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History Detectives: Lauste Film Clip, Baker’s Gold, Transatlantic Cable

Airs Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: "Lauste Film Clip" Is this piece of film part of the first talking picture?

America's top gumshoes are back to prove once again that an object found in an attic or backyard might be anything but ordinary.

Tom Gallegos asks Wes Cowan to find out whether the famous Gold Rush photographer I.W. Baker created this sketch. And, did miners actually find nuggets this big? The drawing includes a five-pound and an eight-pound nugget.
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Above: Tom Gallegos asks Wes Cowan to find out whether the famous Gold Rush photographer I.W. Baker created this sketch. And, did miners actually find nuggets this big? The drawing includes a five-pound and an eight-pound nugget.

Wesley Cowan, independent appraiser and auctioneer; Gwendolyn Wright, historian and professor of architecture, Columbia University; Elyse Luray, independent appraiser and expert in art history; Dr. Eduardo Pagán, professor of history and American studies at Arizona State University; and Tukufu Zuberi, professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, leave no stone unturned as they travel around the country to explore the stories behind local folklore, prominent figures and family legends.

Is this a section of the Transatlantic Cable crucial to communication between Europe and North America during the early 20th Century? How did it end up on a Cape Cod beach?
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Above: Is this a section of the Transatlantic Cable crucial to communication between Europe and North America during the early 20th Century? How did it end up on a Cape Cod beach?

In this episode, a collector thinks he may have a clip of the first talking picture. "History Detectives" host Gwen Wright tracks down the origin of the “Lauste Film Clip.”

Wes Cowan explores Gold Rush territory in search of the facts behind “Baker’s Gold” — sketches of five- and eight-pound gold nuggets.

Then, a Cape Cod beachcomber stumbles across a rope of twisted cables. Did he find a section of the first “Transatlantic Cable”? Tukufu Zuberi is on the case.

Think you have a case for "History Detectives?" Send us your mystery.

Video

History Detectives New Season Preview

Above: "History Detectives" returns for a new season. Our four tale-chasing trailblazers return to uncover truth and myths about American culture and history. They are joined this season by the sleuthing American studies expert, Eduardo Pagán. Now the five are on the hunt for answers as our intrepid investigators delve into the past to solve fascinating yet little known mysteries of history.