If you missed the following episode of American Pickers on the History Channel, The Wild West beckoned and proved to be a very interesting trip.
Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe met up with 71-year old Joe, who has painstakingly built a very authentic-looking Old West town complete with a Saloon, General Store, Bank, Bathhouse, and much more. You can see Joe clearly has an eye for detail. The furnishings are perfect and bring you back in time. Every piece is handled with great care and respect. However, after 15 years, Joe’s interest has diminished and he is ready to sell everything.
A Santo which Mike admired, which Joe had sanctified, was representative of a wonderful religious artifact and piece of art. Mike got a really fair price for such a large Santo, $300. Much smaller examples can be found in upscale antique shops for triple that amount.
Cigarette slot machines were used in the back of a hotel and were seen across New York City, Put your money in the machine and win cigarettes. Times have changed, and for a sign of what they were, Mike very happily paid $1,500.
One very important piece of history discovered was an original tintype photo of Billy The Kid which Joe bought in 1979. Forensics said the authenticity was 149/150.
Because this is a program on the History Channel, historical tidbits had to be inter-spliced here and there in order to justify the show being on the channel. In this case, an opportunity was taken to state that a photograph of Billy the Kid displayed at the Heritage Trust Museum sold in June of 2011, at auction, for $2.3 million and was purchased by billionaire William Koch, six times the estimate. It was the 7th most expensive photograph ever sold.
Billy the Kid (1859-1889) being especially infamous in history, extra time was devoted to this finding. Billy, best known as William H. Bonney, was a frontier outlaw in the Old West. Standing 5’8″, he became a legend when a price was placed on his head by the governor of New Mexico. He settled in southeastern Arizona where he worked on ranches and tried his luck at local gaming houses. Later he joined a gang of cattle rustlers. It is reported he killed eight men. Markers on his grave have been stolen in the past and the most recent marker is encased in a cage.
Frank wanted to visit the UFO Museum in Roswell, maybe buy a souvenir. He found the best memento during a pick, a UFO sign with an interesting illustration of an alien. The museum is a non-profit educational organization.
History of UFOs goes back to 1947. It was said a major in the army found debris of a UFO and brought it home where it sat on his dining room table.
A roadside seller steered Mike and Frank to the home of Jean and Cecile. There, a bundle deal was made including both pickers and Jean and Cecile. The score included two Model A automobiles, c 1931.
An anvil was purchased, which was noted to be a good seller since young people now are taking blacksmith classes to make things the way it was done in the past.
Frank and Mike do a great job showing their viewers interesting artifacts and including the history of each piece. You’ll learn how physically demanding picking can be. Watch the pickers to learn the art of negotiation, including “bundling.” No matter how trying a seller can be, Frank and Mike treat all with respect, as it should be.