PARKERSBURG - A popular TV show featuring two scroungers looking for antiques and artifacts is scouting collections and collectors for an episode in Parkersburg, officials announced on Wednesday.
"American Pickers" on the History Channel is searching for locations in the area through the Parkersburg-Wood County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is soliciting recommendations on sites and collections through May 7 that will be reviewed and proposed to the producers by the bureau, according to Mark Lewis, president and CEO of the tourist bureau.
"This is the first step we take in the process," said Anthony Rodriguez, a pick scout with the television show.
Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers,” which may choose locations in the Parkersburg area for episodes to be aired in the fall, stands amid antiques in this publicity photo for the show. The Parkersburg-Wood County Convention and Visitors Bureau is soliciting suggestions of home collections to be proposed to the show as possible locations. Deadline is Wednesday.
From left, Mike Wolfe, Danielle Colby Cushman and Frank Fritz of “American Pickers” may film episodes in the Parkersburg area to air this fall. The Parkersburg-Wood County Convention and Visitors Bureau is rounding up ideas from home collectors for possible locations. The deadline is Wednesday.
"American Pickers" is aired on the History Channel and features Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who call themselves antique archaeologists. They pick through mounds of items people have stored in barns and warehouses and haggle with them to make a buy.
An important note is the pickers do not go to antique malls, antique stores or flea markets, Rodriguez said. They go to private collectors who keep their things where it's never intended to be public, he said.
Wolfe and Fritz don't rehearse and they dig through the collections, Rodriguez said. The show, in the sixth season, will emphasize not only the significance of the find, but the stories behind them, he said.
* "American Pickers" is aired on the History Channel.
* The show is looking for home collectors in the area for possible episodes in the fall.
The stories many times are as valuable as the item, Rodriguez said.
"That's the beauty of our show," he said.
Rodriguez recommends residents don't wait to send their ideas to the bureau. Time is an issue, he said.
"Sooner will be better than later," Rodriguez said.
The bureau is helping "American Pickers" find leads for collectors and locations, Lewis said.
"We think we might be a good fit for the show," he said.
While the deadline for suggestions is Wednesday, a Pickers team will scout locations next week and then return between May 19 and June 1, Lewis said. Episodes filmed in West Virginia may air this fall, he said.
"Hopefully they can find some people here they can have on a future show," he said.
Residents with home collections can email the bureau at email@example.com and include name, phone number, town, state and the items with pictures. Email is the preferred method for submitting information and photos and collectors should not bring items to the bureau office, Lewis said.
The pickers several years ago traveled through Parkersburg on their way to another shooting location. They stayed at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg.
"They are looking for people with barns, warehouses, buildings full of odd, unique, and interesting collections. They also love to explore the history of the locations tied to the items," Lewis said. "We hope the public will respond with interest. We are also looking forward to highlighting Greater Parkersburg in the process!"
The final decision is made by the show, Lewis said.
The show is interested in buying motor scooters including Vespas, Lambretta and Cushman, old advertising signs, motorcycles, pre-1960 bicycles, unusual transistor and tabletop radios, old tin, wind-up and cast iron toys, pre-1950 vending machines, pinball and slot machines, old movie posters, antique casino and gaming machines, vintage movie memorabilia and advertising items, taxidermy, vintage concert posters and T-shirts, early Boy Scout items, pre-1960 vintage diner collectibles, pre-1960 TV merchandise, pre-1960 western and equestrian gear, classic motorcycle memorabilia, old rodeo items, airline collectibles such as Pan-Am and TWA, late 1970s and earlier military Items, extraordinary mobster memorabilia, vintage police officer collectibles, firefighter collectibles, pre-1940s telephones, folk art, vintage BB guns and cap guns; early Halloween items, pre-1940s Christmas items, Hawaiian and Tiki collectibles, vintage sports collectibles, vintage election memorabilia, musical instruments, Civil War antiques, vintage gas antiques, pre-1970s neon signs, strange woodcarvings, vintage collegiate collectibles, and casino tables.