The 1950’s are often viewed as a golden era in U.S. history, a time of happiness and prosperity, despite the threat of nuclear annihilation, racial segregation and the looming Cold War.

While most photos from the time are in black and white, color photography was still a relative novelty at the time and the film was quite expensive for regular people, the photos below are in glorious color. This means that they are more relatable, and makes the period feel closer to us than ever.

Many of the photos were collected by Denis Fraevich, a New Yorker of Russian descent who loves to bring the era back to life. “The pictures were found at auctions, flea markets and yards, digitized and posted on the Internet,” he told Bored Panda. “Someone's happy life, someone's dreams, important events, holidays and travel, for some reason were thrown into the garbage and became penny goods in a neighborhood sale. Seeing this is incredibly sad, but thanks to enthusiasts who buy and digitize old slides, we can raise the curtain of time and look at that era through the eyes of ordinary Americans.”

It is Denis' hobby to search for these photos, he is fascinated by all things Americana and loves history, abandoned places and as you can see in many of the photos, classic American cars. “I am amazed at how often a car is present in the frame,” he said. “They obviously occupied a much more important position in the life of an American than in our time. Today, it is much less likely that someone would take pictures of their car or television.” Denis works as a Russian-speaking tour guide in NYC and has a fascinating blog, which you can find here. (Translate it from Russian)

Scroll down to check out the pictures below, it might just inspire you to dig out that old leather jacket and the Brylcreem!

#1

Colored Entrance, Alabama, 1956

Colored Entrance, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

This is so heartbreaking and sad :(

Cesi Baca
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes, so sick of when people talk about how we need to return to the values of the past......These were the REAL American values of the past.

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urafotze
Community Member
2 years ago

They look so beautiful but the picture is just so sad

Rich Auntie Skeleton
Community Member
2 years ago

Please don't forget that this wasn't that long ago. My father, who is still alive, remembers growing up in Virginia during Jim Crow and living with segregation laws. Remember so history doesn't repeat itself.

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

How old is he now, Auntie? Probably about my age. I m 60, and I grew up in the USA south. Things were much different then. My grandfather was African American, and I heard stories.... Bless him, if he were still alive, he would be 102. Miss him much.

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Alusair Alustriel
Community Member
2 years ago

I can't stop looking at her dress though, it's gorgeous... and with her skin colour, marvellous effect.

Auggie LaBonte
Community Member
2 years ago

She is very beautiful

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Toots
Community Member
2 years ago

I just read a really good book about this period. "Black like Me" was written by a white journalist that took skin treatments to make his skin black and went to live in Louisiana and Mississippi as a black man to tell the truth of what it was like. It is a true story. I highly recommend.

jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

I read this book too. What an eye opener. Unfortunately things are still the same some how. No use to go to church and badly treat others.

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Wanda Queen
Community Member
2 years ago

How much time and energy we have wasted -- how much heartbreak we've caused -- and continue to cause, all these years just because of differences in skin tone and culture.

Alib
Community Member
2 years ago

Very well stated, Wanda. Hate accomplishes nothing. It is pure waste.

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Apollo
Community Member
2 years ago

When I looked at this photo, I first saw a classy lady waiting in front of a fancy bar. Then I realized it's not a fancy bar named 'colored', it's apartheid. A lot of us can't grasp that these absurd things actually happened.

varwenea
Community Member
2 years ago

I hate this so much. I never want our nation or any other nation to become this. Yet our current administration is all about this divisiveness. May we never forget and never repeat this hateful part of our history.

Kelly Hartle
Community Member
2 years ago

And all because some people have more melanin in their skin than others.

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Deadpool
Community Member
2 years ago

Welcome to Alabama.

john smith
Community Member
2 years ago

In 1956, a lot different today.

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jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

What is the difference between Usa and South Africa? None both countries practice Apartheid, had slaves and both stole land from the the people who were there before the white men.

Crazy Cow Lady
Community Member
2 years ago

Many cultures practiced pillaging, slavery and stealing of land. Many tribes in Africa captured people from other tribes and sold or traded them into slavery. Irish were enslaved, Asians were enslaved, Africans were enslaved, the Jewish were enslaved. Its part of human history, not just the USA and South Africa. And it's not just white people who did it.

