tv Trish Regan Primetime FOX Business December 8, 2018 2:00am-3:01am EST
opec's decision to cut oil prices by 2 billion barrels a day. copper relatively flat. and that's it for us tonight' thanks for being us. >> found in grandpa's attic... >> it was a dirty, dusty old box. and then it's like, "wow. i don't know what it is." >> ...a discovery that will make the baseball world flip. >> you've got honus wagner, ty cobb, cy young, christy mathewson. >> i'm thinking to myself, "oh, my god. i have $1 million sitting in a chair." >> but is it almost too much of a good thing? >> it certainly changes the market in a negative way. >> i'm jamie colby, and today, i'm in northwest ohio, on the edge of an area called the
great black swamp. i'm here to meet a family who's lived here for more than a 100 years. so when they unearthed their strange inheritance, they give it the code name -- "the black swamp find." >> i'm karl kissner. in 2011, my cousins and i inherited the family home from our aunt. she had left us a note -- we would find things in this home that we never knew existed. >> karl, a 54-year-old restaurant owner, has invited me to the family home in the small town of defiance, ohio. karl? hi. i'm jamie. how are you? >> very good. pleasure to meet you. >> nice to meet you, too. thanks for having me. is this the family home? >> this is grandma's home. come on in. i'll show you around. >> the house first came into karl's family in 1909. >> neat old place, but needs a little tlc. >> are you saying be careful?
>> yes. >> okay. in 2012, karl and his cousins start the daunting task of cleaning out a home that's been lived in for more than a century. after several weeks of sorting through the house, only the attic remains. karl and his cousin, karla, decide to tackle the project. >> ladies first. >> oh, my! look at this place. the attic is empty now, but not that day in 2012. karl and karla walk in to find a century's worth of dusty boxes and family heirlooms. and literally filled to the rafters. >> filled to the rafters, all the way up to about here and just a path down through the middle. >> after several hours, they uncover a box hugging the back wall. it contains something the two cousins have never seen before. >> it was a dirty, dusty old box, and i opened it up. and then it's like, "wow. there's -- i don't know what it is."
>> the cousins see what appear to be small cardboard photos tightly wrapped in twine. they recognize some pretty familiar faces. >> we're both looking at it. it's baseball players -- cy young, ty cobb, wagner -- but they're not baseball cards, not to us. we get one out and we look at the back, and they look like baseball cards, just miniaturized, no stats, no who made it, no nothing. >> how many are we talking about? >> hundreds. [ laughs ] >> amazing. so, you see the box. you take them out. what do you and karla say? >> actually, we set them on a dresser in the hallway and dove back into the attic >> but soon, karl starts to ponder where the strange cards may have come from. were they something aunt jean collected off a cereal box? or maybe they go all the way back to his grandfather, carl hench. >> he's a german immigrant and he works his way down through chicago and towards the ohio valley.
>> he's chasing the american dream -- to own a home and start a business. carl's a butcher by trade, and by 1905, he's scraped together enough to open his own shop here in defiance -- the carl hench meat market. along with meats and sausages, he sells candies and other grocery items. was he successful in his shop? >> very successful as a butcher in town, very well-known. >> in 1909, he marries his love, jennie. they start a family and buy that dream home. by now, baseball has long established itself as the national pastime, and for decades, various companies have used baseball cards to sell their products. >> the first nationally circulated cards came inside packages of tobacco in the late 1880s and was actually one of the first opportunities for the average citizen to own a real photo. >> candy companies jump into the game, too. the so-called "caramel cards" help sell the sweets and the top
players of the day. >> you've got honus wagner ty cobb, cy young, christy mathewson. >> children love the candy, but the cards even more. >> kids did what kids do. they played with them. they traded them. there's card-flipping games that they did with them. >> all karl and karla know at this point is that the cards may have come from their grandfather's store. >> our guess is that he would have given them away as promotional items, and like any good businessman, when you got leftovers, you save them for the next promotion. >> beyond that, karl isn't sure what they have in the box, but he tells his cousin he'll find out. the box sits on that dresser for a few days and almost gets thrown out several times before karl brings it to his restaurant to research the cards online. after a few days, he has some leads. >> i was looking at a 1909 caramel card and i'm going, "okay, it's not identical, but this is too close, and they've
got an estimated value on this card --" >> of? >> around $15,000. >> karl discovers that a similar ty cobb card, identified as a 1910 caramel card, recently sold for $40,000. >> and i got a box full of them, and they're pristine. >> that's amazing. you're sitting on a bundle of money. >> yeah. at that point the, the heart is starting to race, and i'm thinking to myself, "oh, my god. i have $1 million sitting in a chair." >> a lot more than that... if, that is, karl can confirm his cards are real. >> you're a little skeptical, but you're always looking forward to that one phone call that turns out to be gold. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question.
