North Carolina Newspapers

    Rural Electrics Celebrate First Twenty-Five Years
Electrics Grow Rapidly-Face Never Ending Job
Average American Farmer
Uses Four To Five Times More
Electricity Than Expected
Some folks think the job of electrifying rural America is
about done, now that more than 9b% of all the farms, homes,
schools, churches and businesses—outside the city limits—are be
ing served with low-cost electric light and power.
Not so, says John Costen, manager of the Albemarle Electric
Membership Corporation. Even more costly and difficult years lie
ahead. "We must run, just to»
stand still,” he insists, “because
heavying-up our lines to meet
ever increasing demands for ]
more kilowatt hours is a never !
ending job.”
Most folks back in '35, includ- ■
ing the so-called experts, “guess
timated” that a farmer could
possibly use as much as 90 toi:
100 kwh a month. That was
when the average farm with
central station eleelricitv was us
ing about 50 kwh per month. ;
They figured he might install a i
few 25 watt bulbs, throw away
the battery for his old radio,
and buv his wife an electric i
iron. They didn’t know Mrs. .
Farmer. Thev didn't realize that
to her. good refrigeration is
much more important than it is
to city folks. So a freezer fol- ,
lowed her refrigerator.
Then the electric water pump i
and heater brought a wave of
washers and dryers. The auto- i
matic electric range replaced the !
old coal, wood, and oil stoves
. . . and on. and on.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fanner found
ways to milk his cows, feed and
water his stock, move heavy
crops into the silo and mow—
cut hand labor drastically with
electric power. This cost less,
made him happier, and saved
his back.
The result? Well, today, the'
average American farmer uses
four to five times as much elec
tricity as even the most opti
mistic "expert" guessed he
would, back there in 1935.
Rural kwh Demand Up
And this growth continues.
Rural Americans are increasing
their demands for electricity
much faster than their city
neighbors. Within the next sev
en years demands will double
again. And all of America's
Rural Electric Systems are gear
ing up to meet this problem
even liefpre it happens.
This isn’t all. Good roads, bet
ter telephone service—and low
cow electricity are causing
more city folks Vo move to the
As farms grow in size .and de
crease m number, the proportion
of non-farm consumers of the
rural electric systems continues
450 W ays To Use Electricity
011 Tlie Farm Aiul In The I lome
Who would have guessed 25 years ago that we would ever
find as many as 200 uses for electricity on the farm? Those were
the days when seasoned electric i-onipany executives laughed as
RFA engineers predicted some day U. S. farmers might use an
average of 90 to 100 kilow’att hours of electricity a month!
Use of electricity today has
passed the wildest dreams of
1»35. Researchers in the Unit
ed States Department of Agri
culture now poim >to more than
tall different applications of elec
tricity on the farm and in the 1
farm home.
These new uses and big step-,
up in the consumption of elec
tricity on farms is part of Amer
ican agriculture's move to mech
anize and substitute power and
machinery for human labor both
on the farm and in the home.
There have been real changes
made from the early days when
home use of electricity was lim-'
iti d almost entirely to lighting,
powering the washing machine...
end pumping water. From air
conditioning to automatic water ;
systems, rural electrification has
made it possible for farm peo
ple, too, to live better electri-'
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Volume XXVII. —Number 19. Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, Thursday May 12, 1960.
to increase.
Front the start, America’s!
Rural Electric Systems have |,
been organized for service, not !
for profit. Their motto has been
to "serve ’em all” in rural areas. 1
They agree to provide this serv-j
ice to all. and at the lowest pos- 1
sible cost, when they borrow (
their capital funds from REA—!
at interest.
One thing sure, with our spir- 1
ailing rural population, the newj
and better uses of electricity and ;
the higher standards of living |.
through the use of this modern [
necessity, demand for and use!;
of electricity can move only up
ward in the years ahead.
Predict 5.600 kwh by 1963
Based on the past rate of in- <
crease, the Agricultural Re
search Service. U. S. Depart-!
ment of Agriculture, prophesies i
that average annual electrical!
consumption per farm will reach'
5.600 kilowatt hours by 1963.
By 1975, the average consump
tion per farm served by REA|
financed lines is expected to]
reach 10,800 kwh. more than 2Mti
times what it is today. Recent
reports say the average yearly
consumption bv all consumers
on lines financed bv REA loans
will hit 1-MOO kilowatt hours bv
1975. This is approximately 14 j
times the total capacity of earli
est rural electric lines.
