Temp Work

I’ve been working a temp job the last couple of weeks. It’s the second part of a two part gig; in April I picked up boxes of stuff from students leaving town for the summer and now it’s time to deliver them back. I’ve done this for a few years now. I like the job – the pay is good, the bosses are nice and things are pretty chill overall, though driving regularly in down-town Montreal is a real pain in the ass. It also gives me some extra spending money that full-time trash picking hasn’t (yet) been able to provide.

I haven’t had as much time for garbage, a bit of a shame because it’s the end of the month. Still, I’ve managed to make a few more finds just by checking out “productive” spots and by being in the right place at the right time. I got lucky while biking to Ville St Laurent to pick up the rental van for my job. I spotted a recycling bin sitting in front of a house with a “for sale” sign out front and inside was a large collection of books. I picked out several that I thought I could resell including: the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, two books by both RL Stevenson and Ernest Hemingway, a 1908 Sears Catalogue reproduction, “Under the Tuscan Sun” by Frances Mayes, and a painting book by Winston Churchill. There was also an old scrapbook containing photos and keepsakes of someone’s high school days in the late 1950s. My favourite piece from that was an old paper coaster from the Kon Tiki Restaurant that used to run in down-town Montreal.

I’ve also kept an eye on the house in the Plateau that provided me all the nice glasses and bric-a-brac a couple weeks back. There’s been four trash days since then. One time there was a box full of old, broken down boxes a bag full of tissue paper. I almost left empty handed but spied a large envelope in among the boxes. Inside was a collection of old photos, mostly from the 1940s, as well as a cool Salvation Army “Dedication Certificate to God and the War” that was apparently given to an infant in 1951.

I was just at the same spot again and found a pair of beautiful old “Fire King” mugs amongst some junk. They’re very nice and collectible, selling on eBay for 20$ a piece or more. I’ll save those for the next post though!

I’ve spent a fair bit of time sorting through the old papers I found last Wednesday. It’s a really amazing collection that warrants at least one more post of its own. Today I’ll focus on WWII and military-related items, not including ones from my last post. There were a lot of military men in the family, one of whom was a young man who died in battle in 1944.


This RCAF photo holder, made from English Morocco leather is a particularly nice piece. It’s in very good condition and I can’t find anything else like it online. Inside are some photos of a woman, a child, and a young man wearing an RCAF cap – almost certainly the same cap I found a month and a half ago.


There were two great group photos that I’d guess were taken at some sort of graduation ceremony. There were also several portrait-style shots of a few different servicemen.


This large booklet is a program from the Queen Mother’s presentation of the Regimental Colour to the Black Watch way back in 1962. The Black Watch, founded in 1862 is one of Canada’s oldest infantry units and is based on rue Bleury in Montreal. I can’t find any other examples of this on the internet but I imagine it’s worth a bit of money.


These two napkins are among my favourite pieces because they’re truly ephemeral. These napkins were made to be used, not to be saved. Nonetheless, someone did save them and they’re really cool! I found another like the one below on eBay that sold for 14$. I’m not sure the source of the one above, though it’s probably from the Canadian or American Navy.


Below are several more items, including a signalling and junior first aid certificate, a piece of paper with RCAF letterhead, memorial service pamphlets for fallen servicemen, and a menu for some kind of military dinner.

Pretty cool stuff eh? I’m glad I was there to save it!

Last weeks sales (August 18 – August 25)

-Briefcase: to a friend for 5$.

-Vintage slide rule: on eBay for 40$. An nice old guy gave this to me along with a collection of tobacco pipes way back in April.

Total: 45$, 2553$ since May 18. A very slow week. Ebay sales have been poor, though I imagine things will start picking up once the temperature dips a bit.

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also like comments!

My belligerent lucky charm


On Wednesday I went to Mount Royal and stopped at a house that’s been producing for a while – the same one that provided the WWII RCAF cap and Expo 67 ephemera not long ago.

In the middle of sorting through the recycling bin an SUV pulled up beside me. I turn around and saw a neighbourhood security guard who I’m sure was the same guy that told me to leave the area way back in October. I’ve since had contact with other security officers in the area but none that has given me any real trouble. This time around he took my name and address, gave me a warning and told me I’d face a 219$ fine if caught again, all the while acting fairly belligerently.

I left but came back around a bit later to finish the job. I’d rather risk a 219$ fine than miss out on an amazing trash pile. Inside the bin was a treasure trove of old newspapers, photos, and other ephemera, much of was related to World Wars I and II. It seems that the family previously living in this house had a extensive military background. This stop was definitely one of my finest as a trash picker, and much of the best stuff came after I returned for the second time.

It’s annoying that I could be fined for picking in Mount Royal going forward. It’s one of my favourite routes due to its beauty and interesting history. Regardless, I doubt this will keep me from going and if fined I may elect to fight it in the courts. I’d be curious to know what by-law mentions trash picking. I should have asked him!

On the other hand that security guy might be my good luck charm! I found great stuff last time I talked to him as well, including a collection of newspapers from the end of WWII.


This atlas, published in 1913 is cool in its own right…


However, it’s what was stashed between its front and back covers that was particularly interesting. There were many old, mostly pictorial sections of newspapers, older than I’ve ever found before. They cover many different topics including: the Hindenburg disaster, the coronation of King George VI, the 1939 Royal Visit, the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, various post-war celebrations, and the building (and collapse) of the Quebec Bridge in 1916. There were also newspaper clippings mostly related to the WWI.

