Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ortonville Minnesota, Home of Hobo Soup

From the Email In-Box, a link to Archie McPhee (Outfitters to the stars...) and some new meat-related items. Among them, one of my favorites!

...And, perusing my big Map of Whats Large Where, Ortonville MN is already marked on my map - I've been there!  It's home to Paul Bunyan's anchor.
(which is a huge rock, put up in the air a bit with some industrial pilings, and a chain wrapped and welded around it with a hook on top...)
It's about 30 or so miles from Starbuck, which has a Hobo statue in its city park (in honor of the gentlemen of the rails) and is also the home of the World's Largest Lefse.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Grant Writing

The last few days have been devoted to grant writing, both for the community of Lucas and for World's Largest Things, Inc. What an intricate, convoluted world! But, one of the keys seems to be: Call Them. They Will Help You.

One goes off today, one will be off next week - please, forward any other opportunities to us if you think they apply!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Things You Didn't Know


I LOVE writing Weekly Whats Large Where, as there are so many other things I discover along the way! This image was on a blog, with no story attached. Road Trip time!


Members! We've got Members! We've got lots of different kinds of wonderful Members!

Great batch of new and renewing Member packets went out in the mail today - from all across the nation, and a whole lotta Kansas Roadside Enthusiasts to boot. Thanks for your support!

-EN, Director, WLT Inc.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

From the Email Inbox: potato chip

From: F.
Sent: Sunday, January 27, 2008 12:39 AM
Subject: potato chip

Do you know the record size for natural potato chip found in a bag?

Re: potato chip
I'm sorry, but I'm not having any luck finding a record for you - the Guinness World Record site is coming up with nada, as is their print book...

The largest Potato Chip (not found in a bag) is recorded as a Pringles chip, housed at the Potato Expo in Blackfoot Idaho. "The world's largest potato chip (on exhibit at the Potato Expo) was produced by the Pringle's Company in Jackson, TN, in 1990. It measures 23" x 14.5".

But, it's more of a 'crisp' than a 'chip', made from a potato slurry and formed on a sheet, so not really in the same class as you describe

I'll keep looking, and will let you know if I find anything from 'in a bag' chips...

Thanks for asking
-Erika, Director, World's Largest Things, Inc

Re: Re: potato chip

Thank you very much for the time and help!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

LOTS of New and Renewing Members!

We're cranking out the Welcome and Thank You membership packets to go out Monday - 10 New and Renewing members! Thanks so much for your support, World's Largest Things loves you!

-Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Starting on February's Weekly Whats Large Where

The columns are produced monthly, to be published weekly. Members have full access to WWLW archives, and get Weekly What's Large Where in their email in-boxes. New this year: Profiles of people who build, preserve, and are obsessed with World's Largest Things - one profile a month to compliment the amazing array of Vernacular Architecture awaiting you on the American roadside.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Possible speaking engagement, Stockton KS

... resulting from the Hill City talk! See, it's ALL CONNECTED... We'll keep ya' posted as to schedule!


Monday, January 21, 2008

KU Alumni Magazine interview

Spent a very nice 30 minutes on the phone with Tom King, writing for the KU Alumni magazine. Should be out in March or April.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Worlds Largest in Hill City

Had a dandy talk in Hill City KS with the Solomon Valley Hwy. 24 association, inspiring rural communities with tales of hutzpah and out-of-the-box thinking about their communities.

Another in the series of Kansas Humanities Council Speakers Bureau talks...

Great evening!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to Biz

WooooEeeeeee... Spent a great 40 hours at a Rural Leaders Retreat, getting the battery packs recharged and honing listening and brainstorming skills. Today was the day for catching up on business, and what a lot there is!

Just scheduled a "Scout" vehicle appearance at a Funky Art festival, promoting a tiny town of 400. More details once all the ducks are in a row.

Monday will bring a phone interview with an Alumni magazine, for a profile on 'successful' graduates from the University of Kansas.

Stopped by the Kansas Humanities Council on the way back to Lucas yesterday, and got to meet the lady who coordinates the Speakers Bureau engagements.

Working on tomorrows presentation in Hill City KS (another Humanities Council booking!) about World's Largest Things.

And, best of all, a flood of new and renewing memberships in the mail - I believe we've broken the 90 mark!

Thanks again for everyones support, and keep the Big Ideas flowing.

-Erika Nelson, director.

From the Email Inbox: World's Largest Wagon questions


From: Worlds Largest Things []
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2008 1:41 PM
To: Media Relations
Subject: World's Largest Wagon questions


Hello - I'm the director of World's Largest Things, Inc., and have a few questions about your World's Largest Wagon.


Is it on display to the public in a permanent location?  Where is its 'home base'?  Does it travel to special events?  When was it created?


Thank you - I'd like to add this to the list of What's Large Where, if it is open for the public to view at a specific location.


-Erika Nelson, Director

World's Largest Things, Inc.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 2:39 PM
Subject: RE: World's Largest Wagon questions

Hi Erika,


I am not sure if anyone responded to your questions on the world's largest wagon.

If someone did, you can disregard this message, if not, here is the information you were looking for:


The wagon is always displayed in the front of our office building.

The home base is Radio Flyer HQ, in Chicago, IL.

The only place the wagon travels is to the New York Toy Fair when Radio Flyer has a booth there.

The wagon was created in 1997 to celebrate Radio Flyer's 80th anniversary.


Please let me know if you have any questions.




Blessly Thomas

Marketing Coordinator

Radio Flyer Inc.


Thank you so much for the information!  That clears up the questions I had after viewing your site...
-Erika Nelson, WLT Inc.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Arts Commission Roster online

Want to build a World's Largest Thing? Or, need some 'push' to get the idea going? How about a workshop creating mobile or public art? We've got just the ticket!

