Dumpster in a bag


I saw a “dumpster in a bag” for the first time on my Monday night run. I thought it was kind of weird so I looked it up. Apparently you buy the bag at the store for around 40$, and then you pay an extra 100$ for them to come and pick it up. I can see why one might want to use this if doing renovations, but the bag was mostly filled with household junk that could easily have been put into regular bags. No matter, these people certainly have a little money to blow – the bag sat in front of a recently sold house in a nice part of town.


This box was the only thing in the bag that was of much interest.


It contained an original 1949 WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children). It’s basically an IQ test for children.


A lot of the science from that time was questionable. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly offensive about this test, particularly when compared to my found copy of the DSM-II that listed homosexuality as a mental illness. (I later sold that book for 280$). Nonetheless, it’s still quite outdated – the most recent version is the WISC V, though I can’t claim to know what’s different about it.


There were several smaller boxes containing different tests.


The four wide and thin boxes contained drawings to be assembled.


This one was a face. I finished it in a minute. Do I win?


Another box contained nine coloured blocks. I’m not sure how they would have been used.


The largest box held a picture arrangement test.


It also came with a bunch of maze tests and unused report cards.

I really enjoyed finding this – I’m now able to better imagine what child psychology would have looked like in the 1950s. One of my favourite past-times is imagining what life was like in days gone by. As for value, I expect to be able to sell it for around 50-60$. It’d be worth a bit more, but I’m missing one book (which helps the psychologist interpret the tests) and it doesn’t come with a fancy suitcase.


I otherwise came across a collection of buttons in NDG. Whoever owned them was really into activism in the 1980s. My favourites were the two featuring Jean Doré. Doré was the leader of the Montreal Citizens’ Movement and Mayor of Montreal from 1986-1994. He replaced Jean Drapeau, the extravagant visionary who had served the 26 years prior. Doré recently passed away at the age of 70.

Character study


I’ve been visiting this spot in Hampstead every week for a little over a month. Some people were apparently preparing for a move. Because I got behind on posting after my own move, and because the trash here came a little bit at a time (on the most part) I figured it best to wait until it was all done and share it all in one post. I think that format is interesting – it’s sort of like a character study of this specific household.

The biggest pile was out the first time I drove by, around the same time as the liquidator was doing his business. I always wonder if I missed out on something great in the weeks prior. It’s one of those niggling questions that I can’t help thinking about. There’s no satisfying answer, and the only thing I can do is hope the best is yet to come.


I knew the trash was going to be interesting as soon as I peeked inside that first bag.


There were several nice old tins, my favourite of which is the set of mathematical instruments at bottom center. It was made by a M.A. Coombs of London, probably in the 1910s or 1920s. I also really like the Edgeworth pipe tobacco tin.


I had to sort through a bunch of rubble and junk to get to the my other finds. Another bag held a cool vintage ruler. It was made my Acme in Canada, probably made around the same time as the Coombs tin.


I saved a collection of pencils, many of which advertise different companies. Believe it or not some vintage pencils can be quite valuable. The Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 might be the most valuable vintage pencil out there – a lot of 12 recently sold on eBay for almost 400$. The discontinued model has a cult following and many believe it was the best pencil ever made. It even has it’s own wiki page. I doubt any of mine are super valuable, but I’ll definitely look them up before giving them away on the cheap.


There were also several nice pens. Two are Parkers with 12k gold filled caps (bottom). A few others advertise different companies, including Texaco, Allied Chemical, Huyck and Hoeganaes.


Otherwise, I saved a couple old bottles; …


… two tickets to a 1987 Black Watch parade, which was also attended by the Queen Mother;


… and a 1965-66 curling club events calendar.


Finds were a bit harder to come by the next few weeks but I always came away with something. I had to dig through some food waste to save these items, which include: a collection of Champlain Bridge tokens, a vintage Heather Curling Club pin, a souvenir dollar from the Calgary Stampede, and a pin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the recently closed Royal Victoria Hospital. The latter is marked as being sterling silver. I gave them all a good wash later.


I also found a couple old Gillette razors, one of which was dated 1932 (left);


… a working art deco era Solar watch;


… and this small tin full of bric-a-brac. The most interesting piece is the thimble, which is made of aluminum and advertises a “Cafe ‘Victoria’ Coffee.” It was likely made around the turn of the century, if not a bit before. I did a bit of research but couldn’t find any similar thimbles or other information about the company. If you know anything about Victoria Coffee let us know in the comments!


The vintage B&L (Bausch and Lomb, at bottom) Ray Bans were probably my most valuable find. The glasses have some mild wear to the 12k gold filled finish, but the lenses are in excellent condition for their age. Similar pairs sell for a pretty penny on eBay – check out these realized prices. Mine should sell for around 150-200$. The other frames are Polaroid Cool-Ray 987 sunglasses. They make for fun yard sale material.



Let’s finish things off with this hand-made stuffed animal. It has a face that only a mother could love.


The frog (?) definitely has some character. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to save it, but it probably has something to do with my appreciation of things hand-made. Maybe I can find it a new home.

This house hasn’t put out any trash the past two weeks. The bins (and one extra bag) sit up on the driveway, tempting me to trespass and see what’s inside. I don’t think that’s a good idea though, so for now I’ll just keep passing by on trash day and hoping the bins get put to the curb. If they do, and there are interesting things inside I’ll let you know.

Recent sales (July 6 – July 19)

Midsummer tends to be a slow time for eBay sales. This two week period was especially slow because I haven’t listed anything new since my move. This partly due to garbage fatigue and needing to settle in to my new place, but it also hasn’t helped that I haven’t had the internet for a month. It should arrive soon, mercifully, but it’s a lot harder to get in a listing groove when you have to do all your work at cafés. Still, I made a couple sales and boosted my income by selling off some gold and silver scrap.


1. Gold and silver scrap: Sold to a local antiques dealer for 595$. The sterling pieces I found in NDG provided the impetus for my trip – they alone made me 140$. The rest of the money came from jewellery that was either broken or not worth the effort of listing online.


2. Vintage Tiki volcano bowl: On eBay for 45$. Found November 2014 in NDG.


3. 14k gold Bechtel pin: On eBay for 55$. Found May 2015 in Mount Royal.

Total: 695$, 11382.50$ since the new year began.