America’s Lost Treasures: Milwaukee

The next episode of America’s Lost Treasures finds hosts Curt Doussett and Kinga Philipps in Wisconsin at the Milwaukee Public Museum.  They have their work cut out for them as they search for treasures among some truly spectacular finds.  Curt chooses a very fragile cane map from the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and a piece of a Japanese Zero plane that the owner believes was involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Lastly, Curt falls head over heels in love with a violin from the 1800s, which he is hoping was crafted by the famous Italian violin-maker, Antonio Stradivari.

Meanwhile, Kinga finds Venetian glass mosaics depicting Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America, which are eighteen feet by five feet and built on six inches of concrete.  She also finds a unique set of vintage barbershop mugs and a writing desk believed to have belonged to founding father Roger Sherman, the only person to sign all four of the documents that built this nation: the Continental Association, the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

After they make their selections, Curt and Kinga must go to the experts to find out how truly precious their finds are. Curt takes the cane map to curator emeritus Chris Baruth at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he has the map authenticated.  Is the map authentic? And how much is it actually worth? Curt hops Chris Baruth can give him the answers.  Kinga takes the shaving mug owners to an old-time barbershop to get the feel of what it was like “back in the day.”  There, vintage collectibles expert Toni Rudig talks about how only the elite could afford to purchase a ten-cent shave at a barbershop back in the 1800s when these mugs were in fashion.  And even fewer men could afford to pay up to two dollars and fifty cents for a personalized mug.  What Toni tells the owners of the shaving mugs about their value is truly shocking.

Next, Curt visits the Milwaukee War Memorial Center with his piece of Japanese zero to meet with one expert in person and with one over skype.  Curt is looking for these experts to confirm that the piece of Japanese zero is in fact from a plane involved in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  While Curt talks to his experts, Kinga visits the mosaic owner’s studio to get a closer look at the massive mosaics she chose just by seeing pictures of them at the open call.  Fine art appraiser Richard-Raymond Alasko meets them there to discuss the enormous historical significance of these Venetian glass murals which depict Columbus discovering the new world and offering it up to Queen Isabella. Kinga also takes her writing desk to two experts to find out its value and if it could have indeed belonged to founding father Roger Sherman.

Finally, Curt brings his beloved violin to Frank Almond, Concertmaster at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.  Is the violin the work of Stradavarious or will Curt’s hopes be dashed?  And which of these phenomenal pieces will be chosen for a place of honor in the National Geographic Museum in D.C.?  Tune in to find out!


Catch an all-new episode of America’s Lost Treasures: Milwaukee tonight, Wednesday July 11th at 9P et/pt.


  1. Andy Turner
    Duluth Minnesota 218-624-5111
    July 11, 2012, 8:07 pm

    To Curt Dousette, and /or Kinga Phillips of “America’s Lost Treasures”. Viewed your TV program this evening and was impressed. If you guys are looking for something “VERY VERY” unique, I have just the Set of items that you might want. Visualize two gentlemen sitting in an older home, the year 1908, one is a “Master” (Captain) of a ship and the other his “Engineer” – Thier Merchant Mariner’s Licenses are hung on facing walls in a corner, (Masters License is dated 1907, the Engineers License dated 1908) over one of the very first “On Demand Automatic Hot Water Heater’s”. The last Patent date on it, 1907. If you are interested call me. Thank you for your time and consideration A. w. Turner

  2. Fritz Just
    Twisp WA
    July 11, 2012, 9:29 pm

    Japanese zero that started th war

    My father served in the pacific during ww2. He ended up on IE Shima Island at the end. While there he was present when the Japanese envoy’s flew there on there way to Japan and the Philipeanes. HE had to repair some of the wheat metal on the wing. He saved a piece of the original skin because he said “it was the most important plane he had ever worked on. Because it was going to sign the peace treaty and end the war”. I still have the piece of the Betty bomber. Along with photos to the Japanese envoy’s and there planes he took. Both. Airplanes where destroyed by there crews after landing to keep them from being reminded of the shame they brought the emperor

  3. Jeff
    San Jose, CA
    July 12, 2012, 12:09 am

    I was thinking “oh my god, would you shut up and relax lady” then it happened. The guy ripped the map! My reaction was so sudden and severe it woke the whole house up and sent them running towards me in a panic because they thought I was in some sort of danger. I think I was in danger by the time I finished explaning myself to everyone. When the coast was clear I watched it again and I was shocked once more. The man who ripped the map NEVER aplogized to the owners for his actions. He just stood there silent and frozen. Thank god for the host of the show who finally broke the akward silence. He deserves a special Emmy for his ability to keep it together and continue. Congratulation National Geographic Channel for a monumental piece of TV. I know I’ll never forget it.