With prices of materials and
labor up sharply, heavy ing-up
and improving service with the
latest modern equipment may,
, weH cost more than the original
As one spokesman for the
rural electric systems put it:
"This spells out the need for!
continued loans from REA.
America’s Rural Electric Sys
tems today own on the average
only 18.2 percent of their sys
tems. Because of this fact, there
is little possibility that they can I
obtain the necessary funds fori
growth and expansion from pri
vate sources. It necessarily fol
lows that needed funds must
come from the Rural Electrifica
tion Administration, which al
ready holds the first mortgage j
on all properly of the borrow-1
Radio. TV, clocks, refrigera
tors, freezers, stoves, washing
machines, dryers, vacuum clean
ers, water pumps, water and
space heaters, dishwashers, mix
i ers. and lawn mowers are com
mon everyday uses of electricity
around the home.
I In fact, there’s little today that
can’t be done easier, quicker,
and better electrically. USDA’s
list of uses for electrieitv in the
farm home includes just about
every conceivable household
gadget under the sun.
There are burglar and fire
alarms, fish bowl heaters, bed
warmers, biscuit bakers, can
openers, Christmas tree turners,
cigar lighters, communication'
systems, deodorizers, dumb wait
eras. dust precipitators, fish seal-1
ers, flour sifters, fly traps, andi
Continued on Page Two
FDR Signed Order
That Electrified
Rural America
Contrary to the way most Fed
eral Government programs come
about, rural electrification was!
not born in a smoke-filled room,
in a Congressional cloakroom, or
in a government office building
in Washington.
Actual birthplace of this vast
program, which has brought
light and power to every nook
and cranny of rural America, is
said to have been a little cottage
at Warm Springs. Georgia. And
the plan evolved in the active
brain of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Those who should know sav
the germ of this idea—low-cost
electric light and power for all
Americans, in or out of the city
limits—came during F.D.R.’s first
visit to Warm Springs in 1924.
At the end of his first month’s
stay, he couldn’t understand the j
charge of 18c a kilowatt hour to
light his cabin. This was about
four times the rate he paid in
his Hyde Park home in New
York, and over six times the'
average cost of a kilowatt hour:
of electric power in rural Ameri
ca today.
F.D.R. felt that all America
deserved the comforts and con
venience of low-cost electricity. |
Fore than that, he decided to do
something about it.
It wasn’t until 1935. on May
11th to be exact, that this same
man. then President of the;
United States, signed the Exec- 1
utive Order that brought the
Rural Electrification Administra
tion into being.
Program Changes Outlook
He visualized a program that
was destined to change the
whole outlook of rural people.
The order created REA for the
express purpose of starting and
supervising a program of gen
eration, transmission, and distri
bution of electrical energy to
j rural areas.
This was what people out in
the country were waiting for.
Backed up by long years of wait-
Continuad on Page Four
Let’s Face It. “It
Just Ain’t RFA”
If you are one of those who
calls everything connected with
rural electrification “REA’ ’—
read on You will be surprised
to learn that “REA” is the ab
breviated name of a division in
the U. S. Department of Agricul
ture—far removed from the local
Rural Electric System that pro
vides electrical service to rural
Actually, a number of organiz
ations, and groups of organiza
tions are actively engaged in
: making the nationwide rural
; electrification go and grow! As
la help in understanding this
program, here are a few basic
facts about the various groups
directly involved in rural electri
Rural Electric Systems are lo
cal organizations that actually
do the work of providing elec
trical service to people who need
and use the electricity. Indivi
: dual electric systems, incorpor
ated under state law, borrow
money from the government
through the Rural Electrification
Administration (REA) to build
electric lines and facilities.
These systems bill their mem
bers for the electricity they use.
A portion of each bill is set aside
for interest and principal pay
ments on the REA loan. Rural
Electric Systems are an out
standing example of private en
terprise. They are owned, con
trolled, and operated by the lo
cal people who use the service
they provide.
Since the start of the rural
electrification program 25 years
ago, over 1,000 rural electric
Continued on Page Two
Kpp£ :
, - J... . . i.. .. .
