“Shag” Shaughnessy


Last week was a bit slower than usual, but I still made some excellent finds. I pulled this Hitachi camcorder out of a bin in Hampstead on Monday – my only notable find of the night.


It uses Video 8 film and has an LCD screen. One just like it sold for for 100$ + shipping on eBay.


It works fine when plugged in, but the battery is completely dead. However, it costs only 23$ to find a new one on eBay. All in all, this camcorder should net me around 70$. Not bad!


I came across what looked to be some spring cleaning casualties on Tuesday night. From this pile I saved …


a nice vintage lamp …


and two nice pairs of boots. I sold one pair at my yard sale this weekend for 5$.


This lamp, also quite nice, sat all by itself in front of a different house. I get the impression that they left it out for someone to find, as there wasn’t a single other thing on the curb.


A little carpet sat atop a trash can at yet another place. It was missing the tassels on its longer sides, but was nice looking otherwise.


A familiar spot produced my favorite finds of the week, however. I took the laundry basket and the chair on the far right side of the photo.


I found a few books in one bag, including this 1909 copy of “Songs of a Sourdough” by Robert Service …


and a 1913 Boston cooking school cook book.


Inside the front cover of the cook book was this “Millionaire Fruit Cake” recipe, which curiously contains no fruit and calls for mince meat. It was written in type by Marven’s Limited of Moncton, New Brunswick.


Near the bottom of the bag was this old poem, “Life’s Mysteries” …


which was cut out of some kind of religious newspaper in 1907.


Another bag contained a collection of old photos, as well as many photocopies related to genealogy. It was apparent that someone put a lot of effort into researching their family history.


Some of the pictures were pretty cute. On the back of this one is written “2 years old August 1st 1918″ and “taken June 31st 1918.”


The two photos on the left were glued to a piece to paper. They were printed on cardboard, as was the style in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The note says “the one in parts was taken with (Dony?) and I cut him out.” The photo on the right has clear tape on the top and bottom, which can’t be taken off without ripping the paper. I could trim off the bits that aren’t attached, though.


There was an old family portrait, as well as a photocopy of this same shot.


This old postcard has an address in Yonkers, New York written on the back. I looked it up and the house looks more or less the same! I wonder what the (presumably new) owner would think if they got this in the mail.


Another old postcard was my favourite find of the week. It features a group shot of the Ottawa “base-ball” team that won the Canadian League championship in 1913. The Canadian League was a minor league that operated somewhat intermittently from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was largely based in southern Ontario.

The most notable individual in the photo is likely Frank “Shag” Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy had a long career in several different sports, not only as a player but also as a manager and executive. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, and the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. The annual football game played between McGill and Concordia Universities is called the Shaughnessy Cup in his honour. He served as a player-manager on this Ottawa team, but also worked for the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Royals, and many other teams.

It was just the other day I posted to Facebook expressing my hope to find more baseball related stuff this year! This is definitely the sort of thing I’d keep if I were rich, but I’m definitely not there yet so I’ll likely end up selling it. This postcard sold for 25$, despite the fact that it was sold at auction (which is rarely the best way to make top dollar for your item) and features unknown players on a obscure league. I’d start this card at 100$, maybe a little bit more and adjust the price if it takes a while to sell.


Otherwise, I saved a few things in Cote St-Luc, including a box of camera flash bulbs …


and the last edition of the Montreal Star, which was one of Montreal’s most popular English newspapers from 1869 to September 25th, 1979. Note that someone added the word “last” to the newspaper’s title. Maybe I’ll see if I can get anything for it on eBay. I also have the last postscipt edition.

This week has been super busy so far. If it keeps up, I might have to divide it all into two posts! And to think it’s not even the end of the month.

In other news…

I’ve been doing more Facebook posts recently, many of which features finds that didn’t quite make the blog. I don’t like making posts too long, so this is a good way get those “bonus finds” out there. I’ve also been more active posting links related to garbage and recycling. You can see my Facebook page here (and you don’t need a Facebook account to check it out!).

Last week’s garbage sales (April 6 – April 12)


1. Yard sales: 473.75$ (206.50$ on Saturday, 267.25$ on Sunday). My first yard sales of the season went off without a hitch! I unloaded a lot of stuff, which felt great after being stuck with it all winter. I sold alongside a couple of friends who were moving, which was fun. Thanks to the readers that came to check it out! I’ll likely have another in a few weeks.

2. Minolta motor drive: On eBay for 25$. Sometimes I sell things not really knowing what they do. All I know is that it was camera related, and that I’d had for a while.


