Saturday, May 31, 2008

More grant research

Spent part of the afternoon re-checking our CCR registry (which was good, because they'd taken it back out of authentication for review by a World's Largest Things official...), and then poked around to see if there are any applicable grant opportunities coming up.
The down part is still the relative new-ness of WLT, Inc. - many grants require three years of programming, of which we have but not as an 'official' organization.  So, it looks like we'll FINALLY be able to start applying in 2009 for FY 2010. There are a few other out there that will support start-up organizations, so there are some new leads in the WLT Favorites List.
Up next, searching through Foundations listings that may have programs that allow for seed or start-up projects.  Until then, we'll keep sending the collection out sans Bookmobile, keeping the collection mobile!

At 646LB is this Mekong Giant Catfish the largest freshwater fish in the world?

At Nearly nine feet long (2.7 meters) and as big as a grizzly bear, a huge catfish caught in northern Thailand may be the largest freshwater fish ever recorded. Although there are many claims and rumours about the worlds largest freshwater specimens, especially  from misguided anglers. However, in the eyes of scientist's the Mekong Giant Catfish has taken pole position with the recorded capture of this huge 646LB specimen by local fishermen in 2005. Many anglers over look the fact that some larger fish that can be caught in the worlds rivers, such as Sturgeon, migrate between river and sea, and therefore not considered to be freshwater species in the true sense of the word.


...there is one other possible contender for the thrown of "The worlds largest freshwater species", which in fact is also a Thai resident! (along with other parts of South-East Asia). Although there are not any recently recorded specimens, The Giant Freshwater Stingray seen above, is widely accepted to reach weights in excess of 1300LB, and some of the worlds most knowledgeable scientists believe that this species will ultimately prove itself to be the king of Freshwater Giants, although researchers are still trying to establish this fact.


...although the above specimens are truly magnificent creatures, do they really inspire the minds of UK Anglers? Since they are not rod and line captures its hard to relate fish of this size to our conventional ideas about freshwater sport-fishing, so how about this?

At 242LB this Giant Siamese Carp was captured on a Rod and Line by a gentleman named Lung Dam, in Thailand's now famous Bung Sam Lan Lake. It's hard to believe but this fish was one of 5 Carp that where stocked in the lake all around the same size less than 20 years ago, and although there have been many large Carp caught from the lake in recent years (The IGFA world record being broken over and over again), know one has come close to this feat. The large Carp are still there, and know one is absolutely sure just how large they are today. Some suggest the Giant Siamese Carp can grow to 600LB, whilst other credible sources say tha Bung sam Lan contains carp over 400LB. The largest carp are undoubtedly hooked from time to time, we have witnessed this fact. The challenge is to actually land such a specimen. It is fish such as these that have inspired us to try and encourage the UK's keenest anglers to come and try their luck in Thailand, you could quite possibly be the next world record holder!

W.L. Fork, Springfield Missouri

Now THATS a fork...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Scholastic visitor

Had a nice, late morning visit from an author who does children's books and articles for Scholastic today, who was happy to see that there's so much to see and do in Lucas! He's on a meandering, zig-zag tour, and trying to convince Scholastic that a book about World's Largest Things would go over for kids. I think everyone here would agree that it would be a hit.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

From the Email Inbox: rocker

We just found this photo taken of my mother in 1983

She said it made her feel like a little kid again.

She is now 88



Friday, May 23, 2008

KAC Grant Revisions

Just got a set of revisions off to the Kansas Arts Commission... Nice people! Good input...

W.L. Bicycle

I believe this one is on the list - one of my favorites!  And, Sparta is home to the sign company that makes many of the World's Largest Things, F.A.S.T. Corp., a fiberglass mascot building team.  They are the ones responsible for the giant Muskie in Hayward Wisconsin, a three-story walk-up fish that houses part of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Thanks for the site - I'll add it to the resource archives!
-Erika Nelson, Director, World's Largest Things, Inc.
----- Original Message -----
From: JB Otto
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 11:27 PM

Do you have a world's largest bicycle?  Don't know if this qualifies, but it is BIG.

