Boxes³

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Sunday’s run was pretty exceptional. I went to St Henri and found nothing before moving on to Ville St Laurent and its heavy garbage day. There I found boxes and boxes of great stuff, so much so that I was bogged down for the rest of the week. It’s not often that I find neatly packaged boxes in the trash, and to find so much on one night is quite odd indeed.

It took especially long to document because my camera, the one I found in the garbage (which replaced my apparently long lost, 300$ Nikon) began only working part-time. It would vibrate, for whatever reason, and while it did work sometimes it wasn’t reliable enough to do a whole post with. This was apparently a problem in that series of Sony cameras. I ordered a new-ish one off eBay (a Canon) that, after a lot of research, I thought was suitable for the job. It arrived on Friday and I’m happy with the results thus far.

Anyways, let’s get to the trash!

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At one spot there were three huge boxes of unused, seemingly new boxes for jewellery. I took them all at first, but when I found a bunch more stuff later I had to pare down and let some go – I didn’t need them all regardless. These will be very useful for shipping jewellery and other small items.

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I stopped at this spot later on.

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Taped to one of the bags was a somewhat cryptic note written on an old postcard. I took this as an invitation to take the contents.

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True to the note the bags contained several large boxes…

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… which often held many smaller boxes. Inside was a bunch of 1950s-1970s electronic bric-a-brac that looked to be old stock from a store or repair shop. I don’t know much about electronics and have no idea what most of it does. Thankfully, often all you need to research the value of something on eBay is a brand-name or serial number. I was able to identify some items that I thought were worth trying to sell, either in a yard-sale or online.

The most valuable stuff might end up being the new-in-box Superior Electric Co 5-way binding posts, socket receptacles, and pin receptacles. People seem to pay up to 20, 15, and 20$ (plus shipping) each respectively, and I have 259, 13 and 37. It remains to be seem if there is a market for buying whatever this is in bulk (as I don’t want to spend the next few years selling them individually), but I should make some money there regardless.

My favourite items might be the old school adding machine (3rd pic in the 1st row) and the old school magnifier (1st and 2nd pic in the 4th row) by Beck of London. The most useful item is probably the UV lamp (pictures one and two of row 1, but the one I’m keeping is the 2nd), as UV light is a great way to test for uranium in vintage glass.

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Then I came across this pile. I remember stopping here a month ago (the previous heavy garbage day) when I saw several black bags on the curb. I looked around a bit before a guy came out of his house and asked me to leave. He said something about him getting a fine for me looking through his garbage, none of which really made any sense. I returned to the car and soon enough the garbage truck came and destroyed whatever was left. Before my forced exit I had saved some costume jewellery, which due to no fault of its own never made it to the blog. I had already taken away two bags before snapping this photo.

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Most of the bags (again!) contained boxes. This time the boxes were full of beautiful old china and crystal, most of which was wrapped perfectly. A couple of the boxes look to have been torn a bit, perhaps by someone taking a quick look inside.

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This collection of bone china teacups is really amazing. They’re in really good condition – only one has a broken handle and I have the piece to fix it. These are all made by Paragon and Aynsley, two well respected British manufacturers. I have more research to do but I think I can get 50$ each (or more) for some of these teacups. My personal favourites are the black floral and the mottled green (3rd in first row, 1st in second), though I like most of them a lot.

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These well-packaged bags, which were floating around by themselves in a black bag, contained a nearly complete set of Myott dinnerware. I expect to make some money here – this set, which seems much less complete, went for 300$.

There were other notable pieces, including: a set of Karlsbader German china; a Maruyama “Made in Occupied Japan” figurine; an awesome JL Menau footed trinket box; a working silver-plate carafe; and a metal serving tray. There were also a few pieces of old Fire King bakeware, which seemed a bit out of place.

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After all that I still have several boxes of crystal and glassware to sort through. I don’t want to get into it before first dealing with the other stuff (my room is already full of teacups!) but I did take pictures of the first pieces I found inside each of the boxes. It seems like these are also part of larger sets.

Pretty great haul eh? I look forward to getting these teacups on eBay for the Christmas rush!

Last weeks garbage sales (September 29 – October 5)
-10k gold WWI service medal: sold on eBay for 290$. This didn’t take too long to sell! It also illustrates the value of the “Buy it Now” listing – a similar medal (albeit, slightly less complete) sold in an eBay auction for just 200$. Found mid-September in St Henri.
-Ferrania camera film – expired 1967: on eBay for 37$. There’s definitely a market for expired film on eBay, but this specific roll in particular was worth a bit more due to its brand name. Found mid-June in TMR.
-Aramis Eau de Cologne: on eBay for 28$. Found in a box full of perfumes in Cote-des-Neiges.
-Vintage flag of Switzerland: on eBay for 61$. Last week I sold the old Canadian flags from the same pile for a tidy profit. Now only the Australian flag remains. Found late July in TMR.
-Sterling silver ring: on Etsy for 28$. I’ve had this so long I’m not even sure where I found it.

