My Days at Kinsey Distillery

There's a lot of history and 'lore' behind bourbon so discuss both here.

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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:32 pm

Dave, some years ago, Heaven Hill put out a 10 year old Rittenhouse Rye. It was sold in Europe. I bought a bottle there and it was very good. When HH bought the label, it must have known that Rittenhouse was sold for export as a 10 year whiskey, because why else choose ten years? That knowledge must have come with the asset they bought, and they continued the tradition.

I would assume the original was allowed to say bonded even though 80 proof, I guess for the export market it was okay. Interesting that this bottle lay on the site all those years ... now it has a home.

Gary
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:19 am

Gary, I can not tell you what a thrill it was when my friends told me...we found something awesome for you! Needless to say, I tried it and found it to be one of the most flavorful Rye Whiskeys I have ever had. It now sits with my collection to be tasted at special times. Not Knowing when it was put in the shelf in Maintaince, I can only say one thing...the bottom yr date is 1978. So, it sat in the Bottle house for 31 1/2 years waiting to be found and kept and enjoyed. Also, to Robot AZ & Kendel...Thanks for the Kind words. I try to make this as interesting as i can for the History of it all.

The one thing best of all it was not found by the younger people who just break in there to smash things. A little story back in late 2005...My Friend Don and I went into the open Explosion Proof Warehouse to find that the people that smash things had smashed some 1955 Old Hickory, Coffee Carafe, Bottled In Bond full bottles...that had been left behind. It was able to save some of the labels and put them on an unlabled one my Dad had, from when he worked there.
That is also how I got my Owners manuel for the carafe...telling you how to use it, once empty, to make Hot toddies with coffee and Old Hickory 80 & 100 Proof BIB.
I also that year, say that they smashed the only Full Quart of Pinwinnie Scotch Whiskey One that I have tried to get and try for many years! It is only sold in Europe now and was a Continental Original!

This is why I do what I can to find things before they can be destroyed. One day, My Friends saw people with bags full of Breaking tools there but they ran and got away. It is sad when the only thing people can do is destroy history.

By the way, there was at one time a whole case of the Old Hickory BIB In carafes, as my friend found the smashed case. I repaired it for him and found an original panel from another one and saved it to my collection. I have my mind on something else I want to get soon but, I will not say what it is...till they can get it for me, in fear that they may see it in my pictures and destroy it.

Once I get it...I will post it. I was very lucky they got me my Explosion proof Phone as they were trying to destroy it when they cut the wires and broke a place on the housing at the bottom trying to smash it.

I will be posting some pictures from last Sunday, now, just a few...then more later. I wonder how Heaven Hill Rittenhouse would compare to our Export? Myself, I would say ours would blow the doors off it but, I am very glad to know that just as they continued the use of Continental Distilling on their Bottles of Rittenhouse Rye that they continue the 80 proof Export 10 yr Rye!
We always had good terms with the great Distillers of KY and did much work for them and sometimes they did small batches of stuff for Us. Also, thanks for the Kind comments from others responding to my thread. It is a work of love doing this for the memory of Kinsey.

Gary and everyone else, here are a few shots in the Incoming Spirits Area.

It is my hope that my writtings and pictures help to Keep the memory of Publicker Industires, who I consider in its time to be the most prolific Distiller in its years of Operation and the Greatest Pa Distiller to ever operate.
Kinsey Worker -- Dave Z
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Scotch Whiskey Chiller near water tank platform
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Looking up at the Plaform and square water surge tanks from floor
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One of the water surge tanks
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Top of one of the water surge tanks
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Here is a shot of the piping going off the plaform which sits in the incoming spirits area
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Close up of Whiskey Heater NO 2 Taken on Plaform that also held the Square Water Surge tanks
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Platform in the incoming area I was fearless and climbed up Here we Have Whiskey Heaters NO.1,#2,#3 taken Sunday Oct 18, 2009 Water Surge tanks sit to the right
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:42 pm

This past weekend my friends got me 4 Inver House Scotch Heads of types I did not remember.
I am giving Fricky choice on one of the two of them posted # 4 and # 5 for all the repairs He does for Me I will keep the other one, the yellow one has a bung in it.

