Social Credit


I came across this pile in Rosemont over two months ago now. I was busy at the time and put it all into storage, only recently getting the photos I needed to post about it. I remember the neighbour telling me that the things belonged to someone who had passed on.


I saved a whole bunch of books, most of which were published between the late 1800s and 1940s. The vast majority were French and many were Catholic writings. Based on my trash picking experience I’d guess that most Québécois families in that period owned similar books. These books have become anachronistic in post Quiet Revolution (circa 1960s) Quebec and are now being thrown out in droves.


I love old political ephemera and I very much enjoyed finding this old flyer, which is roughly the size of a postcard. It was made in 1962 for the Social Credit Party of Canada, a now defunct right-wing political party that was active between 1935 and 1988. It’s heyday seems to have come in the 1960s when they won a little over 11% of the vote in two different elections. The candidate being promoted is Robert Leblanc of Hochelaga, who ran in just this one election and won 9% of the vote.

The image itself is interesting in its total lack of subtlety. It portrays a bedridden fellow (marked clearly as Ottawa, the capital of Canada) who is sick despite being given the medicines of taxes and regulations. A doctor is offering him another medicine – a bottle of Social Credit – but the man refuses, saying that it could make him more ill. The bottom states that the system is very sick, and that “On n’a rien a perdre … essayons le credit social.” That translates pretty literally to “we have nothing to lose … try Social Credit.”


The other side portrays a bystander (labelled Social Credit) proposing to the owner of a broken down old jalopy that he change not the driver but the car itself. The owner (again labelled Ottawa) simply keeps switching between a red (Liberal) and blue (Progressive Conservative) driver when things break down instead of trying a whole new option. The tagline at the bottom reads: “If you like debts, taxes, and unemployment vote red or blue; if you’ve had enough … vote Leblanc.”


I took a few knick knacks, including a chalkware dog that was likely made in the 1930s; …


… a porcelain doll;


… and a very kitschy lamp. It’s marked as being made by Paragon, though I doubt it’s the same company that made many of the very nice teacups I found last year. Nonetheless, I did find a similar lamp that sold on eBay for over 100$.


Here are the rest of the noteworthy items. I really like the vintage souvenir flamingo thermometer on the far left. The old spatulas are pretty cool too. The Pope John Paul II pin is another one of those things I come across more in predominantly Québécois parts of town.


The glasses were the wire-rim type popular I think in the 30s and 40s. They’re not particularly exceptional, but I do appreciate the old Protectal logo; it features an image of the Sphinx wearing glasses.


I’m always a sucker for old baubles. My favourite of this bunch is the National Typewriter key-chain at center, which was likely made in the early 50s. To its left is a badge from 1969 likely given out by a company to reward a year without any accidents. To its right is a what looks to be a St Christopher pendant.

At bottom left is a Canadian centennial year (1967) pin. According to my mom nearly every Canadian living at this time had one of these. At bottom center is another pin apparently given out by the Soviet pavilion at Expo 67. One like it recently sold on eBay for 10$, which surprised me a bit as they seem to be fairly common. Finally, at bottom right is a token or medallion commemorating the 1950 Holy Year.


Here are the opposite sides of the items with noteworthy backs!

I visited the same spot for a couple more weeks but didn’t find anything of note. Again, I’m left to wonder if I missed out on some cool stuff in the weeks prior.

Dog days


I stopped at this pile in the Mile End while on a casual bike ride. There were three different colors of trash bags on the curb (orange, green, and black). While it’s certainly not definitive I do tend to find more cool things when people use different types of bags. It’s an odd observation, but my guess is that when cleaning up or cleaning house people will just use up whatever bags they have on hand instead of saving them for their intended purpose.

While I was looking around a woman called out and told me everything was junk. She didn’t seem to mind me poking around though.


She was mostly right. However, I came across something she perhaps overlooked – a 10k gold ring curiously attached to a (lucky charm?) keychain.


The ring weighs around 1.3 grams and is worth about 30$ in scrap gold. It ends my gold drought that I was lamenting not long ago.


I also saved a cool St John’s Ambulance first aid book that was published in 1967.


Otherwise, I came across another pile while biking around, this time a little further east. It sat behind a not particularly well maintained apartment complex.


Inside was a collection of change, most of which was already rolled up. Oddly, most of the change was American. Thankfully, the bank machine happily accepts that. There was over 10$ in all.


I find change in different quantities fairly regularly. I put it all in a box and bring it to the change machine when it starts piling up. Any guesses as to what this all came to? I’ll let you know in my next sales tally. Keep in mind that a few foreign coins are mixed in with the rest.

It was a fairly slow week overall, at least until Friday. I’ll post about that stuff in the near future!

Dumpster in a bag pt. 2


I first wrote of the dumpster in a bag a couple weeks ago when it produced a cool vintage intelligence test. I’ve returned a couple times since then and found some other neat stuff.


This Orangina “can camera” was one of a few different Orangina promotional items I found here. Can cameras were used a lot in late 1970s – early 1980s advertising and were apparently very awkward to actually take photos with. It might have a bit of value to a collector.


Some Walkmans are worth pretty good money, believe it or not. For example, the Sony F1 Walkman I found here has sold for over 100$ on eBay. However, it’s not as valuable as some of the ridiculously nice (or just very collectible) models that have gone for over 1000$. I hope I can find one of those!

Inside the F1 is a cassette featuring Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.


This is a mezuzah case. The mezuzah is a prayer that is affixed to the doorframe in Jewish homes. I’ve seen a few of these before but this is my favourite of the bunch design wise. I may have photographed it upside down – if I did my apologies!


I also found a Yashica 50 Super8 camera.


It’s not worth much but it makes for cool yard sale material.


My favourite find though was a small collection of slides, camera film, and Super 8 film. Some of it might be interesting from an archival perspective. For instance, one film was processed in 1968 and titled “CDNs hockey parade,” referring almost certainly to the parade celebrating the Montreal Canadiens 1968 Stanley Cup win. I looked on Youtube and couldn’t find any similar videos so it could be especially interesting to get it digitized.

There’s also a roll of film labelled “Expo 67.” A lot of people (particularly those in the Expo 67 Facebook group) like looking at these old photos and reminiscing about that great time in Montreal’s past. They definitely enjoyed the large album I found way back when and the master plan I found relatively recently. I’m sure they’ll enjoy these too – just by looking at the negatives I can tell they’re nice shots.

I’m familiar with a local archive that works to preserve these kinds of things. I’ll try to get this stuff (particularly the ones I singled out) digitized and if they’re cool I’ll share them here!