Monday, November 30, 2009

Finished Restoration, Big Fish Supper Club, Bena MN

Wow - lookit that pop! This image is from the realtor who has the site for sale, and the paint job was done by Josh Porter of Avalon Studios... small world, as this project hit the Society for Commercial Archeology newsletters just as Josh called up to say he'd be working on it.

(side note - Josh is Erika's first cousin, so the World's Largest Things gene must run on the Swedish side of the line...)

Buy the Big Fish:

Hire Josh to make your next World's Largest Thing:

Bena Minnesota Big Fish: Restored, and for sale!

Just found the listing after the agent left a message on one of the blog posts... Perfect opportunity! Now, where did I leave that large stash of cash, so I can live in Minnesota, run a resort, and care for a BIG FISH?

Did I mention the year-round fish cleaning house?


Rose Hill NC Chamber of Commerce

Gotta love a logo with happy smiling pig and chicken, advertising cooked pig and chicken!  You go, Rose Hill.

Rose Hill North Carolina World's Largest Pan - still being used!

That's how things work here - a brief mention in an article, and Viola!  You find another WLT, hiding in plain sight.  As mentioned in the previous post, there are more than a few that USED to be used, but this one has been in service (and still cookin'!) since 1965. 
From the July 15, 1982 issue of the Wilmington Morning Star:   ROSE HILL ADPOTS FRYING PAN
The town of Rose Hill became owner of what is called "the world's largest frying pan" Tuesday night.
The huge pan, actually in eight sections joined together, has been the centerpiece of poultry promotions and jubilees since 1963.
Promised removal of the centerpiece to Kenansville for the first Duplain County agricultural fair in 60 years, prompted the action.
Dennis Ramsey explained,"  I'm displeased with its leaving town.  It's only left town once and that was to White Lake for a blueberry festival.  At that time we were promoting our own Rose Hill Jubilee and poultry products. 
For several years the pan has rested under a gazebo on a lot adjacent to the Rose Manor shopping center south of Rose Hill.  Previously, it was located on the town park, the former Rose Hill school campus.
Tuesday night, Ramsey offered the pan to the town if it would provide a suitable location.  The board of commissioners accepted the pan during its regular July meeting.  The board plans to provide a permanent site for the pan in the town park beside U.X. 117.
The pan, 15 feet across, is made of 1/4-inch steel.  It can fry 265 chickens at one time.  The pan requires 140 gallons of cooking oil and eight sets of tobacco burners for heating.

From the PR Newswire: World's Largest Frying Pan Heats Up

ROSE HILL, N.C. -  Nov. 30, 2009

The world's largest frying pan, measuring fifteen feet in diameter and clocking in at an astounding two tons, is about to be fired up.

On Saturday, December 5th, a portion of the frying pan's forty gas burners will be put to good use in celebration of the Rose Hill Christmas Parade. Constructed in 1963, the world's largest frying pan can fry up to 365 chickens and uses nearly 200 gallons of cooking oil at capacity.

Whole Harvest, maker of the nation's first naturally produced zero Trans-fat, hexane free cooking oil, will be providing all the cooking oil for the event. House of Raeford Farms, Inc., headquartered in Rose Hill, will supply the chicken. Sales proceeds will support the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department.

Whole Harvest is proud to support the Rose Hill Volunteer Fire Department. It seems only fitting for the world's largest frying pan to use the nation's first all natural, no Trans-fat, hexane free oil.

SOURCE Whole Harvest

*from WLT Director Erika Nelson:  This sounds like the DelMarVa pan, but North Carolina?!?  Maybe there's yet another World's Largest Pan!  DelMarVa pan is housed in Wilmington Delaware, used to be used in the Delaware/Maryland/Virginia peninsula for chicken frys.  Also, Long Beach Washington has a retired (and now replicated) pan, formerly used for clam frys, and there's one in Brandon, Iowa, too...*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When Worlds Combine - great Back Yard Visitor story from Thanksgiving Weekend

Family show up in back yard, mother says "didn't we see you at the Orange Show in Houston?" Yay, Texas!

The son pipes up and says: "Yeah, and she was on ArtLand, too..." Yay, Film crews that come through Lucas!

Mom says, "Can I get your picture together with my son?" I say sure, she clicks, and says to son: "Now you have one with the Big Little Big lady, AND Bill Nye!" Yay, being as cool as Bill Nye the Science Guy!

I say to son: "Good combination, Art and Science. They go together really well..." and little guy says: "Well, Leonardo was good at both, I don't see why I can't be..." Yay, 12-year-old liking and undersanding DaVinci!!!

So, we talk about more big and little stuff, I give them all Wooden Nickles, and I make a pact with the son to learn to say the complete longest-named town name, and it'll be our greeting next time we meet... Yay, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Connecting the dots for about 10 years...

