Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally! July columns off to papers...

Whew! It's been a very damp season here at the World's Largest Things home base, so some production timetables have been stretched between drying out leaky basements and a little foundation repair and dirt moving. But, July Weekly What's Large Where columns just went out to the papers, a new World's Largest Things member packet is on its way to Chicago, and we gathered a bunch of images of World's Smallest Versions and Meta-Photos of WSVs visiting the original World's Largest Things and sent them off to a company doing Kansas Tourism videos.

(no, that's not an oxymoron - need proof? See previous post about Lucas Kansas in the new Lonely Planet USA guide)

Now, catching up on other emails and flipping over documents to dry the other side...

Thanks for your continued support, Members, Board Members, and Fans of World's Largest Things!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

WLT in "Trading Places"

It's always fun spotting a World's Largest Thing in an old film - here's Philadelphia's giant Clothespin (erected in 1976, Claus Oldenburg) appearing in "Trading Places", 1983 Paramount starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, shown here behind Jamie Lee Curtis.

Tacky tourist attractions of the Antarctic


Car Shopping with Oscar Mayer

I want a cocktail wienermobile!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Backyard Visitors and Tee Sale

Had a visitor count of 9 face-to-face, and spotted a couple while I was out doing my rounds of library and post office. Visitors included one enthused Kansas City teacher, who just HAD to buy a World's Largest Things Tee-Shirt, available in Youth Large, Adult Medium, Large, and Extra Large.

Yay, Tourism!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Giant Tricycle from Farm Show publication

Farm Show has to be one of my favorite publications.  It features images, stories, and how-tos from farmers across the US who have invented tools (and sometimes toys) to make their lives easier.  They're practicle, functional, and ingenious inventions, from people who know how to make stuff. 
Excerpts from the July-August 2007 issue, here's a great "Big Boy" Tricycle powered by a 1-cyl. engine...
Harlen Grovom and his friends in the North Dakota Pioneer Association had a great time building a giant 3wheeler this past winter.  It's now a big hit at parades and shows.
The big spoked front wheel with an 11" x 36" tire came from a 1950s combine.  The two small back wheels are off a corn planter.  We used some angle iron and metal parts off a drill for the frame, including the front wheel steering spindle.  The front forks were made from 2 x 3 inch steel tubing.  The rear wheels are driven by a 1-cyl. LB International 5 hp gas engine.
Foot rests welded half-way up the front forks supply the 'power steering'.  The giant steel pipe handlebars measure 4 feet across.

World's Largest Spur, Abilene Kansas

Saturday, June 21, 2008 8:31 PM

Hi! Don't remember if you remember us, but we were at you museum thingy a few weeks ago! There were 4 of us, two grandparents, two granddaughters....anyways we went to the world's largest spur in Abilene, Kansas and thought we would send you a picture of us by it! I saw it was already on your list, but just thought i'd send a picture anyways! Well Thanks so much!!! Natalie (the one on the left)


Wonderful!  I spotted a spur in Abilene, but it was part of an archway attached to a home.  I thought maybe that was the one people were talking about, but this must be the REAL World's Largest Spur - thanks for sending in the pic!  And, thanks for stopping by the WLT Home Base - hope you enjoyed poking around Lucas!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

World's Smallest Corn Maze, 2003

Here's an early shot of the World's Largest Things Home Base, Lucas Kansas, With the World's Smallest Corn Maze starting in the front yard...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

World's Largest Frosted Flake?

 Hi Erika,
  I have attached a picture of the cornflake.  As you can see, it bends over on the side, besides being huge.  It's quite unusual, to say the least.  And yes, that is a quarter next to it!  Thanks so much,

Wow - I wonder if Kellogg's QC department is slipping?!? I just had a whole rash of giant Cornflake spottings, all over the country, in the last month...
If you take pics (best with a ruler or a quarter for scale), please send 'em in so I can post it!  And, good luck as caretaker of a (currently!) World's Largest Thing...

