Across America, in basements and barns, attics and backyards, there are forgotten links to our national history. Objects with unexpected value and incredible true stories are just waiting to be uncovered. And now the National Geographic Channel is on a quest to do just that! In our new 10-episode series, "America’s Lost Treasures", we are coming to cities across America in search of historical objects with unexpected value. (Source: National Geographic Channel)
It’s off to the Lone Star State, where hosts Curt and Kinga have invited people from all over Texas to bring them their personal artifacts. After seeing a diverse range of objects, from binoculars that may have belonged to Bonnie and Clyde, to a taxidermy pink flamingo head, and even a strand of Willie Nelson’s hair, they must decide which piece is the most museum-worthy.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Curt falls for a handcrafted violin from the 1800s and a piece of one of the Japanese Zeros, fighter planes that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, while Kinga uncovers a writing box from the 1700s believed to have been owned by Roger Sherman, one of the five committee members who drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Curt and Kinga have their hands full at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, where Kinga finds 19th century rifles to investigate and heads to a gun range, aiming to prove that some firearms are museum-worthy. Curt gets VIP access behind the scenes at the museum’s dinosaur lab as he discovers he has a 150-million-year-old fossil on his hands … but the fossil is in pieces.
Curt and Kinga set up shop at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, and have no problem finding items to investigate. Curt chooses a classic Mack truck, a silver goblet owned by Isaac Leeser, and a discharge paper from the Revolutionary War, signed by George Washington. Kinga chooses a liquor caddy carried throughout the Civil War, a turn-of-the-century Graphophone, and a schoolgirl sampler.
At the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—our nation’s first capital—Curt and Kinga uncover remnants of American History dated from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. On their journey they also discover evidence from movements for civil rights to women’s rights.
Down South in historic NOLA, at the Friends of the Cabildo Museum, Curt and Kinga find some gems. Kinga takes a voodoo drum to a priestess for her interpretation, while Curt takes center stage at the iconic d.b.a. Jazz Club, investigating the origins of a clarinet he hopes once belonged to jazz legend Omer Simeon.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Kinga investigates an artifact by channeling her inner outlaw and visiting the boyhood home of one of the country’s most notorious outlaws, Jesse James. Meanwhile, Curt’s selections include a daguerreotype and a rare copy of the 1859 Kansas Constitution.
In search of America’s lost treasures, Curt and Kinga host an open call at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, California, uncovering and investigating treasures that include a medal from the first U.S. World Expo, a Jack London writing tablet, an old Civil War drum, John Sutter’s Gold Rush Nuggets, and a 15-million-year-old dolphin skull. But which of these artifacts deserves the $10,000 prize?
Curt and Kinga are at the Savannah History Museum, where they discover some incredible objects, including a Russian czar bench that came over on the first steamship to cross the Atlantic; a prehistoric tooth from the largest marine predator ever, the Megalodon shark; and some Lincoln portraits, which Curt hopes to prove were taken by legendary Civil War photojournalist Mathew Brady.
In Orange County, California, Kinga has no problem finding two great prospects: stone bowls that are possibly prehistoric, and a sword and pistol from a 19th-century sea captain. Curt, however, strikes out again and again, with a cannonball that turns out to be a ball bearing, an Olympic torch that is just a sculpture, and an ancient crucifix that’s not so ancient.