Tonight’s episode of “American Pickers” followed Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, the professional hunters who travel the earth picking through treasures covered with dust and rust from age will soon find out when they found cars “From A to T.” As the episode begins, the guys are back on the road after a couple weeks vacation. Mike and Dave did work on the green Knucklehead and saved it from the graveyard. Frank said he went fishing and was pulling them in like crazy; however, from the scenes, it looked like the only thing on his line was bait. As they are driving down south, Danielle calls with a lead from a lady named Caroline. Her father recently passed and left her a feed mill and clothing store. As they pull into a semi-deserted town, the old stores are boarded up. As they yell out, she appears from behind a storefront. The property belonged to her great-grandfather who closed the store in 1933. He was a farmer, undertaker and politician known as Marvin Eugene Abrams in Whitmire, South Carolina.
The building they were standing in had been closed for several decades, and she had never been in there before. She found out what a packrat her great granddaddy was. Mike found coveralls with Abrams Service on the back in red letters; they were undertaker’s coveralls he got for $80. She told him some history that the town once was a booming textile town. In 2008, the last mill closed. Mike found old and dirty shirt forms and got two for $40 each. They found 1930s advertising trinkets and a huge concrete safe, because back then, after the Depression, they chose to keep their money close to them. The cardboard Poll Parrot Shoes standup ad was still in near-mint condition and belonged to Frank for $50. Mike was willing to climb up to the rafters to get whatever he wanted. The pigeons were there long before this group arrived and there must have been plenty of them, as the place was coated with poop. That did not deter the guys from looking through and around to find the antiques they craved. Mike found an advertising thermometer on a door above the rafters and had to climb a ladder that he was not sure about, but after it was deemed safe, Mike even bought the ladder.
Back in Iowa, the canon the guys found in Massachusetts was a mystery to Danielle. She called in Lon, an expert on military finds, and he told her it was not a signal canon as she suspected, but a Lyle canon used to shoot a lifesaving line to anyone in need on a sinking boat or overboard. They were used by coastal towns, and it is estimated that this canon saved about 4,500 lives over its usage from about 1900 to 1952 when rockets replaced it. This particular canon was only worth $800, but they paid $300 for it, so who can complain.
In Boykins, Virginia, the guys are free-styling and meet up with some scrappers who sent them to see Larry. His 91-year-old father recently passed away and was a big collector. They have been having a yard sale for two weekends. Frank found an old wind-up car from the 1930s, and Frank offered him $200, and his eyes nearly popped out. So now he will take them around to see the rest of his stuff. They found an old fare box from a bus or trolley. In the back of the shop were more relics. Mike found a miner’s helmet that had a lamp on it that was an open flame oil-wick. These were extremely dangerous because coal mines tend to have pockets of gas. In 1907, the worst mining disaster in the history of America happened in Monongah, West Virginia when about 380 miners were imprisoned by a coal dust explosion believed to be caused by the open flame helmets and the combination of methane gas.
In a garage were several cars; but the two that made Mike swoon were a 1911 Model T Ford in good condition that even had the kerosene lights and all original parts. There was a 1931 Model A with a rumble seat, although there were a few dings and dents on the Model A and questionable wiring, Mike got both cars for $18,200 on this episode of “American Pickers.”