I am the eggman

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This morning I got up and went out for the usual Rosemont route. I biked by this pile, saw a couple of record players and stopped to take a look. They looked decent (one was missing a needle) but someone had cut off the copper wires to sell for scrap. Too bad, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if they were functional. I might have taken them regardless if I had by bike trailer with me as fixing the cord is an easy job but alas.

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This badminton was hidden away in one of the bags. It looks to be in fine shape, just dusty. It might even be new as the plastic wrap is still on the handle.

I also took a bag full of sports team themed bottle-caps and a bag of some other sports memorabilia (rubber doilies, perhaps?) but they disappeared somewhere along the way. I imagine they jumped out of my bike’s milk crate when I hit one of Montreal’s many potholes. So it goes, I hope someone else finds them!

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Later on I found this heavily pillaged trash on Marquette near Beaubien. Much of it was old and I wonder what I missed out on. I saw a couple of funeral pamphlets for an older man and I assume this pile is the result of his children cleaning house.

Though someone had already looked through it and made a big mess I did find a few things.

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I found this old softball bat made by a “Title Products Ltd” out of Montreal. It’s a fairly heavy bat, probably made of maple as many are and is in pretty good shape. I play softball sometimes so maybe I’ll give ‘er a whirl at some point down the line.

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There was a little jewelry box which contained a pair of great old cufflinks, one unmatched cufflink, and a couple of pins (including one for les Chevaliers de Colomb, known in English as the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charity organization. In the back is a nice little make-up box.

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I saved a small collection of these figurines which were part of a Red Rose tea promotion from back in the day. These are collectible so I’ll likely combine them with a few others I have lying around and put them up on Ebay.

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This mug is pretty cool, the porcelain is very thin and the image is very glossy. I’ll think about using this one myself, but more likely I’ll put it in the yard sale.

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I also found a bit of ephemera. I took this recipe book for party punch (1962 and featuring ads for 7-up) and another recipe book put out by a Quebecois egg company. I quite like the weird egg-man they drew up. These are destined for the yard sale.

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Last is this St Christophe (Christopher) medallion. It looks like it’s made of heavily patinated silver.

I just sold the lamps I found a couple of weeks ago for 60$. Thanks to montrealdigs.com for following me and featuring them on the blog! I suggest you take a look at this site if you live in Montreal and are in the market for some vintage furniture.

Later on I’m going to explore the Thursday evening Rosemont route. It’s one of my favourites, I’ll let you know how it goes!

When la Cité became la Ville

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My yesterday evening trash run was a good one. I first came across this bunch of trash in front of a house with a “for rent” sign in the window. From it I saved a few random knick-knacks, a frisbee, and a couple of X-BOX 360 games.

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I also found these necklaces hanging from a clothes hanger. I was a bit excited to see the second from the left as the clasp had a silver mark on it, however when I got home I realized that someone had just soldered parts of a silver chain to the base. Still, these are all nice pieces which should sell at my yard sale.

I should mention that the (much discussed) yard sale is currently scheduled for this Saturday. It’ll feature “garbage finds” but my room-mates will also have some things for sale. The weather is supposed to be nice so I don’t anticipate having to cancel due to that. I’ll let you know for sure before the end of the week!

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My best finds though came from this place. When I got there the bags were already ripped apart, revealing a treasure trove of ephemera, random tools, bric-a-brac and collectibles. I spent the hour or so before the truck came almost frantically looking through as much as possible, knowing that my time to explore this stuff was quite limited. I could definitely have spent a lot longer picking through this stuff and I’m sure many valuables ended up being trashed.

Inevitably, the garbage truck came by (much like death and taxes) and took all the “garbage” away. I felt bad about the mess created by whoever was there earlier and I helped the worker load up the truck. Quite the role change!

Most of the items came from the late 60s to early 90s. Word on the street is that the person who once owned this stuff disappeared around twenty years ago. I met a couple of pickers here, one guy found an old voltmeter and another found a few vintage straight razors. I must say I was jealous of the razors, I’ve been hoping to find one for a while now! One of the guys commented that he thought whoever owned trash was a bit like him in that he knew how to fix anything. Indeed, the diverse range of things I saw would indicate some sort of jack of all trades. I think he may have been a professional photographer at some point as I recovered some very repetitious photos and slides.