Saturday, June 21, 2008 5:14 PM
Re: largest Frosted Flake?
Hi Erika,
  Yes, it certainly was a Kellogg's frosted flake!  It was in a box with a prize of an Indiana Jones spoon.   Wow, who would think I would have found the distinction of having such a big Frosted Flake!  :)  Thanks for your reply,

Well, it certainly sounds like it!  Was is a Kellogg's Brand Frosted Flake?  The knock-off brands don't tend to have the same quality control standards as the name-brands, so may make a difference for the records...
-Erika Nelson, Director
World's Largest Things, Inc.

Saturday, June 21, 2008 11:26 AM
Subject: largest Frosted Flake?
I came across your website, and thought I would e-mail you.  I found a Frosted flake that is over 3" long, and 1 1/2" wide at its widest point.  Is that one of the biggest you have ever heard of it?  It sure seems like it would be!  Thanks,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Member Packet to Wichita

Just got a couple of packages off this morning... a New Member (Yay!) and a batch of historic license plates to a lady in Republic KS who makes amazing things... Here's the Flickr photo of the piece I saw while at Courtland's Funky Art Festival on June 7.

License Plate Mona Lisa, by artist and educator Connie Levendofsky

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Idea Vol. 2 Num. 1

... to the printers! The Summer Issue will be hitting mailboxes the first week of July, with WLT Updates and news of the World's Largest kind. Don't want to miss out?
Become a Member!


Moon Marble Company Exaggerated Postcard

New from Moon Marble - continuing a Kansas tradition!  See more pics on the photo blog:
Updates soon from the Smoky Hill River Festival this past weekend...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Smoky Hill River Festival June 12 - 14

If you're wondering why there's a gap in the postings, here's the poop:

Kat Corrigan, Jan Elftman, and I created Art Cars as a part of the 32nd Annual Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina KS. Photos now posted on Flickr, detailing the painted car we created for OCCK services in Salina, and Jan's glue car "Holey Circle".

It was a long engagement, with good work, and two tornado warnings Wednesday evening that sent us to a restroom 'safe area' (twice!!!) at Tuscon's in Salina...

Yay, Art Cars!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lucas Tour Guide

I spent the afternoon as a step-on tour guide for a group of 45 interested people from Wichita, taking them up through the Post Rock Scenic Byway, to the Garden of Eden, World's Largest Things World Headquarters, Flying Pig Studio and Gallery, and Brant's Meat Market. What a nice morning/afternoon! And, I'd just gotten the new Lonely Planet USA guide (see previous post), so had new ammunition in proclaiming the glories of Lucas.

-EN, Director, WLT Inc.

Lucas Kansas featured in Lonely Planet USA Tour Guide!!!

Oh, what an impact such a tiny town can have. Here's the article I just sent to the paper after receiving my new copy of Lonely Planet USA travel guide:

Lucas featured in the newest Lonely Planet - USA Travel guide.

Kudos to Lucas! Not only is it one of the FEW listings in the Kansas section, it warranted more ink than towns ten times its size! The first mention of Lucas occurs early on, even before the state-by-state listings begin. On page 39, in the very first special itinerary, there’s a wee little map of the US with 20 must-see sights on the “Dude, that’s weird” itinerary. In amongst the Art Car Museum, Coral Castle, and the World’s Largest Chair, there a central dot simply labeled Lucas, Kansas. “For sublime examples of ‘outsider’ or folk art, aim for Lucas, Kansas (p. 679.)”

When you do turn to page 679, you have a reason to be proud of our tiny town. The write-up starts in the introduction to the whole Kansas section:

Kansas is probably the most mocked travel destination in the nation, but it’s not without charms; widespread as they may be. From the vibrant indie music scene in Lawrence to quaint little villages like Lindsborg, and from Hutchinson’s high-tech space center to the ancient, otherworldly Monument Rocks, there are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. And surely nothing will surprise and amaze you as much as the oddball art community of Lucas, which is worth going way out of your way to see.

Kansas as a whole only gets 5 and a half pages (but don’t feel bad - Nebraska scored a mere 3 and a half pages, and they could only stretch North Dakota info as far as 2 and a half pages!) Only seven towns received their own heading: Wichita, Lawrence, Topeka, Abilene, Lucas, Hays, and Dodge City. For a bit of perspective, here’s that list again with populations: Wichita, 357698; Lawrence, 88605; Topeka, 122113; Abilene, 6543; Lucas, 436; Hays, 20031; Dodge City, 26101 (information from City-Data).