    ENID,OKLAHOMA #73703
    July 12, 2012, 6:49 pm

    I HAVE A Original copy of the instrument of surrender of Japan.

  5. […] The Milwaukee episode featuring concertmaster Frank Almond, myself, and the MSO premiered this week, but if you check the schedule, it will be showing a couple more times over the next week: […]

  6. Douglas Loynd
    Phoenix, AZ
    July 15, 2012, 10:17 pm

    “Curator emeritus Chris Baruth at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee”??? I have never screamed “Holy EFF Balls!” at a TV program until I saw this hack rip through the map. WHAT PROFESSIONAL handles 100 year old paper without wearing gloves? WHAT PROFESSIONAL offers to mend it WITH TAPE??? Not one word of apology, either. But I have to applaud you for offering to pay for the restoration, after that hack destroyed the map. I hope NEVER to see him on your program again, and sincerely hope he is at least reprimanded by his superiors. I’d hate to see what damage he has done to University artwork due to the same lack of care.

  7. Dan
    Tampa, Fl
    July 16, 2012, 7:29 pm

    I’m very disappointed at the choices in the first two episodes. The Colt belongs to an “infamous” Texas Ranger, hardly a shining example of these heroes of the Old West, The saddle was owned by a unique example of the cowboys that typified that era of our Old West and represents the very piece of equipment that is essential to this day. Next we get to the Japanese Zero piece against the lost mosaics. The piece of the Zero is far from unique or even a lost treasure. History Detectives already featured pieces of the plane found by others and there are other parts on display. The mosaics were truly considered to be lost treaures that tie history, art and the culture of the times together; as well as our penchant for destruction of some of these same treasures. They also would have been unique to the museum; instead of “another” place to see the parts of the aircraft. This show is falling very far short of the mark. It’s unfortunately beginning to look like a waste of an hour ot TV time strictly due to the decisions of the museum curators. It’s certainly not motivating me to visit.

  8. bryan chopyk
    east meadow ny
    July 16, 2012, 8:14 pm

    thought the show was great. I think the person handling the map cane should be re-educated in the handling of an antiquity or fired. To my main thought, what happened to that fabulous mosaic? Will it be on display for the public? keep up the good work. BC

  9. Natalie
    July 18, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I too would like to know the future of the mosaics. I would love for them to be displayed in a DC museum so that I can see them in person.

  10. Ximena
    Washington DC
    July 18, 2012, 8:33 pm

    I like this show very much, however; I am very disappointed that the Venetian glass mosaics were not chosen. I hope to see these mosaics, in the NG museum in Washington DC in the near future, perhaps an exhibition related to Christopher Columbus or the discovery of the Americas.

  11. […] many ways, it’s the Milwaukee episode which most encapsulates the train-wreck quality of America’s Lost Treasures. (In fact, the […]

  12. claris
    Raleigh, NC
    July 25, 2012, 7:10 pm

    I can understand why but I’m still finding it difficult to believe that she picked the zero plane piece over the mosaics. the mosaics were literally ‘lost’-people believed it was gone, whereas with the plane, other pieces throughout the nation are on display and the body of the plane is damaged while still intact in the wild. the beautiful mosaics represent the themes of innovation and exploration, something that the world’s fair embraced as a whole as it ushered in a new era of technology. shame on you, national geographic museum! I’m not inclined to visit anytime soon. I’m very disappointed. they belong on display at a leading national museum-not in storage at a man’s workshop. at least the zero piece was framed and on display!!
    also, way to go-I have never before screamed at my telly until I listened with horror as a trained professional suggested tape to fix a priceless family heirloom.

  13. Barbara VanAlstine
    Waunakee WI
    August 3, 2012, 12:26 pm


  14. renee
    hamilton ontario
    March 11, 2013, 4:15 pm

    i agree with some people the mosaics should have been chosen i want to know are they still in storage or has another museum picked them for there display. I would really like to know because i want to see them in person.