carl and jennie hench are cleaning out the century-old family home in northwest ohio, they find a dust-covered box containing what appear to be vintage baseball cards. >> i had went to some of the auction sites. i'm seeing a ty cobb for $40,000. and i'm looking at the ty cobb that i have, going, "ooh! mine's better." >> the box karl found in the attic not only contains cobb, known as "the georgia peach," but all the greats of the era. and it's not just one of each player -- it's dozens. in all there, are 800 cards, most in pristine condition. >> it kind takes it out of a scope and a realm that you just -- you're not quite sure how to handle it. >> step one -- find out if the cards are real. karl reaches out to vintage-sports-cards expert peter calderon in dallas. >> i received a phone call,
which was very cryptic. he didn't want to go into any details. on a daily basis, we receive phone calls from people who find cards. it's always reprints. >> peter tells karl to text some photos of the cards, and he'll take a look when he gets a chance. >> when i got that first picture, the first thing i thought of, "this is gonna be filed in a too-good-to-be-true folder," but they looked amazing, and i saw nothing about them that suggested they weren't real. so, i definitely -- the next plan was -- we talked about him sending me some sample of the cards. >> karl overnights eight cards to peter, with a note attached, saying, "call me before you open." when the box arrives at heritage auctions in dallas... >> i gave him a call, had him on the phone. >> and there's that moment of silence that feels like 10 minutes, but it's actually a matter of seconds. >> i opened up the box and i pulled out a large plastic holder. >> and then there's the, "oh [bleep]
>> i was just floored, because i had no idea what a 100-year-old baseball card looked like brand-new. >> well, at that moment, i pretty much know that, "yeah, these are real." >> karl has one more bombshell. >> so, his next question is, "do you have any more?" "yes. hundreds." >> i would have been happy if it was just the eight cards. there was when you realized, "this is the find of a lifetime." >> karl dubs the cards the "black swamp find," after the nickname for this section of northwest ohio. they're quickly shipped to dallas on an armored truck and locked in the safety of a vault. the next step is to get each card officially graded on a scale of 1 to 10. karl goes with professional sports authenticator. i meet up with joe orlando, president of psa, at the
national sports collectors convention for a crash course in grading baseball cards. why is this one only a 1? babe ruth cannot be just a 1. >> so, if you look at the card, you can see all of the defects. there's surface wear, multiple creases throughout the card. this is about as low as it can get. >> so, this one is higher. this is 8. is that considered mint? >> this is considered almost mint. but when you look really, really close, you can see very little, tiny white pieces of wear on each corner. and that's the difference between an 8, a 9, or a 10. >> those tiny imperfections can make a difference of thousands of dollars. >> if this is a psa 8, it's worth roughly, you know, $100 or so. if it were a 9, it's worth probably, you know, north of $1,000. and if it's a 10, it's worth north of $5,000. >> so, what about the black swamp find? do karl's cards make the grade? what was your reaction when you saw the first cards? >> it was just -- it was
mind-blowing. >> before the black swamp find, the highest grade psa ever gave to a card in that series was a 7. karl's cards beat that in their first at-bat. >> it was a ty cobb and it graded a psa mint 9. little did we know that there were 15 more ty cobb 9s and, of course, hundreds of high-grade 8s, 9s, and even 10s in the set. >> sounds pretty good, right? not so fast. the collection doubles the known population of this type of card, and the unprecedented size and quality of the find could crash the baseball-card-collectors market. will karl's inheritance end up being too much of a good thing? >> if you were to flood the market with all of this at one time, it would certainly diminish the value of the entire find. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you.
the answer in a moment. hi.i just wanted to tell you that chevy won a j.d.power dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award across cars, trucks and suvs-three years in a row. phew. third time's the charm...