With Windows Live for mobile, your contacts travel with you. Connect on the go.

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 269.23.16/1430 - Release Date: 5/13/2008 7:31 AM

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wanna play? Catsup Bottle Festival July 12 & 13

From: Big Tomato
To: Erika Nelson ; World's Largest Things
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:39 AM
Subject: Wanna play? Catsup Bottle Festival July 12 & 13

Hi Erika! How have you been? All is swell, I hope!

2 quick questions:

(1) Have I been a big dummy and let my membership support lapse for WLT, Inc. I remember getting something in the mail... being confused (duh, my bad not yours)... and setting it aside never to be seen again. :-(

(2) Can you make it to the fest this year? We'd love to have you of course!!!! It's July 12 & 13. We received a sponsor for your appearance from Caldwell Tanks, the water tower company. I know gas prices are outrageous right now - but email and let me know what you think. ;-)

Hope to hear from you soon!

Big Tomato, World's Largest Catsup Bottle Central Command
PO Box 617
Collinsville, Illinois 62234

From: WLT Inc.

Hi, Big Tomato! Glad to see the CatsupFest back to being it's glorious self... The Mobile Museum did its last appearance in July of last year, so we can start focusing on building the NEW Bigger Better Version! Which is taking MUCH longer than anticipated... That means that the old Mobile Museum is not longer Mobile.

HOWEVER... I do have a smaller Art Car, which speaks about the same things (roadside attractions, exploring the offbeat) and features a mural of WLTs (including the Catsup Bottle) and roadside attractions. We've been pairing the small Art Car with a smaller portable set of WSVs and photos, tailoring the display to the event/venue.

We could develop an Illinois/St.Louis area, or Watertower Wonders, or Rt. 66, or a little of all set for the Catsup Festival, with the small Art Car "Scout", if you'd like to have us! Whaddya think? Pics of "Scout" online here:

From: Big Tomato
That all sounds good. I think a little display of Rt 66 and/or Illinois/St. Louis would be fun. But that's just me... Soooooooo, I'll explain all this the "the committee" and see what gets decided.

The festival is 2 days. If you could make it by 4:00 for the cruise on Saturday that would be great. And then all day Sunday until 5:00 just like before.

From: WLT Inc.

Yep! The display would still be a good selection (aprox. 20 models or more, and accompanying images) from the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, just a little different format... Please, let me know if you need any further information for the committee, and hope to see ya...

Cruise at 4:00, Sat. July 12, overnight, and all day Sun. until 5:00. It's on the calendar - let me know what they say.

Thanks for the invitation, and see you soon!
-Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

London Telegraph - March 25, 2008

The art of the American road trip, by Toby Amies

The opportunity to drive across the US was too good to pass up, says Toby Amies. And he can't wait to do it again.

Last summer I visited a rather large drive-through art gallery called "The United States of America". It was my job to co-present a documentary television series, Artland USA. The idea was to combine the great American road trip with a celebration of American art and architecture.

The plan was simple but ambitious – to drive from Key West in Florida, the southernmost point in the continental US, to Anchorage in Alaska. En route, we would visit the most fascinating and extraordinary buildings, art galleries, installations and artists we could find. Overall it took about three months and we covered nearly 10,000 miles. It was a huge undertaking, and what started as a job soon became a way of life.

I'd fallen in love with the idea of a road trip across North America in my twenties, thanks to a predictable but potent list of artists who celebrated American life on the move: Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac, David Lynch, Tom Waits, Robert Frank, Edward Hopper and a host of others created a longing in me for the promise and terror of the wide open highway.

They inspired me to participate in one of America's most powerful myths: one made up of adventure, freedom, mystery, natural beauty, manifest destiny and some spectacularly fattening foods.

It's a myth that you can join easily: just fly to America, hire a car and point it in the direction of... almost anywhere. But you do need to have a mission. Like Jake and Elwood Blues of Blues Brothers fame, a divine one is ideal, but it can just as easily be gastronomic or historical.

