Stephen Foster's slave's toe.
Stephen Foster's slave's left big toe.

Stephen Foster's Lucky Toes

Field review by the editors.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When is it appropriate to rub the big toe of a statue? When it's lucky. And perhaps you can double your luck by burnishing TWO big toes.

That's what you'll find attached to the Stephen Foster statue on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Only these toes don't belong to Foster -- they're on the appendages of Uncle Ned, a blind, toothless slave strumming a banjo at Foster's shod feet.

The statue dates from 1900, when it was put up to honor the composer of songs such as "Susanna," "Camptown Races," and other ditties. The statue has become more controversial over time....

Still, Uncle Ned's toes show evidence of regular burnishing by uncounted visitors, or perhaps just students pausing for a rest between classes. The primary toe on the left foot dangles in the air over the statue's right knee. But don't neglect the right big toe!

Also see: Statue Burnishing Etiquette

Stephen Foster's Lucky Toes

University of Pittsburgh

Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA
On Forbes Ave., across the street from The Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Next to the dinosaur.
City plans to remove the sculpture in April 2018.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Dippy the DinosaurDippy the Dinosaur, Pittsburgh, PA - < 1 mi.
Stephen Foster's Horse JawboneStephen Foster's Horse Jawbone, Pittsburgh, PA - < 1 mi.
Stuffed Lion Attacks Camel and ManStuffed Lion Attacks Camel and Man, Pittsburgh, PA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Trundle Manor - House of Oddities, Swissvale, PA - 4 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Pennsylvania

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Pennsylvania.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

April 25, 2018

My Sights

My Sights

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Pennsylvania Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Space Center Houston, Houston, Texas (Apr 23-29, 2018)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from Subscribe now! Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Book Online Now


Favorite Quirky City Sights