>> it's "b," $517,000 -- for a 1914 baltimore news ruth rookie card, sold in 2008. >> in 2012, in defiance, ohio, karl kissner discovers 800 vintage baseball cards in the attic of his old family home. most of the century-old cards remain in near-mint condition, which is rare among cards even half their age.
before the collecting craze in the 1980s, cards were simply fun toys to be used in bike-wheel spokes or flipping games, like this one. so, i'm gonna toss a card, and it'll land either picture or stats. you're gonna toss a card. if you match my card, you get to keep my card and your card. if you don't, i get to go home with your cards. >> okay, let's do this. >> all right? here it goes. stats. >> stats up. >> picture. i'm a winner. >> you're a winner. >> fortunately for karl, his grandfather wasn't interested in such games, and the collection should easily be worth millions... if they play their cards right. you see, selling the so-called "black swamp find" all at once could flood the market and severely drive prices down. >> because of the size of the collection and the quantity involved, there was a lot of concern about the value.
if there was one of each player, that would have been ideal. >> so heritage auctions proposes a series of separate sales to maximize the family's take. >> we decided the best way to do it is to take your time, sell them by the set over a number of years. >> karl runs the estate on behalf of the 20 grandchildren and divides the cards up into equal sets. each family member can either join a consortium to sell the cards or keep his share as a family heirloom. did anyone keep the cards? >> yes, yes. >> really? >> some of them did. >> but most family members agree to team up and sell the cards gradually. peter calderon tallies the numbers and comes up with what karl might expect, if all goes right -- nearly $3 million. for karl, it's a staggering sum. >> we're stunned. this is something we almost threw in a dumpster. >> in august 2012, in
baltimore's camden yards ballpark, they put the first 37 cards up for auction. >> they were the best of the best. they were the best-graded cards out of all of them that we had graded. >> ladies and gentlemen, let's do lot 001. it's the 1910 e98. >> in bidding that's fast and furious, the family sees one lot of nine cards go for $40,000, a second lot of 27 cards goes for $286,000, but the real clean-up hitter of the night, the only psa gem-mint-10-graded card of hall of famer honus wagner in existence. auctioneer: >> $240,000 solid. i have the cut bid. anyone else? done! $240,000! >> we're flabbergasted. this is a wonderful gift from our grandfather and from our aunt. what more can you ask for? >> the family's total for the night?
it's a very promising start, but they've also sold their best cards. does the black swamp find still have enough gas in it to get the hench grandchildren to their $3 million goal? that's next. i really didn't expect to learn so many interesting details. ancestrydna was able to tell me where my father's family came from in columbia. they pinpointed the columbian and ecuador region and then there's a whole new andean region. that was incredibly exciting because i really didn't know that. it just brings it home how deep my roots are and it connects me to them, and to their spirit, and to their history. this holiday, give the gift that's connected millions to a deeper family story. order your kit at ancestry.com.
>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> karl kissner and his family are slowly selling off their strange inheritance -- 800 rare vintage baseball cards. the collection is valued at around $3 million. an initial auction of their best cards has already brought in $566,000, and the family still has plenty of high-grade hall of famers to sell. in october 2012 and may 2013, two online auctions -- with some help from legendary manager connie mack -- rack up $419,000. then, in august 2013, in
chicago, a psa 8 "miner" brown pitches in to help the team ring up another 228k. and in the big apple, in february 2014, a psa 8.5 johnny evers and mint 9 frank chance assist in a $300,000 haul. two more online auctions raise the total to $1.7 million. on july 31, 2014, i join karl and his cousin karla at the 35th national sports collectors convention in cleveland for their latest auction. >> we've got a fired-up crowd here tonight. what do you think, karl? >> it's exciting watching everybody and listening to the on-floor bids. you just -- you get into the feel of it, the mood of it. >> bid what you want. the last person standing with their hand in the air gets the item. >> apparently, people have money. >> apparently. [ both laugh ]
>> and at the end of tonight, you may, too. up first for karl and karla tonight, the georgia peach. >> this is a 1910 e98 set of 30 ty cobb, black swamp find, psa mint 9. are you serious? yes, we are serious. $26,000. who's bidding 28 grand? $27,000 -- heritage live. $28,300. fair warning, anybody else. >> when the auctioneer kind of slows down like that, you know it's getting good. >> yeah. >> sold at at $28,000. >> congratulations, guys. that's awesome! >> give me five on that. yeah! >> now stepping up to the plate, a psa mint 9 honus wagner. >> go, honus. >> yay! come on. yeah, come on, honus, baby. >> 32 1/2 on heritage live. another bidder just jumped on. let's sell this thing. $33,000. >> the bidding ends at $33,750. >> yeah! very good! all right! >> their weekend earnings, including online sales, total
