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Iowa man's collection tallied at 69,255 unique pencils

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July 21 (UPI) -- An Iowa man seeking the Guinness World Record for the largest pencil collection had his 69,255 unique writing implements tallied at an Iowa museum.

Aaron Bartholmey, 36, of Colfax, took his pencil collection to the Colfax Historical Society museum where they were publicly counted one by one in the fashion mandated by Guinness World Records rules.

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Bartholmey and his 69,255 pencils are attempting to break the record held by Emilio Arenas, whose collection of 24,026 pencils earned him the title in May 2020.

Bartholmey said his collection started when his first-grade teacher gave each of her students a colorful pencil for Christmas, and he soon started swiping up other pencils from antique stores and flea markets.

His collection now includes commemorative pencils dating back more than 100 years, advertising pencils, pencils designed to dial rotary phones and sports pencils bearing team schedules.

"I've just always enjoyed the stories that the pencils can tell," Bartholmey told The Washington Post. "What I collect, it's not the plain No. 2 pencils."

Barthomey said Guinness World Records officials told him to expect to hear back about whether or not he captured the record in about three months.

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