A mission is essential but an itinerary is a fun-killer. You need freedom to roam on the roads not be strait-jacketed by a schedule – on Artland we had to work to a tight timetable that meant tearing ourselves from some locations long before it seemed right: New Orleans, still in ruins after Hurricane Katrina, was for us just a (sad) day. We were shocked to see buses touring the disaster zones, before realising we ourselves were in a bus, touring the disaster zone...

What you drive matters. Our principle vehicle for the trip was a giant RV (recreational vehicle) covered in Pollock-style paint splashes that looked great from the outside but severely restricted visibility.

The RV was also uncomfortable – go for a car with maximum visibility and comfort, and use the money saved by not renting an RV to stay somewhere where the air-conditioning works and you don't have to empty your own lavatory.

Our RV was unwieldy and hard to stop, but the greatest scourge of the trip after our limited time was the driver's friend but traveller's enemy: the sat-nav. Its mechanical expediency was the antithesis of our mission.

But the ugly little box that clung to the windscreen (further impeding our vision) was ruthlessly focused on times and distances, and it kept us imprisoned on the interstates when the best of the US is found away from its major roads. Put the sat-nav in the glove box, use a map so you can see where you're going and where you've been, and save the robot helper for getting you through the labyrinthine American cities.

As for how long to spend on your road trip, I'd work out how long you think you need and then add as many days as you can afford simply to wander. One experience I'll never forget, for example, is the time we wandered off our itinerary to steal a quick meal in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis's birthplace, made all the more delicious because we shouldn't have been there.

A road trip needn't be expensive, as motels and food in America can be had very cheaply and if it's visual culture you're after, most of the art and architecture we experienced was free. Thanks to a very active system of patronage and noblesse oblige, America is littered with giant public and privately-funded institutions all competing with each other for your attention.

Thus even the sleepiest midwestern city is likely to have a heavy-duty collection including Picassos, Rothkos, Monets, and Oldenbergs – sometimes it can seem as if they are completing a shopping list: for example, we came across slightly different versions of the same sculpture by one artist in three museums – but this was more than made up for by the wealth of unique intuitive or outsider art that is easily accessible all over the country.

Take Kansas for example. It has a reputation for gentle dullness and certainly, once you've got used to having a flat and infinite horizon in all directions, there is certain consistency to a drive through the state that can be a little wearisome after the first 300 miles or so, but it's full of the most wonderful creative works that cost us nothing to see except fuel, food and lodging.

The tiny, friendly college town of Lawrence (pop. 89,110) which was home to William Burroughs, has a Monet and a Manet in its Spencer Museum of Art. Then not that far from Lawrence, the even tinier town of Lucas is now a worldwide centre for self-taught arts and artists, thanks to it's world-famous Garden of Eden, with 30ft-high allegorical sculptures fashioned in concrete by S.P. Dinsmooor, who finished his auto-monument by building his own mausoleum containing a glass-fronted coffin.

Just a short skip across the state line into in Kansas City (technically in Missouri) we found one of the architectural marvels of the 21st century. What's more, you can wander in and around the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's recently opened Bloch Building for free. By day this beautiful space is lit inside by opaque glass walls and at night, lit from inside those walls, it resembles a ghost building and is like nothing I'd seen before. That's not all we did in Kansas, but it's the kind of thing you can find in any state if you give yourself the room to wander.

I'm writing this in Queenstown, New Zealand, where you can buy a T-shirt that has the town's name with a ticked box next to it, and the word "done" under it. After thousands of miles, and all that I saw and marvelled at on the road, I still don't feel that I have "done" the American road trip. I have merely done one, and that makes me want to do another.

'Artland USA', Sundays at 7pm on Sky Arts.

Kansas painted NICELY in UK newspaper!