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Jodi Ellis
Community Member
2 years ago

It is sad, however, be grateful times are not like that. Or at least hopefully not going backwards.

Pamela24
Community Member
2 years ago

Does that sign mean what I think it means? :(

Katinka Min
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes. Segregation is really not nearly as long ago as people like to pretend.

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Molly Block
Community Member
2 years ago

I think this is my favorite photo in this series, because although it does embarrass me completely because of the "colored entrance" and how we as US citizens treated people with a darker color, I can't help but look at this woman and think just how damn classy and beautiful she looks! Her look is simply timeless.... That dress. Her shoes... her earrings and her clutch, just gorgeous. She's simple beautiful. And this city-scape, wow, it just brings me back to some long ago memories from my childhood. I grew up in Alabama, so I wonder where this was taken. Birmingham perhaps? Huntsville? No idea, but I LOVE this photo! Regardless of the humiliating entrance sign. I find that sign to be more humiliating than anything.

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

I wonder what that little girl is thinking. This is the year before I was born.

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
2 years ago

This is so bizarre when you try to work out the reasoning behind it. The belief, even at government level, that you were somehow, even impecably dressed like these two, were still not suitable to be physically close to white people. It's disgusting, horrible, unfair, cruel, etc, and impossible to understand. The mindsets people are raised with are hard to break.

Keith Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

at least there is a place for them to enter, in Canada an "Indian" was only allowed off the rez for a specific timeframe with a permit from the indian agent

Daniel Losinger
Community Member
2 years ago

Look again. The people in the photo are not Indians.

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Furious_Lover
Community Member
2 years ago

Since I’m albino, would I be allowed in colored places and whites only?

jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

Forgot to state that both countries still have a big difference in the treatment of none whites. Still very racist both.

Krystine Patterson
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Photographed by Gordon Parks in Mobile, Alabama 1956. He was mainly a photojournalist but dabbled in fashion photography too. I have a set of his work on Flickr if any one is interested - https://www.flickr.com/photos/53035820@N02/sets/72157625111136669/

Phoebe Bean
Community Member
2 years ago

Sad how this was considered "normal"

Beck Warn
Community Member
2 years ago

As far as we’ve come we have so much farther to go

Lesley Emmerson-Scheel
Community Member
2 years ago

What strikes me isthe pride in their appearance. People had pride in themselves, no matter the circumstances

CutOut StudioUK
Community Member
5 months ago

Nice Photo.

Nancy Mcgowan
Community Member
1 year ago

This was not in where I lived. I know it was in the Southern states.

Linda Cloutier
Community Member
1 year ago

Despite the obvious racism here, it is still notable that both mother and child dressed up to go "downtown" as was the norm of the day.

Richard Carr
Community Member
1 year ago

TERRIBLE.

Sandra Field
Community Member
1 year ago

Beautiful duo.

Maureen Kick
Community Member
1 year ago

Whats heartbreaking and sad if there is a Bigot in the White House who want to bring it back,

Debbie Beth MardleWagner
Community Member
1 year ago

Beautiful dresses, when ladies were

Dan Carter
Community Member
2 years ago

Ah, the good old days. We should bring them back.

Sumon Max Sumon
Community Member
2 years ago

You can also see some rarely photos here: precamera.com

JacekEU
Community Member
2 years ago

lol, love it. Back then, everyone wanted to move to the US. Now, f* it, not a chance, don;t want to be murdered by these "poor people"

Mary Kay
Community Member
2 years ago

Pretty woman and pretty dress.

Pattie Kelly
Community Member
2 years ago

"Don't worry sweetie these things will change soon".

Agnew Dellinger
Community Member
2 years ago

They lady and child look so elegant. I remember having to dress up to go uptown with my dad. "Put on your Sunday clothes if you're going with me."