$133,000, lifting the black swamp find total to $1.85 million. [ cheers and applause ] are you satisfied tonight? >> i'm ecstatic. and you know the person that's buying it wants it and appreciates it, and he's gonna add it to his collection. and maybe he'll pass it on to his family. >> a box stored and forgotten in the attic for over a century eventually changes a collectibles industry forever, along with the lives of the 20 hench grandchildren. so far, the black swamp find is like a slugger with 40 home runs at the all-star break -- well on track to surpass the goal set by peter calderon. >> there's still 10 more sets to sell, and we're still averaging almost $200,000 a set. >> and in the card-collecting market, the game's never over till the last man is out. what would grandpa say? >> i think grandpa would be stunned, amazed, and pleased. i'm sure that he is, 'cause i'm sure that the whole family is up
there looking down with big smiles on their faces. >> was the black swamp find nearly history's most epic case of some guy's mom throwing out his baseball-card collection? karl thinks so. when he made his big discovery in the attic, he spied several wrinkled and grimy cards strewn among the rafters and the floorboards. karl believes that they went flying during one of his grandma jennie's cleaning purges, when she'd pitch boxes of junk right out the attic window into a big mound below. thank goodness she never got hold of that one box in the corner. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thank you so much for joining us. and remember, you can't take it with you. do you have a
"strange inheritance" story you'd like to share with us? we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪ >> a babe who photographed babies... >> she would get them to do the craziest things. >> ...becomes a celebrity herself. >> people knew her by name. she was a pin-up. >> there were definitely stories of skiing with the kennedys, definitely a lavish lifestyle for sure. >> what was her secret? >> isn't she adorable? >> what a winner shot. >> is it still gold today? >> is this collection potentially worth six figures, seven figures? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm in littleton, colorado. it's a suburb of denver that,
like all of suburbia, really expanded after world war ii because of the baby boom. and speaking of babies, every parent, including me, knows the frustration of trying to get your little one to smile at just the right moment for just the right photo. well, we're about to tell the story of a woman who turned that challenge into an art form. >> my name is lynda bannister. when my mother, constance, passed away in 2005, she left me more more than 100,000 baby photos. she was the most accomplished baby photographer of her day. >> hi, lynda. i'm jamie. >> hi, jamie. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you, too. you wrote me about your mom and something about babies. >> yes. >> are they here? >> yes, they are. please come in. >> okay. >> inside lynda's house is her strange inheritance left to her by her mother, baby photographer constance bannister. >> you've basically put together a museum all about your mom and all these babies.
>> in total, there are more than 100,000 baby pictures -- yes, 100,000 photos. >> there are many files full of negatives. >> all negatives? >> all negatives. >> lynda has mom's old cameras, too. >> she was able to carry this? >> yes. actually, she would wear a harness and strap herself into it, as you can see. one of the first self-portraits, she's got the clicker in her hand. >> a selfie? >> yeah. >> lynda's mother's story begins in 1913 on a farm in tennessee. >> what kind of childhood did your mom have? >> she's second from the oldest of 17 children. >> 17? >> 17. she talked about playing in the creek, riding the cow -- just a real simple, healthy lifestyle. >> in the mid 1930s, young connie leaves her country home with dreams of becoming an artist in the big apple.
>> she wanted to be somebody and somebody big. >> in 1937, she enrolls at the new york institute of photography, and later that year marries the first of three husbands, stephen arthur bannister. >> that was finishing school for her. >> the marriage? >> yeah. >> why? >> he took the country girl, and he really showed her the life of an upper-class woman in manhattan. >> but the rich investment broker just can't compete with connie's greatest love -- the camera. they soon divorce, and connie gets her first paying gig as a society photographer in palm beach for the associated press. >> women, when she first started out, they were not doing careers. she basically stepped into a man's world and ran the show. >> after one year on the job, she returns to new york and works as a public-relations photographer on the maiden voyage of the s.s. brazil. then a lightning bolt of
inspiration strikes. >> she went into central park, and she basically just started photographing babies. >> why babies? >> when she was a young girl, she was always around babies. she naturally gravitated towards babies. she ended up going back the next day with prints selling some of her pictures to a mom, and the career was born. >> in 1940, constance opens a photo shop on central park south. she quickly becomes known for her ability to capture faces and expressions other baby photographers cannot. >> how unique were her techniques? >> she had a way with communicating with the baby, and she would get them to do the craziest things. [ camera shutter clicking ] >> she develops a lot of tricks, like filling her studio with plenty of toys, using honey to achieve that perfect hair curl, and brushing the baby's face with a feather before snapping the shot.
