Callaghan Barometer

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Bruce Barnes, Jun 13, 2013.

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  1. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

    Mar 20, 2004
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    I know there are message board members who collect and restore old barometers so I thought I would post one that I won at auction.
    It was made by:

    William Callaghan & Co.
    23A New Bond Street
    London

    Callaghan was an optical instrument maker and was in business from 1860 to 1900 and he operated his business at the New Bond Street address from 1859 to 1875 so based upon the dial inscription that would put this barometer some where in that time frame.

    There was no provenance with this instrument but considering the unit itself,with rotating bezel,thermometer,and an oak,velvet lined carrying case with lock, this may have been part of a Ships Master's equipment.

    Bruce callaghan barometer.jpg
     
  2. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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  3. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Thanks OFT,I have another one made by Hughes that also has the rotating bezel.Are you familiar with the address and where it is in London?
    Bruce
     
  4. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    Not very familiar with London Bruce, haven't been there for over 40 years and just as well be a different Country compared to my location on Dartmoor! New Bond Street is where all the major high end luxury items were manufactured, I believe that many well known precision instrument makers had premises in the area also the big jewellers. The barometers in my collection amount to two brass 'drum' hanging type, one by the name of J. Hicks of 9, 10 & 11 Hatton Garden London, the other from Crowther, Exeter, (Exeter is very near to me, I look over the City from my location but can't see it because it's too low in the valley) I have a brass 'porthole' type from Timpson Lawrence, Glasgow, which has a curved thermometer in the bottom of the 'dial' and a nice white dial one on a 'rope twist' heavy oak mount. I would post up some pictures but I don't want to hijack your thread.
     
  5. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    8276_1.jpg 9587453_1_l.jpg 8095_1.jpg OFT,thanks for the info on New Bond Street and the quality of merchandise that was made/retailed there.I have posted this one before,i.e.,the one that also has a rotating bezel and made by Hughes,it belonged to Buddy Hackett.This one is a mercury type with a tulip/onion top and has very intricate stringing.
    Please post your instruments.
    Regards,
    Bruce
     
  6. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    I think the banjo types are rather nice, I hope to have one one day. Here are the ones I have. The 'horse shoe' one is from around the 1940's, is by Shortland. P1000235.JPG P1000236.JPG P1000237.JPG P1000238.JPG P1000239.JPG
     
  7. nicksey

    nicksey Registered User

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    William Edmund Callaghan was born in 1817, he died on the 6th January 1874.

    He is always described as an Optician, so presumably an optician not only worked with glasses/spectacles/monocles etc but also produced more complex scientific instruments as well. The business apparently ceased operating from the 23a New Bond Street address in 1875, I am not sure whether his death meant the end of the business or whether it then relocated elsewhere under 'new management'.

    The 23a New Bond Street address is on the corner of New Bond Street and Conduit Street and is currently the location of the flagship Burberry retail shop in London.

    Incidentally online I found mention of an Astronomer's Chair with a plate that reads "W.CALLAGHAN REGISTERED LONDON JAN.15 1873 23A NEW BOND STREET"

    here http://secretlivesofobjects.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/victorian-astronomers-chair.html
     
  8. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    OFT a very nice collection of instruments,I especially like the Hicks and the "Horse Shoe" Nicksey,thanks for the information and your research,I will download to a hard copy and save!
    Bruce
     
  9. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    In researching the names and addresses on instruments of this nature, be it scientific, optical and clocks the name and address printed on the dial are not always that of the maker but that of the supplier/retailer. With the internet it's now very easy to type in a name search on Google and all the info, if available, is there at your fingertips and to me that's where the most fun is, finding something you like that is named and then trying to find out more about it.
     
  10. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Nice to see some barometers and the one by Callaghan is especially nice. I only have one, its a circular all metal case with a brass bezel by Joseph Sewell of Liverpool and London which is a bit unusual in having a thermometer with Fahrenheit and Reamur scales, the latter is an old defunct French scale. Suits me as I don't really do celsius.
     
  11. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Jonathan,if you have any photos would like to see your instruments especially the Sewell.I find that these instruments are an outstanding compliment to beautiful clocks.
    Bruce
     
  12. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    There are dual function ones to be found as well, new electrically (battery) operated ones are very common now but old ones are much harder, I am speaking of dual barometer and combined with humidity measurement don't know the proper term. I remember an old relative of mine had one and when I was very small remember him investigating why the humidity side didn't work, he took it apart and found the 'hair' had rotted away and frayed, basically it worked by a twisted multi strand of human hair, making a short cord, anchored to a fixed point and the other attached to an arm on a semi circular 'toothed' metal arc which in turn was attached to the reading needle/hand, presumably, as the atmosphere got damp the hair lengthened with the moisture and shortened again as it dried out. Not an instrument suitable for houses with central heating but having said that it would be a useful instrument as even in a house with central heating you need a certain amount of humidity, by placing in each room somewhere a jar of water and with such an instrument, even if modern, would be most useful in regulating the humidity indoors.
     