3. Two La Castillere minature perfume bottles: On eBay for 67$. The customer has since sent me a message asking for a partial refund (half) due to the fact that one of the bottles was broken. However, the bottle was cracked when I found it and I made sure to mention this defect in the listing details. I guess she just didn’t read them! I offered to refund her 15$, but noted that the item was in the condition I described. That was Sunday night, and now it’s Wednesday afternoon so maybe she realized her error. Regardless, I’ll let you know if I end up refunding any of the total.

4. Vintage Telefunken Partner 500 shortwave radio: On eBay for 100$. This is a nice little radio! I had it for a while before finally listing it in November. I think I found it along with a bunch of other electronics in Outremont back in September of 2013, but I’m not sure.

5. Signed 1969 "Temptations" program: On eBay for 75$. Found in Snowdon in May of last year, though it was only listed in the past couple of months.


6. DSM II (1968): On eBay for 280$. A nice sale! Found nearly a month ago in Mount Royal.

7. Silver ring (40$), strawberry shaped rhinestone brooch (20$): to a reader for 60$. She saw them on Etsy, but since she lived not far away I was able to deliver them myself. I found the ring in Rosemont a couple summers ago, while I don’t remember exactly where the brooch came from.

8. Vintage micro-mosaic pendant: On Etsy for 24$. Found at that same spot in Rosemont.

Total: 1105.75$, 15180.75$ since May 18 2014 and 5497.75$ since the new year began. A great week! Being able to have yard sales definitely the profit margins. This was my first week of four figure profits since around Christmas.

It’s looking like I’ll make around 16k for the year (ending May 18th, when I started keeping better track in 2014). It’s below the poverty line, but I’m still pretty proud of the achievement. I basically make as much as I would doing full-time minimum wage work, but I’m saving really cool stuff from destruction, doing my part for the environment, and above all doing something I love. With my relatively low expenses, I’ve been able to live comfortably, if not luxuriously, which is good enough for me.

I’m hoping to crack 20k this year. From the early going, it looks like I’ll have a good chance! That’s still not a tonne of money or anything, but it would put me above the poverty line.

New listings

1. Songs of a Sourdough – 1909
2. 1970s Parti Quebecois election sign + folk art mural (I priced this high partly because I like it so much. I wasn’t able to find anything similar for sale on the internet, but I’m guessing there’s a market here. Whether or not that market will pay 300$, that’s another thing. I can always lower my price later, though).
3. Vintage 1969 Owen Wood Zodiac Poster
4. 7 Vintage / Antique Sex Psychology books (6 by Havelock Ellis), 1913-1928
5. Vintage Arne Johansen Danish modernist ewelry set (Currently the most expensive thing I have listed on eBay).

Email and links

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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Collect them all!


Spring is finally here! It’s definitely a lot more fun to look for trash when it’s warm out. Not only does it make sorting through bags easier, but it inspires people to get organized (which often involves them tossing out their old, unused stuff).

The arrival of spring also means that I’ll again be able to do yard sales. I look forward to unloading some of my stuff, as I’ve been collecting without a real outlet (outside of eBay, of course, but I use that mainly to sell only the more valuable items) since the end of October. I’m aiming to do one, or maybe even two sales this weekend – the forecast is calling for sunny skies, 12 degrees, and low wind. If everything works out, I’ll post the location on my Facebook page.

This spot in Hampstead produced a few interesting finds.


A few small things were floating around near the bottom of a bag.


None of it was particularly noteworthy, outside of this brooch (about 3″ long, for reference). There’s a mark on the pin, which looked indecipherable at first but upon further inspection looks like an incomplete 18k mark. My acid test supports that theory, though I’m still not 100% confident in my ability to test gold.

Either way, it looks and feels like a nice piece. The front is white and shiny, hopefully a thick layer of white gold on top of the yellow back. There is one larger blue stone, and several clear shiny stones, which could be diamonds. I think I’d have to get an expert to look at it to be able to really know what it’s worth. If it really is 18k gold, it could be a nice get.


I also saved this ancient mobile phone.


Some vintage cell phones are actually worth a lot of cash, though I don’t expect that this one in particular is valuable. The hinge of the receiver is cracked, and there’s no charger to test it with. It’s a fun yard sale piece.


On Tuesday a reader sent me an email to tell me that his neighbours were throwing out a bunch of stuff. Before I got there, however, they apparently got one of those junk removal companies to pick up the bulk of it, perhaps thinking the city wouldn’t take it all. Still, a few things remained, and I found something cool leaning up against the post in the background.