Just had a nice reminder of why I'm sitting alone on a Sunday night, typing up stories about World's Largest Things...

Reminder #1: While doing next month's columns, I ran across a blog that mentioned the WL Replica Cheese (now gone), which also uses my commentary and meta-photo:

Reminder #2: The very next topic I searched, in looking for the World's Largest Current Cheese record, had another tie-in - a WLT Member took the photo on the first explanation page I came to:
Reminder #3: And, just now, in googling "worlds largest cheese" and "ranjit", the above result was the second listing. The first was this, taken during a residency in Delaware, back in Aught Four or Aught Five:

Reminder #4: The same residency that let to my appearance in Zippy the Pinhead:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NEW Sideshow Poster now available for purchase

11" x 17" full color glossy mini-poster features paintings of some of the smallest WSVs from the WLCoWSVoWLT collection, as seen on the first of three new Sideshow Banners for the traveling exhibit, premiering May 2010.
Get yours now!  We've set up PayPal buttons on a special Sneak Preview page.  Prices include S&H - $7.00 for one, $25.00 for five.  Get a whole slew, stuff 'em in stockings for a Wonderfully Wee Christmas!

Monday, November 16, 2009

New error message for WLT site

Seemed like a good creative thing for Art-A-Day Month... Now accessable for any missing file, page not found, etc. at the World's Largest Thing site.
See it in action here -

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Seattle's Hat-N-Boots - Restored!

What great news from Seattle Parks and Recreation:
PROJECT STATUS - October 2009
Restoration of the hat is complete!
The Georgetown Community Council and Seattle Parks and Recreation are happy to announce the completion of the restoration on the Hat 'n' Boots. Scaffolding came down from around the hat on October 15, 2009. The painting of the hat was completed soon after and Parks is working on finishing the final details.

The Hat 'n' Boots were moved from thier former location at the "Premium Tex" Texaco gas station on E Marginal Way to Oxbow Park in December 2003. The boots were restored in 2005.

Thank you, Seattle! This Pro Parks project is complete, and the park is open to public. On Saturday, August 13, 2005, the community gathered to dedicate the new park.

Park construction started in November 2003 but it took on real meaning with the move of the Hat 'n' Boot structures to the park on December 13, 2003. The move was accomplished in two stages starting on December 12. (See photos.)
Kelly Davidson
800 Maynard Ave. S., 3rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98134-1336

From the Email Inbox: WL Rubber Chicken pics

This is why I love my job.  Just got pics in from Mike Wild, who makes large wonderful things.  This is the giant rubber chicken he built for a toystore, located just 5 miles south of the World's Largest Bottle of Catsup, Collinsvill IL.  They only got a 10 day varience from the city, so the chicken was only outside for a few weeks, but it's inside now, and they hope for a more permanent outside let at some point...
Thanks, for keeping the American Roadside AWESOME!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rhode Island Milk Can for sale

Found it on a real estate blog, with some not-too-bad info in the listing...
A  way of attracting motorists, while they are travelling the highways, to a diner, coffee shop, or roadside attraction was to build the building in an unusual shape, especially the shape of the things sold there. "Mimic" Mimetic architecture became a trend, in the 1930's but in RHODE ISLAND we had ours built in 1807. Many roadside coffee shops were built in the shape of giant coffee pots; hot dog stands were built in the shape of giant hot dogs; and fruit stands were built in the shape of oranges or other fruit or a large milkcan as was the structure built in 1807 at the junction of 146 and 295. This Milk Can was originally located down the road on Louisquisett Pike (Rt 146) in Lincoln, RI, located not far from my home in Lincoln, RI in a neighboring community located at 920 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield,

This vacant Milk Can Structure Building that was originally an ice cream stand, built in the shape of a dairyman's cream can 32 1/2 feet high and 16 feet in diameter represented the earliest
period of snack food merchandising located on a major highway, Route 146.

It was moved for highway construction Rt 99 in the late eighties early nineties. It was only moved one mile down the same road from its previous location to a new location.

This container building was a unique expression of architecture, built by the Original owner, Charles Plante that would demand the motorist's notice. In 1950 a canopy and Kitchen was a major addition, as well as a patio area in 1960.

This vacant milk can  is listed in the National Register status 1979

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two WLTs in ONE AP story...

Sultan Kösen, the world's tallest man, unveils the world's largest gingerbread man at an Ikea store in Oslo, Thursday, Nov. 12 2009. The Swedish furniture chain's Oslo outlet says 8-foot-1-inch tall Sultan Koesen of Turkey presented the cookie that weighs 1,435 pounds (651 kilograms). It was baked in the traditional gingerbread man shape by a local bakery and beat the previous 2006 world cookie record of 1,307 pounds (593 kilograms) set in Smithville, Texas. (AP Photo / Morten Holm / Scanpix)
OSLO — The world's tallest living man has unveiled the world's largest gingerbread man at an Ikea outlet in Norway's capital, Oslo.