>> she just knew exactly when to snap that shutter and get that perfect shot. >> today lynda's gonna let me in on a few more of her mother's trade secrets at an actual baby photo shoot. >> oh, no, no, no. >> adele. >> look. we have a feather. >> i got a feather for you. >> [ crying ] >> ohh. >> this is more difficult than i thought, lynda. >> [ crying continues ] >> what's a wannabe to do, seriously? lynda tells me that's why mom always had back-up models. >> wow, two little teeth and a lot of drool. >> [ laughs ] >> can i take your picture? yes? >> no tears yet. >> can you explain, lynda, what you would do to make this perfect baby even more perfect? >> mom would always have a little jar of lemon juice and water, and she'd just take her finger and put it right in her mouth, and that's to get that kind of puckered face. isn't she adorable? >> what a winner shot. i got a whole calendar.
>> oh, wonderful. [ camera shutter clicking ] >> i may not have captured a bannister-caliber photo, few ever have, but constance has a knack for much more than photographing babies. she'll learn the camera loves her, too, and soon all of america will know her face. >> was she a celebrity? >> yes, in every sense of the word. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question... is it brad pitt and angelina jolie? kate middleton and prince william? or ivanka trump and jared kushner? the answer when we return. insurance that won't replace the full value of your new car? you'd be better off throwing your money right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with liberty mutual new car replacement, we'll replace the full value of your car. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
♪ [ objects rattle ] >> so, which power couple sold photos of their newborn for $15 million? it's "a." in 2008, people and hello! magazine bought the exclusive rights to the baby photos of twins vivienne and knox jolie-pitt. the couple donated the proceeds to charity. ♪ >> it's 1941 and constance bannister has built a reputation as the go-to photographer to capture just the right baby shots. "she was a true pioneer," says getty images executive eric rachlis. >> she was able to capture the emotions of babies in
a very pure form. a lot of people relate to that sort of very innocent expression of emotion. >> during world war ii, her photos are used to help sell war bonds and promote the u.s.o. but when a magazine article is printed about her pin-up babies, connie becomes the babe the troops want to see. >> look magazine did an article called "pin-up babies," and they put a little picture of her in a bathing suit, a pin-up picture, and the servicemen just wrote her from all over the world, asking for an 8x10 signed picture of her for their foxhole or their bunker, and she did. >> i mean, a lot of guys had your grandmother's picture in their locker. >> oh, lord. yeah. [ laughs ] yep. that definitely happened -- yeah. she was definitely involved in some different shoots that were a little edgy for her time. >> meanwhile, after the war, births in the u.s. start surging as soldiers return home. america's great baby boom is on.
perfect timing for a celebrity baby photographer with tv-ready looks and a savvy business plan. >> she was a bit of a wheeler and dealer, so she would negotiate with the families and say, "okay, i won't charge you. you sign the release, and i'll give you beautiful pictures of your child for free." >> so your mom owned the pictures. >> she owns them. >> smart. >> very smart. ♪ >> with the photo rights secured, connie uses the images in her own business ventures -- books, calendars, magazines, her babies often accompanied with sassy one-liners. >> she took sort of traditional cute baby photography and kind of put sort of a satiric bent on how she pictured children and babies. >> soon bannister and her babies are everywhere, from newspapers... >> this is a comic strip that she did called "baby banters." it was syndicated for six years across the country. >> ...to department stores.
>> mom produced a doll? >> mom produced a doll. she produced that in the '50s, and, actually, macy's had it on sale for $9.98. >> did she also earn a lot of revenue? >> she did very well. she had an apartment at 24 central park south, her summer house, which was an estate on the north shore of long island -- 15 acres, pool, tennis court. >> tv host jack paar dubs constance the world's most famous baby photographer. her photo tips are even used to promote flashbulbs. >> was she a celebrity? >> yes, in every sense of the word. i have all her appointment books from the '40s and '50s, and every single page is filled with appointments, meetings, radio shows, television shows. people knew her by name. they knew her on sight. >> there were definitely stories of skiing with the kennedys, taking fabulous trips to different international places -- lavish lifestyle for sure. >> by the late 1950s, constance,
now in her 40s and on her third marriage, wants to start a family of her own. but the world's most famous baby photographer is the victim of a cruel irony. >> she wanted children, but she went to the doctor, and he said it just was not gonna be possible for her. it was actually very sad. >> connie and her husband, joseph hatcher, are blessed in 1958, adopting a baby girl, lynda. two years later, lisa joins the family. the real bannister babies quickly become regulars at mom's photo shoots. >> that's me and mom. >> oh, how sweet. >> and that's me. >> oh! oh, my god. she really could get babies to do everything. >> constance is still a hot ticket in the 1960s as the final frontier inspires another bannister business venture. >> the astronauts went to the moon, she created a baby book called "astrotots."
