The big country that is the USA showcases many big ideas – and sometimes in small places. In particular, the town of Casey in Illinois is dotted with some of the world’s largest items, all from the workshop Big Things in a Small Town, set up by 61-year-old businessman Jim Bolin.
Jim has spearheaded the design and creation of a number of giant items as part of his project to get his hometown back on its feet after the recession.
His idea was initially to build one record-breaking item to put Casey on the map, but he caught the bug and now boasts eight amazing items, all fully functional as per Guinness World Records guidelines.
In October 2015, Jim and his team unveiled the world’s Largest mailbox measuring a whopping 162.63 m³ (5,743.41 ft³).
A giant version of a standard US mailbox, it has an internal volume of 5,743.41 cubic feet (162.63 m³) and a built-in stairway inside the post stand so that visitors can climb up to the box.
Located in Casey’s downtown business district, it’s designed to accept mail (which, when deposited, raises a red flag), and Jim intends to use the interior space to set up a museum of mail history.
Traditional wooden shoes originated in the Netherlands, but the Largest clogs reside in Jim’s home town.
He created clogs measuring 11 ft 5 in (3.5 m) long, 5 ft 10 in (1.77 m) wide and 4 ft 10 in (1.48 m) tall, outstripping the previous (Dutch) record by more than a foot all round.
The shoes, made of 61 layers of pine, weigh about 1,500 lb (680 kg) each.
Jim and two team-mates carved them by chainsaw then sanded and lacquered them to a glossy finish.
One of Jim’s earliest creations was the Largest golf tee, based on the normal-sized version used at Casey Country Club.
Permanently set up at the Country Club, the gargantuan golf tee stands 30 ft 9 in (9.37 m) tall, with a head diameter of 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and a shaft width of 2 ft 1 in (64 cm).
Jim and his staff at Bolin Enterprises, Inc. made the tee from yellow pine boards glued together into a large block, and shaped it with chainsaws.
The businessman also established a new record in Casey for the world’s Largest pitchfork, which measured 8 ft 4 in (2.56 m) wide and 61 ft 2 in (18.64 m) long.
That’s more than 12 times longer than a conventional pitchfork, or about the same as the length of a bowling alley.
It is now on display outside Richards Farm Restaurant. Bolin designed the enormous farming tool to fit with the restaurant’s rustic decor and symbolize Casey’s agricultural community.
It weighs a whopping 1,940 lb (880 kg).
A wood-and-steel rocking chair, 56 ft 1 in (17.09 m) tall and 32 ft 9 in (9.99 m) wide, brought Jim Bolin, his team and his town another record for the Largest rocking chair.
Each piece was weighed as the chair was constructed, giving a total weight of 46,200 lb (20,955 kg).
A “dove of hope” is carved on the wooden head rest.
The big rocker is one more episode in the USA’s history of giant chairs, which began modestly with a 12-ft (3.6-m) Mission chair built by the citizens of Gardner, Massachusetts, in 1905.
Besides from these, Jim has also led the construction of the Largest knitting needles (13 ft long, or 3.98 m), the Largest crochet hook (6 ft 1.5 in long, or 1.86 m) and the Largest wind chime (42 ft long, or 12.8 m).
Speaking to Guinness World Records, Jim said: "The world records is just changed our town tremendously."
These incredible creations appear in the new Guinness World Records 2017 Edition book alongside thousands of other amazing records.