Old books and more ephemera

This is some of the stuff I found a few weeks back with the old newspapers. There’s some pretty old stuff in here. Take a look!


Let’s start off with an old book. This one is “Henry the fifth” by A J Church. According to wiki, Henry the Fifth was pretty awesome at conquering France back in the day. The book itself is from 1891, a second printing of the first edition. It’s pretty much in perfect shape. Maybe I could get 15-20$ for it from a collector.


A bit of Quebec Communist Party paraphernalia. Interesting that on the fake money communist is spelled “Quommunist,” which I wonder could be a combination of Quebec and Communist, since the French don’t spell it any different than us.

Also interesting are all the references to the 1970 October Crisis of Quebec, when the FLQ thing blew up. The front picture of Pierre Laporte Bridge (in Quebec City) is probably a reference to Pierre Laporte himself, who was Quebec’s deputy premier murdered during the crisis.

The backside references a few other October crisis characters. Michel Chartrand was a staunch supporter of the FLQ and an important union leader in Quebec. Jacques Rose was part of the Chenier cell of the FLQ responsible for killing Laporte and was convicted of being an accessory after the fact. Pierre Valierres was the intellectual leader of the FLQ. These characters were all part of some “financial surveillance committee” are all oddly undersigned by James Cross as Governor, odd because James Cross was the British diplomat kidnapped during the FLQ crisis. I figure it’s all part of some joke I can’t quite understand. I suppose this is a reminder of how crazy things got in Quebec at this time.

As for the guy on the pamphlet – Guy Desautels – he ran as a candidate for the Communist party in my area of Montreal in one federal and one provincial election before seemingly disappearing from politics.

The reverse of that pamphlet.

Here’s a listing of available books from a bookstore from times past that specialized in old and rare books.


A few old stamp books. I imagine these are an earlier version of those points you get for buying Coke products (or whatever). In this case, you get stamps (presumably when you buy a product) and put them in this book to get free stuff in the future. That was likely a pretty innovative marketing practice at the time.


A couple of postcards, probably from the 60s, featuring very idealistic portrayals of the native peoples. Very interesting to look at though. The back has a blurb trying to sell the land to potential travellers: “Mexico – Fiesta? Siesta? Take your choice in the wonderful Mexican sun;” and “South Pacific: Magic Lands where you step into carefree happiness and Empress flights make dreams come true.”

A little book of funny stories by Pierre Doris. English wikipedia has only a stub about Doris, but French wikipedia has a bit more. His real name was Pierre Tugot, and he was known for his dark humor.

I’ll try to translate one of the quotations from his French wiki.

« Nuance : quand l’homme est mort, on l’enterre ; quand l’arbre est mort, on le déterre ! »

Subtle difference: when a person dies, we put them in the ground ; when a tree dies, we dig it out!

I found these old insurance papers from 1969. Not super exciting, but I figure stuff like this might make good movie props.

I’m going to have to leave it at that for now, as I have an appointment to go pick up some worms for a worm composter I’m making. More interesting papers to come, I promise!

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2 thoughts on “Old books and more ephemera

  1. The Quebec political (FLQ and Communist Party) ephemera would probably best be marketed through Montreal and Québec City kijiji and craigslist pages.

    Savings gift stamp books were popular right up into the 1960s. I remember the local IGA store in Shawvegas had Gold Bond Stamp books like these (http://www.etsy.com/listing/49454143/1948-lot-of-16-gold-stamp-bond-gold-book), where you save stamps/stick them in stamp books and then trade the filled books in for various and sundry gift “stuff” from a catalogue of products (it was a fairly good selection actually and for a number of years this was the only way my parents could afford to get Christmas gifts for us four kids). They’re all in good shape, so I expect some ephemera collector might want to buy those from you. Having one of the gift catalogues is a bonus, in terms of value.

    Back in the early 1970s, when E and I were still living in Montreal, I saw Michel Tremblay’s Quebec-based satirical comedy Les Belles Soeurs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Belles-s%C5%93urs) playing (in English) at the Centaur Theatre (http://www.centaurtheatre.com/ 453 St. François-Xavier). The cast was all female and tells a simple story from the lives of women who are traditionally ignored or repressed. With this play, Tremblay was the first to use joual extensively on stage. The “action” takes place in a kitchen, where women are interacting during a marathon session of sticking stamps into these stamp books. Excellent play; catch it if you can.

    Canadian Pacific Air Lines operated from 1942 to 1987. There were a series of these postcards, with images of beautiful women of different countries (you wouldn’t want to travel and see ugly ones, would you?). Here’s your South Pacific ($3.50) postcard on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/PLANE-POSTCARD-CANADA-CANADIAN-PACIFIC-AIRLINES-CPR-SOUTH-PACIFIC-/220999373182?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337496d17e&ssPageName=RSS:B:SHOP:US:101

  2. […] had a few other posts about the things I brought back from this place (the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, and the […]

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