Site icon Things I find in the garbage



The last few trash days have been mostly unproductive outside of a few cool finds. I went to Westmount and NDG on Friday. The weather was terrible but I wanted return to the spot where I found the silver on Tuesday. There wasn’t anything there this time around, but I did come across a collection of four massive old maps while cruising through Westmount.

These things are huge, measuring around 62 x 47″ (or 157cm x 119cm). There’s a map for North America, USA and Mexico, Asia and Africa. I didn’t see a specific print date anywhere. However, there are obsolete countries and names, especially in Asia and Africa, which can help date old maps. In this case, the presence of the U.A.R. (United Arab Republic) helps to pinpoint the date to a three year window. The U.A.R. was a short-lived political union between Egypt, Syria, and North Yemen which existed only between 1958 and 1961. Don’t feel bad for not knowing that, I didn’t either (despite being a bit of a geography buff) – that was why I looked it up in the first place!

I’d guess that these must be worth something to somebody due to their size and age. They’re in great condition too, one has a couple of rips but even those are easily fixed or hidden if framed. It was a good thing I picked them up when I did as the wet snow would have damaged them if left out long enough.

I found a few old newspapers at another spot in Westmount. A woman, who I think may have been a realtor, was very angry with me for supposedly ripping apart bags. There was a hole in the bottom of a bag which she assumed was made by me. It was there when I arrived, however, and was probably made by a can collector. I wasn’t afraid of her and argued a bit, in the end straight-out asking her if there was any other old stuff while showing her these old papers. She said no and I believed her, I had already looked through many of the bags and they were mostly full of junk.

Anyway, there’s a complete paper from the time of the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles (dated July 30 1981), a “Royal Wedding” insert from a couple days before, and a Gazette from December 5 1928. The 1928 paper is unfortunately a bit damaged – it almost looks as if someone cut an inch off the right side and bottom – but what’s left is still pretty cool.

I went to Ahuntsic on Monday. There wasn’t much of note.

I did find these two boxes full of around 15-25 variations of buttons. I had hoped that they’d be vintage but it turns out they’re fairly modern. I’m not sure what I’ll do with these – I don’t really have room for them and I don’t think they’re particularly valuable. I think I’ll end up putting them back on the curb for someone else to grab.

In lieu of anything to sort through I cleaned up the old silver I found last Tuesday. Everything looks very beautiful! I used the baking soda and aluminium foil technique to get the first layer off and then finished it off with some Goddard’s liquid tarnish remover.

There’s some minor loss of plating on a couple of pieces but overall these are in excellent condition.

The sterling beauty set cleaned up especially nice. I’m going to put it on Craigslist for around 200$.

I covered a lot of ground this morning, checking out pickups in Ville St-Laurent, Hampstead and NDG. I didn’t find jack before salvaging my day at this place. I had never been to this area before, a little piece of NDG that sits between Westmount and Decarie.

This framed piece features the stained glass work of the famous Jewish artist Marc Chagall. It looks to have been made in the 50s or 60s.

This is a clock made for the Canadian Forces Exchange system. I’m not exactly sure what this exchange system is all about, let me know in the comments if you have any insight! The clock mechanism is the back (on of those quartz things that takes AA batteries) is fried and would need to be replaced for the clock to work. It’s a cool piece that might be of interest to a collector regardless, though I doubt it’s of any particular value.

The best find though was this vintage Westinghouse multi-band portable radio.

It can connect to six different bands, including VHF, FM, AM, shortwave, longwave, and something called MB. This apparently allows it to pick up marine, aircraft, satellite, and police signals, among others, though I’m not sure they still communicate this way or if this radio could even break through all the signal noise we produce in 2014). I tested it on AM and FM and it seems to work great. The speakers sound great too! The only problem I can see is with the band indicator on the right – it doesn’t seem to switch positions as it should. Still, this radio is in excellent cosmetic condition and as such has good collector’s value. This Westinghouse multi-band sold for 110$ on Ebay despite a simpler design and poor photos, though it’s possible the specific vintage or another factor (# of transistors?) had something to do with that price.

That’s all for today! Tomorrow I go to TMR and hope for better luck.

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