  13. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    conn therm.jpg I have a hygrometer that uses a hair for humidity registering and this old thermometer that uses a fine hair like material to move the temperature indicator needle.
    Bruce
     
  14. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    Bruce,
    Heres a photo of the Sewell.
     

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  15. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    I think that this instrument qualifies for this thread. An old table advertising thermometer dating from around the 1920's or possibly earlier, British made but no makers name. It's 4" in diameter, has a brass casing and enamelled dial. The working mechanism is operated by the expansion and contraction of the very thin copper spring that you can see in one of the pictures. It's story is very interesting, it was found in a wall cavity behind the old bank of medicine drawers of a long established chemist shop in my near little town that closed down a couple of years ago and the interior has been opened up, converted and remodelled and now opened as a charity shop, this thermometer was one of the items on the shelf the day it opened as a charity shop and having known the chemist and the shop all my life just had to have it plus it's part of the towns history, the chemist being a Brother to a clock maker in the same town who's forebears were French prisoners of War in Dartmoor prison who upon release remained, settled and set up business in the town, the family name was Rhill. This thermometer was 'as found' very dirty and the brass was black/green but after a good clean up is working well and is very accurate surprisingly for it's time being walled up. P1000241.JPG P1000242.JPG P1000240.JPG
     
  16. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Jonathan,that is one pristine instrument and the first I have seen with the Reamur measurement.
    I would have that one in heartbeat............
    Bruce
     
  17. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    OFT,you did an excellent job of restoration on the thermometer and it is nice to be able to use your clock skills on other instruments.
    My thermometer represented a gentleman who apprenticed in 1842,went into partnership with the owners son (who invented the American Civil War ship the "Monitor") and then went on to be Lt.Governor of Ct.
    Bruce
     
  18. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    It's really nice Bruce when you can own something that you can directly relate back to a part of history, quite off topic but makes me think, when you speak of the American Civil War, a series of a programme on TV being shown here called 'American Digger' about the ex wrestler (Frank Huguelet) Ric Savage and his 'archaeology' Company, comparing his methods of recovery and what he does with the artefacts, compared to our methods here, he's a right butcher!
     
  19. nicksey

    nicksey Registered User

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    I have to admit that I know next to nothing about barometers but I do have 3 in my possesion so I thought why not post some pictures and see who is first to spot the common theme amongst them that brought them into my collection, and of course what can you guys tell me about them, type, age, whatever. All I can say is that there is one with a cracked glass, one that has quite ornate 'carving' and one that is much older than the other two, and has seen better days.

    carved1.JPG ed1.JPG hug2.JPG hug1.JPG will1.JPG will2.JPG will3.JPG
     

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  20. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Very nice collection and the one with the tulip head/top is from the 1840's and still looks good.The common theme perhaps is beautifully carved cases.
    Bruce
     
  21. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    All are very nice. Oldest I would say is the one with the brass dial with the dark wood case and youngest with the reddish looking case but even that one has a good bit of age I would say. I think that there may not be a recognised body of collectors of barometers, I have not come across one as yet. Another worthy type of instrument that should be appreciated more me thinks.
     
  22. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    nicksey, a nice collection, I would say you live in Northwich Cheshire, or the salt mines as some may call it, where all these originate from. I used to live in Cheshire many years ago in Poynton where once upon a time they mined coal, long before my time there I hasten to add.
     
  23. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Here's my only one. My jones is, "BIG dial". I had to pass on one a few years back at the NC Nat'l. I didn't bring fifty thousand for his barley twist banjo. No provenance or bragging rights here. Can't even find a name altho it is a quality movement and jeweled. It is pretty accurate. Yeah; I replaced that set knob.
     

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  24. bajaddict

    bajaddict Registered User
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    Scottie, I think that your barometer is a Bollenbach (?) like mine.