It was a large (about 4′ x 2.5′) Parti Quebecois election sign. It bears the name of Gérald Godin, a poet and MLA in Mercier (Plateau) from 1976 to 1994. One of his poems is painted on a wall near Mont-Royal metro station – see a photo of the poem here.


However, my favourite part of the sign might be the painting on the back. It depicts a “Oui” (yes in French) surrounded by flowers and the warmth of the sun. The dot of the I is a fleur-de-lis. For those who don’t know, the province of Quebec has held two referendums about separating from Canada – one in 1980 and one in 1995 – and “Oui” was what you would have voted if you wanted Quebec to become its own country.

I would guess that this sign would have been made for the 1976 Election, when Godin defeated the former premier Robert Bourassa in his own riding. Someone then saved the sign for four years before painting the mural on the back for the 1980 referendum. As someone with an interest in politics as well as folk art, this is a pretty cool thing!

(Just as a reminder, if you ever see a potentially good trash spot, but can’t or don’t feel like picking it yourself let me know! It might help me find something I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. I can travel to nearly anywhere in Montreal and Laval, depending on my schedule).


I went out on Thursday morning and came across this spot near Westmount. I talked to the janitor, and he encouraged me to take a look as long as I didn’t make a mess. He told me the stuff belonged to someone had passed away. I saved the cute table on the left hand side (which I gave to Sarah) …

some housewares (my favorite of which was a heavy vintage glass pitcher) …


an old St. Anne medallion …


a collection of stainless steel scissors …


and some books, including a nursing guide and four miniature dictionaries. The dictionaries translate French, German, Italian, and Spanish to English. There were many other books, but none seemed particularly special – mostly softcover romance novels from the 80s and 90s.


A few pages in the nursing book were bookmarked using pins, which I’d never seen done before.


I also saved a few potted plants. They were very dry, but still alive. I gave them water and expect them to recover well. They looks like Hyacinths, which I think can do well planted in the ground.


A couple of my best finds though came from my spot in NDG. It didn’t produce anything for my previous post, but the trash started flowing again last week.


I thought I saw an old coin at the bottom of one bag.


It was only an imitation Roman coin (you can see it at top center), but I pulled out some other interesting pieces, including several new-age pendants.


There were many other useful, interesting, or just cute things to be saved, including:


some oil pastels and water colours …

a pocketknife by Richard’s of Sheffield (England) …


a tiny metal cup (about 3″ tall) …


some vintage hand-wrought Canadian aluminum ware …


an old salt shaker with a sterling silver top …


an “egg” made out of some kind of stone (it’s a bit worn, or chipped in places) …


a bank envelope marked “amber beads” …


which, true to its word contained some amber beads …


and some editions of Man, Myth, and Magic magazine from the 1970s.


One contained a poster of the zodiac, drawn by a guy named Owen Wood in 1969.


It’s pretty cool! There’s not much mention of it on the internet, beyond this short article and a few places referencing it. (The link also has a nice quality scan, which is better than my photo if you wanted to take a closer look). The poster doesn’t seem particularly common, so maybe I can get some good money for it.


My favourite finds though came from this grubby plastic bag.


Inside was a matching sterling silver necklace and bracelet!


The best part though is that they match the brooch and earrings (picture) I found at the exact same spot a few weeks ago. All the pieces are by Arne Johansen, a Danish modernist jewelry designer. Her work sells for pretty good money on eBay. I’m excited to see what I can get for a set, considering that many single pieces are going at auction for between 125 and 180$. My general pricing strategy is to start high and adjust lower, so I plan on starting the set at around 700-800$ and seeing what happens from there. No matter what I end up getting for it, it’s an awesome find!

Last week’s garbage sales (March 30 – April 5)


1. Vintage Dunhill lighter box: On eBay for 52$. Found in Hampstead around a month ago.
2. Harley Davidson belt bucket: On eBay for 11$. This has been in my eBay store for quite some time. I don’t even remember where I found it, though it might have been in Rosemont.
3. 14k gold bracelet, and 10k gold ring: On Etsy for 190$. The ring I found in Rosemont over two years ago, while the bracelet was found in Mount Royal last year.

Total: 253$, 14075$ since May 18 2014 and 4392$ since the new year began. Another decent week. I also sold a vintage thermometer on eBay, before realizing that you can’t ship mercury via Canada Post or USPS. It’s too bad, because it would have made me around 100$. Maybe I can try Kijiji.

Email and links

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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You “like” me, you really “like” me!


My focus is usually on saving smaller, easily stored things, but last week I ended up taking a few bigger pieces. This pile sat in front of a familiar house in Mount Royal – the same one that tossed the books from last week’s post. They appear to be slowly clearing out the house.


