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February 6, 2008

We get email: From Rebecca Harris, webmaster for the Darwin Twine Ball Museum in Darwin, Minnesota


It came in at 8:25 a.m. this morning.

She wrote, "I am the webmaster for the Darwin Twine Ball Museum in Darwin, Minnesota. Can you please add the new website link to your site? It is: www.darwintwineball.com."

Rebecca, you know how to cut to the chase.

I instantly bumped one of today's previously scheduled posts so as to feature your cool new website.

The magnificent Darwin Twine Ball is the result of one man's dream — and 29 years of work to make it come true.


First featured here on July 15, 2005, the new website could create an irresistible urge to make the trip and view the magnificent creation in person.

One thing, though: make sure when you buy your plane ticket to specify Darwin, Minnesota — not Australia.

Otherwise your pilgrimage will be in vain.

Though you'll probably get a better tan.

From the Twine Ball Museum website:

Darwin, Minnesota is the home of a the largest Twine Ball in the World made by one man, Francis A. Johnson

The Twine Ball is 4 meters (13 ft) in diameter, 40 ft in circumfrance, and weighs 17,400 pounds (7,900 kg).


Francis A. Johnson started his obsession in March of 1950 and wrapped for 4 hours every day for 23 weeks.

Francis lifted it with a crane to continue proper wrapping as he went along. For 39 years, this magnificent sphere evolved at Johnson's farm. Eventually the ball was moved to a circular open air shed on his front lawn.

When Francis died in 1989, the city of Darwin moved the ball onto a special city lot across from the park on Main Street.

The gazebo that shelters it today allows viewing from all sides through Plexiglas panels.

The museum is a volunteer-run museum and gift shop that offers key information on the ball's history as well many unique souvenirs.

Save the date: The second Saturday in August of every year (August 9 this year) heralds the onset of Twine Ball Days in Darwin.


I hope bookofjoe readers everywhere take notice and put the Darwin Twine Ball Museum in Darwin, Minnesota at the top of their "100 things to see before I die" lists.


I know I have.

February 6, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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I wonder if it's full of cockroaches and things. And is "twine" the same thing as "string"? I mean, does it have stuff like dental floss (mint flavor, even, which, come to think of it, could offset the stink of the twine) and fishing line in the middle, where you can't see it? Wouldn't that be cheating? And how do we know there's anything at all in the middle? There could be a family of four living in there. He must've taken pictures documenting the gradual growing of the sphere, but still, that's not actual proof. I wonder if anybody's ever drilled down into it and taken a core sample...

Posted by: Flautist | Feb 6, 2008 8:08:34 PM

Can I say ouch for the twine ball lady? Presumptuous in the extreme I know and you were fully within your rights but...

Posted by: Milena | Feb 6, 2008 6:16:32 PM

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