Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Sempur Constans


My new Thursday evening Rosemont route is great! I’ve always thought that area had trash potential and I have no idea why it took me so long to look it up. I definitely prefer it to the Mile End / Plateau West; most of the people who live in this new neighbourhood are well established while the Plateau / Mile End has a large population of broke university students.

The borders of this trash day are Rosemont/Dandurand to Belanger going N-S and Iberville to Cartier going E-W.

This pile contained the kind of stuff you’d see in a garage or basement.

Amongst the junk was this box of old Christmas decorations. I think they’re from the early 70s. The box was 1.58 but was on sale for 79c.

My favourite of the decorations was the clip-on bird and the Santa. I like bird decorations and I’ll probably find something at home to clip it on to.

Later on I came across this pile. It seemed like this stuff belonged to an older man. The owner marked his initials (“R.H.”) in pins on the headboard.

I saved these two beautiful lamps from one of the black bags. I’m not sure how old they are but the sockets look sort of “vintage.” Any guesses as to when they may have been made?

(Just an FYI, one of the lamps looks taller than the other because its bulb is larger!)

I also found these first communion ribbons in a rectangular white box. These look to be fairly old, perhaps from the 50s or 60s.

Here’s a few more of the curiosities I found yesterday morning.

This is a paper affixed with six pins. I think they’re written in Polish and the person in the foreground looks to be the pope. Beyond that I don’t know what the subject matter would be, though if I had to guess I’d say the Berlin Wall is on there. If anyone can read this let me know what it says!

This ring is made of sterling silver. I’m not sure what the gemstones are. It’ll look great after I clean it up using the aluminium and baking soda technique and should fetch a decent price on Etsy.

This brass hat pin has a military look to it. Parts are covered with a thin layer of green gunk and I think someone painted the centre white. However, I expect that it will clean up nice with a bit of work. Any information as to the history of this pin would be appreciated!

Same with this one. I don’t know it’s supposed to say FBC or FCB. Again, it looks like militaria as it features two axes and a knight. The centre bit is about the size of a penny.

I have five (or more, I still have to look deep inside the box) of these tiny little button-like things. There’s nothing on the back so I’m perplexed as to what they would have been used for.

They have a dark colour and I wondered if they were silver. I decided to clean one with the aluminium foil technique to see if it shined up. It did get cleaner, though it ended up revealing a tone that looks more like copper than silver. Perhaps the aluminium technique also works for cleaning copper, or maybe all it needed was to be soaked in hot water. The second picture was taken after the clean. It’s pretty similar in tone to the 1994 penny.

A few more tiny things. At top right is a pin featuring the phrase “Semper Constans” (“Always Constant”) which is the motto for the 51st Signal Battalion. It’s marked as being sterling silver. The bottom right is a small ornament showing a bird carrying a shield emblazoned with the letters “F O E.”

I’m not sure what the symbol or flag on the pin at the top right means. On the back all that’s written is the word “Pat’d.” Finally, at the bottom right is another ornament displaying the slogan “follow me,” which appears to be associated with the US Infantry. I have a few different pieces like this one.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of pins and insignias and ornaments that are part of this collection. Many are from the military but others are from businesses or non-profit organizations. One thing’s for sure: I’ve got a lot of sorting to do!

The more I look through this stuff the more I think whoever owned it was once an American, maybe one with Polish heritage.

I consulted a messageboard to help me identify that lead piece from yesterday. It turns out that it’s the symbol of the Patrons of Husbandry, a non-profit created by agricultural workers way back in 1867. The only question now is to the age of the piece. I’m thinking it could be really old, perhaps being made around the creation of the organization. I found nothing similar on Ebay, just pins and such from a clearly more modern period.

I’m going to take another run soon. I think I’ll check out yet another previously undiscovered Rosemont trash day in addition to my usual east Plateau run.

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