Great Sight


It was a fairly quiet week garbage-wise, outside of my good haul on Monday (of which I still have to take some pictures). I did find some cool stuff, but never enough in a single spot or day to justify a post.

I found these things on Thursday in Rosemont. The two old tins were made to hold toffee by George W Horner Co of England. They were likely made in the 1930s or 1940s. Some of these tins are worth good money, though these designs seem to be relatively common and are probably worth a little less, maybe in the 10-15$ range.

The creamer is marked as being made in Austria and features an image of a woman struggling to carry water in some agricultural setting of yesteryear. It’s definitely fairly old as well.

Side note: my camera is up and running again, having found a charger for my batteries. You can really tell the difference in quality between this and my camera phone, especially when you zoom in!


Yesterday I found a few things on Chambord near Gilford in the Plateau. Here’s another nice old tin (this one by Shipley in England) and a “White Owl” cigar box.



I always like an old box. This one is for a “telin-dex”, which is basically a high-tech address book. I like its minimal graphic design and drawings. I found it in the same pile on Chambord – it looks like someone might have been cleaning out a basement.


Finally, I found this Magna Sight grain focuser (a tool used in darkrooms) Thursday evening. It was in among some bags that were contained some musty, damp stuff that probably came out of a basement. The Magna Sight’s original box had completely fallen apart from the moisture but the focuser itself was fine. These sell for around 15$ on Ebay, but I think I’ll just cut someone a deal for it at a yard sale.

I’ve made some good finds recently in Outremont, a fairly wealthy neighbourhood that contains many single-family homes. In the past I’ve preferred exploring areas with a higher population density, but I’m now warming up to the idea of exploring these less dense “arrondissements.” My new place in the Mile End is significantly closer to the Town of Mount-Royal (TMR) which has a weekly trash pickup on Wednesday mornings. I don’t have any runs scheduled for Wednesdays and I’m excited to get out there and see what I can find.

6 thoughts on “Great Sight”

  1. These old tins look fabulous.While in Rosemont,please check Marquette street and Garnier on garbage day from south till their northernmost part in Villeray.Marquette and Garnier street can yield a lot of treasures on garbage day.Rosemont and Villeray of course do not have garbage pickup on the same day.

  2. I love your blog.I lived in the US and I do not like the throwaway society we are for a large part.People who collect or accumulate things are condemned by many.I do not support extreme hoarding,but minimalists are bad too.Read this article in this weekendS NEW YORK TIMES.It does not agree with neatness freaks.I am cutting and pasting it.Please read,ponder and share it with others.

    It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity. Olimpia ZagnoliBy KATHLEEN D. VOHS
    Published: September 13, 2013
    MESSY or tidy — which is better?

    Historically, the evidence has favored the tidy camp. Cleanliness, as the proverb says, is next to godliness. The anthropologist Mary Douglas noted almost 50 years ago a connection between clean, open spaces and moral righteousness. More recently, psychologists have shown that the scent of citrus cleaning products is enough to raise people’s ethical standards and promote trust. Conversely, in another study, people were found to associate chaotic wilderness with death.

    But if messiness is so bad, why do so many people tolerate, and even embrace, it?

    Not long ago, two of my colleagues and I speculated that messiness, like tidiness, might serve a purpose. Since tidiness has been associated with upholding societal standards, we predicted that just being around tidiness would elicit a desire for convention. We also predicted the opposite: that being around messiness would lead people away from convention, in favor of new directions.

    We conducted some experiments to test these intuitions, and as we reported in last month’s issue of the journal Psychological Science, our hunches were borne out.

    For our first study, we arranged rooms in our laboratory to look either tidy, with books and papers stacked and orderly, or messy, with papers and books strewn around haphazardly. Then we invited 188 adults to visit our laboratory individually, ostensibly for a consumer-choice study. Each subject was assigned to either a messy or a tidy room, where he or she was shown a menu from a deli that made fruit smoothies. The smoothies were said to come with a “boost” (added ingredients) from which there were three options to choose — a health, wellness or vitamin boost.