This is an article written by one of the folks from ArtLAND: USA who toured the US last summer... They did a bit in Kansas, talking to folks in Lawrence and Lucas as a part of their trip from Florida to Alaska.
Not only was it a good program, it's airing all over the UK and US, repeating on fine arts channels.  This article uses Kansas as the emblematic experience of the American Road Trip - way to go, Kansas! 
AND, super-special extra bonus, they use the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things as one of ONLY FOUR images to accompany the article! 
Just passing along the kudos for Kansas, Lucas and Lawrence, and the WLCoWSVoWLT...
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.
Depending on your email program, you may be able to click on the link in the email. Alternatively, you may have to open a web browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer, and copy the link over into the address bar.

For the best content online, visit


From the Illuminations Productions website: Artland series 2 starts on Sky Arts (UK)

The second series of Artland which we produced for Gallery HD last summer begins transmission on Sky Arts on Sunday March 9. Each episode is being shown at least four times in the week.

Tony Amies and Mame McCutchin are the hosts for a trip across America from Key West, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska. Along the way we visited artists including John Chamberlain, museums such as the Kimbell in Fort Worth and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, great architecture by Rem Koolhaas, Frank Lloyd Wright and others, as well as weird and wonderful Americana of all kinds, including Houston's Art Car Parade.

Toby has written engagingly about the experience for the Telegraph here.

Net Work - ArtLand, Catsup Fest, and LJW

It's been a busy morning in information dissemination. The folks who produced ArtLand: USA Series 2 are working on a new Art Road Trip, following two travelers as they use Art as their currency across the US. WLT Inc. just sent off a list of potential contacts along the way, full of Outsider and Art Car goodness... We'll see where they go!

This year's Catsup Festival is in Collinsville, IL, July 12 & 13... WSVs may be there... We'll keep ya' posted.

And, we've been chatting with a reporter from the Lawrence (KS) Journal World, doing a story on a sculpture competition for the Wakarusa River Valley Historical Society's Freedom's Light tower project. Erika, Director of WLT Inc., was one of the four finalists chosed to present a proposal. Article to run this weekend in the LJW.

That's what's up here at the home base, pre-noon on a windy, weird Thursday...


Saturday, May 17, 2008


A friend just sent a fun link to Montage-a-Google, a project that loads keyword image searches from Google and creates a montage.  Here's what you get when you type in Worlds Largest and Erika Nelson!  Fun site:

Montage-a-Google Lucas Kansas


Thursday, May 15, 2008

In mourning the passing of an Art Car friend...

Too much to say, but this is a fitting tribute published in the Houston Chronicle.  The Rev. Tom Jones was curator of the Art Car Museum, and a good friend to all creatives that crossed his path.  While closing up shop after another wonderful TX Art Car Weekend, a drunk driver hit a parked car, which in turn hit Tom and two other artists, killing Tom and injuring the other two.  Memorials are springing up on all Art Car related sites, as well as an amazing set of remembrances on Paul McRae's Flickr page. I was stunned when I received the call, and can't imagine not seeing Tom's face again...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To the WLT Board Members...

... WLT Inc. has just filed its annual report with the Kansas Secretary of State, as well as completed its Federal 990-N (e-postcard for exempt organizations with gross receipts less that $25,000).  And, all before 8 a.m., one day before the deadline!
Thanks for being you guys, and see ya' down the road...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Article from the Columbia Missourian: Three friends travel the nation, spreading the “wisdom” of their large creation


KANSAS CITY — Although the purpose of the 1982 "twine-a-thon" in Cawker City, Kan., was to make sure the ball of twine was truly the biggest, it ended up being the inspiration for the world's largest ball of three-quarter-inch videotape.

Twenty-six years later, "proud co-creators" Randy Mason and Don Mayberger share custody of the odd, record-setting ball and are happy to show it off.

"We thought, 'We oughta have a big ball of somethin','" Mason said, adding that the videotape ball has grown to a "back-surgery-inducing" 68.5 pounds.

While mulling their quest for a world record, Mason and Mayberger tried to pick a medium unlikely to draw competition. As employees of a cable station in Lawrence, Kan., at the time, they chose videotape and started winding up old tape from the station.

"It's a stupid thing, but it's our stupid thing," Mason said.

One spool contains 60 minutes worth of videotape and weighs 3 or 4 ounces, meaning the ball contains somewhere between 275 and 350 hours of video.

