime 15 hours 43 minutes
      1. Adventures Sally Hollywood Land 470603 Aud Wwoodpecker.mp3
      2. Between The Bookends 450914 The Star Spangled Banner.mp3
      3. Bolero Time Afrts138 1st Song Bolero Version Of Hava Nagila.mp3
      4. Bozo And Friends Bozo And Birds.mp3
      5. Bozo And Friends Bozo And His Rocket Ship.mp3
      6. Bozo And Friends Bozo At Dog Show.mp3
      7. Bozo And Friends Bozo At The Circus.mp3
      8. Bozo And Friends Bozo On Farm.mp3
      9. Bozo And Friends Chug Chug.mp3
      10. Bozo And Friends Dog Spells Dog.mp3
      11. Bozo And Friends Gerald Mcboing Boing.mp3
      12. Californiacaravan 471221 Howsantacametosimpsonsbar.mp3
      13. Colorscope Program 11 370705 Pencil Date Building.mp3
      14. Colorscope Program 12 370712 Colorscope Red.mp3
      15. Funtime 471106 Michael Who Was One Too Many.mp3
      16. Indiana School Of The Sky Darwin Puts It Into Words.mp3
      17. Indiana School Of The Sky Einstein Looks For A New Answer.mp3
      18. Indiana School Of The Sky Elictricity Begins To Work.mp3
      19. Indiana School Of The Sky Galileo Passes A Crucial Test.mp3
      20. Indiana School Of The Sky Greeks Honor Their Thinkers.mp3
      21. Indiana School Of The Sky The Atom Yields Power.mp3
      22. Indiana School Of The Sky What Are Men Made Of.mp3
      23. Invitation To Learning 500521 Ciceros De Oficiis Afrs 27.mp3
      24. Invitation To Learning Nature Of Things.mp3
      25. Jerry Deanboy Trooper 01.mp3
      26. Juvenile Jury 490619 Changing Ones Birthday.mp3
      27. Life At Boys Town 420913 Bad Day .mp3
      28. Lone Ranger Polka Vincent Justynski Worszawska Orchestra.mp3
      29. Malcolm Claire 380310.mp3
      30. Mystery Castle 471200 09 Trying Solve Mystery Of Packages .mp3
      31. Mystery Castle 471200 Trying To Solve Mystery Of Packages.mp3
      32. National Boys Club Week Chordettes Excerpt.mp3
      33. National Boys Club Week Jackie Gleason.mp3
      34. National Boys Club Week Joe Dimaggio Excerpt.mp3
      35. National Boys Club Week Roy Rogers And Gang Excerpt.mp3
      36. National Education Association Ep316 Threshold.mp3
      37. Nations Nightmarethe Narcotic Evilbill Downs 510719.mp3
      38. Old Blueback Speller 531128.mp3
      39. Safe At Home 5 Safety In Toys.mp3
      40. Safe At Home 8 Sharing Duties.mp3
      41. Silver Eagle 540720 Decoy For Death.mp3
      42. Sparrow Hawk 450810 Log Rolling [partial1m36s] .mp3
      43. Standard School Broadcast 550318 Ep020 Romeo And Juliet.mp3
      44. The World We Live In 540416 The Ocean Of Air.mp3
      45. The World We Live In 540423 The Age Of Dinosaurs.mp3
      46. Timmy Discovers Christmas Usaf Xmas Special William Conrad.mp3
      47. Tizzie Lish Audition Pgm 2.mp3
      48. Twilight Tales Emperors New Clothes.mp3
      49. Uncle Neds Squadron 5x.11.11 Title Unknown .mp3
      50. Wonderful World 450114.mp3
      51. Young In Heart 471204 Treasure Island Audition.mp3
      52. Youth Builders 520305 Childrens Round Table 1.3 Sanitation.mp3
      53. Youth Builders 520312 2.3 Making Democracy Work School.mp3
      54. Youth Builders 520319 3.3 Voting Rights-Responsibilities.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    54 recordings on 17 Audio CDs
    total playtime 15 hours, 43 min