Above-Rural Electrification is born as President Franklin D.
Roosevelt signs executive order creating REA, May It, 1935.
Champions (or rural people. Congressman Sam Rayburn (left
above) and Senator George W. Norris sparked REA Act of 1935,
making Rural Electrification a lung range program.
WHEREAS the continued yvell-being and economoic progress of
our rural families are vital to the strength and welfare of our
Community and our Nation, and
WHEREAS Rural Electrification has lighted the way, lightened
the burdens, and brought a goodly measure of the luxuries of
city lh'ing' to all rural America, and
WHEREAS Rural Electrification has enabled farmers to produce
efficiently,and abundantly, and provide sanitary and high grade
food for city tables, anil
WHEREAS billions of dollars spent for electric appliances and
equipment in rural areas have meant sales and jobs in every
segment of our economy, and
WHEREAS Rural Electrification lifts proved to lie .1 sound in
vestment and loans are being repaid.with nit er.-: t on or ahead of
schedukv and
WHEREAS 1960 marks the 25th birthday, and the Silver Jubilee
of the Rural Eh rtrifiCatimi Program:
NOW, THEREFORE I, John Mildiener. Jr. Mayor of the C'ity of
Edenton, do hereby proclaim the period from May it to May 14
to he Rural Electrification Week Furthermore, I call upon my
lel low citizens, whether rural or urban, to support and partici
pate in the Silver Jubilee Celebration -of Rural filedi dicatito.n,
IN WITNESS WHEREOF'. I have hereunto set my hand and
cause the seal «if Edenton to be affixed,
DONE at the. eit v of Edenton this 11 lit day of May, in the year
of our Lord nineteen bundled and sixty,
Now F!rtiri<* Power Has Changed
iThe Face Os All Rural America
While no would-be expert has
j yet attempted to measure the]
complete impact of electrifica
tion on American agriculture,
j the influence of rural eleetrifiea
j tion on farming and farm life
has been tremendous.
For years, farming has been i
' undergoing a peaceful, vet rapid,
revolution in technology, living
standards, and working condi
tions. Everywhere, the magic
| power of electricity has played a
! leading role in the dramatic-'
changes in both farming and life,
in rural areas.
96% Farms Electrified
With 96 percent of all farms)
) in the United States electrified I
i today, central station electricity
has become so commonplace that;
farmers themselves seldom stop)
to figut% just how much they;
depend upon it—until the power)
goes off.
The lights go out, the pump)
stops, and jobs that were mech
anized yesterday suddenly must
be done by hand.
Anyone who ever used the old
sadiron for an hour, turned the
corn sheller. pumped water, or
pailed a dozen cows, knows how
electricity is helping get the
work done. Things are easier
on the farm, today, everyone
Availability of dependable low- 1
cost electric power is one of the
important factors in modern
farm efficiency. It is a major
reason whv farmers have step
ped ahead of production in
creases in our factories. Believe
it or not, output per farm work
er today is double what it was '
15 years ago. and three times 1
what if was at the ‘•♦art of rural :
electrification in 1995.
While electricity has been out- 1
ting farm production and Pro
cessing costs, it also has been 1
ratai— standards at ratal living, 1
i improving health conditions both
•] in town and country, and iielp
; iiig provide quality food in
abundance for city tables. Nev
er have so many been fed so
■ well by so few.
In 1930 one farm worker pro
-1 duced on the average, enough
food and fiber for nearly ten
people. Today each farm work
ci- produces for 25 people, and
: American farmers are making
plans to handle twice that num
ber of people much before the
, turn of the century.
Wonderful Changes
Not only has rural electrifica
tion removed drudgery, and
j brought city living and city ways
to rural areas, it also is credited
; with changing the entire out
j look of rural people. Whether
I vou live in the country or in'
I town today, schools, churches,
clubs, recreation and civic inter-)
; ests are often the same.
The only dividing line between
town and country anymore is the
city limit sign showing where
tlie city streets begin. So—rural
electrification, as no other single
force, has transformed America’s
rural areas into a highly desir
able place to live.
Thi-ee-fourths of the electricity
used on the farm today is con
sumed in the home for lighting,
cooking, washing, drying, pump
ing, water heating, space heat
ing, cooling or freezing.
