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Worlds Largest Thermometer
Dan Chusid '05

World's Largest Thermometer

Baker, California

[From] Will Herron, a businessman, dreamed of a huge thermometer for 25 years before he made it a reality in California's high desert. The World's Largest Thermometer is 134-ft.-tall, symbolic of the record high temperature in the US, in Death Valley -- 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. It juts up above the Herron's Bun Boy coffee shop in Baker, a small town near Nevada, "Gateway to Death Valley".

Herron had the thermometer constructed by Electric Sign Co. of Las Vegas (manufacturers of many neon and bulb monstrosities of the Vegas strip). They used 33 tons of steel, and almost 5,000 lamps to render the three-sided digital display. After strong winds broke the thermometer, smashing a gift shop under construction, it was rebuilt, and eventually filled with concrete so that it would survive anything.

Near the thermometer, as testament to the local climate, a frying pan with eggs appears to be a permanent monument.

Baker's Thermometer has no real competition as far as other towering thermal measurement devices are concerned. International Falls, Minnesota passively perpetuated an old claim that their 22-ft. tall thermometer was the World's Largest but even the notion that they are still the "Coldest Spot in 48 States" was challenged by a sturdy concrete penguin statue in Cut Bank, Montana -- "Coldest Spot in the Nation." In 2002, International Falls gave up and took apart their thermometer after it stopped working.

other sizes: small medium original
Anna Yu05-Jan-2006 04:01
Kinda reminds me of my high fever and I'm stuck in the hotel room coughing and hacking away when everyone else is having fun. Very nice contrast of primary colors in this shot.
Ray :)31-Dec-2005 20:08
I imagine Christmas Day is a pretty sensible time to visit ;-)
Focus30-Dec-2005 15:40
The last time I saw this sign it was 110 night. My buddy and I were just coming back from a motorcycle rally in Stateline, Nev., and he was severely dehydrated. We spent about an hour here in Baker before pushing on.
elpasso29-Dec-2005 10:10
most exciting shot I've seen of a thermometer!
David Winge29-Dec-2005 03:35
Hee hee, I love this, gateway to it's not over an hour from here! Like I live at the gateway to Malibu, California. I do remember the old sign, it looked better than this one!
Ann LT29-Dec-2005 00:30
So,how hot/cold is it?
Sheena Woodhead28-Dec-2005 20:10
What an interesting structure. Great perspective you have captured here too.
KimKong28-Dec-2005 19:36
Well, what's the temperature on this shot? In celcius please. :)
I can't see how to read this thermometer.
Splendid angle and great colors!
coaster28-Dec-2005 18:30
Good shot; did you lunch at Bun Boy?
Ray Rebortira28-Dec-2005 16:59
Wow!!! But the dark blue sky seems to say the weather is fine!
J. Scott Coile28-Dec-2005 16:45
Great shot. Super background info!
Naomi Sheaffer28-Dec-2005 16:28
Cool! er, I mean, Hot photo, Dan!
Adalberto Tiburzi28-Dec-2005 16:26
And the photo "speaks"... ;-)
Bob Floyd28-Dec-2005 16:21
Going up? Great perspective on this one.
Sharon Rogers28-Dec-2005 16:17
cool shot, love the strong colours
Julie Blaney28-Dec-2005 16:09
Ahhh, such a familiar sight! I remember being hugely disappointed as a kid to discover it was not a mercury thermometer (my parents had been hyping the World's Largest Thermometer); somehow it just wasn't as cool to see a digital display. But seeing it was always a thrill 'cause it meant Vegas was not too far off. And there's a bathroom at Bun Boy!
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