Finding gems among the junk
Abandoned National Geographic, 9pm
"ONE man's junk is another man's treasure," so the saying goes. Which explains why someone took the old chemical toilet we'd stripped from our caravan.
The expression holds true for carpenter and antique collector Jay Chaikin, right. He makes a living scouring the U.S. for abandoned buildings that may hold unexpected 'gems' of history with shockingly high values – Dolly Parton's original reinforced steel brassiere, things of that ilk.
Abandoned follows Jay and his pals across the country on their ongoing quest to find their next big paycheck. Armed with flashlights, walkie-talkies, and the historically sensitive ability to kick in wood panels, they venture into spooky basements and structurally unsound buildings to find valuables that can be refurbished and sold.
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Along the way, they happen across classic items such as Coca-Cola memorabilia, an Edison phonograph, and a Zenith radio, as well as surprising discoveries such as an early microwave and a top secret manual for a B-52 bomber.
All will be sold on. The latter, for instance, makes for a memorable gift on Mother's Day. This week they're in Connecticut, exploring an entire town. Johnsonville was purchased by a millionaire who planned to turn the mill and surrounding homes into a tourist attraction, only to shut the whole place down in 1994.
Jay expects to find well preserved properties but is shocked by excessive mould, mildew and disrepair. Irrespective, he makes an unprecedented offer – to buy an entire school house.