‘Pawn Stars’: Rick Harrison Touches Piece of History with Envelope Sealer

by Courtney Blackann

The guys of “Pawn Stars” love being able to share some cool pieces of history with their customers. It’s one of the most fascinating parts of the show. Rick Harrison especially knows this. He’s been in the business more than 30 years and has seen a lot of priceless items.

Just as important as the history lesson given with each antique is negotiating the best price. This is the case during one episode when a woman brought in an old antique envelope sealer. The piece of equipment was dated back to 1910. It was a Reynold’s brand piece of machinery. Harrison really enjoyed turning the knobs to make it work.

While the woman thought she could sell it for $400, Harrison quickly corrected her.

“These kinds of items are more decorative than collectible. They usually go for a couple of hundred bucks maybe,” Harrison says.

Eventually, the two negotiate the price to $130, which seems to satisfy them both.

‘Pawn Stars’ is Lesson in History

Just like finding a hidden treasure, “Pawn Stars” loves to unveil the history behind each item brought into the store. Harrison especially loves being able to share tidbits of knowledge with his customers, even if they can’t make a deal.

“My producer calls it laugh-and-learn-TV,” Harrison says. “For years, everyone has joked around at my pawn shop: ‘If you bring that back to Rick, he’s going to give you a history lesson,’ but I really believe people prefer to watch a normal guy just talking to them to learn history — or just to learn anything, for that matter — instead of a professor talking down to them. When you were a kid, it was lot easier to learn from your dad than it was from your teacher, you know?”

His love of history extends in every part of his job. But that’s why he loved the concept of “Pawn Stars” so much. It has something for everyone. And no one will leave without learning something. The show has run for more than a decade. It works out so well because from generation to generation, there’s something new and different. And that appeals to all types of people, Harrison says.

“I think the thing is, it’s a little bit of everything. It’s a history show, it’s Pimp My Ride, it’s American Chopper, it’s sort of like a game show because everyone wants to know if they win in the end. They always want to know, “Is it real? Is it fake?” There are a lot of different things going on in the show, and it attracts a really broad range of people,” Harrison says.