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Orange, New Jersey
City of Orange Township
The former First Presbyterian Church
The former First Presbyterian Church
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Orange, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey is located in Essex County, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
Location in Essex County, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey is located in the United States
Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated November 27, 1806 (as township)
Reincorporated April 3, 1872 (as city)
 • Type Faulkner Act Mayor-Council
 • Body City Council
 • Total 2.22 sq mi (5.74 km2)
 • Land 2.21 sq mi (5.73 km2)
 • Water <0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)  0.09%
Area rank 392nd of 565 in state
19th of 22 in county
197 ft (60 m)
 • Total 30,134
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 75th of 566 in state
8th of 22 in county
 • Density 13,705.7/sq mi (5,291.8/km2)
 • Density rank 17th of 566 in state
3rd of 22 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code {{{1}}}-{{{2}}}
GNIS feature ID 1729742

The City of Orange is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 30,134, reflecting a decline of 2,734 (−8.3%) from the 32,868 counted in 2000, which had in turn increased by 2,943 (+9.8%) from the 29,925 counted in the 1990 Census.

Orange was originally incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 27, 1806, from portions of Newark Township. Portions of the township were taken on April 14, 1834, to form the now-defunct Clinton Township. On January 31, 1860, Orange was reincorporated as a town. Portions of the town were taken to form South Orange Township (April 1, 1861, now known as Maplewood), Fairmount (March 11, 1862, now part of West Orange), East Orange Township (March 4, 1863) and West Orange Township (April 10, 1863). On April 3, 1872, Orange was reincorporated as a city. In 1982, the city was one of four Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining 11 municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. The city derives its name from William III of England or William IV, Prince of Orange.

Despite the differences in the character of the municipalities, Orange is often joined with neighboring East Orange, South Orange and West Orange and referred to as part of "the Oranges".

The township had the 12th-highest property tax rate in New Jersey, with an equalized rate of 4.679% in 2020, compared to 2.824% in the county as a whole and a statewide average of 2.279%.


Orange had its origins in Connecticut's New Haven Colony. In 1666, a group of 30 of New Haven's families traveled by water to found "a town on the Passayak" River. They arrived on territory now encompassing Newark, the Oranges, and several other municipalities. The area was situated in the northeast portion of a land grant conveyed by King Charles II of England to his brother James, Duke of York. In 1664, James conveyed the land to two proprietors, Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Since Carteret had been Royal Governor of the Isle of Jersey, the territory became known as "New Jersey."

Orange was initially a part of the city of Newark, but it was originally known as "Newark Mountains". On June 7, 1780, the townspeople of Newark Mountains officially voted to adopt the name Orange. At the time, there was a significant number of people in favor of secession from Newark. However, this would not occur until November 27, 1806, when the territory now encompassing all of the Oranges was finally detached. On April 13, 1807, the first government was elected, but not until March 13, 1860 was Orange officially incorporated as a city. Immediately, the new city began fragmenting into smaller communities, primarily because of local disputes about the costs of establishing paid police, fire, and street departments. South Orange was organized on January 26, 1861; Fairmount (later to become part of West Orange) on March 11, 1862; East Orange on March 4, 1863; and West Orange (including Fairmount) on March 14, 1863.

Orange is located on the Newark and Mount-Pleasant Turnpike, the main road from Newark to Morristown, and ultimately to Easton, Pennsylvania. The town became a busy thoroughfare for travelers, and hotels abounded. Initially, the stagecoach was the primary method of transportation. Omnibuses of the Eclipse and the Morris & Newark Lines serviced Orange. The Morris and Essex Railroad arrived in Orange in November 1836, its first cars drawn by horses. On October 2, 1837, the first steam locomotive appeared, and the horses were, with minor exception, relegated to pasture. The "M&E" later became a part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad (DL&W), which exists today as NJ Transit's Morristown Line. Trolley cars appeared much later, with the Orange and Newark Horse Car Railroad Company running its first car up Main Street in May 1862. The Orange Crosstown Line, eventually extending from Morris Street, Orange, to Bloomfield, was started in June 1888. (The first electric trolley in the State of New Jersey operated over a section of this line.) Eventually, all of the trolleys, and the buses that replaced them, became part of the sprawling Public Service Coordinated Transport System.