One of them posted # 3 is going to my old School friend Don who went with me many years in there to make sure I did not get hurt when I had no cell Phone and after I almost died in 2007 to make sure I made it out when I was determined to go there after months of being very sick.

The first one posted is a 1963 48 Gal Bourbon Head I got from a broken Barrel in Warehouse M 2 weeks ago and the second one posted is a very Unsual Yellow one that is broken and Fricky is going to put back together for me. These barrel heads are a rare find as most have been smashed by Young people coming in there through the years.

The ones I keep will be kept for History and given the a museum after I am gone. My goal is and always will be to save as much History as I can of Kinsey and Publicker Industires and I was thrilled when My Friends found these for me.

I also took a walk through the Plant today taking Fall pictures which with others from inside the bottle House I will post at later dates.
Kinsey Worker === Dave Z
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This is a 1963 Bourbon Head I got out of a barrel that was falling apart on the second floor of Warehouse M it is real Nice and Fricky is going to put some type of Lacqur on it for me. It is a 48 gal one
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This is the broken one that Fricky is going to put back together for me it is one of a Kind and the only one I ever seen like this, but the 4 of these are not of the type I remember yet dated for that time this one is dated 1969
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This Barrel Goes to my Old school Buddy Don who went with me through the years when I first went back to Kinsey and had no Cell Phone and also after I had almost died in 2007 and was determined to go to Kinsey He went with me for my safety sake. This one is dated 1971
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This is the first of two Scotch Barrel Heads I am giving Fricky a choice of one of them both are 120 Gal Barrel Heads note the Bung in this one very unsual
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This is the second of two Heads which I am giving Fricky the choice of as He always pulls me out with wood things that need repair I will keep the one he does not want as I do not have any like these my self
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby BourbonHound » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:28 pm

Hi,

I live in Pottstown and have just discovered that a distillery was once located in Linfield, PA. I was wondering if i maybe able to join you on one of your future visits to the distillery?

Thank you,
Steve
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:34 am

Bad times for Kinsey Now as it is way to dangerous to go in there because of lots of Shooting going on in the plant by Hunters sneaking in.

I just found out that the Local and state police have had to go in there because of heavy shooting on Saturdays and also on Sundays even though not permitted. With Hunting season Very active I will be staying away from there.
Kinsey worker
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Prime Cut » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:41 am

Fascinating story. Please keep up the great work. And by all means...stay safe.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:10 am

Here is something I found at the Distillery that is really neat. People Had trashed the one room in the Government offices and I saw a small envelope torn open on the floor with Bill Theodosis nname on it I picked it up and under the Cardboard was this cutout from a News Paper in 1950. It was all the Salesmen for the Company getting together to work on sales for 1950! I scanned it and here it is I saw that Bill Theodosis was there in the picture he was in charge of Quality then. He was in charge of the Plant when I started and died of a heart atack suddenly. He was only 38 yrs old. He is fifth from the left on the picture sitting.
Thankfully The person who first saw the envelope just saw cardboard and tossed it to the floor and did not rip it up.
Kinsey Worker
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Old Newspaper cliping Continental / Kinsey / Hallers salesman plot out the year ahead 1950
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:04 pm

Here is a picture from in the 1966 Bottle House and a couple of pictures of things I saved from ruin. I will have lots of stuff to post in the next couple of days so keep an eye out. Note the Picture of a page from a bussiness Bell Phone Book from 1970. I found this page by flashlight and saved it. It has the office numbers for Publicker,Continental Distilling,Kinsey,Hallers, Inver House, and Old Hickory Brands plus some other famous Distillers of the time period. The other two pictures are of Blue prints for Charter Oak Bourbon Boxes, one from 1962 for 4/5 the other for 1966 for Quarts. And the first picture is of a machine that blew the bottles out before they went to be filled.
Also note Elverson industries on the phone book page they were the Ones that made Real Peach Brandy Back in the old Jacob G Kinsey Days and he would buy it and bottle it. And also Pennco Distillers!
Kinsey Worker
Dave Z
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this machine blows air in the bottle to get dust out of it, room A of Bottle House
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blue print for 1965 Charter Oak whiskey case print
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Blue print for 1962 Picture on Charter Oak Whisky Case
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In an old Bell Phone book by Flashlight I found this page and saved it. Note It has Continental Distilling,Publicker, some of our famous brandsand phone numbers for other Famous Distillers
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby PaulO » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:57 am

