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Man uses toothpicks, glue to build models of famous buildings

Man uses toothpicks, glue to build models of landmarks

SPRING TWP., Pa. - A man from upstate New York has taken his love of architecture to a whole new level, using only toothpicks and Elmer's glue.

Soon, you can soon see his masterpieces on display at the Reading Public Museum.

Famous towers and landmark buildings from around the world made out of toothpicks and glue? It might sound silly, but New York native Stan Munro said he has made a career out of his childhood fascination with toothpicks.

"I was hooked at an early age," said Munro.

But his dream job started to come to life during a difficult time.

"My wife was very ill. I had to take care of her, so tooth-picking was something to keep me busy," said Munro.

Hours of tooth-picking in his basement soon become something more. Munro said he took a leap of faith and created his own business, Toothpick World. With toothpicks, Elmer's glue and very steady hands, the 41-year-old has brought to life 115 architectural treasures from around the world.

Some of his work includes toothpick models of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Munro's work has also been showcased at the New York State Fair.

"I want people to get a sense of what the real buildings would look like if they were all together," said Munro.

Over the course of eight years, Munro has used more than 60 gallons of Elmer's glue and more than three million toothpicks to build his arcitectural treasures.

While visiting a museum in Syracuse, Penn State Berks assistant professor Jessica Schocker saw Munro's work and wanted his exhibit in Berks County.

"I'm looking at it from a visitor perspective and I'm just thinking if my mind is so blown, I can't imagine how little kids are going to react," said Schocker, who managed to gather funds from Penn State Berks, the Wyomissing Foundation and the Berks Community Foundation to bring the Toothpick World exhibit to the Reading Public Museum on June 6.

Students at Penn State Berks got a special sneak peak on Thursday of 12 Toothpick World towers in the lobby of the Gaige Building.

"I couldn't imagine one person building that whole thing. It's crazy," said student Courtney Lucarelli.

Crazy to most, but not for this toothpick engineer.

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