American Pickers

Monday night was the premier of the History Channel’s American Pickers. This hour long show is the channel’s latest foray into the world of collectibles and antiques, following one of my other favorite shows Pawn Stars. So I was wicked excited to see it.

The show documents the actions of Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz (friends since the 8th grade and business partners in Iowa-based Antique Archaeology) and Danielle Colby Cushman (who holds down the fort back at the shop), folks who make a living off doing the work that some collectors and dealers won’t: not only crawling through farms, sheds, garages and junk yards to spot the gems, but willing to ask the dreaded question, “How much?” and then dicker over price.

For some of us, this isn’t so much something we wouldn’t do, but something we simply don’t have time for. (And this is how the pickers do more than survive but thrive.) For me, this is my dream job.

It’s not just that I’d like to turn my hobby of digging around for stuff into full-time travel adventures, but I really, really, have a fondness for what hubby and I call “old coots.” I love old people, especially old men, with stories to tell — and quirks, I love quirks. And American Pickers finds them and shows them to us.

Like Bear, the guy who was a second generation carny with 35 years worth of old carnival equipment and rides. I don’t recall the names of the other charming old men who we met in this first episode, but hubby can attest to my rapt attention and squealing during commercial breaks — both of which express my excitement and delight with the show.

So American Pickers satisfies not only my need to see more junk but to meet more old coots. But maybe you have different needs?

For those more seriously interested in antiques and collectibles than living vicariously through the day to day fun of what Frank, Mike, and Danielle do, there are more practical matters included in American Pickers.

There’s the obligatory math analysis of how much paid for the item, it’s value, and the resulting (at least potential) profits. There’s the history of the objects found (another obsession of mine). And there are tips and tricks too. Such as the best places to pick are at houses and properties without satellite dishes and new vehicles, that you always get the owner to name his or her price first, and that, no, you don’t always get what you want.

If you’re new to collecting, never been so knee-deep in dirty stuff as a collector, or just want to brush up on your antique hunting and negotiating skills, there’s plenty to learn (or reaffirm) from Mike & Frank.

Personally, I’ll continue to watch for the eye candy — the antiques and the old coots. And I’ll keep hoping for my future career as a traveling picker — who writes from the road.

Locally, original episodes of American Pickers are on Monday Nights, up against NBC’s Heroes. I used to watch Heroes religiously, but it’s no contest: The American pickers are my real heroes.

Published by


Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.

28 thoughts on “American Pickers”

  1. I guess I’m going to have to try this, especially after I come clean and admit one of our late night conversations got me to try Pawn Stars and I really enjoyed it! Not that I’ll clear my schedule for new episodes, but I defy anyone to rise from the couch when they slap a 3-hour marathon of those on in front of you!

  2. i got a 1954 jeep willy carry all i’d like the guys from americam pickers to look at.. ty gary

  3. I am an avid viewer of your program. My mother has 3 or 4 days of prime picking and will sell. Her name is Diana Ledbetter and her address is 3577 Clear Creek Rd. Monterey, TN. 38574. Her phone no. is 931-484-2825.

  4. i have several old hand wrenches plus smith torches from 1944 they are lifetime totches

  5. I so luv the show……so so much..infact… what you guys need is a little competition from two eighth grae friend….for kidding……we…are both in our forties…shes pretty hot arried to a tat artist 10 yrs younger but..she is stiff on the dollor figure…i on the other hand….study and research whats worth anything…my dad born 1902..for real i know alllll about old stuff…

  6. Hey Guys, We love your show. I have 2 magazines from August 1929. One is The Redbook….other…Good Housekeeping. I have a …looks like an old powder barrel that was during the railroad time. I also have..and this stumps me…If you know anything about it , I would like to know..It’s a childrens pull wagon that has a wood bottom, a wood handle, steel wheels,larger ones on the back and smaller ones on the front. On the side of it is CRUSO EXPRESS Then a picture of a chicken. If you know anyone thats interested or would know about the wagon, please let them know to feel free to contact me. I will continue to watch your show. It is great.

  7. luv the show mike and frank are great how do i get you guys on my husband and i face book.just watched your new show monday with the hillbilly jake.that was a awsome places i hope you guys find more treasure there again.i luv founding old stuff like to resell to.

  8. My wife and I took a trip this week to to Iowa to see where are favorite show is filmed, since we did not get there untill Sunday afternoon we knew nobody would be there but we just wanted to take pictures and check things out, after we had took pictures and peeked thru the windows we went for walk along the Mississippi River which is a couple blocks in front of there antique shop, we had been there about 3 minutes when we heard a motorcycle coming down the road when they stopped I looked up and to our suprise it was Mike and his girlfriend getting of his Harley so I hallered at him and asked when they were coming to Kentucky that is where we are from, he said they had alredy been there a couple of times so we talked for a while and took photos. That just made a average trip a great trip to remember. Mike and his girlfried made us feel like they had known us all our lives, they are #1 in our eyes taking time to talk with us and take pictures… Thanks Mike…. I forgot your girlfrinds name but Thanks to her also. The Kentucky Pickers, Chuck & Scarlett…

  9. Dear American Pickers and Wonderful Danielle,

    Abolsutely love your show. My daughter and I take short trips around North Caroina on weekends and are forever looking for good “picking grounds” for you. as soon as we find the “Mother Load” you will hear from us.

    Just a simple suggestion…leave Danielle alone and stop messing with her and the coin toss. She is going to get you guys.

    A dedicated fan,
    Cathy Ramos

  10. I understand that you pretty much stay in the mid-east and east coast but, we have a store here in Raymond, Washington (about as far west as you can get in the lower 48) called “Ugly Ed & Debs” that is so full of stuff you can hardly get through it. There is also a warehouse behind the store and another place in the next town that they have. I really think it would be worth your checking into. I sent an email to Mike’s blog and never heard anything. I will be happy to provide more information and even photos if you are interested. Please email me. Thank you.

  11. Have trouble with the pickers…. Here they are looking for antique American products driving a foreign Mercedis Van…..Shoe would be more authentic if they would drive an American Made Van.

  12. Hi, I was wondering where you can go on the internet to see the items that are in the store in Iowa. Thankyou

  13. people seeking these two crooks out showing up at their place of business and other? hahahaha losers.

    these guys are crooks. that simple.

  14. A very interesting show. I really enjoy the time spent watching this show. One of the very few shows on tv that has value.

  15. So mike and frank i live in a town called Raymond, WA and rumor has it your coming to the area. ABOUT TIME! Lots on really neat stuff.

  16. I just look at you show, Mon 25th on TV. The contraption in wood with panels that Mike bought is….Part of a Masonic initiation, May be it was used in Washington time were there was French Masonry in the US. But noe the Masons are degenerating and they forot the customs, as they cut corners, I saw the bos one secon and i immediatey reconized the item. ITS OLD and still used in France.

Comments are closed.