The Kansas Arts Commission has now posted the Arts on Tour Roster, with Erika and World's Largest Things included. Communities can apply for 40% of the cost of the project, up to $7500.

Details in the Hire Us section of World's Largest Things dot com.

Woo Hoo! I see big things ahead...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Worlds largest book, La Jolla CA

Hello, Erica, and Happy 2008!

I just stumbled upon your wonderful site, looking for a little joke to cheer up an under the weather friend. I found what I needed, and then stayed to look through your offerings.

I was infinitely AMUSED AND AMAZED! You've done a great job, Erica!

May I contribute one little thing? I happen to have a photo of the WORLDS LARGEST BOOK, and it is here in La Jolla (not in "Liberal" as noted on the site)

I have this information because my daughter, Brittany, started a little non-profit charitable foundation to encourage children to place books into their classroom libraries. (

For a publicity stunt, to publicize the good work her foundation was doing, she had her picture taken, with many of the donated books, in front of this, the world's largest book.

I have attached the photo for you, and you have our permission to include it on your website. It is in the La Jolla public Library on Draper street. If you want the title you can call them. Their website is:

If you look closely at the two attched photos you can see the gloved hands of the Librarians holding the page open. It is no longer displayed standing up, to preserve it better.

Thanks, and keep up the great work!


From the Email Inbox: World's Largest Penny

From: MS

I want to thank you for your website.

Almost 30 years ago, my first wife and I stumbled upon the World's Largest Penny during a driving trip on our honeymoon. If I remember it correctly, it stood in or near the playground of an elementary school, and I imagined it as perhaps a school project from long-ago. It struck me as a combination of kitch and something deeper and more heartwarming...a reaching for greatness in a tiny, unknown and unsung Northern Wisconsin town.

I never knew the real story until I read it on your site. It does indeed make my eyes mist up. Somewhere I still have a picture my wife and I took of us goofing in front of the penny....just a couple of kids from Wisconsin having fun.

Best, MS, Franklin Films

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January Weekly Whats Large Where...

...written, and to the papers! We took a week off for rest and recovery, but we're back with 50 more World's Largest for 2008. This year, we're also featuring profiles of World's Largest Things builders, preservationists, and enthusiasts.

The column is emailed to members weekly, with archives online. Wanna read? Become a Member!

-Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

World's Largest Truckstop

Postcard from Walcott Iowa, the World's Largest Truckstop.  We dined there twice on the holiday Chicago trip, makining up a full 66.6 percent of the World's Largest spottings...  The other 33.3 percent consisted of the World's Largest Basketball (Watertower) from Hebron IL.  One-tenth of a percentage point goes to the World's Largest Bull from Audubon IA, which we spotted on a postcard at the World's Largest Truckstop.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

On Ebay: W.L. Rag Doll

Unfortunately, didn't get any bids!  Guinness Certified, too...
Item number: 320201552473

Friday, January 4, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Radio Flyer

From: L.F.
Subject: Radio Flyer

You missed the Radio Flyer---see their home page.
Also, there was a Radio Flyer--Cargo model made  in California up in the Gold Hills near Big Bear Lake. Don't remember the town.

Thanks for the information!  I knew of the Radio Flyer, made by the company, but evidently I haven't added it to the list yet... Thanks for the reminder.  The one in Spokane Washington is bigger than the company R.F., but doesn't move, so is in a little different category...
Thanks again for the info!
-Erika, director, W.L. Things.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

From the Email Inbox: Largest swimming pool

Trying to get a picture of the largest swimming pool in the world. Can you help me?

Thank you.B.

So far, this is what I've come up with:
W.L. pool from Chile, an inland sort of lagoon-ish swimming pool:
and, a W.L. Indoor pool in Japan that's over 100 years old!:
Being a Kansas now, I was always told that Holton KS has the largest municipal pool, but it pales in comparison to the Japanese one:
Hope this helps, and Thanks for Asking!
-Erika, Director, WLT, Inc.

Whoops - Largest Municipal Pool, in the states, rumored to be Garden City KS, not Holton:

From the Email Inbox: Another one to add...

From: K.

I just came across your website today.  I know of one not on your list...  BIG FOOT #5, the world's tallest, widest and heaviest pickup truck!!
We saw it in St. Louis - the home of BIG FOOT.
Here's the website talking about it...

Thanks for the information!  St. Louis area certainly has a bunch of great oddities on the list - Vess Bottle, Set of Teeth, Bowling Pins, and Men's Underwear (at the City Museum)... I'll have to add Big Foot.
Thanks for writing in!

From the Email Inbox: World's largest penny

Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 9:34 PM

I grew up in Woodruff, Wisconsin and was too young to remember the penny drive but my mother used to have a booklet about it.  She told me they collected the pennies on the gym floor and that the floor actually sagged some even though it was on street level.  The penny sits in the same spot it has occupied since it was put up and the block used to hold the Arbor Vitae-Woodruff High School, later grade school.  I don't know when the school came down but I do remember very fondly, attending classes there until we moved to Tomahawk, Wisconsin in 1963.  Now, there is a housing complex for senior adults on the site of the school.  I remember Doctor Kate and I surely remember many snowy days and our own doctor making house calls to give us shots.  My husband, a coin collector, got a look at this giant coin last year when we traveled to Wisconsin to see family members.  He was impressed with the size and with the story.
Thanks for talking about the penny. 

Thank you, Debbie, for writing in!  The penny is popular with a BUNCH of people, because it is such a great story.  I like the story you've shared about the gymnasium floor - it really puts it into perspective.  It's one of the greatest stories behind the building of a World's Largest Thing, I think...
Thanks again for sharing your story!
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008