Engineer sets records building 120 landmarks using millions of toothpicks, gallons of glue

Stan Munro has been a “toothpick engineer” since 2005. He knows it’s quite weird, but if you’ve ever seen a toothpick structure somewhere on the internet, odds are it’s one of his pieces.

“I have put together at least five million toothpicks, creating at least 120 structures, using at least 50 gallons of glue and at least 400 rolls of masking tape,” Munro told In The Know.

Munro loves the idea that with just a box of toothpicks and a bottle of glue, he can build the world. He’s broken world records for his replicas — which include Yankee Stadium, Notre Dame Cathedral and the House of Parliament.

Every structure is built to the same 1/64 scale.

“It’s almost hard to fathom that they’re made out of toothpicks,” Lauren Kochian, the president of the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse said. “Even though you’re looking right at them made out of toothpicks.”

The museum hosts Toothpick World, where all of Munro’s finished buildings are. According to the Toothpick World site, it takes Munro an average of 15 days to make a structure.

The easiest building to make was the Washington Monument, which took Munro five hours. The hardest was the La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, which took him five months to complete.

“Once it’s done, I don’t even care anymore,” Munro said. “The happiest point is when you’re all done, the worst point is about 10 seconds after that — then you’re like, I have nothing to do. The best part is right now, in the middle. I wish this could last forever.”

Munro doesn’t sign his name on any of his projects. Instead, he includes his signature “I <3 Suzi” in honor of his wife. There’s even a small plaque on the inside of Munro’s Chrysler Building because it was her favorite.

“This is just what I do and what I enjoy doing,” Munro said. “Not everybody gets it, that’s okay — if it’s not for you, it’s not for you. It’s for me.”

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