Meticulous and incredibly focused would be two ways to describe Iowa artist Patrick Acton. Very few people have the patience to take thousands upon thousands of  wooden matchsticks and glue them together one by one, to create mind-blowing works of art.

Small Town Iowa Series: Gladbrook

After taking virtual trips to Ft. Atkinson to see the World's Smallest Church, and Independence to check out their historic train depot, our next stop in our "Small Town Iowa" series takes us to Gladbrook. A town of about 945 people in Tama county.

According to, over the years, "Acton has glued a total of over 7 million ordinary wooden matchsticks into over 70 incredibly detailed scale models of life-like sculptures, complex machines, and world renown architecture."

Many of his creations are featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums around world. Luckily for us, much of his best work is featured right here in our own backyard at the Matchstick Marvels Museum, in Gladbrook.

It took 800,000 matchsticks and 28 gallons of glue for his latest creation

Scroll down to see photos of the Notre Dame Cathedral, U.S. Capital Building, USS Iowa and his latest masterpiece. As mentioned in their Facebook post, the new Mars 2020 Perseverance rover exhibit will open on May 20th and be on display all summer long. He's outdone himself this time, it's full-sized, now that's impressive.

Now keep scrolling, and let's check out some of his other works of art. Of course, nothing beats seeing them for yourself in-person.

Small Town Iowa: Matchstick Marvels Museum in Gladbrook

Don't miss out on what people from all around the world have come to see. The museum is located at 319 2nd Street in Gladbrook. Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, or by appointment.

ROAD TRIP: Small Town Iowa: World's Smallest Church-Ft. Atkinson

"Small Town Iowa" series: St. Anthony of Padua Chapel - 1120 Little Church Road, about 5 miles southeast of Fort Atkinson.

Hidden Treasure: Cedar Rock State Park-Lowell and Agnes Walter Estate - Quasqueton

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