Automatic Hired Man
Use of electricity about the
farmstead still is limited largely
to chores that were time-consum
ing when done bv hand. It pow
ers the motor that turns, lifts,
pumps, heats, freezes, grinds
and sharpens. I
Electricity powers clocks, sol
enoids and automatic controls
to operate the lights, feeders
and waterers so much « part at
farming toefcp.
Rural Electricity
Makes Jobs And
Business Room
Mention Rural Electrification
and we usually think of light
and power, heat and refrigera
tion. VVe think of the hundreds
of ways electricity lends a help
ing hand in work, in play,, amt
daily living.
We think of greatly unproved
standards of rural living, health
and sanitation, throngs of eitv
people moving to the country,
and of a new and undreamed-of
efficiency in farm production.
Twenty-five years of rural
electrification have brought tre
mendous changes to the face of
rural America, but that's not all.
The Nation’s REA loan program
has generated billions of dollars
of busines for people who do not
live in rural areas. This in
cludes the billions of dollars in
vested in electric lines and fa
cilities ,as well as the endless
list of appliances and equipment
for farms and homes.
Jobs for Millions
These purchases and the labor
required to build the lines and
do the wiring have made jobs
for millions, and profits for mer
chants up and down eVerv main
street in America. Back of ev
ery kilowatt hour of electricity
distributed hv America’s Rural
Electric Systems lie huge invest
ments in electrical equipment,
and the companion appliances,
and equipment that go with
rural electrification.
Rural customers. receiving
electricity for the first time in
their lives, have not been able to
buy all the electrical equipment
they needed or wanted. Spend
ing more than a billion dollars a
year, they have become the best
customers electric appliance
dealers ever had, and the mar
ket’s still far from saturated.
Today, America’s Rural Elec
tric Systems are spending be
tween S2OO and S3OO million an
nually on lines and facilities.
At the same time, a new survey
shows that rural electric con
sumers will buv over a billion
dollars worth of appliances in
1960. That’s good busines f.r all
—means more and better jobs in
cities and towns, too!
Everything’s Electric
Looking ahead, the experts see
an ever growing demand tor
things electrical on the farm nr
in country homes. j n ihe 20
years just ahead rural oeonle
will spend more than $25 billion
for absolutely necessary electri-
I goods s.ut'li as lights, wiring,
as well as the endless
TV s. air conditioners, freezers,
stoves, and other equipment re
quired in modern farming and
rural living.
One thing sure, REA loans
mu only enable rural people to
serve themselves with eleetrici-
IV, hut they ate helping miners,
factory workers, mike person
nel, stockholders, salesman, small
businessmen, corporations, battle's
and tax divisions of local, state,
and federal government.
Rural electrification is makim
jobs for millions, business boom
jiui profits directlv or indue t|\.
for everyone Truly, rural elec
trification is, good for all Ameri
cans !
On many a farm, electricity
lias replaced the hired man and
at the same time permitted a
big increase in the amount of
1 productive livestock carried on
tlie farm.
j For instance, a single one
horsepower motor can do as
much work in one hour as the
average man can do in an entire
i day. and the cost per unit of
production is almost negligible.
For four or five cents, a farm
er can pump 1,000 gallons of
water, milk 30 cows, heat five
gallons of water, cool 10 gallons
of milk, shell 30 bushels of corn,
cut a ton of silage and blow it
. into the silo
According to USDA findings,
the average dairyman spends
1 119 man-hours a year on each
| cow in the herd. With modern
buildings and the latest electri
fied equipment, he can cut his
labor requirements to 67 nian
i hours or less.
Ups Production Per Man
Under the old system of hand
milking one man had his hands
full with 10 or 12 cows. Today,
he lets electricity do the chores
with silo unloader, barn clean
er and pipeline milker and he
handles 30 to 40 cows with ease.
Everywhere farmers have cut
their costs, solved their labor
problems and greatly increased
the size of their fanning opera
tions by putting this new electric
hand to work.
For instance, barn cleaning
for a 40-cow herd in New Jersey
required Pi man-hours daily
when the fork and scoop were
jused. An electric-powered clean
er now does the job for four
cents a day. Michigan State Col
lege reports 300 tons of manure;
can be moved mechanically from
gutter to the spreaders for only
one cent a ton. At that rate,
Ceti tinned on Page Two
More I lian 1000 Locally ()wnecl
Kleetric Systems Now Serve
16*000,000 Rural Amei •leans
This year, rural people everywhere are celebrating the 25th
Anniversary of the Rural Electrification Program, a social and
economic “miracle" that has brought electric light and power to
more than 1 6,000,000 Americans who were almost literally, living
in the dark only a quarter century ago.