Michael McCallion Sr
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember accompanying My Sister's first Husband; he was a jerk, when he was driving a Truck to Florida delivering apples and picking up bananas for delivery to New York City. Stopping for lunch in Georgia, Truckers drove all night then and twelve to fourteen hour days were standard. Walking into the restaurant as a young teen ager from Canada I was amazed there were separate drinking fountains and rest rooms and "coloured".That is all the sign read "coloured" everyone understood. Fifteen years later when driving to Charlotte North Carolina as a twenty-eight year old for a training course as employee of an the international company I stopped at a restroom facility for all People. The only separation being gender. I was a tie-wearing suit jacket male driving a current year company car walking down the sidewalk when an older man raking leaves responded to my good-day greeting. His tennis shoes had holes for his small toes. He said with pride; "I am an American".

Marlene Piskin
Community Member
2 years ago

Like a Norman Rockwell, minus the rose-colored glasses.

Donna Lucille
Community Member
2 years ago

I'm glad that at least this has gone away!

Ruth Seddon
Community Member
2 years ago

Shameful

sharron lynn parsons
Community Member
2 years ago

Beautiful mother and daughter, perhaps dressed up for Saturday outing !

Pamela
Community Member
2 years ago

Similar anti-white situation in Australia with aboriginal services that exclude whites - legal services, community transport, sports teams. If white organisations excluded aboriginals there would be hell to pay, but the opposite if fine, apparently! Now that is heartbreaking and sad! :(

Taralyn215
Community Member
2 years ago

wow

Sharon Ingram
Community Member
2 years ago

Glad those days are over!

Glenda Coker
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember in the 50's my uncle had a bar in springdale arkansas-across the street was a bar that had music and dancing and I said daddy could we go over ther e they look more fun (we where visiting from california-he said NO that is for the black people

endelbendel
Community Member
2 years ago

Beauties.

Karen Westphal
Community Member
2 years ago

So very true!

Simon Smith
Community Member
2 years ago

The madness of the old days 😒

Lilly
Community Member
2 years ago

we can't change history, only learn from it. on the plus side, though, they are beautiful!

Patricia Jones
Community Member
2 years ago

Amazing how much change to good in such a short few years

Farnaz Khoshbakht
Community Member
2 years ago

i can't believe this

Kelly Hartle
Community Member
2 years ago

I only wish that the ones now who are saying we should go back to the 50's had to live it from the other side for a while.

Mia Yuish
Community Member
2 years ago

seems like one of the scene in Hidden Figures Movie .

Full Name
Community Member
2 years ago

So weird. There are all sorts of things that separate people, so using the most visibly obvious one as the basis for an entire segregated population is just bizarre (and intellectually lazy).

IndoUK
Community Member
2 years ago

This earth of mankind :-(

Krystal
Community Member
2 years ago

It's such a beautiful photo, but so very sad at the same time.

Roslyn Van Staaden
Community Member
2 years ago

This photo is heartbreaking but this woman is so beautiful.

Barb Morgan
Community Member
2 years ago

I remember there being a colored people only drinking fountain in the Hudson's store in Detroit in the mid 50s when I was a young child.

Anilda
Community Member
2 years ago

Was the same in South Africa... luckily no more and very much in the past

Daniel Losinger
Community Member
2 years ago

Is this a Starbucks?

Megan Peniston-Bird
Community Member
2 years ago

Shameful!

George Kavakas
Community Member
2 years ago

As a Canadian, it is so hard to fathom that this actually existed..

GC
Community Member
2 years ago

As a Canadian? Why as a Canadian? Just curious. I mean many of the same issues existed in Canada as well.

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Donald Holder
Community Member
2 years ago

Very sad. And people say we are worse off than that golden time.

Donald Holder
Community Member
2 years ago

Sad times.

Ryan Brenizer
Community Member
2 years ago

Gordon Parks is "rarely seen"?

Martin Forbes
Community Member
2 years ago

This supposed to be a Christian country where the predominant religion teaches that all are the same in the eyes of God. So sad.

AngelCake13
Community Member
2 years ago

She looks amazing in that dress (yes I know what the point of this article is, just wanted to make a positive observation)

xpurinx
Community Member
2 years ago

So beautiful - love the fashion!