Our Lucas section outweighs Hays by three paragraphs, and ties with Topeka as to length of discussion and attractions featured. The listing starts with “Believe it or not, little Lucas is one of the world’s foremost centers for outsider art” and goes on to describe (complete with hours, admission, and contact information) the Garden of Eden, the Grassroots Art Center, the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things, and the Post Rock Scenic Byway.

The Lonely Planet guides are the most popular travel reference amongst international travelers, as they focus on unique, quality stops, with a wealth of knowledge and ‘insider tips’ featured in each country. Each volume is a massive collection of information, and we should be proud to have such a (relatively) large listing in this 1192-page tome. Congratulations, Lucas, on finally receiving some of the recognition you deserve! We’ve been on the map for a long, long time, and the people who write the tour guides are finally taking a closer look at our little gem.

Lonely Planet, USA Travel Guide, 5th edition. Published March 2008 by Lonely Planet.

Midwestern Tornado Destroys 4 World's Largest Objects

May 29, 2008 - The Onion
SAC CITY, IA—A category F4 tornado ravaged large sections of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin Sunday, killing 15 people and irreparably damaging four of the world's largest novelty objects, including a prized 150-foot fiberglass muskie and a two-ton bail of hay in Minnesota. "It's horrifying, there are three-foot wide pieces of popcorn ball everywhere," said Midwesterner Emily Roberts, whose garage was leveled when powerful winds dropped Sac City, IA's record-breaking confection onto its roof. "That damn popcorn ball used to be the pride of our city. It's so senseless." Even as volunteers worked tirelessly to clean up debris from the World's Largest Ball of Yarn in Rockford, IL, the city's mayor had already invited Guinness World Records officials to oversee the dedication of the World's Largest Knot.

(Readers - please note date and source)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gerstenslager: Education and World's Largest Legacy

As many members and fans know, WLT Inc. is developing a new Mobile Museum, utilizing a retired Bookmobile from the Gerstenslager Company.  One of the exciting tie-ins to World's Largest Things is seen here - Gerstenslager designed the 1952 Weinermobile body, adding the all-important bun element.  Here's an amazing resource site that details Gerstenslager history, with an addtional set of links to some thoroughly dangerous sites;

"The years from 1950 to 1954 brought five new versions of the Oscar Meyer Company’s Wienermobile, one of which is in the permanent collection of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

The museum’s 1952 Weinermobile, the focal point of its popular Wienermobile CafĂ©, was built by Gerstenslager, as were all five of Oscar Meyer’s early 50s advertising vehicles. Built upon a Dodge chassis the hotdog on wheels featured a high-fidelity public address/sound system and “bunroof”."

-Erika Nelson, Director
Worlds Largest Things, Inc.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Version of the World's Largest Things, Lucas Kansas

It is the start of Tourist Season, which means there are people wandering through the Art Car Yard and Home Base of the WLCoWSVoWLT - Always Open When Parked! We're located at 226 Kansas Avenue, just south of the historic Outsider Art environment "S.P. Dinsmoor's Garden of Eden".

Today, a family of four stopped for a chat, in the midst of a wandering vacation with no set plans (the best way to travel!!). I know there were some additional visitors Saturday while Scout, Erika, and part of the Collection traveled to Courtland KS, as there were items in the Donation bin. June 4th and 5th brought a whole slew of visitors and locals to the yard, but it was to gaze in awe at the Phone Car, which stopped over for the night.

Documentarian Visit

Fally Afani, an independent documentary filmmaker, stopped by the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things this morning to gather footage for a few uses - she's working on a series of episodes, one focusing on Collections, one focusing on Big Things. Nice to kill two birds with one stone!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Courtland Funky Art Festival

Spent the day with Scout and part of the WLCoWSVoWLT collection at Courtland KS's Funky Art Festival. Windy windy day, but with GREAT participation from the townspeople. They had a giant truck to paint, crafts, an amazing array of artwork from all ages, and we worked on the World's Largest Ball of Gum.

