RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Roadside Marvels

More Roadside Marvels:
BY LOCATION
BY CATEGORY

FEATURED MARVEL
 ALL THE MARVELS 
SUBMIT A MARVEL!

 

THE BIGGEST PENCIL IN VIRGINIA
Located on Main Street in Wytheville at Wytheville Office Supply
Photographed by Boston Wrangler of Boston, Massachusetts
The Big Pencil in Wytheville, VA
Boston Wrangler

Everybody's heard the old riddle: "What's the biggest pencil in the United States?" Pennsylvania, get it? But Virginia, not Pennsylvania, is the state with a genuine big pencil, this fine example that's about thirty feet long and made of metal.

Exactly when this monumental writing stick was created is a matter of debate. We've found references claiming it was built in "early 1951," "the late 1950s" and the "early 1960s." Why it was made and by whom is much more commonly agreed upon. John Campbell Findlay, former owner of the Wytheville Office Supply store, had it constructed as an advertising gimmick that he hoped other business owners would copy to attract travelers on U.S. Highway 21 (the main highway back then) to stop in Wytheville and shop. There's an oversized paint can just down the street, but as far as we know, that's the only other monument inspired by Mr. Findlay's vision.

The shop and the big pencil were moved to its current location in 1985, where the pencil retains its sharpness as a Wytheville landmark.

Wytheville Office Supply
146 West Main Street
Wytheville, VA 24382

Other attractions in the Wytheville area

[Map]

Photographed by Boston Wrangler, August, 2004
Posted on RoadTrip America 5/06

 


Browse travel deals
    Name Your Own Price
    Fuel Cost Calculator