Dawn of the Century


I made a trip out to Villeray late last night thinking it would rain this morning. I came across this pile on Casgrain near Villeray (street) which laid in front of a sold house. I couldn’t tell if the trash was put out haphazardly or if it was already picked through. Regardless, I found some pretty cool stuff, some of which dated back to the turn of the 20th century.


This binder is kind of funny. It’s very proud of it’s ability to be refilled, a fair trick to be sure but one we take for granted in today’s world. I think this was made in the 1930s. The notes inside seem to be related to musical training, which makes sense given the stuff you’ll see later.


This is a diploma from a Montreal stenography course dated June 3rd 1940. I didn’t realize how gibberish-like stenography was before seeing some of the scribbles on this diploma. That people could (and still do, apparently stenography pays quite well these days) somehow translate English into these squiggles seems incredible to me.

This diploma is a really beautiful piece of ephemera. It has some great imagery, some of which you can see by clicking on the smaller gallery photos. (As well, there is a link for a “full size” image on the bottom right of the gallery image). I especially like the woman hanging out with some flags next to a Royal typewriter in front of the city of Montreal. It has a couple of significant rips but I think if it were to be framed (as it should) it would look fantastic.


I saved several books, most of which were Catholic theory and prayer books. This one was probably required reading for the stenography diploma above.


I found this glossy paper pretty interesting. It commemorates the 1925 beatification (basically the recognition that one has surely entered heaven) of the a group of missionaries (“martyrs”) who were killed by the Mohawk back in the 1600s. The imagery is pretty powerful. On the bottom is a depiction of the missionaries being murdered by the Mohawk, and above them, in the clouds, the missionaries are all fine and dandy, doing quite well in fact as they are now in heaven.

One of the missionaries was named Isaac Jogues. Read the link for more info on the event.


Last but certainly not least I found a bunch of piano sheet music, much of which dates from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Some of the imagery is really incredible, rarely do I find anything from this aesthetic era.

I should be able to make a bit of money off the ones in nice condition. I can sell the ones in less-good condition at a yard sale for a buck or two as they would still look pretty cool in a frame.

I included a gallery below of some of my favorites. There’s more yet but I might save them for another post.


I hope to find some more old stuff in the Plateau this evening. It’s just a lot of fun to look through. Leaving now!

Bits and reels


I found these tins on Canada day along with the silver plate candelabra and antique hanging lamp. I brought them home without looking beyond a cursory glance at what was inside.


These Granger pipe tobacco tin was full of these brass (?) things. Some of the circular pieces have two little wheels and some don’t. There’s also some wire pieces that may be for hanging the circular parts. Any ideas as to what these were for?

FYI, I found a great tool for identifying mysterious items. It’s a Reddit messageboard called “What is this thing?”. I’d recommend it if you want to know what something (including plants you may see, animals, etc) is.


The bigger tin, marked as being made by the MacDonald Mfg Co. out of Toronto, contained a more diverse portfolio of bits and pieces. The tin is pretty old, I would guess it’s from the 1920s.

shakespeare kazoo

This piece stuck out from the rest. It’s a Shakespeare “Kazoo” fishing reel and it’s definitely an antique, though I’m not sure exactly how old it might be. It seems to work fine. These generally sell for between 10-15 dollars on Ebay, though I’ll probably just put it in a future yard sale. Selling things for that little online is generally more stress than it’s worth.

wag rcaf patch

I found this patch along with some other not particularly noteworthy things in some trash bags near my place a few days ago. I decided to Google it last night and found out that it’s a WWII-era patch for a wireless air gunner (WAG). I can’t imagine what that job would have been like! It seems to be worth around 10-15$ on Ebay, again falling into that “is it worth bothering” range. Regardless, it’s always interesting finding military stuff.

I went to the bike co-op early this afternoon. I trued my wheel and did a few other minor repairs. It runs nicer now but the bump on each revolution of the back wheel remains. My theory now is that the bump is a result of a sizeable dent on my wheel, which may protrude upwards misshaping the wheel. I might be able to hammer that out but I may also have to buy a new wheel.

My Sony DVCAM player finally sold for 135$. Previously I had sold it to someone in Italy but the shipping was astronomical and the deal fell through, which was sort of lucky because I managed to get a better price the second time around. One thing I think I’ve learned about Ebay is that fixed price listings are often the best choice. It may take a little longer but I find that you can make more money that way. Auctions are good when you have something and you’re not exactly sure what you can get for it, but overall the fixed price listing forces the extra motivated buyer to pay a little more to get what they want.

I also had to cancel a sale (of a textbook I found in November, the last of 6) because the person was in Australia and the shipping was too high. They wanted me to ship the cheapest way (22$ via surface) but that’s notoriously unreliable and leaves me very vulnerable to fraud. I cancelled the transaction and it sold again, but this time the buyer claimed that they thought the shipping would be free, so that’s likely to fall through as well. It’s important to note that this last textbook is only still around because someone bought it near the beginning of the winter semester, but then never paid for it and disappeared for a couple of weeks. I cancelled the transaction and didn’t lose any money, but by then the semester had started and the demand for the book had plummeted. The guy emailed me far too late telling me he had bought one somewhere else, to which I had to resist telling him I didn’t give a damn. These are some of the reasons I find selling online more trouble than it’s worth sometimes. I think going forward I will limit most of my items to the US and Canada, which are generally my biggest customers regardless.

Anyways, I’m going to go out and enjoy this sunny day, and perhaps later enjoy some music at Jazz Fest.

Bes, Osiris, Khepri, and Marantz


I haven’t gone out as often the last couple of days because my bike needed some repairs. Of utmost importance was to change the rear tire which was getting pretty close to bursting, a dangerous situation for sure. I fixed that up at the bike co-op yesterday but unfortunately I didn’t have time to true the wheel. I feel a bump on every revolution of the wheel when I ride, which (I think, anyways) is a result of the wheel being out of tune. I don’t think it’s a particularly risky situation (assuming I don’t go too fast, that is) but it’s definitely annoying. It shouldn’t take too long to fix, I just need to get to the bike co-op while it’s open.

Tonight I went on my usual evening run of the Plateau.


I found this box full of plastic figurines and three ceramic sheep at the bottom of one of the bags. The plastic figurines look to be the various characters of ancient Egyptian mythology. They’re doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with them, I guess someone just lost interest! There’s 32 in all (and one missing it’s stand) which include such names as Bes, Osiris, and Khepri, who is a sun deity with a scarab for a head.


Later on I came across some stuff on rue Chateaubriand. I feel like someone moved into a new place and decided they didn’t have room for some of their things. Exhibit A is the empty moving boxes sitting on top of the bags.

marantz 2220b

I decided to take home the stereo amplifier sitting in-between all the boxes. It seemed like a good quality machine in decent cosmetic condition, and I know some of those are worth money even if they don’t work.

My instincts were right! The model, a Marantz 2220b, sells for up to 300$ in perfect shape on Ebay. Even an obvious parts/repair model sold for 51$. Here’s a link of the other 2220b’s that sold. According to wikipedia Marantz is a pretty high-end brand.

I tested it a little bit. The lights are fairly bright but not perfect. I didn’t hook it up to speakers but it played well into my headphones. Assuming further testing doesn’t find anything wrong I should be able to sell this piece for 100$ at a minimum. Not too shabby!


I also saved some books, many of which are pretty popular titles. Books often worry me because of the possibility of them having bugs, but I trusted my instincts and brought them home. I also inspected them just to be sure. I should be able to sell these pretty easily at a yard sale.

A pretty good day overall. I hope to fix my bike wheel tomorrow so I can be ready to garbage pick to my full potential next week.