It was May 11, 1935, that*— ———
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
signed ihe Executive Order trial
created Hie Rural Electrifica
tion Administration. It seems
laughable now. with S3 *2 billion
having been invested to bring
electricity to rural people, that
Roosevelt's original appropriation
was for only $75,000.
But the Nation's farms needed
power, and the nation's workers
desperately needed work. So
rural electrification began as an
arm of the Works Progress Ad
ministration til that depression
In 1936, Congress passed the
Rural Electrification Act, setting
up a long-term program under
the Rural Electrification Admin
istration— widely known as REA
—which made it possible for
groups of rural people to work
together to serW themselves
Almost from the beginning,
use of eleelricitv had b.-en con
fined to town and city areas be
cause the experts tllotlglll it
would cost too much to bring it
to the country.
Power companies said it was
impractical, if not unprofitable,
to extend electric lines .to most
people living outside of the city
limits They thought rural folks
couldn’t afford, or wouldn't pay
the cost involved in getting elec
trii tv to them.
Few Farms Had Electricity
Consequently, only 3 percent
of American farms were elec-'
trifled hv 1925: 10 percent by
1931, and barely 11 percent had
central station electricity when
RFA came to life in 1935.
The picture has changed rap
idly since the fust REA torn
was approved in Julv. 1935
Gong are the davs of drab
dnuteerv and hack-breaking toil
of pilehine hav vmli a fork
• •■•rrvim> water hv the pail, and
firewood hv l U-. .o-mfnl.
Lest We Forget
Kerosene lamps. lanterns,
pump handles, and sadirons have
lost tlu-ir meaning to youngsters
still iit high school The dav is
long-gone when farm folks seem
to age overnight, and young peo
ple were forced to leave the
farm for the city’s bright lights,
letter iolis. and ea-ier living
The Rural Electrification Act
of 1935 authorizes RFA to lend
funds to “persons, corporations,
lilies districts, states, and co
operatives” tor the construct kin
of rural ole. tin s\ terns. The
Art specifically prohibits use of
loan funds m extend electrical
set vice into the more profitable
•areas of towns and villages of
over I and population, or to anv
one a 1 * e.idv Leim l served
Rural Electric* Serve
__’l.' -ame time rural eieo
How Our Own Rural
Electric System Has Grown
Manager A EMC
Wo appreciate this opportun
t itv to nrosopt The business of
i rural electrification to The people
1 • vin-i j,i the lion-rural areas and
1 the business peo de of the com
munity Rural electrification is
■ a business, and a big one. Our
: Cooperative alone is a 51.437.001 l
. business. Nationally, the rural
' electrification program is a husi
ness with assets of well over
three billion.
During the last 25 years, rural
electrification has contributed
‘ greatly to the economic wall be
ing of farmers and to vou people
right here on Mam Street
Fanners increased their effici
ency through the use of eleotri
. citv in diversified farming. Then
; with their increased incomes,
they hought more items from
The memlrers served along tlie
640 miles of rural lines of the
Alliemarle Electric Membership
Corporation have spent over
$6,000,000 for equipment requir
mg electricity for its operation.
This mckides appliances in die
home and equipment on the
farm. This amount livided into
the trade areas of the Albemarle
would indicate the trade areas ,
of Hertford and Edenton would
have purchased $3,500,000 of the
total. We feel the aggressive
merchants in Hertford and Eden- 1
ton have had their share of the
On January 26. 1945. the Albe- )
marie Electric Membership Cor
, poration was organized for the
purpose of providing electric
service to the rural area of the
Albemarle. The original organ
ization work was started by Mr.
Louis Anderson, Perquimans
; County Farm Agent, with the
assistance of the County Agents
of the other counties. They
Were assisted by J. Wilson Jones,
J. A. Whitehurst from Camden
tin' borrowers agree to serve
all vy iio are without elect net tv in
their area, regardless of whether
the service is profitable or not.