>> this is adorable. >> she also weighs in on the civil rights movement. >> she's one of the first women to put a black baby on a cover. >> so it wasn't just about picture-taking. >> no. >> she had a message. >> yes, she did. ♪ >> in the mid 1970s, however, constance, now in her 60s, decides it's finally time to hang up the camera and enjoy a well-deserved retirement far from the limelight. >> she was done. she just wanted to have peace and quiet. >> and that is pretty much all america hears from constance bannister, though she does pick up the camera from time to time behind closed doors. >> did she ever take your picture? >> um, sure. absolutely. it got very interesting behind the camera when she got back there. you can kind of see this different side of her. she got very expressive and silly almost. >> she would always bring out the best expressions out of children. >> in 2005, constance bannister passes away at age 92. lynda is named sole heir to her mother's baby pictures, all 100,000 of them. by then she assumes her mom
and the bannister babies are long forgotten. boy, is she wrong about that! >> i was fielding phone calls left and right from reporters from all over the country. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. this constance bannister model went on to become a big hollywood star. is it...? the answer after the break. hi.i just wanted to tell you that chevy won a j.d.power dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award for its light-duty truck the chevy silverado. oh, and since the chevy equinox and traverse also won chevy is the only brand to earn the j.d. power dependability award across cars, trucks and suvs-three years in a row. phew. third time's the charm...
>> over her four-decade career, connie bannister snapped some of the most iconic images of infants and toddlers known as bannister babies. after her death in 2005, her daughter wonders how the woman once known as the world's most famous baby photographer will be remembered, if at all. >> when she passed, i contacted the associated press 'cause i didn't know if it was news or i had to write an obituary. >> the family quickly gets their answer. for the first time in decades, the name constance bannister is back in the public view. >> i was fielding phone calls left and right from reporters from all over the country. it was a celebration of her life. it was just wonderful. >> lynda is determined to keep her mother's memory and photos from fading into oblivion. one of her first steps in honoring the family name is to adopt it herself.
she changes her given surname, hatcher, to bannister. her next challenge, sorting through the massive photography archives that she's inherited from her mom. >> we're talking hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cabinets and drawers. >> pounds? >> it wasn't just the photos and the negatives. it was the cameras, it was the dolls, it was the books. it just was such an enormous collection. >> i was overwhelmed when i first got it all. it was just so mind-blowing. >> did she ever tell you what she wanted you to do with it? >> no. she actually told me, "don't mess it up, lynda." >> those are some fighting words. >> i know the pressure's on for me to do a good job and to make her proud. >> lynda starts to catalog and digitize over 100,000 photos. fortunately, mom left at least a little guidance. >> that's a signed release that she kept from when -- the '50s? >> i have them dating back to the early '40s. >> a little o.c.d.?