"We always hope that someday in the future, scientists will devise a way to just play the ball of tape," Mason said.

Creating the big ball was one challenge. Getting it some good publicity was another. Mason and Mayberger tried to get the ball some national notice on "The Late Show" with David Letterman but failed twice. Finally, in 1995, the ball made its TV debut on "Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations," a show created by Mason, Mayberger and co-worker Mike Murphy and produced by Kansas City Public Television. The show chronicles the adventures of the trio as they travel around the country with their impressive sphere of videotape. Although it initially was intended to be a one-time special, they have now produced 66 episodes.

"The core is celebrating people's creativity," Mason said. "Real creativity goes beyond training and the joy that it can bring, and that shows up in so many different ways."

Mason, Mayberger and Murphy are known to their viewers as the "TV Weasels." Mayberger said the name fits because they enjoy receiving free items like T-shirts and hats from the places they visit. But more than that, he said, "the show is so much fun that we almost feel like we're weaseling fun out of the universe."

Sometimes, Mayberger said, viewers recognize the Weasels and shout things like, "Hey, you Weasels, where's the ball?"

"It's kind of like a freak of technology and nature," Mayberger said. "And it makes people shout stupid stuff at me from the sidewalk. And anytime strangers can do that, I'd say that's an example of the power it has."

The Weasels say the ball travels well, though it sometimes suffers the indignity of being covered with potato chip crumbs. Mason and Murphy sit in the front, while Mayberger rides in back of the vehicle with the ball.

"Yes, it is (a good companion)," Mayberger said. "I have to say, it never complains - it's a friend of mine."

The Weasels recalled a trip to Florida, where they were trying to cajole an artist into talking with them. He showed little interest until he saw the big ball of videotape. That's when he recognized the Weasels from their show and became enthusiastic about talking to them.

"It was the greatest moment," Mason said.

The road can sometimes be threatening, though. During a visit to Hermann, the ball nearly rolled down a hill into the Missouri River.

"You really have to deal with this gravity thing," Mason said.

If the videotape were able to record its adventures, Mason said, it probably would have some wisdom to impart. "The ball would say, 'When you don't realize what's out there, you miss a lot,'" Mason said.

The television show — and the videotape — gives the Weasels a good reason to get off the beaten path and show people's creativity while laughing but not mocking.

"If a big ball of tape can let us do that, we'll keep winding," Mason said.

Mayberger also said he would like to keep the ball going so as not to disappoint its fans.

"People are more interested in seeing the ball than us, often, so I guess we just have to maintain its celebrity status and keep it," Mayberger said.

Winding up 68.5 pounds of videotape isn't easy.

"It's all about the tension on the tape because it's a slick substance, and it will easily unwind if you aren't pulling tightly," Mayberger said. They use adhesive tape to keep it together and have to wear thick gloves when winding.

"Gloves are required because, like paper cuts, videotape cuts are not what you wanna have," Mayberger said.

Mayberger said the ball gets heavier faster than it gets larger. The bigger it gets, the more challenging it is to add to it.

An eighth-grade science class in north Kansas City once challenged Mason and Mayberger and created a videotape that was bigger, but only for a week. Mayberger quickly added 12 pounds of tape to the Weasels' ball.

Erika Nelson, who met the Weasels and saw the ball during a 2003 filming session, was inspired enough to create the world's smallest replica of the world's largest ball of tape by using micro-cassette tape.

"One of the fun comments from (Mayberger) was, 'Oh, you can't keep your ball of tape wound either,'" Nelson said. "The same trials and tribulations with the big ball apply with the small ball."

Nelson was able to take a picture of the two balls together years later, which she said "is just a crowning achievement of absurdity when you're talking about the world's largest things."

Nelson said the videotape ball is different from other examples of world's largest things in Missouri because the Weasels travel with it. Although you can go see it, there's a chance it might come to you.

"They've given it a personality," Nelson said.

To see the world's largest ball of videotape, call Kansas City Public Television at 816-756-3580.

