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American Pickers Once Bought A 1920s Wincharger For $400

Do you know, with any measure of certainty, what a Wincharger is? Do you have a fondness for the variety of Wincharger that was produced in the 1920s? Most importantly, do you get a real kick out of it when the good folks from History's "American Pickers" buy something for $400? If you answered "yes" to all of the above questions, then you are in for a super-specific treat. 

It was Season 20, Episode 1 of "American Pickers," History's much-loved reality show that scratches viewers' natural itch for going into strangers' basements. In the storage bunker of collectors Rob and Dan, Frank Fritz and Robbie Wolfe were like two very old kids in a super unsanitary candy store. A pile of whatnots provided plenty of picking possibilities.

The star player of said candy store, however, was unquestionably the Wincharger — the 1920s Wincharger, that is. Now there was a piece of Americana worth picking, and picking is just what they did. "I mean, them guys are professional pickers," noted one of the device's owners, basically writing the show a blank check for the episode's promo reel.

American Pickers and the surprisingly expensive Wincharger

Now, a Wincharger was a remarkable piece of equipment, first developed around 1927 as a way for folks in rural areas to provide electricity to their radios via wind power and a six-volt battery. The design made waves, eventually calling for the incorporation of a whole company dedicated to the production and sale of the devices, as well as the creation of a pretty neat logo. In short, this was the sort of thing that any American would be proud to pick.

And they did pick, friend. The century-old turbine had seen better days, sporting a bent brake and a hole where its generator should have been, and the owners exhibited neighborly concern when "American Pickers'" Robbie Wolfe offered $400 for it. "Ooh, that's a lot. Are you sure you want to pay that much?" one asked on hearing the figure.

Robbie, asserting that the Wincharger's main components would make "a good decorator piece," did want to pay that much. With the deal struck and the Wincharger rehomed, the "American Pickers" production team hit the road once more, never knowing what pickings tomorrow might bring.