~ Last updated on Jul 9, 2021 ~
Business Marketing at its Finest
The late John Campbell Findlay opened Wytheville Office Supply as “The Letter Shop” in 1948 in an upstairs room at 178 West Main Street and had the “Big Pencil” constructed in the early 60’s.
For generations, visitors like myself have made a “point” to see Wytheville’s Main Street landmark. While it is a fairly large pencil, I was a little disappointed to find out that it is not the World’s Largest Pencil.
The pencil is made of metal, it is approximately 30 feet long, and has had a number of facelifts to keep it in pristine condition over the years.
The Family Owned Business Continues
In 1972, Ty (the daughter of the original founder, Campbell Findlay) and Wayne Roop purchased Wytheville Office Supply and have developed it into a large, multi-state outlet for everything from office supplies and office furniture to copiers.
While Wytheville Office Supply was relocated in downtown Wytheville several times, the Big Pencil was moved one last time in 1985 to the current address at 146 West Main Street in Wytheville. The 22,000 square foot facility was remodeled to meet the modern needs of their growing business.
If you decide to go in and check out the inside, you will also be able to find a very large pair of working scissors. Again, not the World’s Largest Scissors, but really big.
The workers here are nice and do not mind sharing the history behind it all. They are also know to give out free postcards and notepads.
Nationally Syndicated Recognition
In December of 2000, Whytheville’s Office Supply’s giant pencil was the subject of a nationally syndicated comic strip “Zippy” by Bill Griffith, which featured the “Big Pencil”.