Orange was an industrial city from the outset. Early settlers found a profuse growth of hemlock trees, an ideal supply of tannic acid for the tanning industry, and boot and shoemaking factories soon flourished.

F. Berg hat factory
F. Berg & Co. hat factory building, built in 1907. The company left in the 1920s.

Orange was once the hatmaking capital of the United States. The industry can be traced there to 1792. By 1892, 21 firms were engaged in that trade, employing over 3,700 people in plants that produced about 4.8 million hats, which had a combined value in excess of $1 million. Several brothers founded the "No-Name Hat Company" in Orange before one of them moved on to make fedoras in Philadelphia under the family name, "Stetson." By 1921, however, only five hatmaking firms were left, many having departed for places such as Norwalk and Danbury, Connecticut. By 1960, all had left.

Beer was a major revenue producer in Orange beginning in the early 1900s, when the three Winter Brothers of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, arrived in the city and built the first brewery. The Orange Brewery was constructed in 1901 at a reported cost of $350,000. The production of beer ceased with prohibition in 1920, and after the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933, the brewery was sold to John F. Trommers of Philadelphia. Trommers brewed beer under that label until 1950, when the concern was again sold to Liebmann Breweries, Incorporated, which bottled Rheingold Beer. Eventually, after several additional owners, the plant was closed permanently in 1977.

Other notable firms located in Orange were the Monroe Calculating Company, manufacturers of the patented adding machines of the same name, and the Bates Manufacturing Company, producers of office accessories such as staplers and stampers. The United States Radium Corporation was a notorious resident of Orange. This firm refined ore and extracted the radium used to make luminous paint for dials and hands of watches and other indicators. It was only years later that the terrible carcinogenic effects of this material became known, and the polluted site of the factory became a thorn in the side of the city.

Orange has produced such notables as baseball's Monte Irvin and heavyweight boxer Tony Galento. Actor William Bendix lived and worked here for a short while. Presidents, presidential candidates, and governors visited. Orange threw a grand party on its 100th anniversary, and another when it turned 150.

Once a multi-ethnic, economically diverse city, Orange suffered indirectly from the 1967 riots in Newark (even though Newark and Orange do not share a border) and directly from the construction of Interstate 280 through the heart of the downtown area, triggering middle-class "white flight" from aging industrial towns to the new automobile suburbs being built in western Essex County and elsewhere. By the end of the 1970s, Orange had many of the urban ills normally associated with larger cities.

In 1982, citizens voted overwhelmingly to change the designation of Orange from a city to a township, thereby making it eligible for federal Revenue Sharing funds. In 1985, the State of New Jersey named Orange as a State Urban Enterprise Zone, creating tax breaks and investment incentives. This program has since been phased out.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 2.201 square miles (5.700 km2), including 2.199 square miles (5.694 km2) of land and 0.002 square miles (0.005 km2) of water (0.09%).

The East Branch of the Rahway River travels through Orange.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 2,266
1820 2,830 24.9%
1830 3,887 37.3%
1840 3,264 −16.0%
1850 4,385 34.3%
1860 8,877 102.4%
1870 9,348 5.3%
1880 13,207 41.3%
1890 18,844 42.7%
1900 24,141 28.1%
1910 29,630 22.7%
1920 33,268 12.3%
1930 35,399 6.4%
1940 35,717 0.9%
1950 38,037 6.5%
1960 35,789 −5.9%
1970 32,566 −9.0%
1980 31,136 −4.4%
1990 29,925 −3.9%
2000 32,868 9.8%
2010 30,134 −8.3%
2020 34,447 14.3%
Population sources: 1810–1920
1840–1900 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1860–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010 2020
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 30,134 people, 11,202 households, and 6,878 families residing in the township. The population density was 13,705.7 per square mile (5,291.8/km2). There were 12,222 housing units at an average density of 5,558.9 per square mile (2,146.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 12.80% (3,857) White, 71.83% (21,645) Black or African American, 0.57% (173) Native American, 1.51% (455) Asian, 0.02% (6) Pacific Islander, 9.95% (2,999) from other races, and 3.32% (999) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.67% (6,531) of the population.

