Matchstick Marvels Tourist Center
2007 Iowa Tourism Attraction of the year
Perfect entertainment for families and groups of all sizes!
“Pat Acton is clearly the best matchstick model maker in North America. Quality-wise and skill-wise, he’s the best in the world.”
Vice President of Exhibits & Archives, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Come and see the best matchstick models in the world! Acton has created dozens of wooden models and sculptures made exclusively of ordinary wooden matchsticks. He has used millions of matchsticks and gallons of glue to create models that are highly detailed and painstakingly scaled. Also at the Center, you will see drawings and plans for many of the models, plus tools and equipment used in construction, and a video documentary of Acton’s unusual hobby.
Many models have historical significance, such as large-scaled models of the USS Iowa battleship, the space shuttle Challenger, the Wright Brothers’ Flyer, and the United States Capitol, which measures 12 feet long.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not has purchased 20 of Acton’s matchstick models for their museums throughout the world, including Mexico City, Jakarta, Copenhagen, and Sidney, Australia. In the United States, they are displayed in Branson, New Orleans, Key West, Jackson Hole, Gatlinburg, Atlantic City, and others.
Pat with the matchstick model U.S.S. Midway, 1986.
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