Weird Tales of Missouri!

It's always nice when papers and columnists actually link to World's Largest Things as their source:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Social Networking...

...OK, ok, did we really need another set of pages? According to some of yesterday's World's Largest Scavenger Hunt people, and the Iowa State University Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society, we do.

SO - WLT now on FACEBOOK!, incorporating these blog feeds into the notes. We've also added blog posts to an RSS feed on the MySpace page, as well as a Calendar Application to the blog to keep track of upcoming events.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Best SPAM Content yet...

While slogging through all the SPAM to make sure I don't miss communication from REAL people, I do speed-read (or at least glance) at some... Here's some text from the best one yet:
...I am very glad you wish to see my clean sheets: I should have offered them, but did not know whether it would bore you; I wrote by this morning's post to Murray to send them. Unfortunately I have not got to the part which will interest you, I think most, and which tells most in favour of the view, viz., Geological Succession, Geographical Distribution, and especially Morphology, Embryology and Rudimentary Organs. I will see that the remaining sheets, when printed off, are sent to you. But would you like for me to send the last and perfect revises of the sheets as I correct them? if so, send me your address in a blank envelope. I hope that you will read all, whether dull (especially latter part of Chapter II.) or not, for I am convinced there is not a sentence which has not a bearing on the whole argument. You will find Chapter IV. perplexing and unintelligible, without the aid of the enclosed queer diagram (The diagram illustrates descent with divergence.), of which I send an old and useless proof.


Seven (I think...) total teams showed up, four with World's Smallest Versions, one of which kept theirs, one of which was hand-made, and one of which was made up of a piece of duct tape folded over a piece of paper.

All, I believe, figured out that there was an additional 'set' of points available with the Chair-E Tree, Deer Menorah, Demon Mobile, and Box O' Skulls.

Thanks for coming by, and good luck!

-EN, WLT Inc.

Scav Hunt Teams trickling in!

Three so far, but only ONE has provided a World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Scavenger Hunt!!! Who knew it'd be so difficult?!?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sneaky University of Chicago Students - Here's a Clue!

So, the previously posted Scavanger Hunt list is useless?!? It's been updated, but I'm sure a couple of you have googled and found the WLT posting, and figured out a part of the route by now...

See item #69 on the Scavanger Hunt - I'll be a-waitin'...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

World's Largest Box of Chocolates

From, Wed., April 9, 2008
You thought you had a sweet tooth, try this for size, the largest box of chocolates in the world, weighing in at 2,000kg.

Londoners Alaistair, 5 (left) and Megan, 8, pull one of the huge sweets out of the box which stands 16.5 metres tall, 5.04 metres long and 11.5 feet wide in Leicester Square, central London.

The confectionary manufacturer broke the Guinness book of records for the world's largest box of chocolates with over 175,000 individually wrapped Thorntons Moments.

Kansas Lifeline Magazine

Found an article online, focusing on the teamwork efforts in Lucas! From March 2007, There is a Special Art to Being a Community, by Dan Knupp

Start of a World's Largest Thing! The Foible

Jude's, of Jamestown KS, is working on a foil ball, named (by Susie Haver) "Foilble", after the grandmother of the owner exclaimed "You're Wasting All That FOIL!" on November 28, 2007. They had it on display at the corner of their food tent at last weekend's Kansas Sampler Festival in Concordia, Kansas.

Currently, Flying Pie Pizza of Boise Idaho has a 254 lb. foil ball named Flora, with a goal of one ton (2000 lbs.) to break the record.

The Modern Farmer

Franklin County Kansas is home to famed Exaggerated Postcard designer William H. "Dad" Martin (1865 - 1940).

The Historical Society features his work on a few of their promotional postcards, as well as some of his work at the Franklin County Historical Society.

'Dad' Martin "...turns to friend John Conard and his family as representatives of the Modern Farmer. Mr. Conard's wife Esther, and daughters Alberta and Frances zoom along with a few dozen giant eggs and a massive potato in a 1908 Stoddard-Dayton touring car. The baby, Frances, was living in 2007 when this reproduction was made." 