Tnese restrictive handicaps leave
America’s Rural Electric Sys
tems operating in many margin
al and uneconomical ureas.
Although from the start, op
portunity for government loans
have het'n available to all. it
yvas the rural people themselves
who took ttie hall and ran yvith
it to build the lines.
Mainlv as the result of this
consumer cooperation .and this
“do-it-yourself" approach, today
more than 960 of the farms,
homes, rural churches, and busi
nesses have low-cost electric
po\\ er.
All along, rural people knew
of the comforts and uses of
electricity. Farmers, especially,
were determined to have electri
cal service in their homes or on
their farms Bv tin- tens and
hundreds, these people organiz
ed into cooperatives under th 1
lavys of their state and applied
tor an REA loan
Bv working together, and with
REA loans to finance construc
tion. farmers and people in
small towns were supplying
themselves with dependable and
economical electric power, a ser
vice thev could get in no other
('imperative leadership is
showui hv the tact that of the
1,085 electric systems who have
borrowed Federal funds through
REA, 984 have been coope-a
tives, 50 were public power dis
tricts. and 2? were other
of public hodir Only 24 yvere
private 1 over companies
1.5 Million Miles of Line
In the short - nan of 2$ vear'
the lo.altv-owned and managed
rural el*-, tnc- h.v.- mult I 5 mil
lion ” les us electin' ib-.iribu.
non l.m m rural America -nrl
dr. --et via.* more than 16 .trullicq.
... .1,1,- n. .fiy on*-ie»uh ..f the
t.v 1 n. not'd. oo ~f the Winn
They furnish eleelricitv to
nearly. .milieu mete. ! ” Rut it Electrification is
■me of the he- 1 investment one
■oyermnenr ha-' ever made i«
'r'.Ayt n K. the loan r ‘ na Vtnct
e.-rord of tv.irowe. From the
nart of , n 1835. until .Tanu-
I I‘tilti )-yric tctalip ll nes.rto
sf l - lotiion 1 1 *.f hr... mads frr
C'.i",li..n |i on-tin .on d :.-rri
!•■" on old con-nine.' fa.'>l ll
Durilie tn. same Period b..••-
.'yyy . r lia t ' l .t. i. iy-nier.t* fa
th" Federal Government as over
1 billion dollar-' in nr in---, pa I an 4
•Mere I ,1 efedii re. ord C'-vel
bv bankers MV.iyvk.fie AfncH
f 'hi: w..g raid ahead of due
p- ■". rd of .. h.ewmen> .n mi' l *
~f h -a . oiisrrn, te < and number
Continued on P3q* Four
Conntv. Walter I.owry and F T .
Brothers from Pasquotank. A T
I .any and John Q Hurdle of
Perquiimn' and J A Hi.****in<S,
Ocor-’* t\ W,uni apd I. R F*-.-.*>-
cis of Chowan, and mam othe> s
<>011! the tow os of Elizabeth
Citv Edenton. Hertford and tlm
rural areas, Surely, no eminv
so varied 111 interest have found
a more common cause and
worked so hard to accompli h
their aim
RFA approved a loan of 5685,-
tHWi for Albemarle Electric Mem
bership Corporation on May 24.
1945 During 1945 contract y.,s
let for the construction of 47 5
miles of line in the South Mills
area for the cost of $65,600.
which was completed and put in
service in August. 1946. Bv the
end of the year the average
monthly ose per member was 53
KWH. This same area now is
using over 300 KWH per mem
ber The Albemarle Electric
Memfierslup Corporation has
constructed 640 miles of lines
serving 4.4 consumers per mile
They have borrowed from RF\
for this construction $1,437 000
and returned to REA $464,000 of
, which $206,000 was interest and
$258,01X1 on principal. They'
I also have $85,000 paid in ad
-1 vance.
Tlie Albemarle Electric Mem
-1 hership Corporation employs an
average of 16 employees with an
annual pav roll of above $50,000.
The Cooperative is under th*
control of nine directors elected
for a one-year term by th®
A. T. Lane is president; J. A.
Wiggins is vice president; Floyd
Mathews, secretary; Charles E.
White. Sr., treasurer. Tommie
Temple and W. R. Lowrv are
directors from Pasquotank Coun
ty; J. A. Whitehurst and J. W.
Hastings. Camtkpijad John N,
Bunch from ChowJK

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