    Rare Children Disc A001

    1. Bolero Time Afrts138 1st Song Bolero Version Of Hava Nagila
    2. Bozo And Friends Bozo And Birds
    3. Bozo And Friends Bozo And His Rocket Ship
    4. Bozo And Friends Bozo At Dog Show

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    Rare Children Disc A002

    1. Bozo And Friends Bozo At The Circus
    2. Bozo And Friends Bozo On Farm
    3. Bozo And Friends Chug Chug
    4. Bozo And Friends Dog Spells Dog
    5. Bozo And Friends Gerald Mcboing Boing
    6. Indiana School Of The Sky Darwin Puts It Into Words

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    Rare Children Disc A003

    1. Indiana School Of The Sky Einstein Looks For A New Answer
    2. Indiana School Of The Sky Elictricity Begins To Work
    3. Indiana School Of The Sky Galileo Passes A Crucial Test
    4. Indiana School Of The Sky Greeks Honor Their Thinkers
    5. Indiana School Of The Sky The Atom Yields Power

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    Rare Children Disc A004

    1. Indiana School Of The Sky What Are Men Made Of
    2. Invitation To Learning Nature Of Things
    3. Jerry Deanboy Trooper 01
    4. Lone Ranger Polka Vincent Justynski Worszawska Orchestra
    5. National Boys Club Week Chordettes Excerpt

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    Rare Children Disc A005

    1. National Boys Club Week Jackie Gleason
    2. National Boys Club Week Joe Dimaggio Excerpt
    3. National Boys Club Week Roy Rogers And Gang Excerpt
    4. National Education Association Ep316 Threshold
    5. Safe At Home 5 Safety In Toys
    6. Safe At Home 8 Sharing Duties

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    Rare Children Disc A006

    1. Timmy Discovers Christmas Usaf Xmas Special William Conrad
    2. Tizzie Lish Audition Pgm 2
    3. Twilight Tales Emperors New Clothes

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    Rare Children Disc A007

    1. Uncle Neds Squadron 5x.11.11 Title Unknown
    2. Colorscope Program 11 370705 Pencil Date Building
    3. Colorscope Program 12 370712 Colorscope Red

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    Rare Children Disc A008

    1. Malcolm Claire 380310
    2. Life At Boys Town 420913 Bad Day

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    Rare Children Disc A009

    1. Wonderful World 450114
    2. Sparrow Hawk 450810 Log Rolling [partial1m36s]
    3. Between The Bookends 450914 The Star Spangled Banner

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    Rare Children Disc A010

    1. Adventures Sally Hollywood Land 470603 Aud Wwoodpecker
    2. Funtime 471106 Michael Who Was One Too Many
    3. Mystery Castle 471200 09 Trying Solve Mystery Of Packages

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    Rare Children Disc A011

    1. Mystery Castle 471200 Trying To Solve Mystery Of Packages
    2. Young In Heart 471204 Treasure Island Audition

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    Rare Children Disc A012

    1. Californiacaravan 471221 Howsantacametosimpsonsbar
    2. Juvenile Jury 490619 Changing Ones Birthday

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    Rare Children Disc A013

    1. Invitation To Learning 500521 Ciceros De Oficiis Afrs 27
    2. Nations Nightmarethe Narcotic Evilbill Downs 510719

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    Rare Children Disc A014

    1. Youth Builders 520305 Childrens Round Table 1.3 Sanitation
    2. Youth Builders 520312 2.3 Making Democracy Work School
    3. Youth Builders 520319 3.3 Voting Rights-Responsibilities

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    Rare Children Disc A015

    1. Old Blueback Speller 531128
    2. The World We Live In 540416 The Ocean Of Air

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    Rare Children Disc A016

    1. The World We Live In 540423 The Age Of Dinosaurs
    2. Silver Eagle 540720 Decoy For Death

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    Rare Children Disc A017

    1. Standard School Broadcast 550318 Ep020 Romeo And Juliet

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