The first thing I noticed was this nice old vanity. It’s coated with a white enamel paint, as was the style back in the day. It just barely fit in the car, only after I took off the arms that hold up the mirror.

There’s a bit of wear to the paint and a couple of missing knobs (which should be easy to replace) but it’s a very beautiful piece. I gave it to my friend Sarah, as she’s moving into a new place soon and could use the furniture. I also don’t have much space to store such things myself, but I hope to have a bit more room soon. More on that next week, if it all works out!


At the back were a few picture frames. Two held degrees dating back to the 1950s, and another held a collection of family photos.


There was a cover for a 1946 Life magazine amongst them.


Otherwise, I saved another big mirror …


a baby bath (which will look nice after it’s cleaned up!) …


and an Expos cap, still very clean and in excellent condition. This was actually in the recycling bin, for whatever reason. I miss the Expos!


The week was otherwise pretty quiet. A few recently productive spots were barren, while others produced nothing of note.

I did save a few things from the “enigmatic dumpster.” I’ve been visiting a few times a week ever since my nice silver finds back in early February.


I haven’t found much here in a while, outside a tonne of amateur art. Seriously – there’s been around four bins filled mostly with old paintings and canvases. When I checked on the bin early in the week, there was a bunch more amateur art …


and two big antique picture frames. Both are around 3.5′ x 2.5′.


They have a couple dings, but I still think they’re pretty cool. They look like they’ve been painted – and not necessarily well – many times over the years. They’d probably look great with a new coat (maybe a classic gold?), perhaps after stripping some of the old paint off.

The trim is really nice. How old do you think these might be? My guess would be the early 1900s.


I visited again later in the week and came across something unexpected: Competition! More specifically, it was someone I know who follows the blog and who recognized the dumpster after reading about it here. It was fun to pick with someone else for a change. I also have to make sure going forward that my photos don’t make my locations too obvious. I can’t afford to lose out on top-quality stuff very often.

This time around I saved a table with a heavy cast-iron base and removable top. The top is designed to rotate, so it might be for making pottery or something like that. It’s about 4′ tall.

I also saved a selection of folk art, a large Tupperware bin, and a carved wooden bird.

Overall, last week certainly wasn’t my best, but things have definitely picked up a bit recently! I’ll post about that stuff soon, as per usual!

In other news

“Things I find in the garbage” now has over 1000 likes! I was at around 935 before Cathy (the operator of the LA-based trash-picking Facebook page Canning with Cathy) linked to me on the Dumpster Diving Divas Facebook page. It’s just another cool milestone in the evolution of the blog.

The 30th was also my 28th birthday! I spent the day doing next to nothing, which was nice because I had been working a bit too hard recently. I went on a garbage run at night and found some great stuff, which was the icing on the cake! Many thanks to Sarah for taking me out for food on multiple occasions.

Last week’s garbage sales (March 23 – March 29)


1. My Kronoz Zesplash Smartwatch – Black MyKronoz Watch: On eBay for 90$. Found in front of a very rich house in Westmount.

2. Gordie Howe postcard with message, postmarked 1959: On eBay for 23$. I’ve had this for quite and while and am happy to see it go! I’ve already received positive feedback. Found in Mount Royal way back in November 2013.


3. Purple Mandruzzato (Murano Italy) Glass Vase: On eBay for 55$. Another thing that’s been around a while. Found last summer in Mount Royal. (It’s the second from the right in the photo above).


4. 1928 Deutsches Turnfest pin: On eBay for 15$. Found with the Nazi passport in April of last year. (It’s the piece above the two coins).

5. Scrap silver and other pieces: to a reader for 200$. This sale included the five cups and three salt shakers from the enigmatic dumpster, as well as some silver dimes (Snowdon), an old silver plate vase (Plateau), and an incense burner (Cote St-Luc). From the sounds of it he may try to make new glass for the cups, which could be really nice if successful.

Total: 383$, 13822$ since May 18 2014 and 4139$ since the new year began. Another good week! I’m averaging 1500$ a month so far this year, which is pretty great – probably nearly twice as much as I was making at this time last year.

New listings

1. Monsieur Lanvin vintage bar of soap
2. Vintage Jonette Jewelry earrings
3. Vintage modernist-style necklace
4. Sterling silver pendant (with turquoise stone)
5. Vintage Italian bracelet, featuring a flower in resin pendant

Email and links

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

Like “Things I find in the garbage” on Facebook!
My 120 eBay listings
My Etsy store

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