American Pickers has been a mainstay on the History Channel for over a decade. Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe went all over the country to find hidden treasures packed away in forgotten corners. However, the show will look a little different now. Frank left the show. Currently, Mike is working with a revolving cast of guest-pickers. Much like Jeopardy!, it looks like this show is trying on several guests to see which one fits the best.
So, now seems like a good time to take a look back at the heyday of American Pickers. Frank and Mike found some incredible things over the course of their 20+ seasons together on the show. Today, we’re going to look back at some of the oldest items they found on their journeys.
A Penny-Farthing Bicycle Circa 1880
Penny-Farthing bicycles, also known as high-wheeler bicycles, were popular in the late 1800s. They are the bikes that have a massive front wheel and a small back wheel. The pedals are attached directly to the front axle. You’ve probably seen old sepia-toned photos of people riding these odd bikes. The American Pickers duo found one in Wisconsin during the first season, according to History.
Mike saw it in John D’s basement and knew that he had to have it right away. After looking at it a little closer, the deal got sweeter. It was still in good shape. Wolfe couldn’t pass it up. John told Mike that he would have to have $3000 for the bike. Mike decides to take that offer as long as the collector would be willing to throw in another vintage bike for $800. There’s a moment of tension as John considers it. But, in the end, Mike walked away with both bikes.
The American Pickers Team Finds a Civil War-Era Officer’s Sabre Circa 1850
Civil War artifacts are amazing, especially if they’re in good shape. During season 19 of American Pickers, the duo found a beautiful Civil War officer’s sword in Greenville, South Carolina. The scabbard of the sword was etched with floral filigree and the handle was wrapped in sharkskin. Mike had to have it. The owner, a man named Zip, showed Wolfe the dings on the blade’s edge and told him that he believed the sword had seen action. The history combined with the beauty of the artifact brought the price up to $800. Mike couldn’t say no to that.
Spencer Carbine Rifle Circa 1860s
Over the course of American Pickers’ first 21 seasons, the guys found plenty of Civil War memorabilia. During the first episode of season 4, they were working for the Gettysburg Museum of History. So, they traveled to Maryland to talk to a collector named J.W. about his stash. He happened to have just what they needed, a Spencer Carbine Rifle. These were the Union cavalry’s rifle of choice. With seven rounds of hard-hitting .52 caliber ammo, they were efficient and effective. The guys ended up paying $2,250 for the Spencer and a few other items.
Frank might be gone from the show, but Mike is still on the road looking for treasure. Tune in to the latest episodes of American Pickers to see what he finds next.