I’ve recently discovered that the Guinness Book of records doesn’t care about the same things I do. These days, they’re more focused on natural occurrences like biggest waterfall or crazy stuff animals do. They like human activities and feats of endurance and strength rather than the objects they build. There’s an entire separate book of records for gaming related records now. I’m not judging, but who buys that? At any rate, relatively few things claiming to be the World’s Largest are independently verified by Guinness except when people are actually trying to one up a previous example, so all you really have to do most of the time is just call yourself The World’s Largest Whatever and if no one challenges you, you are.
The Worlds Largest Bobbing Head, found at Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center, Middletown, CT. Bill petitioned to have this declared the Worlds Largest Bobbing Head Doll by Guinness, but apparently they weren’t buying the doll part and don’t have a category for just Bobbing Head, which is pretty downright unamerican
All that is to say that this list is not scientific in any way. The closest I came to verifying these claims was to check them against Wikipedia’s woefully incomplete list of Worlds Largest Objects.
The World’s Largest Bug, who is a termite evidently named Nibbles Woodaway, sitting on top of Big Blue Bug Solutions (formerly New England Pest Control) in Providence, Rhode Island. Also seen in the classic masterpiece of cinema Dumb and Dumber
The reasons for building a Large Object vary I suppose. Most of the time they’re promotion in some way or another. A company headquarters, a roof of a business, a mascot. To be fair, if someone else had a bigger Mr Potatohead than Hasbro that would be pretty awkward.
World’s Largest Mr Potatohead, unchallenged and undefeated, outside of Hasbro headquarters, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Sometimes they celebrate a hometown hero. Warren, Ohio has an alley devoted to Foo Fighters drummer Dave Grohl where they display the worlds largest pair of drumsticks
I feel like making these from telephone poles was kind of… phoning it it. (Get it!?) but work smarter not harder as they say
A lot of the time they celebrate a crop the area is famous for. I can’t be the only one who thinks South Carolina deserves to be the peach state more than Georgia does, but more on how our license plates misrepresent our true strengths at a later time. (Spoiler alert: it’s going to be about peanuts)
Full disclosure someone sent me this. I have approximately 20 blurry photos of the Gaffney Peach taken from a moving car on the drive between my home state of Virginia and my current state of Georgia. World’s Largest Peach, Gaffney, South Carolina
Very often Worlds Largest objects fall into the category of public art. Upon reflection for the purpose of writing this post, the primary difference between a “public art work” and a roadside oddity is where you put it and who pays for it. If it’s paid for with tax dollars it’s art.
The World’s Largest Fire Hydrant or ‘Busted Plug Plaza’ by artist Blue Sky in Columbia, SC. I’ve never heard someone refer to a fire hydrant as a plug in real life so if you have please record it and send it to me
If it’s displayed at a museum or on museum grounds it’s probably art.
This World’s Largest Safety Pin in City Park in New Orleans, LA is tied for the title with an identical pin at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Both made by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.
If if it’s marked with the name of the artist or it’s easy to find the Artists name, it’s art.
My other job is making jewelry from human teeth so the World’s Largest Tooth is a special collision of worlds for me. Part of a rotating sculpture park where artist J. Seward Johnson stores his larger than life pieces waiting to lease them out to other cities for display. Trenton, NJ
Other times large objects are made for special occasions. Several of the largest cooking utensils were made to cook record breaking food, like the cherry pie pan in my first post. (Read it) A traveling exhibit about the history of toys, which I suspect was financed at least in part by Mattel, and stopped through the Virginia Historical Society last year boasted two of the World’s Largest objects, one which stood outside to attract visitors and the other made for the exhibit by an artist.
The World’s Largest Gumby, probably not much competition, Virginia Historical Society Richmond, VA
I actually expected this to be bigger. Where is the ambition people?
So there ya have it, a small handful of totally randomly selected objects which may or may not be the World’s Largest of their kind but nobody seems to be arguing and I couldn’t figure out how to thematically link.
If you want to see the aforementioned tooth jewelry you can find me at extollojewelry.com
If you want to know more about J. Seward Johnson here’s his website http://sewardjohnsonatelier.org/
And the website for Grounds for Sculpture groundsforsculpture.org
If you want to know more about anything else try google.com