Guinness Book of World Records spokeswoman Justine Bourdariat says 8-foot-1-inch tall Sultan Koesen of Turkey displayed the 1,435-pound (651-kilogram) biscuit. Baked locally in the traditional gingerbread-man shape, it beat the previous gingerbread cookie record of 1,307 pounds set in 2006 in Smithville, Texas.

Ikea spokesman Jan Thommesen says Guinness Book of World Records representative Kelly Gerret awarded the furniture store a world record diploma Thursday as part of the publication's World Records Day.

Koesen was declared the tallest living man by the Guinness Book of World Records in September.

Monday, November 9, 2009

August US Airways Magazine: Alberta's WLTs

In Egypt, the great Pharaohs commissioned towering pyramids as lasting testaments to immortality. India is the site of the Taj Mahal, and China the Great Wall. Across Europe, cities raise monuments to exalted leaders and famous explorers.

And in the far-flung town of Mundare in the Canadian province of Alberta, near the intersection of highways 15 and 855, stands the world's largest Ukrainian sausage. The 42-foot-tall opus to grilled goodness commemorates the nearby Stawnichy's Meat Processing facility, the region's Ukrainian heritage, and the town's long-running association with various pork products.

No one really knows — or at least they aren't willing to say — just why Alberta seems to be falling all over itself to construct Brobdingnagian shrines to the weird, the wacky, and the downright strange. Actually, that's only partly true: There's usually a somewhat reasonable explanation for many of the gargantuan attractions. Still, the list of oversized memorials reads like the itinerary for a Griswold family vacation.

Read the rest of the story online:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Heat on to find world's largest stove a home


A dozen or so years ago, companies, unions and just plain folks raised $300,000 to restore the world's largest stove and install it atop a mound at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. You can see the 25-foot-tall behemoth behind the fences as you pass the fairgrounds on Woodward Avenue, south of 8 Mile.
Because of its budget woes, the state shut down the 161-year-old fair after this year's run and is now seeking the right project for economic development and job creation on its 208-acre grounds.
If something comes along, what happens to the stove, an icon of Detroit's first industrial era -- long before it was the Motor City, Detroit was Stove City, USA -- and a monument to the rarity of people around here working together to get something done?
State officials are emphatic that the stove, built in 1892 to represent Detroit at the 1893 world's fair in Chicago, is not for sale. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't entertain offers to move it to a location where it would once again be accessible for public jaw-dropping.

A sizable problem

This is not a real stove but an enormously outsize wooden replica of a model made by Garland Stove Co. when stoves were for cooking and home heating -- and Garland was the biggest of Detroit's six manufacturers. The stove is 15 tons of Michigan oak and pine, shored up by a steel frame. Its legs are framed by a concrete wall bearing the names of major contributors to the restoration. The walkways leading up to it are paved with bricks filled with messages from donors who chipped in $25 apiece. Because it's mostly wood, the stove requires regular maintenance. There is some obvious repair work needed immediately.
"It needs a good, visible home and it needs constant protection," said former state fair manager John Hertel, who led the effort to resurrect the stove. "But it's worth saving. It represents an era. It was built four years before the auto industry got rolling around here. It really is a symbol of how we can reinvent ourselves, and that's a good message for right now."

Big piece of history

After its run in Chicago, the stove stood for decades on the Garland Co.'s front lawn along Jefferson before it was moved east to near the bridge leading to Belle Isle. In 1965, it was moved to the front of the fairgrounds along Woodward, but lasted there only until 1974.

The stove was "was literally falling apart" when it was taken down and left in a pile inside the warehouse of the Detroit Historical Museum at Ft. Wayne, Hertel said. More than two decades later, he had 20 truckloads of stove pieces brought to the fairgrounds where artisans from Greenfield Village supervised the removal of 12 coats of lead-based paint, salvaged about 60% of the original wood and repainted and rebuilt the stove over three years, adding a rubberized top layer to afford it better protection.

So now what? Frankly, there are higher priorities. Still, it would be a shame to just let it go or dismantle it and pack it away someplace. After all, nobody else has one.

My favorite idea is putting it under the "Spirit of Detroit," a perfect reminder that sometimes you have to light a fire under people around here to get anything done.

But if you've got a proposal for the stove, you are invited to send an e-mail to, the real estate division of the state Department of Management and Budget, which is now in charge of the fairgrounds. Actually, if you've got an economic development proposal for the site, they probably would welcome that, too. A stove factory, maybe?