There were 11,202 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.6% were married couples living together, 24.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the township, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 84.1 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $40,818 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,616) and the median family income was $44,645 (+/- $4,033). Males had a median income of $34,986 (+/- $3,168) versus $36,210 (+/- $2,706) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,816 (+/- $1,027). About 16.2% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.6% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.


2021-06-07 11 00 21 View west along Interstate 280 (Essex Freeway) from the overpass for South Essex Avenue in Orange, Essex County, New Jersey
I-280 westbound in Orange

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 44.64 miles (71.84 km) of roadways, of which 39.14 miles (62.99 km) were maintained by the municipality, 4.43 miles (7.13 km) by Essex County and 1.07 miles (1.72 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Interstate 280 is the most significant highway serving the city, traversing along an east-west alignment from the border with West Orange to the East Orange city line. The only other significant roadway serving Orange is County Route 508, which follows Central Avenue.

Public transportation

The Orange and Highland Avenue stations provide NJ Transit train service along the Morris & Essex Lines (formerly Erie Lackawanna Railway). Service is available via the Kearny Connection to Secaucus Junction and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan and to Hoboken Terminal. Passengers can transfer at Newark Broad Street or Summit station to reach the other destination if necessary.

NJ Transit buses in Orange include the 21, 24, 34, 41, 44, 71, 73 and 79 routes providing service to Newark and local service on the 92 and 97 routes.

Points of interest


A 50's Style Diner
1950s-style diner in Orange

Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. Orange was selected in 1983 as one of the initial group of 10 zones chosen to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+58% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in November 1992, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in November 2023.


Orange Middle School jeh
Orange Middle School

The Orange Board of Education serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide that were established pursuant to the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.

Lincoln Av Elementary Orange jeh
Lincoln Avenue School

As of the 2020–21 school year, the district, comprised of 12 schools, had an enrollment of 5,629 students and 507.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. Schools in the district (with 2020–21) enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Orange Early Childhood Center (188 students; in PreK), John Robert Lewis Early Childhood Center (NA; Pre-K), Central Elementary School (319; K-2), Cleveland Street School (303; K-7), Forest Street Community School (410; PreK-7), Heywood Avenue School (355; PreK-7), Lincoln Avenue School (708; K-7), Oakwood Avenue Community School (425; PreK-7), Park Avenue School (569; K-7), Rosa Parks Central Community School (999; Grades 3–7) formerly Main Street School and Central School), Scholars Academy (NA), Orange Preparatory Academy (679; 8–9, formerly Orange Middle School), Orange High School (840; 10–12) and STEM Innovation Academy of the Oranges (160; 9–12).

The Orange Public Library collection contains 200,000 volumes and circulates 43,000 items annually. Built as the Stickler Memorial Library, the imposing structure designed by McKim, Mead, and White opened in 1901.

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Orange, New Jersey

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Orange include:

