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So long, and thanks for all the trash


I had better luck last week despite a still fairly minimal hunting schedule. I did a bit more exploring than I did the two weeks prior, and found a couple new spots that provided some interesting finds.

I came across this pile Monday evening on St Urbain. Most of the bags were junk, including four that were chock-full of VHS tapes.

One bag contained some cool stuff though, including a pair of vintage 1960s lamps and these cast iron doohickeys.

I’m trying to figure out what they’re for. They’re about two feet long, and look to be pretty old.

There are patterns etched into the big pieces at the end (one has the same pattern on both sides, while the other has two different designs).

A friend of mine thinks they’re panini presses, but I’m not so sure. My guess is that they’re metal embossing tools of some kind, perhaps the kind used to make those beautiful ceiling tiles you often see in older Montreal buildings (like this). Any help in identifying them would be appreciated!

Tuesday night brought me to Mount Royal. The trip was a failure before I happened upon this place late in my run.

The bags held some neat vintage stuff. This framed picture, likely from sometime around the 1930s, is titled “Shan. Gri-La.”

There were a few very old books, including two turn of the century bibles and a “Pocket Anatomist” from 1848. The cover is fairly worn, but I figure someone will still give me a dollar for it at a yard sale.

One bag contained a slide projector with empty carousels. The slide projector bulb seems to work, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to switch between slides. If it works, this model is very good and actually sells for decent prices on eBay.

I found a nice little brass box, which I’d guess was made to hold pills.

I also found a couple more things I could use your help identifying. The piece at the top has ornate ends that can fold down, making the piece flat. The three connecting bits can extend somewhat, making the thing longer. I wondered if it was made to hold wood by a fireplace, but I don’t know that it would work too well in that role. It’s about a foot long unextended, and closer to two extended.

The piece at the bottom is heavy brass and measures about 5x5x4″. A hinged lid pops up from the top, and that’s all I can say about it really!

Wednesday night again brought me to Cote St-Luc. A big pile of stuff waited for me at one of my spots.

From here I saved: some vintage pens; a lock and key; a thermos; an old pocket balance …

a couple of lighters (both of which need new flints) …

a cool sterling silver bracelet …

a little wooden table (the legs fold together and the top is easily removed, making it quite portable) …

a couple of beer bottle lights …

and some signed photos of Playboy models. There’s an advertisement for a tazer on the back of one of these, which is pretty funny.

I decided to do a little exploring, and stopped at a place with a sold sign out front.

I salvaged several cool things, including some glass vases (most of which I left in the give box on St Viateur), a brass tray, a pyrex beverage server …

and a sweet Eagle oil lamp. I find it interesting how fragile glass is often still in good condition when I find it. You’d think that people throwing stuff out wouldn’t be careful to not break it. They might just be thinking of the garbage collectors though, as they can hurt themselves if there’s broken glass inside a bag.

This post-it note was inside the bag with the oil lamp.

By this point I was pretty tired, and wondered if I should bother checking on an old spot in Verdun. There was a whole bunch of stuff out a couple of weeks back (including a couple of brooms), but nothing the week after. I find that garbage brooms are often a sign that the house is finished being cleared out, and I wasn’t optimistic about finding anything more at this once productive spot (it provided all the fortune telling cards, and lots of other cool vintage items).

Still, I wanted to see if there was indeed no more to be found, and drove (fairly out of my way) to go take a look. Only one trash can was out front of the apartment. I checked the can, expecting that there wasn’t going to be much of interest. However, there was one small bag that made a nice jingling sound (one of my favourites!) when moved.

Inside, underneath some fabric and paper towels, was a large collection of old keys.

Several were of the skeleton variety.

There were a few small baubles mixed in, including: a St Christopher pendant, a piece of rosary, a silver plated keychain from Old Orchard Beach in Maine, and an early 50s Shell key finder. The latter is fairly collectable, and should sell for around 15$.

None of this is worth a tonne, but I’m still glad I was there to find it. After going to a particular spot for a long time (since early January, in this case) I get a bit attached its story. I expect this is the last cool stuff I find here. Though I’ll probably check again just to be sure, these keys have the feel of a parting gift. If so, I say: so long, and thanks for all the trash.

In other news

I hurt my foot pretty good on Saturday night, when a large piece of plywood came down on it while I was looking the other way. It was a non-garbage related incident, as it happened when I was cleaning the house. It’s pretty hard to walk right now, but things seem to be steadily improving. I suspect that it’s a pretty good bone bruise.

The injury has slowed my garbage picking somewhat, but not too much. I had someone come along to help me last night, and we actually found some pretty impressive stuff. I look forward to sharing it with you!

Last week’s garbage sales (February 23 – March 1)

1. Antique Union Jack flag: On eBay for 80$. I forgot this flag in the car for months before realizing it was worth some money. It never made it to the blog. Found this summer in Mount Royal.

2. Expo 35 (Brussels) Tourist Passport: On eBay for 100$. A nice payday for this cool old document. Found late November 2013 in the Plateau.

3. Vintage cigar cutter: On eBay for 31$. I forget where this was found.

4. Vintage beer bottle opener – Frontenac Export Ale: On eBay for 30$. Found in Ville St Laurent late last year, but this piece also didn’t make it to the blog.

5. Yves St Laurent Opium: On eBay for 70$. This is the larger of the two bottles I listed. I forget if they came from Hampstead or Cote St-Luc, but I definitely found them in the last month or so.

Total: 311$, 12568$ since May 18 and 2885$ since the new year began. Another solid week. My sales have been excellent for a while now, and I’m averaging about 1500$ a month since the beginning of 2015. That’s pretty good! If this pace keeps up I’ll make around 18k in 2015. That’s still a humble living, but it’s about what I’d make if I worked 40 hours a week at McDonald’s. Needless to say, I’d much rather be doing this.

New listings

1. Gypsy Witch fortune telling cards
2. St Joseph’s Oratory tray – “Made in Occupied Japan”
3. Box of 5.25″ floppies
4. Vintage leather life insurance policy holder
5. Vintage Mercedes booklet
6. Official dinner menu from the visit of Princess Elizabeth to the Windsor Hotel (1951)
7. 1940s-1950s Howard Johnson restaurant menu
8. 1950s menu – Cascade Lodge (Maine)
9. Valle’s Steak Menu, 1950s
10. Valle’s restaurant menu – 1952
11. Six vintage French children’s books from the 1940s

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 I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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