Something funny I noticed on the Charter Oak label. The leaves are that of red oak. Bourbon is allways barreled in white oak. Maybe the original charter oak is a red oak. Going into those old buildings sounds like a lot of fun. It's almost like one of those end of the world movies.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:09 am

I have been reading from papers I have about Publicker and found that the name of their 10 ocean tankers was Paco Tankers INc. They sold all their "spent" grain for animal feed and also producted Vitamin B-12 and Riboflavin and other Vitamins.

During WWII Publicker produced one-third of all the Alcohol purchased by the Government. It was used principly for their Synthetic Rubber program. Publicker during the years they operated producted Ethyl Alcohol,butyl alcohol,acetic acid,dry ice, Liquid carbon dioxide ( dry ice ) and Acetone, fuscil oil and many other products besides being the worlds largest maker of drinking sprits.

The Publicker Moto in my Papers was ( Our Story It is America's story too because America always builds for the future with the best of its past and present ).



They besides the Industrial Chemical plant in Phila had a large Chemical plant in Westwego,La. And two Cooperage plants one in Marcus hook Pa and One in St. Louis Mo. And besides having Modern Labs at all the Plants they had a state of the Art Laboratory in Eddington Pa. Alcohols were marketed under the Pharmco Name and chemicals under the Trade Name Paco. The Dry Ice was called Thermice. They also Later Had a bottling House in Lemont Il.
Each of the 14 Explosion Proof Warehouses at Kinsey held 999,999 barrels for a total of 14 million barrels of aging Whiskey back in the late 1940's on. Kinsey Had the largest amount of Aging Whiskey in the world at that time.
In Closing I want to post a picture of a pre pro tax sticker I bought on Line the past week dated in ink 3-12-04 or Mar 12 1904. It Has the kinsey Distillery stamped on it and a Picture of Fairchile I am wondering the years they used this type of sticker for cases and welcome any information about it. So Picture one is of a full bottle of Kinsey Silver given me by a friend who got it from His father, Picture two is of the rare tax Sticker I just bought
Kinsey Worker -- Dave Z
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On Sat I went to visit friends of mine who own a beer Distributership and they had been given a full bottle of Kinsey Silver 80 proof from the late 1950's full they gave it to me here it is
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Old Tax sticker from the Kinsey Distillery
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:31 pm

Lets go back to the year 1966 and a typical Monday Morning at The Kinsey Distillery working in the Yard Gang. It is early spring and the first thing we do is walk from the front parking lot after parking my 1955 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop down the big paved drive turning to the right. We walk into the Old DSP-pa-12 Still and ring in on the plant time clock. Then if you brought a loaf of bread you would toss some in the #1 cyprus Fermenter to feed the Fish guys had put in the water in it from the river. Then the 1956 Dodge Flat bed would pull up with Mike Zunno driving to get guys going to the warehouses to take them to where they would work.

I would being in the yard gang go down a stair to the bottom of the still to a tunnel where our Lockers were and we took breaks and lunch if we were near there. Eary spring the first thing we might do was unload a rail car full of coal got to keep the warehouse temps just right for the aging whiskey. The steam lines ran all the way back to the last warehouse #38 just before the old steer pens. If it had snowed we would all jump in the back of the Old 1952 Blue Ford pickup with shovels and go clear docks and paths. In clear weather in winter and fall and early spring we would do alot of sweeping in buildings. Many a time I would get the job of sweeping the Old DSP-PA-12 Still and I loved that I would sweep all the way up to the cistern room up top just to look at it. It was my favorite building.