More photos on the World's Largest Things Photo Blog.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Phone Car visits around Lucas

Today, we took the phone car up to the Cafe for breakfast, over to the Senior Center for a between-meal visit, down to Brant's Meat Market, and to the Flying Pig Studio and Gallery. Along the way the driver, Hunter Mann, spots a payphone with nicely matching color scheme...

More images available on the photo blog in the Phone Car Set on Flickr.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Phone Car outside of Great Plains Manufacturing

Arrived about 6:30 Wednesday, and this was the first guy who couldn't resist taking a peek at Howie Davis's Phone Car. It's on its national tour, with a Lucas stopover to spread the Art Car Love...

You can see the whole Flickr Photo Set of the Phone Car visit...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

From the Email In-box: More World's Largest Cornflake

Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 3:09 PM
Subject: Attn: Erika Nelson, Director
Hello Erika,
We think we might have a bigger Corn Flake than the other we found mention of on your blog.
Yes, it is from a Kellogg's package, and we saved the box.
It's measurements are about 85 mm tall (including my best guess  of the fold) by 50 mm wide.
We found it this morning (Tuesday, June 2, 2008).
We would love to hear from you when you find anything official.
Lisa & Erica
Zion, IL

Oh, wonderful!  I think we may have a winner here - I'll keep checking!
-Erika Nelson, Director, WLT Inc.


Any idea how to preserve this thing? LOL I can just see the dog eating it or something! My Erica would be so mad!


I would keep it in a rigid, crush-proof box with some padding (kleenex) underneath - not too tight. Like an acrylic box that baseball collectors use, or the like, see-through so you don't accidentally pick it up and say "Hey! Empty box! I'll just wing it across the room..."

Find a dry, non-humid place and you shoule be fine! I have an older, smaller flake that got broken in shipment, that's four years old now with no visible signs of aging.

Thanks again for writing in, and I'll keep a running record of Giant Flake sightings....


Backyard Visitors

... two that I missed talking to (as I'd just cleaned off the front porch, showcasing the World's Smallest Versions: Kansas! display), and two who read about the WLCoWSVoWLT in the Lonely Planet USA guide - we're listed as a "Must See"!!

NEWS FLASH! Giant Telephone Comin' to Town

That's right, Howard Davis's Phone Car is coming through Lucas tomorrow, Wednesday June 4th - It's a giant phone! You can't miss it...

See more on their site: The Phone Car dot Com. See pics of the US Tour page

Monday, June 2, 2008

Backyard Visitors

....two early this morning, in the rain, and then a Fan, who called from the road, this afternoon. 
The Fan said he was going to the Ball of Twine, and the collection came up in the expanded <a href=>Roadside America</a> search.  Had some good conversations about the absurdity of World's Largest Things, Balls of Twine, Thesis Projects, and Art Cars.
Thanks for stopping by! 

From the Email Inbox: Giant Thumb, near Paris, France


Note phoon near thumb...

In case you're wondering what a 'Phoon' is...

... check out Phoons Around the World:
The WLCoWSVoWLT has been Phooned, too:

From the Email Inbox: Largest Cornflake

Subject: Largest Cornflake

What is the largest Kellog's Cornflake?
I just found one that measures 63 mm x 40 mm....the biggest I've ever encountered.
Is this a record?
Please advise....thanks,

Thanks for your inquiry -
I have not yet been able to locate an official record, but have had previous inquiries with measurements:
"Just wondering, how big was the cornflake before it arrived in pieces? I've got one that's pretty large (7cm tall by a bit more than 5cm wide)"
"I believe mine was just under that in length, and only about 3 cm wide although that part was folded over."
Was it from an actual Kellogg's Corn Flake box? Imitation corn flakes don't have quite the quality control, so generic brands tend to yeild more Large Flakes than the name brand... I would suggest keeping the box it came from, also, for provenance.  We have not yet heard back from the above inquiry as to brand, but will keep you posted if more infromation comes about.
Conversion-wise, your measurements are 2.59 inches by 2.57 inches - very impressive. 
Thanks for writing in, and color me jealous...
-Erika Nelson, Director

World's Largest Things Inc.

From the Email Inbox: Canadian Nickel