Matchstick Models

posted in: The Stories of Erie PA | 0

By William Zack, July 12, 2017 — I had a stroke and I had to retire from the workforce. I always had wanted to build a ferris wheel out of an erector set, and since I did not have one, I decided I would build one out of matchsticks. I had four years of drafting in high school, so I would start by drawing what I wanted to make. I didn’t even know entirely what a ferris wheel look like, I decided to wing it. I knew they had to have seats and that they had to swivel.

Somebody got wind of it and then called the Erie Times News, and WICU came out see me, and I was on TV. Later on, the man from the Boston Store wanted me to make a model of the Boston Store because they were remodeling. I made a model of the Boston Store before they remodeled it and after. Also with Dobbins Landing, and the Renaissance Center. At the Boston Store by the elevators, the model is there in a glass case.

(There are four clocks, one on each side of the building on the model he made)

I got all four clocks to be synchronized at the same time, and boy, did I have a problem with that! You set one ahead of time because by the time you set the second one, it has to match the first one, and I had to do two more of them. It took me two hours to figure out how to do it!   Governor Tom Ridge donated it, and he asked, how did you get all those clocks to synchronize? His wife wanted me to make a model of the Capitol building in Harrisburg. She wrote me a letter two weeks later, and said we can’t have you do the building because we don’t have the funds. So that was the end of that. I bought match sticks 30,000 at a time.

I gave the ferris wheel model to Waldameer, and they only paid me $35. I built a model out of Dobbins Landing from a picture of how they were going to renovate it, and then they decided not to renovate it. They paid me $700 out of petty cash. Then about a week later, they sent me another check for $500.

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