    I also included some pics of my two latest purchases: an Airguide and a Taylor. I like both...... the Taylor has a nice & deep case :thumb:

    IMG_3852 (1024x802).jpg IMG_3853 (1024x957).jpg IMG_3854 (634x1024).jpg IMG_3857 (954x1024).jpg IMG_3858 (1024x768).jpg
     
  25. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    And again I say how nice these very useful instruments compliment your clocks.....Baja I really like your Taylor.
    Bruce
     
  26. bajaddict

    bajaddict Registered User
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    Thank you, Bruce :thumb:

    I got the Taylor for 20 clams...... two nice things about barometers: low cost & no maintenance :)
     
  27. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Baja,!! manos arriba !! you stole the taylor !! :cop:
    Bruce
     
  28. bajaddict

    bajaddict Registered User
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    Funny about barometers........ when you see 'em at sales, they want fat stacks for 'em. But if you check ebay "completed" auctions, most go for ABSURDLY low prices. Personally, I think that any nice instrument like these should be worth something just for SURVIVING as long as they have.

    Case in point, my moms bought me a sweet Taylor Stormoguide desk barometer with a swivel stand & case made of bakelite. PERFECT and beautiful..... cost her 20 clams on ebay. There's a few that seem to go for $, particularly if they are part of a ship's clock set.

    I have not seen another Taylor like the one I posted....... yet. Here's a few pics of the innards and backside.

    IMG_3459 (1024x768).jpg IMG_3478 (1024x768).jpg IMG_3479 (1024x768).jpg
     
  29. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Nice clean diaphragm and indicator spring etc,pull the works,a little naval jelly ,warm water and some Flitz polish and Voila, vive' les difference.
    Bruce
     
  30. nicksey

    nicksey Registered User

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    Jonathan, yes you spotted it, my barometers were made or retailed in Northwich in Cheshire as were my three Northwich clocks and four Northwich pocket watches. Thanks Bruce and oldfathertime.
     
  31. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    I see loads of barometers at the boot sale I go to occasionally but most of them are those small, cheap looking plastic cased, ships wheel, modern tourist souvenir types, not that there's anything wrong with that but I don't see many of the types and ages that we've been posting in this discussion, I went to an antiques and collectors fair a few weeks ago and of the 400 or so stalls there was only one barometer and that one was nothing special, to be honest, I see more in the charity shops than anywhere else so, from a collecting them point, eBay is probably the best source or the local auction houses and if they are making the sort of money that clocks are in auction houses here then you'll get a gift, was talking to someone a couple of days ago and he said that at auction no-one was bidding for clocks, they're just not selling.
     
  32. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    I agree there are many barometer,thermometer,hygrometer combinations that are available at the 2nd hand store to the high end antique purveyors but like clocks the variety is wide and one can always find one that fits nicely within their budget.
    The Message Board members obviously have as good a taste for their barometers as they do for their clocks ,and like the clocks these instruments are also a valuable part of history from palace coups to square rigged sailing ships.
    Bruce
     
  33. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    I don't know how popular or common barometers and other weather related instruments are in other Countries but here in the UK with weather that is never consistent and always variable these instruments have always had a place in the domestic setting, I suppose virtually every home has at some time had a barometer hung in their hallway and when anyone passes it they tap their finger on the glass to see if the hand is rising or falling, especially farmers.
     
  34. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Many years ago I bought a barometer during vacation in England. It is made by J.J. Wainwright in Birmingham. The scale looks almost identical to your barometer and it also has the thermometer with the Fahrenheit and the Reaumur scale.

    Uhralt
    IMG_0245.JPG
     
  35. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    The dial does indeed look identical, perhaps they sourced them from the same supplier. It reminds me of a saying in the UK about buses, "you don't see one for yonks and then two turn up at once".

    J. J. Wainwright & Co is listed in Birmingham 1882-6 which is around the same date I would estimate mine to be.
     
  36. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Uhralt a nice example and it appears to have been well cared for.If I recall the mid to late 1880's was just about the time that the Reamur scale finally fell out of favor and was replaced by the Centigrade. I like yours and Jonathans for the fact that they still have the Reamur scale and are excellent representations.
    Bruce
     
  37. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Jonathan and Bruce,

    Thanks for your comments. I found the barometer about 30 years ago. It was dirty, the scale had started to deteriorate in some places (brown spots) due to high humidity and it didn't work. So I got it for cheap. I cleaned the mechanism and the case and stopped the deterioration of the (paper) scale by treating the affected areas cautiously with a Q-tip and diluted bleach followed by diluted lemon juice and then distilled water. This seems to have stopped the deterioration which i believe was a kind of mold. The appearance of the scale has not changed since then and the barometer works beautifully. I use it every day as a routine when I pass by.