Good Corn Makes Good Hogs

Franklin County Kansas is home to famed Exaggerated Postcard designer William H. "Dad" Martin (1865 - 1940).
The Historical Society features his work on a few of their promotional postcards, as well as some of his work at the Franklin County Historical Society.
'Dad' Martin " imagines farmers using a gas engine-powered saw to cut down the ears to a workable size.  How many such ears of corn have gone into the production of that hog?"

WLT Inc - Sampler Festival: A Great Weekend Celebrating Kansas!

We had a great weekend at the Kansas Sampler Festival this past weekend, with a new display that keeps the collection mobile while we build a NEW Mobile Museum.  We have an overview available for you online at the official Corporate Blog:
Thank you, one and all, for your support of World's Largest Things!
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Athanasius Kircher Society

Dear Kircher Society:
I'm the proprietor of the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things, and am looking to establish partnerships with like-minded entities. Museum of Jurassic Technology is next...

-Erika Nelson, Director, WLT Inc.

Hi Erika,
It's nice to hear from you. We're admirers of your work over here at the Kircher Society, and would be delighted to partner with you on something down the road. We're going to be putting on a series of talks later this year in NY. If you're going to be in the city at any point perhaps we could have you as a speaker? In any case, if you're ever in town, please drop me a line. It would be a pleasure to meet you.

All Best, J.F.

Wonderful! Please, keep me posted on speaking possibilities - I do a mean Roadside Atrractions lecture on Mimetic and Vernacular Architecture, as well as the "Sign-Signifier-Signified" theories involved in replicas and souvenirs.

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to let you know if/when I'm in the NY area...-Erika Nelson, Director

World's Largest Things, Inc.

From the Email Inbox: University Of Chicago Scavenger Hunt Road Trip/WLCOWSVOWLT


My name is Patrick Augustine, and I am a member of the judging committee of the yearly University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, the largest Scavenger Hunt in the world. One of the traditional parts of the Scavenger Hunt is a Road Trip pre-planned by the Judges, centered on travelling around the country for four days, experiencing whatever road-side attractions we can find along the way (either by planning or random chance). As this year,we decided that our trip would take us into the heart of Kansas, we made a special point of seeking out the Worlds Largest Collection of the Worlds Smallest Versions of the Worlds Largest Things, and let me tell you, it was amazing. We were very sorry that you weren't home for us to give you these accolades in person, but after seeing the bus and the other amazing things scattered throughout the yard, we just generally got the feeling that you were truly one of our organization in spirit (though we must admit, Car-Henge must always remain number one in our hearts... I mean, come on... it's Stone-Henge... made of cars! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!).

In any case, as your attraction is a little more "on private property" than most of the others (though the sign on your door suggested you were cool with our exploring) that we're sending Scaveging Teams to this year (the ball of Twine, the Cosmosphere, the Wizard of Oz Museum, the Giant Pecan etc.), we thought it best to give you a warning that 6-10 teams of four, dressed as Wizard of Oz characters, will be visiting your distinguished locale (most likely arriving sometime Friday) to deliver the world's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Scavenger Hunt, and to take many many pictures of your amazing collection. They are a clean industrious people, and I'm sure they'd be thrilled to have you there to show them around (if possible). Once we get our finances straigtened out, we promise to become a member of your organization, and wish you all the best of luck in the future.

More information on our hunt, including past lists and can be found at A map of our previous road trip routes can be found at .

Once again, you have an astouding collection!

Hi, Patrick - What a great set of roadside americana! I love the ScavengerHunt idea, and I'll be at the Home Base of World's Largest Things, Inc. onfor the rest of the week and this weekend, so bring 'em on! Part of thecollection is currently traveling, but there are still numerous WSVsavailable for viewing, as well as the other two Art Cars in the yard.

I hate to mention it, but one of the small versions currently on displayelsewhere is a World's Smallest Version of Carhenge, made out ofHotwheels... BUT, I do have images of the WS Version of Carhenge VISITINGCarhenge, which I will be sure to set out for discussion - I do understandthe heirarchy of amazement, and am proud to be counted in the same class asthis piece of Americana.

