John Reinhart Antique Auction Hauler
I have been told a few times that I should write a book about my antique picking adventures. Probably about as close as I will get to that is this website. The unedited content below was written by me many years ago.
Long before there were cable TV shows featuring antique pickers. I was picking the Midwest searching for American Turn of the Century Oak Furniture to sell to out of state antique dealers. My name is John Reinhart, I am the author and publisher of this antique furniture and auction related website. I invite you to travel along with me on my antique picking adventures!
While I grew up amongst old furniture in my parent's farm house. Much of which were family pieces that had been passed down over the years. My first memories of true American period antique furniture came when my Great Grandfather's estate was divided among family members during the late 1950's. The old log cabin contained lots of pieces of period antique furniture dating back into the 1800's.
I started picking old items at local estate auctions as a young child. My father often attended these onsite farm and household auctions held in our neighborhood. Where he would meet and talk with friends and watch the farm machinery sell. I was most interested in watching the box lots of misc items sell. Especially if they they might contain an old wristwatch or two that I could buy with my pocket change.
My first attack of buyer's remorse occurred during the mid 1960's. I was attending an estate auction near my father's birthplace in Ohio. Among the the old items being sold that day was a fine Hoosier cabinet in it's original varnish. The auctioneer was having a difficult time getting a starting bid for the old cabinet. So when the auctioneer asked for a bid of 25 cents I decided to bid as I thought it was a great bargain. Much to my surprise no one else bid! By this time I was thinking how am I going to get the kitchen cabinet home? I was with my Dad and I knew we couldn't get the two piece cabinet in our car. I wondered will he be mad at me? Much to my relief at the last moment someone else finally did increase the bid. I was off the hook though looking back, what a great keepsake that piece of early 1900's antique furniture would have been.
An investment of $8.00 purchased my first piece of antique furniture that I bought for resale during the early 1970's. I had decided to try my hand at buying and selling antique furniture which I would pick at local onsite estate auctions. The first piece I bought was an oak knock down wardrobe missing one door. Out bidding a local antique dealer to claim my prize. I soon found out that no one had any interest in a piece of furniture missing one of it's doors! However I was finally able to sell the wardrobe and get my money back. The antique dealer that I had out bid bought it. Not because he really wanted it, he wanted me to pick American Turn of the Century antique oak furniture for him at auctions he couldn't attend. Over the years we became close friends and often went out of state on antique furniture buying trips.
I wish I had taken pictures of how I first hauled the antique furniture that I picked! Believe it or not I hauled lots of three piece antique oak bedroom sets with my 1963 VW Beetle. During 1977 I bought my first box truck a Ford E350 with a 14 foot box. With this box truck I would haul the better antique furniture that I had for sale to the Nashville antique show held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. It wasn't long till a couple of my antique dealer friends had purchased similar trucks to haul their antique furniture with.
My Life Changes for Ever
Thanksgiving Day 1995 I made a decision that was to change my life forever. I had attended an antique auction at the Cobb County Fairgrounds near Marietta, GA earlier in the year. Traveling from Ohio with my oldest son to view an antique auction and get an idea of antique furniture prices in the Atlanta area. I found that mahogany and walnut furniture from the 1920's - 1950's era was much higher priced in Georgia than in the Midwest! During the previous 15 years I had installed C Band satellite dishes and farmed for a living. Because of the "demand" of a impatient customer that I service his daughter's satellite dish on Thanksgiving Day! I decided to discontinue my 15 year satellite business and haul antique furniture to Georgia for a living.