  • Robert Adams (born 1937), photographer who has focused on the changing landscape of the American West.
  • Walter G. Alexander (1880–1953), first African American member of the New Jersey Legislature.
  • Jay Alford (born 1983), defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft (81st overall).
  • Peter Allgeier, served as U.S. Deputy Trade Representative from May 2001 until August 2009.
  • George Armstrong (1924–1993), catcher who played eight MLB games in 1946 with the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • Tom Auth (born 1968), rower who competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2000 Summer Olympics.
  • Bobby Bandiera (born 1953), rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who was lead guitarist for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
  • James J. Barry Jr. (born 1946), politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly and as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
  • Stephen J. Benkovic (born 1938), chemist.
  • Douglas J. Bennet (1938–2018), political official who served as the fifteenth president of Wesleyan University.
  • John L. Blake (1831–1899), represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district from 1879 to 1881.
  • Ken Blanchard (born 1939), author, whose works include The One Minute Manager.
  • Thomas Aloysius Boland (1896–1979), prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who was Archbishop of Newark from 1952 to 1974.
  • Cory Boyd (born 1985), former starting tailback for the University of South Carolina. and drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 7th round (238th pick overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.
  • Sandra Boynton (born 1953), humorist, songwriter, director, music producer, children's author and illustrator.
  • Garrett Brown Jr. (born 1943), former United States District Judge and later the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Lesley Bush (born 1947), diver who represented the United States at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, where she received a gold medal in platform diving.
  • Samuel P. Bush (1863–1948), industrialist and patriarch of the Bush political family.
  • Bisa Butler (born c. 1975), fiber artist known for her quilted portraits and designs celebrating black life.
  • Ernest Trow Carter (1866–1953), organist and composer who won the Bispham Award.
  • Herbert S. Carter (1869-1927), physician and writer.
  • Dennis M. Cavanaugh (born 1947), retired United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Robert Hett Chapman (1771–1833), Presbyterian minister and missionary and the second president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Evans Clark (1888–1970), writer strongly committed to first to Communist and Socialist causes and then liberal socio-economic issues.
  • Harold L. Colburn Jr. (1925–2012), physician and politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 8th Legislative District from 1984 to 1995.
  • Richard Codey (born 1946). politician who served in the New Jersey Legislature since 1974 and was the 53rd Governor of New Jersey, from 2004 to 2006.
  • Steven A. Cohen (born 1953), academic who has taught public management and environmental policy at Columbia University since 1981.
  • Corinne Alsop Cole (1886–1971), politician who served two terms as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
  • Samuel Colgate (1822–1897), manufacturer and philanthropist, who headed the soap company that is now part of Colgate-Palmolive and was a benefactor of Colgate University.
  • John Condit (1755–1834), United States Representative and Senator from New Jersey.
  • Silas Condit (1778–1861), represented New Jersey in the United States House of Representatives from 1831 to 1833.
  • Peter Cortes (born 1947), rower who competed in the men's quadruple sculls event at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • Bob Cottingham (born 1966), Olympic fencer who competed in the sabre events at the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics.
  • John Crotty (born 1969), former NBA basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets.
  • Bobby Czyz (born 1962), champion prizefighter.
  • Brian E. Daley (born 1940), professor of theology who received the Ratzinger Prize in 2012.
  • William Howe Davis (1904–1982), politician who served as Mayor of Orange for 12 years and as the Director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control during the Administration of Governor Robert B. Meyner.
  • Pete D'Alonzo (1929–2001), football player who played two seasons with the Detroit Lions of the NFL.
  • Constance Adams DeMille (1874–1960), actress and wife of director Cecil B. DeMille.
  • Wayne Dickens, former American football player and coach who was head football coach at Kentucky State University from 2009 to 2012 and The College of New Jersey from 2013 to 2015.
  • S. Kip Farrington (1904–1983), sport fisherman and journalist.
  • Gail Fisher (1935–2000), actress best known for her role on Mannix.
  • Buddy Fortunato (born 1946), newspaper publisher and politician who served four terms in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Charles N. Fowler (1852–1932), represented 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1895 to 1911.
  • Tony Galento (1910–1979), heavyweight boxer.
  • Robert E. Grady (born 1959), venture capitalist and investment banker
  • Al Harrington (born 1980), professional basketball player for the NBA's Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.