Finding a big pile like this and knowing you don’t have the time to see it all before the truck comes is actually more stressful than fun. If I had gotten there a bit earlier I would have been able to enjoy the process a bit more (and maybe find those straight razors!). Still, I did manage to save a fair bit. It would have been nice to have the bike trailer, though on the other hand it would have slowed me down a bit and I would have gotten there even later.

Most of what I saved was ephemera. I’ll do another post featuring that kind of stuff. For now I’ll show you the curiosities and collectibles.

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This little Expo 67 handbag might have been my favourite find. It was a bit dirty when I found it but it cleaned up pretty nice. It’s copyrighted 1963 so I’m thinking this was made before the actual fair. This kind of thing is fairly collectible. However, I’m not in a rush to sell, it might be useful for me to store stuff in.

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I like this old tin as well. It was made to hold caramel butter made by the Montreal-based (and now defunct) Ernest Carriere Inc. How old do you think it is? I would guess that it’s from the late 1950s.

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I found three of these McDonald’s “spinner baseball” toys from 1983, back when plastic stuff was still made in the US. One of these sold on Ebay for 8$, believe it or not.

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These fountain pen tips are kind of cool because they’re all marked “Government of Canada.” There’s four different types: most are “medium” but there are one each of “red ink” “manifold” and “no. 40.” The “Government of Canada” stamp makes me think that these could have some value.

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Last but not least is this sturdy old lamp which was designed to clamp to a desk. It needs a bit of work but I don’t think it’s anything that can’t be fixed. It features a tag marked “Cité de Montréal” which gives you a hint of its age – la Cité became la Ville after 1964. I think the name changed because the word “cité” was more appropriate for the historical city-state than it was for the modern city. I’m not sure though, so let me know if I’m wrong!

One of my fellow pickers told me to bring this lamp to the Gay Village, apparently there are a lot of shops around there that buy this kind of thing. I may just cut out the middle-man and try to sell it myself, though.

I’ll show you some more of what I found in the coming days. In the meantime, I’ve got to do some cooking and cleaning to do!

21 Jewels

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It’s been a quiet couple of days. I decided to sleep in on Monday (thereby skipping my Outremont route) and this morning I woke up to pouring rain which forced me to cancel my Villeray run. I made it out to the Plateau West yesterday evening and I made a few small finds.

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I found this camera tripod in the pile above along with two big boxes of VCR tapes and a bunch of musty clothes. I’m guessing this stuff spent too much time in the basement. The tripod is fine, though, and is the third fully-functional tripod I’ve found this summer. I kept the first two (one big, one small) for myself but I won’t be needing a third. I’m going to throw it in the yard sale for, say, 15 bucks – it works fine but it’s not particularly fancy.

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These nativity scene pieces were in a bag in front of a house on Drolet near Laurier. They’re all marked “Hand-painted Italy” other than the building pieces in the back which are marked Japan (and don’t really fit with my concept of what a nativity scene looks like). A few are broken but others are in pretty good shape. There might be a bigger market for these as Christmas approaches.

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Finally, I spotted this old wind-up watch in a bag full of non-descript kids toys. The trash looked to be the kind of stuff young parents would throw out in preparation for a move. The watch doesn’t work, unfortunately; it goes for a few seconds when you hit it but it seizes up pretty fast.

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You can see that there’s a bit of rust near the winder which is probably the culprit. Still, the watch contains 21 jewels, which in a watch this age are probably synthetic sapphire or ruby. The jewels are there to (somehow, I can’t say I have any idea how it works!) to increase accuracy and durability by reducing friction. 21 jewels should mean a high-quality watch but the number of jewels was marketed as a (totally false) indicator of quality for a while (culminating in a ridiculous 100 jewel watch, of which 83 were completely non-functional) so it’s hard to say for sure. This watch might still be worth a few bucks (but not much more than that) to someone on Ebay. Still, the insides of old wind-up watches are always cool to look at.

Yesterday I started working on a guide to my Montreal garbage routes. I want to take some pictures to go along with it before I make it live but I hope to get that done in the next week.

Tuesday evening is the “Plateau East” route. Hopefully I come across some good finds!