I set out this morning for my usual Rosemont trash run but didn’t find anything of note. I was heading back “chez moi” when I came across this old lamp on De Lorimier near Dandurand. I decided to bring it home, which via bike was an interesting and occasionally harrowing experience. At some point a woman biked by, asked if I had found it and told me she was “jalouse” of my find. I enjoy encounters like that.


The lamp was made by Electrolite in Toronto. I think that it’s pretty old because of how the label mentions that it’s an “electric” lamp. It likely came from a time when having electricity was still novel and not taken for granted.

My guess is that this lamp was made in the 1920’s. What do you think?

It’s not in perfect condition but I think with some TLC it could be great. The wiring is the main issue as it tripped my breaker when I plugged it in. It also needs a little polish and a little rust removal but I don’t think there’s anything that a elbow grease couldn’t fix.

Old lamps can be valuable so maybe I can make fixing the wiring a little project of mine. I found someone on Ottawa Kijiji selling a lamp just like mine for 150$, so if I can get it working and looking pretty I can make a nice profit.

I got the slides (from Expo 67 and etc) I found a few weeks ago digitized and subsequently sold them to someone with an artistic interest for 15$. I sold the shin guards from the hockey equipment I found in the McGill ghetto as well for 40$, increasing my monthly profit to 265$.

The slides are pretty interesting and I plan on uploading them (perhaps to a different website / blog) soon. I had my hopes set a bit high in terms of them being super professionally done, but they are cool amateur shots of times long past.

I’m going to check out the Mile End and environs later today. It’s supposed to drizzle all day but I don’t mind. In fact, I kind of like being out in a pleasant drizzle, and at times even a torrential downpour. I find it relaxing somehow.

9 thoughts on “Electrolite”

  1. I am not a fan of lamps in general.But I know a number of people who love old lamps like the ones you find.It is great that you rescue old lamps and sell them, reuse them or gift them.I am curious as a vrai anglophone, why you only by and large dig through trash in mostly francophone areas.Rosemont is a solidly francophone neighborhood.So are Hochelaga and the eastern part of the Plateau.

    1. Basically because they’re the ones closest to me. I travel by bike, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to go to neighborhoods far away very often.

  2. Friday morning is recycling pickup day in Ville St.Leonard,I think.Have you been to check out the curbside trash/recycling in Ville St.Leonard?

    1. I never have, but I may go on a mission to get out there at some point. The main problem is that it’s about 45 minutes by bike.

  3. Even on rainy days,you can go outside apartment complexes and check out the big blue or grey plastic bins on wheels with lids to find interesting knicknacks,etc.Because of the lids on these big trash bins and recycling bins,their contents are not damaged by rain.I remember you found some execllent jewelry in a big recycling bin with a lid outside an apartment building in Rosemont.

    1. That’s true. I usually check out those bins. It’s a bit harder though because if people put a bunch of nasty trash on top of good stuff it’s unlikely I will dig to the bottom to find it. The jewellery I found in Rosemont was conveniently around the top of the bin.

  4. I have an old lamp similar to this, mine has a marble base, and I love it! I picked it up 35 years ago at a Scouting rummage sale for $5. I have no idea of the age – I’ll have to check for labels.
    I note that yours has a CSA label on it. Established in 1919, the Canadian Engineering Standards Association (CESA) dropped the Engineering from it’s name in 1944, becoming the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). That may help you to date it.

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