It’s an amazing collection and many of the papers are in really good condition. They’ve likely been stored in that book for quite some time. I had never heard of the Montreal Standard before. It was apparently a pictorial newspaper published between 1905 and 1951.


(Just to note: you can click these thumbnails below for a better view. You can also get an even closer look if you go to the bottom right of the popped-up image and click “view full-size.”)


I’ve always been a bit of a map nerd so this piece is one of my favourites. It’s a (WWI) War Map of Europe published in 1914 by Rand-McNally and given out compliments of Canadian Sirocco Company. They apparently made fans and blowers way back in the day, so long ago that it’s hard to find any information about them on Google. I can’t find a single mention of another map like this one. It’s a great piece that would look really good framed.


These photos were found in the middle of a scrapbook mostly full of newspaper clippings and military-related ephemera. Two are group shots labelled “Uplands 24/4/44.” Uplands likely refers to the former RCAF training school at Uplands just south of Ottawa. Many airmen were trained here before being sent to fight in Europe. These photos are amazing, particularly the shots of the planes in flight which don’t seem to be very common. Some great history right here!


I also enjoyed finding these two WWII-era RCAF Christmas cards, both of which were apparently never used. The design of the one on the right is especially cool – the logo is printed with some kind of blue, fuzzy fabric while the inside features a great drawing and typography so typical of the era.

There’s still enough neat stuff to warrant another post! It may take time though as I began the second part of a regular temp job today. It involves re-delivering stored boxes to students returning from summer vacation. It’ll keep me busy for the next couple of weeks, but I’ll probably be able to post and will definitely have the time for a few trash runs.

All cleaned up


My Friday evening run through the Plateau was very pleasant and surprisingly productive.


I opened one of the bags above and came across a collection of old audio reels. Many are labelled as being recorded off the radio in the late 60s. One is marked as a CKLC (Kingston) broadcast featuring something called the “Committee of the Unemployed.” These might be of interests to an archivist I know.


My best finds of the day though sat in front of a beautiful home right by Parc Lafontaine. Inside the bags was a collection of old glasses and sunglasses. A lot of them are fairly nice and should make me a bit of cash. One pair in particular though stuck out. They’re by Metzler of Germany, a fairly desirable designer brand (second below). They’re gold plated, vintage and look pretty much brand new. I’ve already put them on eBay and expect them to sell for 75-100$.


Also inside the bags was a bunch of vintage bric-a-brac. One of my favourite pieces was a “charga-plate,” apparently a precursor of the modern day credit card that was used from the 1930s to 1950s. This one slipped out from in between a bunch of old waterlogged letters. I think it’s missing a bit of paper that would have been on but it’s still pretty cool. I hadn’t heard or seen a charga-plate previously. I’d guess that this one would have been an earlier model.

Otherwise I found: a nice MacDonald’s tobacco tin in good condition; a collection of five lithographed prints; an old leather book cover, probably for a bible; a Crane shower head; two crystal glass doorknobs; a vintage Slaymaker lock with key; and a one inch tall wooden figurine, among other things. I’ll definitely keep my eye on this spot going forward!


I took a little cruise last night and stopped at this pile in Cote-des-Neiges. The bags were full of what seemed like renovation-related junk.


Inside the bin though was an old alarm clock box full of different scents. I tossed a few that were nearly empty or not particularly valuable but kept and cleaned up the rest. I should be able to make some money from these, particularly with the Pierre Cardin, Chanel #5, and Aramis.

The most interesting though are the three bottles on the right. The logo is written in Cyrillic script and has a distinct Soviet feel to it. I’d also guess that the bottles were made in the 1960s. I have more research to do but I did find a similar bottle that’s bring sold for 55$. If anyone can read the label let me know what it says!

(Edit: apparently these are bottles of Krasnaya Moskva, a Soviet-made perfume that was very popular in its day.)


I spent a while yesterday cleaning up those antique silver pens I found a couple weeks ago. They look great! I’m thinking I can get 200$ for the fountain pen and 100$ for the Sheaffer. I bought a new cartridge for the latter which should make it easier to sell. They’re already on eBay, check out the listings here and here.

Last weeks sales (August 11 – August 17)
-American Airlines Wings: on eBay for 110$. I found these in TMR way back in March. I had to wait a few months but I found a buyer at a great price. Just goes to show the value of patience when selling on eBay!
-Wooden duck: to a local store for 10$. This story never made it to the blog. I was looking through some trash in front of a wealthy home in Outremont when a woman came out and told me she had a bunch of stuff up for grabs in her garage. Evidently she was moving, perhaps to an even nicer house. I took a few bottles of wine, a set of dishes (which I gave to my friend), and a few other things including this wooden duck. I was hoping the artist would be collectible but in the end it was just a nicely carved duck. Still, I’m happy with the 10$ and the fact that I don’t have to store it any more.
-10$ bill: 10$. I found this on Thursday. Easy money!
-5 British pounds: converted by the bank to 8.11$ Canadian. More easy money! I found this bill a month ago in TMR and just got around to converting it last week.
Total: 138$, 2508$ since May 18. Another passable if unspectacular total.