Lancashire History Channel viewers will no doubt be familiar with American Pickers, the show which puts the spotlight on vintage gas pumps and tatty antique dining chairs . The show has inspired a spin-off website specifically aimed at children, called KidPickers.com.
American Pickers is in the catalogue of US TV shows that includes Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Auction Hunters; shows in which a 1950s juke box can create the same stir as a Victorian oak pedestal desk . In Cumbria, a rusty old bicycle would probably be thrown in the skip, but in Pickers it would be treated like gold dust – and with good reason. There’s a big market for retro and antique “household collectibles” in the US, which once restored can often sell for hundreds of dollars.
Mike Wolfe, creator and co-host of the show, has now set his sights on a new goal – to motivate children into becoming as interested in history and collectibles as he is. When he’s not on TV, he’s running his own antique shop where he sells the things he’s lovingly rescued and restored – including a fair number of vintage bicycles. He first got the “bug” as a child and his belief is all kids are natural pickers, instinctively drawn to piles of junk by their curiosity and sense of adventure.
KidPickers.com isn’t so much about valuing antique bookcases and Victorian dining chairs , as looking at them in a historical context. If you have children, bring a bit of history into their lives by visiting an antique dealer in Preston, where they can pick among the antique desks and cabinets to their heart’s content.