    We created two versions of the menu. Half of the subjects saw a menu that had the word “classic” highlighting the health boost option, whereas the other half saw the health boost highlighted by the word “new.” Then our subjects made their choices.

    As predicted, when the subjects were in the tidy room they chose the health boost more often — almost twice as often — when it had the “classic” label: that is, when it was associated with convention. Also as predicted, when the subjects were in the messy room, they chose the health boost more often — more than twice as often — when it was said to be “new”: that is, when it was associated with novelty. Thus, people greatly preferred convention in the tidy room and novelty in the messy room.

    Given that divergence from the status quo is the essence of ingenuity, we conducted a second experiment to test whether messiness fostered creativity.

    Forty-eight research subjects came individually to our laboratory, again assigned to messy or tidy rooms. This time, we told subjects to imagine that a Ping-Pong ball factory needed to think of new uses for Ping-Pong balls, and to write down as many ideas as they could. We had independent judges rate the subjects’ answers for degree of creativity, which can be done reliably. Answers rated low in creativity included using Ping-Pong balls for beer pong (a party game that in fact uses Ping-Pong balls, hence the low rating on innovation). Answers rated high in creativity included using Ping-Pong balls as ice cube trays, and attaching them to chair legs to protect floors.

    When we analyzed the responses, we found that the subjects in both types of rooms came up with about the same number of ideas, which meant they put about the same effort into the task. Nonetheless, the messy room subjects were more creative, as we expected. Not only were their ideas 28 percent more creative on average, but when we analyzed the ideas that judges scored as “highly creative,” we found a remarkable boost from being in the messy room — these subjects came up with almost five times the number of highly creative responses as did their tidy-room counterparts.

    (These results have been confirmed by independent researchers at Northwestern University, who found that subjects in a messy room drew more creative pictures and were quicker to solve a challenging brainteaser puzzle than subjects in a tidy room.)

    Our findings have practical implications. There is, for instance, a minimalist design trend taking hold in contemporary office spaces: out of favor are private walled-in offices — and even private cubicles. Today’s office environments often involve desk sharing and have minimal “footprints” (smaller office space per worker), which means less room to make a mess.

    At the same time, the working world is abuzz about cultivating innovation and creativity, endeavors that our findings suggest might be hampered by the minimalist movement. While cleaning up certainly has its benefits, clean spaces might be too conventional to let inspiration flow.

    Kathleen D. Vohs is a professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

    A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 15, 2013, on page SR12 of the National edition with the headline: It’s Not ‘Mess.’ It’s Creativity…
    SaveE-mailShareTry unlimited access to for just 99¢. SEE OPTIONS »

  3. Here’s a Made in Austria hand-painted pitcher selling for $50. Yours looks older.

    If you run across any vintage tobacco tins, check this out

    Vintage cigar boxes and tin candy/cookie tins/containers are very collectible. Check and

  4. Please do go to Town of Moyal Royal on Wednesday mornings to check its garbage.When it comes to Outremont,check out Ducharme and St.Cyril streets on recycling pickup day.

  5. I went to the Salvation Army store on Notre Dame Street at the intersection of Guy Concordia boulevard.It is the biggest Sally Ann store in Montreal.They had a lot of quaint knickknacks for sale,but I ended up buying only one piece of clothing.I briefly browsed through the books and noticed they did not have any magazines for sale at all.Last time I went three months ago,they did not have any magazines for sale either.However,when I went to their store one year ago they had tons of gardening magazines,cooking magazines,National Geographics and New Yorkers for sale.
    Many book fairs and used book stores do not accept magazine donations,but some do.I think the Salvation Army might just be throwing out magazine donations.There are still people who buy old magazines.
    I collect some old magazines.

Comments are closed.