Sumter County man goes on American Pickers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sumter Co. man goes on American Pickers

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The old postage stamp machine sits in a warehouse on Ed Lowell's property in Sumter County. The old postage stamp machine sits in a warehouse on Ed Lowell's property in Sumter County.
Lowell has a large collection of gas powered engines.  Ironically, the American Pickers weren't interested in purchasing any of the engines. Lowell has a large collection of gas powered engines. Ironically, the American Pickers weren't interested in purchasing any of the engines.
This electron microscope came from Valdosta State College (now Valdosta State University) in a surplus sale of state equipment. This electron microscope came from Valdosta State College (now Valdosta State University) in a surplus sale of state equipment.
Signs on Georgia Highway 308, remind visitors of some of the staples of life in the South during a bygone era. Signs on Georgia Highway 308, remind visitors of some of the staples of life in the South during a bygone era.
Remember the 8 track?  Ed Lowell has dozens in his Sumter County warehouses.  Items like these drew the attention of the stars of the "American Pickers" show on the History Channel. Remember the 8 track? Ed Lowell has dozens in his Sumter County warehouses. Items like these drew the attention of the stars of the "American Pickers" show on the History Channel.

By Jay Polk - bio | email

SUMTER COUNTY, GA (WALB) - Old engines, military uniforms and TVs might be considered to be junk, but for one South Georgia man, his collection will be earning him some national notoriety.

No matter where you go on Ed Lowell's property, there is some piece of memorabilia. Calling Ed a collector is a bit of an understatement.

"I like anything old. Old Machinery, scientific instruments. Anything that's kind of technical," he said.

Over the years, his property in Sumter County has become full as he's picked up more and more stuff. With Lowell being an Air Force veteran, it shouldn't come as a surprise what one of his favorite things to collect is.

"I've always loved the military, anything to do with the military," he said.

But there's other stuff too. The old TV in one of the warehouses could have shown the Saturday Night Dance Party in WALB's earliest days. Lowell has usually traded for most of the things he has here, but recently he's decided to turn more to selling. And someone had an idea of who would be a willing buyer.

"A friend of mine who stops by pretty regular, told me that with all this stuff that you have and wanting to get rid of it, you should contact them," he said.

Who he contacted was the American Pickers. For those who haven't seen it, it's a show where two collectors go around and pick up all sorts of stuff. Perfect for Ed. After some back and forth with the producers: "they sent me a questionnaire, e-mailed me a bunch of stuff, to make sure I wanted to sell it, how long I had been collecting it, why I wanted to sell it," he said.

The pickers came to Ed's place. One thing immediately caught their attention.

"I had a Nike missile, that was a surface to air missile," he said.

And by the time that they were gone, they had picked up dozens of antiques. Interestingly, the one thing that he has the most of, they didn't seem interested in.

Lowell said that the Pickers, "had no interest in the engines."

But even if they didn't say 'buy me' loud enough, the old engines still have something important to say.

The pickers picked a lot of stuff from Lowell's property, although his outstanding collection of engines was not included in that. But the old engines tell a lot about the history of the country.

The old machines may be relics, but they remind people of a time when American industry led the world. And Lowell thinks that he knows why some people prefer the old stuff.

Lowell said, "the workmanship in all this old stuff is so much nicer."

The popularity of shows like American Pickers shows the fascination that people have with old things. Maybe it's because these signs point to a simpler time. Or maybe it's because the machines in Lowell's warehouse power more than just homes - they power memories too.

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