There were so many neat not used but well kept buildings back then and I really enjoyed myself of the freedom of going all over the Plant.

One typical day we were told to do a real good job sweeping the Old Kinsey Liquor bottling house as the girls were coming over from the big bottle house to do a bottling for Jacquins.
Everyone was excited as this was extra work we had picked up. Continental Distilling with the state of art 1966 Bottling house and the Old Kinsey Liquor Bottle house had the largest capacity for bottling Spirits in the world at that time we were big but our products were big on quality.too! All the Old buildings even ones never used were kept up with heat sprinkler and power. I remember well sweeping the wooden walk ways in the old 1892 wood and brick warehouses A&B. Nothing was left to go to pot Mr Neuman wanted everything looking good.

We would go in the big bottle house if there was a big spill and take the broken bottles down back to the dump just above the river. If break came up and we were at the back of the plant we would drive in the ford pickup to the Break / Lunch room at warehouse O building the Goverment Building. There you could get Cigs cup cakes crackers and A Treat Sodas from the old machine which now lays smashed by Vandals. Also the only Bathroom in the Plant other then the Old Still area was there.
Company Men would stop in their old cars Gus in his 1952 Desoto Bonda in his 1952 Pylmouth Cranbrook. And Mike would pull up with the dodge Flat bed to bring guys for break. Some guys would stay in the warehouse's and roll dice during the 15 minute break in the moring. At lunch time Mike would take people to the break room and to the front of the plant for those going out for 30 minutes. Then in the afternoon we got a 10 minute break. You would always see people going and filling their 1/2 Pint bottles with Whisky during breaks and Lunch.

Those who worked in the Warehouses as I did in later years would have a spot where they had counted by steps to a rack were a barrel would be staged to roll forward to get whiskey out. I remember the first day I went in the warehouse I was bumped there from the yard gang, the man who was my Leed man Ben Meyers insisted He had to show me how to get myself whisky. He counted steps to a set of racks and we went with flashlights down the aisle there was a barrel staged with room in front of it. Ben took a srew type thing in the Bung and pulled it out He then cut a groove on each side with a bastard file told me to remember to always put the Bung Cloth back and slamed the Bung in. Then He gave me a brand new 1/2 Pint bottle and moved the barrel forward and a perfect stream of filtered Whiskey pured out. He rolled the barrel back put a holder under it and we were done I had a 1/2 pint of Straight Rye Whiskey!

End of the day we would all go out front in the trucks go in the DSP-Pa-12 Still and feed the fish bread. The Fish were giant in size while we waited to ring out and another day had ended at Kinsey Distillery we worked Hard and loved Our Jobs and Most of All we were very Proud to work for Publicker Industries! And We were very Proud of Our Products.
kinsey Worker
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:05 pm

I got a few 1966 Bottling house pictures about 3 weeks ago and I will be posting them and some others this weekend. I have been feeling sick lately and not gotten myself to work posting but here is something I want to show. When I worked at Kinsey there were two time clocks one in the Old Dsp-pa-12 where i rang in and out and one in the 1966 Bottling House. Well the Bottling house clock now lives at my home ( Kinsey West ) and will be cleaned up this spring. But Here are two pictures of it.
1. Time clock with card
2. Time clock with its original cover and time card

This is something special for me to have as so many of my long gone friends rang out at this old Time clock and the One in Old Dsp -pa-12 was its twin. So many times we rang out at these vintage clocks i am so glad to be able to save it fron the vandels!
Kinsey Worker
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Time clock from bottling house with time card in it
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Old 1966 Bottling house time clock with its cover and time card
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:30 pm

I am posting a picture of myself at 23 years old with the last car I ever bought when i worked at Kinsey. Fall 1970 my Dad took this picture of me with His Poloriod Camera. It had 3,000 miles on it and looked real nice. The first picture before this one is the car by itself. As The Old Song Said --------------- Those Were The Days my friends -----------------------
Here I was a 19 year Old Guy going from High School to work for the Worlds largest Distiller at the Plant that Held the worlds largest amount of Aging Whisky and having the worlds largest Bottling House in 1966!

