Site icon Things I find in the garbage



There hasn’t been much trash recently, partly due to dry runs and partly due to my taking a bit more time off.

Last Wednesday evening I decided to explore a route in Ville St Laurent (East of Decarie and mostly North of Cote-Vertu). I was feeling motivated but kind of forgot just how far VSL really is by bike. It took around 30 minutes to get there and longer to get back (with a trailer in tow). Needless to say this route was pretty exhausting and I doubt I’ll do it again, at least while biking in the winter. In the summer or with a car, sure. I got home late, close to 3am and was too wiped to get up the next day and go to Rosemont as I had planned.

I didn’t find anything too exciting. I took a bit of furniture that sat in front of a house for sale, including this nice side table, a couple of footstools, and a collapsible wooden table.

There was a trash bin next to all the furniture. Most of what was inside was hardware-type stuff (and not much of interest), though I did find the sterling silver cross. The other piece, also 925 silver came from another spot.

Thursday evening, Friday morning, and Monday evening were all mostly dry. I took Monday morning and all of Tuesday off but made my usual trip to Ville Mont-Royal today. I never miss a trip to VMR! Most of my finds came from this pile close to the northern edge of town.

(Just FYI, I returned the camera I was using to my friend who is going home for Christmas break. I’m now using a different camera, it’s decent (older) but doesn’t capture nearly as much detail as the other one. In short you won’t be seeing quite the same quality of photos (definitely no widescreen!) for the time being).

The recycling bin was completely full of books, most of which looked to be from the 60s to 80s. I saved a few of the older ones. I could have sorted through them a bit more but I wanted to keep moving (I had a couple of spots I wanted to check out) and most didn’t look particularly exceptional. Besides, at least they were in the recycle instead of the trash.

These brass pieces were in a bag amongst some old aluminium cooking pots. Some were made in India and others are marked as being from Egypt. My favorite piece is the ashtray on the right – it has the words “Simon Arzt Cigarettes Egypt” written on the top and a hieroglyph marked in the middle.

Simon Arzt ran tobacco plantations in Egypt, the first one opening up in 1869. I think the ashtray is probably fairly vintage, though how old I can’t be sure.

I like the big teapot as well, though its top seems to have broken off its hinge. Maybe a little solder could fix that.

At the bottom are some weird glass shoes with enamel. Does anyone know where these might have originated from? I assume they are purely for decoration but I’d be curious to know more! There aren’t any marks on them so no help there.

I also found a couple of old meat grinders, one from Czechoslovakia and one from England. I’m not sure what it’s made of but this thing is heavy!

I think my best find, however, was this old Japanese-made tea set which I found waiting inside one of the black bags. Remarkably there don’t seem to be any cracks, chips, or pieces missing. It has an odd glaze, mostly clear but with a distinct multicoloured oily hue, similar to what you often see in water at the side of the road.

I’m not sure how old it is but I’d guess that it would have been made in the 50s or 60s. The mark on the bottom is “Japan” with a crown written in gold plate. I have to do a bit more research but I’m sure this set is worth a little bit of cash, 20$ at least.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow morning I head off to Rosemont on what will be Montreal’s coldest morning yet (-16 Celsius). We’ll see how that goes!

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