Eric Trahan
Community Member
2 years ago

phone booths

Gayle Bynum Cardosa
Community Member
2 years ago

My Mom told me recently about how when I was a little kid we were in a diner somewhere in the south (we used to do a lot of random traveling) and a family pulled up into the parking lot and the father came in. He had to come in ahead of his family and ask if they would be allowed to come in and eat because they were black. Mom said she felt so heartbroken to sit and watch that mother and two kids sit in the car waiting for Dad to come back out to say yes or no and potentially have to go on to the next place to find out if it was OK. They DID get to come in but even just the every day things that other people took for granted...it is the kind of thing that has formed the deepest of scars in the soul. Where does that anger come from? From every cut of that knife.

LSR
Community Member
2 years ago

Such a disgusting thing that some neon ad company actually manufactured that damn sign. Beautiful woman and girl.

TC
Community Member
2 years ago

And that was just yesterday... And somehow still goes on

Mark Jaress
Community Member
2 years ago

Came here to see this photo (or one similar). Without it, your claim of Life in the 50's would be disingenuous

KT Trondsen
Community Member
2 years ago

They look beautiful. Such a gross history :(

Jessica Billings
Community Member
2 years ago

They are both beautiful.

Kenny Saus
Community Member
2 years ago

Amazing. 1950s. What a backward country

GC
Community Member
2 years ago

It's hard to understand how many people keep thinking that this was going on in one country...racism was and is prevalent all over the world. It's as if people are thinking it was confined to the U.S. in the 1950's.

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Artur Niedzielski
Community Member
2 years ago

I komu to przeszkadzało? :P

katarina
Community Member
2 years ago

when i read a title, i expected to see a painted door... at least, colored entrance means something different now

old#3 number3
Community Member
2 years ago

In 1956 the people of Alabama were served by Governor Jim Folsum, US Senators John Sparkman and J. Lister Hill, US Congressmen Frank Boykin, Carl Elliot, George Huddleston Jr., Robert E. Jones Jr., Albert Raines, and Kenneth Roberts. All Democrats.

Sofia Bellavista
Community Member
2 years ago

So?

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NK
Community Member
2 years ago

Beyond heartbreaking that we let this happen....and it's still going on, only it's unseen by most, except for black folks themselves.

Dao Van
Community Member
2 years ago

I was so busy admiring their dresses and posture, until the sign grab me. And once again I love the way they remain so graceful and classy, so opposite of the sign.

S A M
Community Member
2 years ago

The quality of the picture looks too good

GC
Community Member
2 years ago

S A M please look up the Gordon Parks foundation. He was a famous photographer and this was one of a series of well known photographs.

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jevais
Community Member
2 years ago

What is the common

Ojberretta Berretta
Community Member
2 years ago

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well i went on the blm page and there they write that they basically want segregation back idk why they write they want entire black cities villages and states i think were heading into the wrong direction identity politics must stop we all human race should not matter as the great mlk said judge a person by their actions not their colour of skin i hope one day we can look at the time now and see that weve changed in my neighbourhood family and friends circle we all races together we all family and in the future race will become irrelevant i hope

Gayle Bynum Cardosa
Community Member
2 years ago

Ojberretta Berretta you said in another spot that you and your girlfriend don't understand why people say Trump is a racist but you only brought up the wall. That's not all he has said. He IS a racist and the wall IS part of that. I'm not sure how you can not see that. He has refused to denounce the Neo Nazi's, he has said that black people are inherently lazy and he disliked having black people as accountants in his 1991 book called "Trumped", He wrote that black people cannot control being lazy because it's just a trait they have; he specifically took out ads in FOUR newspapers calling for the death of five young men who were PROVEN innocent of rape and murder (all black and latino). He is on a crusade to have them put to death even though they've been proven innocent through DNA. He still believes they're guilty. Dude, I could go on and on and on. Do you STILL think he's not a fucking racist????

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Kiki
Community Member
2 years ago

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Look how nicely dressed they are. No weaves, not a bunch of make-up, no fake butts.

Etta Melecio
Community Member
2 years ago

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I love her classy look! I wish women would put effort in their appearance like this.

Karen Susan
Community Member
2 years ago

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Seeing this pretty woman and her little girl tells me that she has a husband and there is a father in the family.