And Our Products were great I sure enjoyed testing them out, and The place looked like a National Park it was that beautiful. Coming in the front gates you were greeted by flower beds of beuatiful Flowers and perfect lawns and trees everywhere. Wild life walking around and 600 people enjoying making a good living. --------- We Thought Those Days Would Never End----- but Now sadly Kinsey Sits in Ruin being destroyed by Vandels it is hard thing to see. I am truly glad I worked there when I did so I can tell the story of The Worlds Biggest and Best Distiller Publicker Industries!
Kinsey Worker
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This is a Picture of My Nova by its self the last Car I ever bought while I worked at Kinsey
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Here is a blast from the Past me wioth my 1970 Chevy Nova named Nova Cane shot by my dad after work one day at Kinsey.
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:13 pm

Late last year I was fortune enough to have been given a Book Publicker put out about their History in the late 1940's before they went on the Stock market. In there they spoke of their History and How proud they were of their Products.
Here is some of what they had to say

The search to produce a better product
never ends at Publicker. Our skilled craftsmen
constantly seek new methods of improving the
age-old art of distilling. They combine the native
skill of generations of distillers,enriched by the
exciting discoveries of ever-advancing science.

We are justly proud of our reputation for distilling
beverages of the highest quality;
proud, too, of our never-ceasing efforts to
improve them

Here, then on the succeeding pages, is our story.
It is America's story, too, because America
always builds for the future with the best of its
past and present.

One Thing I knew when I started at Publicker at the Kinsey plant was how proud the company and Publicker and Neuman families were of being an American company they were a very patriotic company and very proud of the products they made.

When I started there in 1966 Publicker Had the Contiental Distillery in Phila their Publicker Chemical plant in Phila, a Large cooperage operation in Marcus hook pa, a cooperage plant in St Lous mo. a chemical plant in Weswego La ,The Kinsey Distillery and a bottling House in Lemont Il and a state of Art Laboratory in Eddington Pa just outside Phila. Plus a bar tending school in Ca I think, and a large dry Ice Plant built right next to DSP-pa 1 to make liquid and solid dry ice under the Thermice name. And Finally we owned Inver House Distillers in Scotland. Our medical alcohols were marketed under the name Pharmaco.

The book states their tanker line consisted of 10 ocean liners that ran under the Paco Line, also Paco was the name their mash was sold as animal feed and was inriched with vitamines.
They also made Vitamin B-12 and they were the worlds largest Medical Alcohol maker making more then 1/3 of the whole worlds Medical Alcohols. The book names some brands and speaks to the Patience it takes to make great whiskys. I will be taking some pictures from the book and posting them soom.

I was always very Proud to work for Publicker and always will be. Si Neuman was an amazing Man, he was the fuel that powered the company. His ideas to this day are widely in use. He was a driving force in pettioning the Government to be able to ship used Bourbon barrels to Scotland to be used for aging Scotch.
Kinsey Worker
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Re: My Days at Kinsey Distillery

Unread postby Kinsey Worker » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:30 pm

Here are some of my latest Pictures from Kinsey.
Picture one is of many old Barrels sitting and rotting, the next picture is words written on one of the Pillars in warehouse M second floor Eagle Beek was here my old buddy Warren Eshbach. He loved his nickname and always said me and Jimmy Duranty the nose knows.

He had a very big nose.

Part of the venting and Heating systems in the Old Explosion Proof Warehouses. A picture taken in total darkness inside the 1966 Bottling house which that year was the worlds largest and most modern bottling house.

I never really get tired of walking around Kinsey when I can and I always find it hard to believe this has happen to it.
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Warehouse C where my restored barrel camee from here sits many Old Continental 48 gal barrels falling apart all dated Mar 22 1971 from Rye mash
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If you look closely you can see the words eagle Beek was here my Old friend from my Distillery days Warren Eshbach was nicknamed Eagle beek and he loved it!
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Venting and heating system in the Explosion Proof warehouses for proper aging of whiskey
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A Picture taken in total darkness in the 1966 Bottling house
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