>> yes, a lot o.c.d., actually. >> among those old releases, lynda discovers some familiar names who modeled for her mother. >> name names. >> christopher walken, paris hilton's mother, kathy, kristina hagman, larry hagman's daughter. >> here's actress anne francis. she would star in two 1950's classics -- "blackboard jungle" and "forbidden planet." but what really gets lynda thinking is the thousands of regular old american babies. she decides to see how their lives turned out. >> how much time are you putting in to finding these bannister babies? >> i'm spending some serious time with it, but i'm enjoying every minute of it. >> what is it like for you when you hear from a bannister baby? >> it's a treat beyond treats. it intrigues me to know that she made so many people happy. >> people like lindley thomasset, a bannister baby from the late 1940s. >> she had a very special way of getting kids to respond
to her. many of these photos were used in advertisements for things like gerber baby food. >> were you a gerber baby? >> yes, that's right. >> excuse me. i've just met a gerber baby, okay? >> today lindley is hosting a bannister baby reunion at her home here in bedford, new york. >> i'm so glad you could all get together. it's incredible. i feel like you're a part of history. lynda has a surprise for you. >> lindley, we have from her archives for you... >> [ gasps ] >> oh, lindley. >> that's for your collection. >> thank you. >> this is linda byers. >> oh, linda. >> oh, my. >> let's see yours. >> oh. >> oh, wow. >> oh, my hair is different. >> and, also, mom made a note under the remarks that linda was cute. >> [ laughs ] >> how many bannister babies are there left? >> oh, there's hundreds left still. >> i bet we find more. >> that'd be great. >> it could make a good book, lynda thinks. meantime, as word gets out about the collection, lynda receives an offer from a buyer who
wants to purchase the entire photo library. it could be a big payday. other vintage collections are said to be worth millions. >> is this collection potentially worth six figures, seven figures? >> no idea. i don't know, and as far as i'm concerned, homina, homina, homina, i don't want to know. >> will lynda mess it up? or does she inherit her mom's business genius, too? find out in a snap. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website -- strangeinheritance.com.
♪everything i do ♪i do it for you ♪yeah, i would fight for you♪ ♪i'd lie for you ♪walk the wire for you ♪yeah, i'd die for you ♪you know it's true ♪everything i do ♪i do it for you >> now back to "strange inheritance." ♪ >> lynda bannister inherits more than 100,000 professional baby pictures taken by her mom, a true genius who was once the most famous baby photographer in america. >> and is this collection potentially worth six figures, seven figures?
>> no idea. i don't know, and as far as i'm concerned, homina, homina, homina, i don't want to know. >> it could be worth millions, but lynda won't talk to any potential buyers. >> you didn't even let him tell you what they were willing to pay? >> no. i don't want to sell it. my goal really is to just share the baby pictures with people around the world. her images were just so loved, beautiful pictures of children, and i just would like everybody to enjoy them. >> but we're not talking charity here. lynda's betting she can make more holding on to her strange inheritance. in 2010, she cuts a deal with stock photo agency getty images, which markets the pictures to clients who pay each time they use them. >> looking at constance's work, her eye, and the way that she captured these babies has really been a very commercially viable type of imagery that our customers, even today, are using. >> over time, the bannister babies begin
to regain some of their former popularity, starting with greeting cards. >> this is adorable. so they're taking the original images and then they're making them into characters? >> reinventing the babies. >> it's almost, john, like grandma's coming back. >> yeah. i'm seeing a rebirth of her through my mother. it's pretty incredible. >> getty strikes similar deals with the likes of microsoft, yahoo!, and sony. more cash flows in. >> so are you cleaning up financially? >> it's growing. i'm looking at it as my retirement. >> what can one image be worth? >> well, we actually got $25,000 for one image. it can be worth quite a bit of money. >> and here's that photo -- a cute girl in braids hugging her dog licensed for a national ad campaign for the tv show "true blood." >> you're sitting on thousands of these. this could be more than your retirement. >> it could be, it could be. we'll see. >> a tennessee farm girl hits
the big time, becomes a glamorous celebrity, then retires to the quiet life. but now she's back in the spotlight thanks to a dedicated daughter and all those adorable babies. >> i think what my grandmother accomplished was really remarkable, and my mom is giving us an opportunity to bring that amazing work back up to the surface, and that has just been such a remarkable thing for our family. >> she was bigger than life. she had a vision of just creating things with babies and making people laugh and happy, and she was just a wonderful woman. >> you've seen a lot of baby pictures in this episode, but there is one you haven't seen -- mine. here i am propped up on my brother jonathan's shoulders. this photographer got him to smile. i guess i needed some of constance bannister's magic. nope, i was no bannister baby, but if you were, i'd love to hear from you. e-mail that photo to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. thanks so much for watching. and remember -- you can't take it with you. ♪ everyone. jerry baker's interview with john bolton right here. from the fox studios in washington d.c. this is "maria bartiromo's wall street." bre happy weekend from washington. welcome to the program that analyzes the week that was and helps position you for the week ahead. i'm maria bartiromo. joining this week from washington d.c.. we have another star-studded program this week. coming up in a few moments capital market ceo doug mcgregor will give us his take on what was another wild week on wall street. then later one on one secretary stephen mnuchin is just ahead. hurst davis standing by with the big headlines from everything from wall street to main street, deirdre.
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