  • Edward V. Hartford (1870–1922), founder and President of the Hartford Suspension Company who perfected the automobile shock absorber.
  • George Huntington Hartford (1833–1917), Mayor from 1878 to 1890 and owner of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, the country's largest food retailer at the time of his death.
  • Beatrice Hicks (1919–1979), founder of the Society of Women Engineers in 1950.
  • Cleo Hill (1938–2015), professional basketball player who played one season in the NBA for the St. Louis Hawks.
  • Dulé Hill (born 1975), actor, known for starring in TV series Psych and The West Wing.
  • Monte Irvin (1919–2016), former Negro leagues and MLB outfielder, MLB executive and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Bobby M. Jones (born 1972), pitcher who played for the New York Mets during his MLB career.
  • Mark Kelly (born 1964), astronaut who first went into space as the pilot for STS-108 Endeavour (December 5–17, 2001), and returned to space with STS-121 in 2006 as the pilot; His twin brother, Scott Kelly, is also in the Astronaut Corps.
  • Jay Lynch (1945–2017), cartoonist best known for his comic strip Nard n' Pat.
  • Phyllis Mangina (born 1959), college basketball coach who is currently an assistant women's basketball coach at Saint Peter's.
  • William F. Marsh (1916-1995),politician who served in the California State Assembly for the 42nd district from 1953 to 1959.
  • John B. Mason (1858–1919), stage actor.
  • Lowell Mason (1792–1872), composer of over 1600 hymn tunes, including his arrangement of "Joy to the World".
  • Elmer Matthews (1927–2015), lawyer and politician who served three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • George McClellan (1826–1885), American Civil War general and later Governor of New Jersey, died here.
  • Donald W. McGowan (1899–1967), United States Army Major General and Chief of the National Guard Bureau.
  • James T. McHugh (1932–2000), prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Bishop of Camden (1989–98) and Bishop of Rockville Centre (2000).
  • John Milnor (born 1931), mathematician known for his work in differential topology, K-theory and dynamical systems and recipient of the Fields Medal, Wolf Prize, and Abel Prize.
  • Daniel F. Minahan (1877–1947), served as mayor of Orange from May 1914 until August 1919, and represented New Jersey's 6th congressional district from 1919 to 1921 and again from 1923 to 1925.
  • Gordon Allen Newkirk Jr. (1928–1985), astrophysicist best known for his research on the solar corona.
  • Yosh Nijman (born 1995), American football offensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
  • Col. Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907), founder and first president of the Theosophical Society, first well-known person of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism, helped create a Buddhist renaissance, assisted in designing the Buddhist flag, a national hero of Sri Lanka.
  • Chris Petrucelli (born 1962), soccer manager who is currently the head coach of the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women's Soccer League.
  • Joel A. Pisano (1949–2021), United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey from 2000 to 2001.
  • Carolyn Plaskett (1917–2001), American-born illustrator, international scholar and former first lady of Barbados.
  • Daniel Quillen (1940–2011), mathematician known for being the "prime architect" of higher algebraic K-theory and recipient of the Fields Medal.
  • Jim Ringo (1931–2007), NFL player for the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Stuart Risch, United States Army major general who serves as the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the United States Army.
  • Jack Robinson (1921–2000), professional baseball pitcher whose MLB career consisted of three games played for the Boston Red Sox in 1949.
  • Robert E. Rose (1939-2022), politician who served as the 26th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, from 1975 to 1979.
  • Dick Savitt (born 1927), tennis player who reached a ranking of No. 2 in the world.
  • Roy Scheider (1932–2008), actor known for films such as Jaws, All That Jazz and The French Connection.
  • Morton Schindel (1918–2016), educator, producer, and founder of Weston Woods Studios, which specializes in adapting children's books into animated films.
  • Peter Shapiro (born 1952), financial services executive and former politician who was the youngest person ever elected to the New Jersey General Assembly and went on to serve as Essex County Executive.
  • John M. Smith (born 1935), prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who served as the ninth Bishop of Trenton, from 1997 to 2010.
  • Leigh Howard Stevens (born 1953), marimba artist best known for developing, codifying and promoting the Stevens technique.
  • Lucy Stone, (1818–1893), abolitionist and suffragist who staged a tax protest in 1857 over her lack of representation as a homeowner in Orange.
  • Salamishah Tillet (born 1975), feminist activist, scholar and writer.
  • Robert F. Titus (born 1926), United States Air Force brigadier general and fighter pilot.
  • George Tully (1904–1980), former NFL player.
  • Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule III (1925–2008), scholar of ancient art and curator of classical art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 1957 to 1996.
  • Dionne Warwick (born 1940), singer, actress, television host, and former Goodwill Ambassador for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Orange (Nueva Jersey) para niños

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