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#2

Ladylike In NYC, 1958

Ladylike In NYC, 1958

Sante Forlano Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

This is actually a very beautiful photo <3

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#3

My Very Cool Grandpa In The 1950s Holding A Fish, Smoking A Cigarette, With A Book Tucked Into His Pants And Cigarette Pack In His Sleeve

My Very Cool Grandpa In The 1950s Holding A Fish, Smoking A Cigarette, With A Book Tucked Into His Pants And Cigarette Pack In His Sleeve

schants Report

MPTO TavasziD
Community Member
2 years ago

what a handsome guy!

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#4

A Drink, A Cigar And Not Giving A Good Goddamn, 1950s

A Drink, A Cigar And Not Giving A Good Goddamn, 1950s

B_Underscore Report

Poppy Fern
Community Member
2 years ago

No shoes and everything lol

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#5

My Grandma Had Such A Gorgeous Smile. 1950's

My Grandma Had Such A Gorgeous Smile. 1950's

omeccamonolith Report

Odette Boisvert
Community Member
2 years ago

oh god those frickles!!! LOVE!!!

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#6

An Officer With Hot Foot Teddy, The Real-Life Inspiration For Smokey The Bear, 1950

An Officer With Hot Foot Teddy, The Real-Life Inspiration For Smokey The Bear, 1950

DillyDylan Report

JenMC
Community Member
2 years ago

That poor little bear

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#7

Daytona Beach,1957

Daytona Beach,1957

J.Baylor Roberts Report

Ethan Hunter
Community Member
2 years ago

Check out this now! d29c2d4cf3...74fb-1.jpg d29c2d4cf3a4c6e7121bc6009fb874fb-1.jpg

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#8

James Dean At A California Gas Station With His Silver Porsche 550 Spyder, Named "Little Bastard," Just Hours Before His Fatal Crash. September 30, 1955

James Dean At A California Gas Station With His Silver Porsche 550 Spyder, Named "Little Bastard," Just Hours Before His Fatal Crash. September 30, 1955

unknown Report

Simone
Community Member
2 years ago

Cool and chilling at the same time...

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#9

Store Front, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Store Front, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Those old stores always has "product placement" coke signs.

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#10

Girl And Her Grandmother Window-Shopping In Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Girl And Her Grandmother Window-Shopping In Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Daria B
Community Member
2 years ago

The face expression of the lady clearly says how much she loves the little girl. Or at least, that's how it looks like to me. ^^

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#11

Anne St. Marie, New York City, 1959

Anne St. Marie, New York City, 1959

Report

eleven's eggos
Community Member
2 years ago

Stunning, you don't see that style anymore

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#12

Alabama, 1956

Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Chicago Kitty
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh the history they must have seen...

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#13

The Streets Of San Francisco. 1957

The Streets Of San Francisco. 1957

unknown Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Nice shot. All those old cars. Wonder how many are still on the road?

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#14

Girl Portrait. Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956

Girl Portrait. Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

MammaG
Community Member
2 years ago

I want to boop her nose to make her smile. She looks so tired.

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#15

At The Party, 1956

At The Party, 1956

unknown Report

Nadja Lambacher
Community Member
2 years ago

Stunning Beauty

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#16

Showgirls Playing Chess Backstage At The Latin Quarter Nightclub - New York, NY (1958)

Showgirls Playing Chess Backstage At The Latin Quarter Nightclub - New York, NY (1958)

Gordon Parks Report

Apollo
Community Member
2 years ago

Why was everyone so classy back then? The girl in the front looks like she's a 16th century Italian painting.

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#17

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Gordon Parks Report

Wanda Queen
Community Member
2 years ago

This is the shit we mustn't forget, especially in this day when people want to keep telling us we need to get back to some imaginary "good old days".

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#18

A Slightly Surrealistic Photo Of My Grandma And Some Dude Somewhere In Florida, 1957

A Slightly Surrealistic Photo Of My Grandma And Some Dude Somewhere In Florida, 1957

shesafox Report

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Trying to empress her, and she's not even looking. That's why he's "some dude' instead of "Grampa."

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#19

South Side Snack. 1953, Chicago

South Side Snack. 1953, Chicago

unknown Report

ItsYaBoi
Community Member
2 years ago

I love this photo, so powerful!

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#20

Child In A Car Seat

Child In A Car Seat

unknown Report

Brivid
Community Member
2 years ago

That thing looks pointless .

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