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Central Iowan attempts to erase history with world record pencil collection

Aaron Bartholmey said he has enough to beat the current pencil collection record of about 24,000.

COLFAX, Iowa — Hobbies are a big part of peoples' lives —  and for Aaron Bartholmey of Colfax, Iowa, it's been collecting pencils since first grade.

Now, about 30 years later, Bartholmey's collection's ready to rewrite the record books.

On Saturday, members of the American Pencil Collectors Society came out to Iowa to count Bartholmey's collection — which he told Local 5 totals more than 70,000. 

“I’m just a history buff, and I love most of what I collect is antique pencils," Bartholmey said. "I just love the history on them, whether it’s the forgotten businesses on them or just some of the stuff from World War II.”

Bartholmey's collection contains wooden No. 2 pencils, advertising pencils, over-sized pencils and even pencils with aspirin and uranium inside.

He said Aspirin pencils have been around since the 1950s.

The current pencil collection record sits at a little over 24,000, held by a man from Uruguay since 2020 in the Guinness Book of World Records.

By 6 p.m. Saturday, the collectors society had counted over 33,000 pencils already, meaning Bartholmey had successfully erased the previous record.

“We known we’ve at least gotten past the record, so we’re pretty happy about that," Bartholmey said. 

Even though the count came to a close, Aaron’s name won't officially get etched into the record books until after he sends in filmed video of the count and the official number of pencils counted to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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