    Uhralt
     
  38. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    As the Reamur scale was afaik never widely used in England it is odd that it appears on English barometers dating to the late 1800s with dials in English and not French or the language of ano country where it was at one time widely used so they weren't for export.
     
  39. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    You are right Jonathan,the scale was primarily used on instruments made for and retailed on the Continent......I have seen instruments with all 3 scales and they are fun to look at.
    Bruce
     
  40. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Well the barometer arrived today and it is almost mint,it appears as though it had been in storage for years.Quarter sawn oak case and not a scratch dent or mar.All the trim pieces are unscratched brass and are tarnished, the lock assembly works very well and the purple velvet liner is still intact,a little threadbare but all there and the bottom of the case has the original pool table green felt also intact......I may have really lucked out.The thermometer is moving now as is the barometer indicator.
    This came from an auction that was primarily silver,glassware and pottery so not much interest in an instrument of this type.
    Thanks to all for sharing and your informative comments.
    Bruce
     
  41. nicksey

    nicksey Registered User

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    Just added this one to the collection. I saw a brief description of it online the day before the auction at an auction house about 5 miles away from home, there was no photograph of it and I was working away on the day of the sale, so had no opportunity to see it. I just sent a bid by email and then found out that it was mine earlier today. I called by this afternoon to pay for it, then saw it for the first time, I really must stop doing that, but its kind of fun, in a masochistic kind of way. Anyway, its got a cracked glass and a few bits of trim missing but for me it is just fine for not a lot of cash and fits right in with the rest of my local barometer collection.
    elam1.JPG elam2.JPG
     
  42. bajaddict

    bajaddict Registered User
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    Oldfathertime...... I have a Shortland too! This one also says "SMITHS" on the logo. Do you know if Smiths Clocks contracted with Shortland as a source for barometers to sell?

    IMG_3953 (956x1024).jpg IMG_3956 (1024x927).jpg IMG_3960 (2) (695x475) (695x475).jpg IMG_3960 (1024x768).jpg
     
  43. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Nicsey,great buy and the case is beautiful,if the instruments work ,replace the glass and it will be worth more than you paid for it and another nice addition.

    Baja,interesting case in a lyre form and Shortland made good solid instruments,that "lady" looks like she should be in an entryway for all to see as they enter.
    Bruce
     
  44. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    The Shortland barometer I have, the one with the horseshoe, does not carry the Smiths name. Supposition on my part but I'm thinking that Smiths at some time supplied Shortlands with component parts, such as dials, hands and the glass, I'm not aware that Smiths ever actually produced barometers.
     
  45. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    KEEP 'em comin'! I never tire of seeing these. Fack, sometimes I just plug in, "BAROMETER" on eBay and dream. Please tho if'n you don't mind - either describe the size of the meter or place something in the picture of relative size.
     
  46. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Scottie,my barometer is in a box that is 6x7.5x2.5. The instroment is 1.5 and the dial is 43/4. I made an error on the wood it is old mahogany.
    Bruce
     
  47. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    Here is another one that came from a Harbor Masters office on the french coast somewhere near the Cote' Azur french barometer 1.jpg .................Bruce
     
  48. bajaddict

    bajaddict Registered User
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    Thank you for the information, I appreciate it :thumb::thumb:

    I mostly have Taylor, Air Guide, and Swift and Anderson barometers with some German makers thrown in for good measure. The Springfields that I have seen are pretty cheaply made, IMO.
     
  49. Bruce Barnes

    Bruce Barnes Registered User

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    currier & simpson 1.jpg currier & simpson 2.jpg View attachment eng baro.bmp Hi Baja,my Mother bought a cheap barometer combination at Fred Meyer's in Bellevue WA for $17.95 and it was very accurate,just set it and lightly tap it.
    Now these two are a differen't story,one is from Scotland ca 1880 and the other from Massachusetts and is ca 1860..................
     
  50. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    Yes, it would be a pretty good idea for us to state the size. I think that the diameter of the dial including bezel would suffice as it's the instrument size itself that's more important than the casing, we can judge this for ourselves relative to the dial. A lot of aneroid barometers, that's the ones with the bellows, are roughly the same size in their mechanics, it's the diameter of the dial that varies. Then there are the differences in the calibration, some are calibrated in inches of mercury, usually between 26 and 34 and a bit or in millibars, which run from 945 to 1050 or thereabouts and some have both measurements. I'm sure that there are other scales as well. Measurement of dial including the bezel of the one I have are, 'porthole' one, 4"6/8ths. 'Rope twist cased one, 5"1/4. The two brass 'drum' hanging ones, both 4"7/8ths. 'Horseshoe' one, 4".
     

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