Tonight's episode of "American Pickers" was titled "The Einstein Gamble," as Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, the professional hunters travel the earth picking through treasures covered with dust and rust from age will soon find out.
As the episode begins, the guys are back in New York. Danielle calls them with a lead for a guy named Frank, who has fireman memorabilia and toys. Mike knows that this pick is just what Frankie loves. Frank comes from a long line of firefighters and as Mike spots a bro-mance happening, he interrupts. It seems like alter-egos are prevailing as Frank tells the guys that his best friend Mike and him were pickers for years.
Mike breaks the ice with the first sale of an incomplete still for $200. Frank is on crutches as they speak with him, and he related how he was injured in an arson fire where the roof collapsed on top of him. His partner did not make it out alive and Frank was in very bad shape with a broken back, smashed feet and internal problems. He spent 96 days in the hospital, and he is a true hero.
As they bargained back and forth, Frank and the guys loved this man and what he represented. They also loved his collections. His wheelchair that he played wheelchair basketball for many years was also among his collection. He found a doll of Emmett Kelly, a clown who appeared on television in the early days, and he looked just like Frank, which was more of a reason Mike wanted it and he got it for $25, even though it was missing part of its foot and had no pants.
Finally, they reached the building where the fire equipment was. Frank had two old fire trucks in there along with plenty of memorabilia. He found a go-kart that was Frank’s when he was a kid and got it for $200. Frank is still waiting for the fire equipment. Finally, they found the fire equipment. Frank found a vintage spotlight from an old fire truck. He found a toy fire truck that was from the 1920s, but the price was too high. Frank said he expected a fire sale, but instead he was getting hosed. Very funny, Frank, don’t quit your day job!
Now that the sewer line problem is no longer; the construction on the building expansion is coming along. Danielle even found a company that manufacturers bricks by hand so it will look like an old garage when completed.
Danielle then sent them to meet a man named John. When they fund the place, it was a sanctuary deep in the woods. A beautiful woman named Camilla answered the door. She was John’s daughter and was thrilled that he was getting rid of some stuff. His name is John Atwater Bradley, trustee of the Awosting Reserve and a most interesting man.
When Frank found a pair of lederhosen, he was thrilled to find them and hear the story about them. Each piece seemed to have history. When he mentioned that he was a friend of Robert DeNiro, and had a table and set of chairs given to him by Nelson Rockefeller, they were all ears.
Inside a barn, Mike found a horse that was on top of buildings to determine wind direction. He paid $800 and John was thrilled. Frank found a pommel horse, used to train people to mount a horse, now they are used at the Olympics. He bought it from Robert DeNiro, who was going to use it in his new gym while training for Raging Bull. Frank got it for $365. They made a deal for sixteen large wooden gears used in manufacturing.
Frank found an old pump fire extinguisher; he was looking for that at the last place, and found it here. Then they spotted a figure of an Indian; his name was Okawega from the Delaware tribe. It was very beaten up from the weather, but his face was proud and most of his features were intact. They bought it for $200 and were happy to get him.
They found an aircraft camera that was used to take pictures of the troops from the air. He used it during the Korean War. This man knew so many people in his lifetime, and even danced with Jackie Kennedy. He has a typewriter he loaned to Albert Einstein, who wrote several letters to President Eisenhower two years before he died. John even helped fix a flat tire for Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. Frank could not believe that a man who could invent a bomb could not fix a flat tire. When they left, they had an education one could not get from reading an encyclopedia.
Back home, the building was coming along nicely and Danielle should be proud of her hard work behind the scenes.