Total: 444$, 4670.75$ since May 18. Another great total. I suddenly feel rich, though that’s far from the truth. I’m making an average of around 1000$ a month since I’ve started keeping track. While this isn’t a lot it’s more than I counted on and more than enough for me to comfortably survive.

New listings:

Vintage Delta Airlines playing cards
Supercon pin receptacles
Supercon socket receptacles
Superior Electric Co 5-way binding posts
Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsies Tarot Deck

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 enjoy comments!

Bearing down

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I made some other nice finds this week after my good start on Sunday night in St Henri. I came across this spot while walking with a friend on Monday evening. I had stopped here the last two garbage days and found a couple cool things, though nothing to write home about. The house had been recently sold and it some people looked to be clearing it out.

They were tossing the furniture this time around. I was on foot and couldn’t carry anything particularly big, which was too bad because a lot of it was quite nice. I would have been concerned about bugs normally but my brief interactions with the people proved that everything was safe to take.

The garbage truck started making its way up the street not long after I arrived. I was sad that so much nice furniture was about to be tossed. Fortunately, a friend and blog reader was driving down the street around the same time and decided to stop and take a look. Thanks to her we were able to save a nice work desk featuring an old map of the world under laminate (much like the second desk on this page). Still, we could only watch as the garbage truck consumed a dresser, vintage wood bed-frame, old-school TV, and several new-looking mattresses.

I managed to save a few smaller things, including: a cool folk art painting of a bear, probably from the 40s or 50s (I love this kind of stuff! I’m going to find a place for it in my room); a Blue Mountain pottery dolphin from Marineland; three Made in Japan serving trays; a cool vintage cooking pot; and a working Shop-Vac.

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I went to Mount Royal on Tuesday night and was stopped again by security. This time the guy said the fine if he saw me again would be 350$ (they can’t seem to make up their mind!) and forced me to put a bag full of wires back to the curb. I mentioned how bad for the environment this was – I often just take these wires and leave them at the curb for copper pickers to find and recycle – but he didn’t seem to care. I forgot to ask exactly what by-law or regulation he was supposedly enforcing, though he said a couple of times that once items are put to the curb they belong to the town of Mount Royal. (Just to clarify, Mount Royal is basically a suburb that has its own government and by-laws. It’s practically speaking not part of the city of Montreal).

Nonetheless I did manage to save a few good things from some bags sitting out front of a house for sale.

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I didn’t really know what this was but reddit helped me identify it as some kind of new-age pendulum. It’s made from carved glass and I would think that it’s a nice one, though I know nothing about this kind of thing. I’ll have to figure out if it’s worth trying to sell on eBay – I know some people pay a lot of money for this stuff.

Otherwise, I found two ziplock bags with some useful things inside, such as push-pins and a tuner for a Spanish guitar; a 100 dollar bill themed coin bank; an aluminium cup; a horse bookend; and a nice old stapler.

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I drove a friend to an appointment Thursday afternoon and had an hour to kill. It was pretty late for garbage to be out – around 2pm – but there were still some bags out on some streets. I stopped at a pile here on Cote-des-Neiges and found two bags full of vintage kitchenwares.

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Once again I soon see the garbage truck bearing down on my position. There’s no time for sorting so I have to carry away these two large, heavy bags. Thankfully nothing else at the pile seemed interesting – I hate not being able to properly look around and wondering what could have been.

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One of the first things I noticed was this beautiful vintage Le Creuset cast iron pan. It’s in amazing condition for its age. It also seems to be a relatively uncommon size and design. Old cast iron has some value and I expect I can sell this piece for around 100$.

I sorted through the rest near the Give Box on St Viateur and left some useful, if not particularly valuable items for others to take. In addition to the cast iron pot I kept: a vintage “Gem Squeezer” juicer by Larsen and Shaw of Walkerton, ON; a crystal salt shaker with a sterling silver band; a cute yellow Turkish coffee pot; a recipe holder; a pepper grinder; a meat grinder; some kind of Hebrew scroll in a box; a silver plate spoon; and a sweet vintage clock with glow-in-the-dark hands. In a pile not far away I found an old rotary phone.

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On Friday I went on an evening run in the Plateau and came up mostly empty. However, I did stop at a good dumpstering spot (around Cartier and Mont-Royal – it’s on my dumpster diving map) and came away with a good haul of vegetables. The corn was fine outside of a couple of bad spots which I easily cut off. The tomatoes were soft but still tasty. A couple of the peppers were totally bad but most were fine, or just needed a couple of soft bits cut off.

I roasted these and some other dumpster-dived vegetables this afternoon while making food for my room-mates and I. Everything was delicious, especially the corn – I had forgotten how good it was! I haven’t dumpster-dived much recently but want to do so more often going forward – it’s a great way to save money.

This week has been a good one for sales. I’ll post about that next week!