Looking forward to your visit, and I'll be looking out for your teams!-Erika Nelson, Director, WLT Inc.

From the Email Inbox: Visit Soon!


We had a little trouble tracking down your information so we can come for a visit soon!
Will we be able to visit your collection in Lucas or somewhere nearby in mid-May? We have been wanting to see it for over 3 years!


HI there - the WLCoWSVoWLT Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum is Always Open when Parked, at the Home Base in Lucas KS... Yes, it'll be in the Art Car Yard (just south of the Garden of Eden) in mid-May, and if I'm home I'll be happy to come out and show you around. If I'm not here, feel free to explore on your own, and glad you found me! -Erika, Director, WLT Inc.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sampler Festival: A Great Weekend Celebrating Kansas!

Whew! Back from a full weekend of World's Largest Things at the Kansas Sampler Festival, in beautiful Concordia Kansas.

Don Robertson, Hastings NE, and Erika Nelson, Lucas KS, represented WLT Inc. to the approximately 6100 visitors, with a Kansas display of Large and Small. The booth featured images of World's Largest throughout Kansas, accompanied by the World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Thing. While the all of the stories are popular, the two Big-Small exhibits garnering the most comment were the World's Largest Cow Hairball (Garden City, KS) and the World's Largest Electric Shovel, Big Brutus (West Mineral, KS).

During the day, more background stories emerged from representatives of some of the communities that house a World's Largest Thing. For example: The World's Largest Cow Hairball arrived on the doorstep of the Garden City Historical Society with a chalk smiley-face drawn on by the slaughterhouse worker who 'rescued' the ball. It was found in the second stomach of the bovine, and weighed 55 pounds before it was dried out for display.

A challenge was also offered by one visitor, and accepted by World's Largest Things Director Erika Nelson. All World's Largest in Kansas will have a replica for next year's Sampler Festival, including a sectional model of the World's Largest Hand-Dug well.

It was a great weekend, bookended by stormy weather that tested the integrity of the new Mobile Display of World's Smallest Versions of World's Largest Things. Many return fans came up to tell their own World's Largest stories, and viewers of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations were happy to see part of the display in person after seeing the WLCoWSVoWLT on TV. Thanks, one and all, for daring to Think Big!

Sincerely, Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, home of the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Worlds Largest Things PowerPoint

This is one that cropped up on a World's Largest Things search - some new (to us!) images, but no place locations! Anyone know where to find the World's Largest Hand-Held Mixer?
Uploaded on authorSTREAM by  killer

Working on KS WLT for the Sampler Festival

As you may have noticed, there haven't been many image postings on the Flickr photo blog page lately, nor have there been quite as many update posts here on the corporate blog. The WLT people are madly assembling a display for the upcoming Kansas Sampler Festival, coming up this weekend in Concordia Kansas. Seek us out and see what World's Largest Things reside in Kansas, along with some of the World's Smallest Version of those World's Largest Things!

-EN & RW

From the Email Inbox: Lily Tulip Cup Riverside CA

From: "K A"

I can also confirm your report that the large cup in Riverside was once a Lily Tulip cup factory. In the early 1960s (and probably in the 1950s) the cup was white with a design like the one in the attached photo, except the color was sort of a blue green, as I recall. The rest of the cup was white. My grandparents lived near there and we would walk up to nearby train track to watch the trains go by. I always liked this cup design, perhaps just for nostalgic reasons, but I wish they were still made. I believe in later years, the factory was purchased by the Sweetheart cup company. The paint job was changed to something more contemporary for the early 1970s. After that, I lost track of it as my grandparents sold their home by that time.

K.A. - Thanks for image! I do like this design better, as it is the cup I remember, too, from my great Aunt's house... I think this one is from Springfield Missouri, but there seem to be more and more of these popping up. Some still in use (by the factory), some abandoned like the one in Riverside.

Thanks for the story, and keep the World's Largest Things tip coming!
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc