I was out doing errands on Monday and came across these three large, somewhat angular trash bags. I remembered seeing a moving truck in the same general area only a few days prior and decided they were worth checking out – sometimes people leave behind good stuff when they move.


Inside one of the bags was a bow with a quiver and arrows. The bow isn’t anything too fancy but it’s still very tight and functional. I had a fun time learning how to shoot it and did a reasonable job aiming at a target around 20 metres away. The quiver looks hand-made as do some of the arrows, though there are a couple that look to have been store bought. I’m going to play around with this a bit longer before I think about selling it.


I went to my top “producer” spot around midnight that same day. I usually go in the mornings but there was rain in the forecast and I figured it would be best if I got there early.


The first thing I noticed was this beautiful old Underwood typewriter (on the left hand side near the pole). It’s in pretty good cosmetic condition but there’s some rusting on the mechanism that makes typing impossible. The space bar also doesn’t seem to work. These are things that could potentially be fixed but it’s not worth it for me to try. If you’d like this as a project or just as a decoration send me an email at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com and maybe we can work something out.


In three different bags I found three separate collections of coins – I’d guess mementos from different vacations or trips. Most of the coins were from 1940s-1960s Europe with the ones in the plastic bag tending to be the oldest.


My favourite coins were a 1884 20 Rappen coin from Switzerland and a 1943 Franc from Nazi-occupied France (“État Français” instead of the usual “Republique”). I also took a liking to a New York City Transit token, a France public telephone token (dated 1937), a 1955 Farthing with a cute image of a bird on it and an old, likely silver-plated Israeli pendant.

This vintage casino chip is pretty cool too. It has a very pleasant yellow hue and lustre while also having a nice feel and sound. The design looks very 30s or 40s and it’s likely made of an early plastic such as Bakelite or Catalin.


I was planning on taking a few weeks off from my usual Wednesday TMR run but ended up going there this morning anyway.


I found some decent books in front of a recently sold house. The Mordecai Richler books will definitely sell at a yard sale as he’s one of Montreal’s most famous writers. I’ve heard good things about Timothy Findley too.


I also found a working lamp and a pair of opera binoculars.


These bags contained a lot of old electronic junk.


I saw this doohickey and had to have it. I have no idea what it does – the only writing on the thing is “Taiwan.” Red dots on the right hand side light up when you turn it on and you can illuminate other areas using the various dials and switches. If anyone has an idea what this is let me know. The design looks very 70s.


I also brought home some unused circuit-boards and 5.25″ floppies. One pack of floppies is unopened while the other contains DOS and an early version of Windows. People still pay for sealed floppies believe it or not – this pack went for 14$.


There wasn’t much else so I figured I’d beef up this post with a few deserving finds that didn’t make the blog previously. I’ve been stopping at one house near the northern end of the neighbourhood for a couple of months now (you can tell from the snow!). There’s never been enough to warrant a separate blog post but there’s a couple of things I want to show you.


I found this nice sterling silver pillbox pendant inside a bag with a bunch of old pencils and other miscellaneous junk. It’s made by a company (or person?) called Mackenzie. There are still pills (or mints) inside the container which you open by lifting the black tab. I remember doing my research on this and concluding it was worth around 80 bucks. It’s heavily tarnished and I have to figure out whether to clean it or sell it as is.



I really love this 1977 Montreal Grey Cup flag. I like the design and the way it features Olympic Stadium – it was a novel piece of architecture at the time! I think I could sell it for 50$ or more as it seems to be hard to find (a google search brought up no similar items) but for now I enjoy having it on the wall above the chair in my den.


I’m going to start detailing my sales a little better. Here’s the tally for last week (May 18-25):

Selle Italia bike seat (f. April 5) – Ebay for 85.88$
-Specialized bike seat (f. April 5) – Ebay for 50$
Ste Therese shrine (f. May 16) – to a reader for 15$

Not a banner week for sales but not bad either. I’m nearing maximum capacity for yard sale stuff so I’ll have to have another one soon, that should boost profits a bit. I’m going to go back and try to calculate my income for the year to date. I hope to have that ready for you by next post.



I went hunting in TMR on Wednesday but came away empty and feeling burnt out. I have to be careful now that I have the use of a car to not overwork myself. That can be difficult given the near infinite amount of work I can do on a day-to-day basis and the massive quantity of things I’d love (and feel compelled) to redistribute but can’t due to logistical reasons. It would all be much easier if I had a store, more convenient and plentiful storage, or a home more conducive to yard sales but I’ll have to make due for now.

I took Thursday off to relax. I got back to work on Friday, biking to a productive spot near Westmount that I refuse to take a break from. It once again provided me some interesting finds.


Lying on top of the bags was a laundry drying rack. It’s a nice one made of old sturdy metal. A friend of mine just bought a new (modern) one at Costco for about 40$ so these don’t come cheap. The racks we have at my place aren’t very good so I’ll put this one to good use. Just up the road I came across another, more modern drying rack (behind the metal one).


I found a couple of cool temperature gauges. One (by Frisy of Germany) is made of brass and looks a bit like a chess piece. The other by Royce of Chicago also comes with a humidity gauge and two pens.


I like this little plaster figurine. On the back is etched: “Copyright 1949 Marblelike Novelty Co.” Some research on the company shows that they mostly produced toppers for wedding cakes. I think this one was made for a Bar Mitzvah, however. I can’t find any others like it online. It might have some collector value as a vintage piece of Judaica. It stands a bit more than 4″ tall.


The wind-up Sheffield watch was a little slow to start but has been ticking nicely ever since. The crystal is a little scratched but otherwise it’s a beautiful watch in nice condition. I also like the 1950s pocketknife key-chain made to promote an auto parts shop on Jean Talon.


I found many of these smaller pieces underneath piles of shredded paper that filled two of the black bags. This vintage bottle opener made for Canadian Pacific (railway) Hotels will make a cool 50 cent item at a future yard sale.


Two of these decks of cards were made for Delta Airlines in the 70s. They’re mildly collectible but it’s not really worth it for me to put things on Ebay for the five dollars that someone might eventually pay for them. I might only get a dollar per pack at a yard sale but I also save myself the work of taking photos, listing and shipping.


This purse contained a collection of necklaces in need of repair. Sealed within a small plastic bag were some gorgeous vintage pink crystal beads and a broken (but likely fixable) sterling chain. Another bag held two working gold-tone chains and a plastic bead necklace missing a clasp. A bird pin was hidden away in a pocket in the back.


I found a couple of records of which the one in the middle (the “Duodisc”) is the most notable. I frequently sell things – mostly old paper ephemera – to a guy who runs a Montreal-based archive. I visited the facility for the first time last week and he asked me to keep an eye out for these kinds of records (which I had not seen before previously).

It’s basically a “home-made” disc. They can be interesting from a historical perspective because they’re unique and can contain previously unheard recordings of music, speeches, and other great stuff. It’s a 78rpm disc – too fast for my current record player which plays only 33s and 45s – but what I heard from manually spinning the disc sounds like Hebrew singing. These types of recordings are apparently fairly fragile but this one seems to be in pretty good condition. I always love finding unique items and hope at some point to get this digitized and potentially uploaded to Youtube.


I find a lot of perfectly fine glasses in the trash. I sell the ones with fancy or vintage frames but give away the rest, often by leaving them in a donation box or in an open box on the curb. You can also (and maybe I will going forward) give them to certain stores or organizations.


This electric razor works great. It’s a rechargeable Philips Speed XL, a fairly high quality model that sells used on Ebay for around 25$ plus shipping. I’m going to keep it myself though!


I pulled this wool hat out from underneath some shredded paper and was instantly a fan.


It’s a “Fleur de Lis” curling tam made by Dorothea Knitting Mills Ltd of Toronto. I think a curling tam is a Scottish hat and not related to curling but I can’t be sure, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! I might use it as a toque next winter as it would keep me pretty warm. It’s in great condition but a dry clean might spruce it up even more. I’d guess that it was made in the late 40s or 1950s.


This light-bulb was a cool and unusual find. There are metallic flowers and leaves in place of the ordinary filament.


When you plug it in the leaves glow green and the flowers (which look like tulips) glow a sort of light purple.


The bulb doesn’t give off much light but it definitely looks cool in the dark. I’ve never seen anything like it before, have you? If you have any information let us know in the comments. I wonder when it was produced and if it was once common or fashionable.

I may take Monday off but I’ll be out for sure on Tuesday. I’ll keep you posted.

Family, industry and thrift


Today saw a resurrection of a spot I gave a pre-emptive eulogy for in my last post. There were plenty of interesting things hidden inside these nondescript black garbage bags. This house has provided me so much and it’s hard to imagine where it’s all coming from. I have to assume there’s a big basement.


This 1960s Garrard AT6 seems to work great. It plays the familiar 33s and 45s but also 78s and 16s, the last of which I’ve never heard of. The make and model are somewhat desired and with a little surface cleaning it should make me around 50$.


I’m suddenly finding all kinds of these old school breakable records. Many of these feature music made for “foxtrot” dancing which was popular in the 20s and 30s. Someone actually uploaded a song off the top record (Lest You Forget by the Harry Thomas Trio) to Youtube, click here if you want to hear it. Here’s a video of people doing the foxtrot.


The cane on the right is sort of fancy – the little band in the middle is marked sterling silver. The finish on both is a bit worn but they still look nice.


Here’s a collection of old slides. A few are labelled as being of vacations in the 50s, 60s and early 70s while others are unmarked. The most intriguing is the box at the bottom which apparently contains “additional” scenes from Expo 67 (which may mean there’s more in the other boxes, or perhaps they’re yet to come), pictures of a 1970 solar eclipse and shots of the Apollo 13 take-off. The Apollo 13 slides appear to be of the televised launch from what I can see looking at the slides. I’ll try to get the Expo slides scanned for my photo blog.


I’ve seen enough of these miniature decorative liquor bottles that I don’t even really mention them any more. These ones are kind of cool though, the middle two especially as they feature a very 20s-30s motif.


A few more foreign coins, most of which some from the 40s and 50s. The two American dimes at top right are old enough to 90% silver.


On this little shot glass sized container (possibly just a shot glass) is printed “F.D.R” and “Specialty [sic] Restaurants, Printed in USA.” I don’t know if it has anything to do with Franklin Delano Roosevelt but it could be from that era.


These magazines both feature stories about the moon landing. The one on the left was published before the landing and the one on the right just after (July 25th – the landing was July 20th). These aren’t particularly valuable but they’re good yard sale material.


This 1969 McGill Student Handbook contains some very activist articles, one of which has a title I couldn’t possibly repeat.


Inside this paper holder is a report card from 1962. I like the Montreal Savings Bank ad on the front which bears the phrase: “Family, industry and thrift make happy homes and prosperous nations.”


I thought this old “Girl watchers’ drink guide” published by Southern Comfort was hilariously creepy. Someone will definitely want this at a future yard sale.


This book explains (with examples!) the various techniques and poses for photographing nude women.


I also found a program for a Temptations concert. The concert had to have been pre-1970s as Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams are still part of the band. On the inside cover are two autographs next to the pictures of Otis Williams and Dennis Edwards. Autograph selling is more difficult without authentication (which isn’t really worth it in most cases) but if you put nice pictures on Ebay the buyers can judge for themselves.


I didn’t find much outside of that one place. I stopped at the house I found the little sewing table last week and saw a bunch of papers inside the recycling bin.


Most of the papers weren’t particularly interesting but I did like this “Roller Speedway News” (another term for roller derby) magazine published in London England in August of 1939. It’s a Volume 1 Number 1 and I can’t find any reference to it online so perhaps this was the only edition. WWII started one month later so writing the magazine might have no longer been a priority.

I head out to TMR tomorrow hoping for an end to the dry spell there. Wish me luck!