World's Largest Teapot
Chester West Virginia
My trek into West Virginia lasted exactly 37 minutes - 25 of that being in the parking lot of the gas station closest to the teapot, and another 3 negotiating the on/off ramps.
Located in the little sliver between Ohio and Pennsylvania, the Teapot is another World's Largest along Highway 30. It's all by its lonesome, sitting next to a highway on-ramp, fenced off from prying fingers. Although the gate was standing wide open at the time of my evening/night visit...
According to the back of the postcard:
"The Teapot" was originally brought to Chester, West Virginia to represent the largest pottery industry in the world at one time. It was in a Hires Root Beer barrel advertisement and, in 1938, was brought to Chester where it was converted to a teapot. In 1990 its restoration was completed by a group of citizens from the City of Chester, WV. "You are looking at the LARGEST TEAPOT IN THE WORLD on record."
From another description, "...A spout and handle were added and the barrel covered with tin to more closely resemble a teapot. A large ball was placed on top to make the lid. According to one source, the Teapot used to have an accompanying Creamer. ...in 1987, it was donated to the City of Chester. The town voted to restore the Teapot and it ws moved to various places during fund-raising and restoration.... The doors and windows were sealed shut and it was repainted back to the original red and white color scheme. A formal dedication ceremony was held in 1990 and the Teapot was safely caged from vandals behind a chain link fence. Today, the paint is peeling once again and surprisingly there is no plaque or sign explaining the significance of the building."
Very apt description.
World's Largest Teapot Stats:
Built 1938, restored 1987-1990. 14' high, 14' diameter.
A reader recently sent me this additional information:
"...it was an excellent marketing idea and one that has obviously endured for the community of Chester, WV. In any event, the teapot was once featured in the syndicated "Ripley's Believe It or Not" newspaper "cartoons". Ripley's correctly identifies the principal builder as Mr. Babe Devon, a local potter "
And, another reader contribution:
"A little more info if interested. The teapot was the idea of Wilford Devon, a local printer. It was originally located on Carolina Avenue when the main street in town was US Route 30. This was also part of the Lincoln Highway. He had a small art ware shop in the rear and sold all kinds of souvenirs and novelties. You could by soft drinks and hot dogs which they served out the windows of the teapot. The hot dogs were cooked by electrocution but not the greatest as I recall. Babe was my neighbor when I was 13 and I used to cut his grass for a quarter. That would take me to a double feature movie on Saturday with 15 cents left to spend. The teapot now sits in the area where the streetcar loop was for Rock Springs Park. Rock Springs Park was leveled to make room for the new highway. The little creamer was an after thought and as I recall not at the original location."
Thank you, Kelly!
I'll post more as I get information.
Tips? Photos? Please share:
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