The radio guy tosses again!


A few weeks ago I mentioned a nice old Grundig radio I found on the curb in a nice part of town. I figured it was a one-off find, maybe someone deciding they didn’t want it taking up room in their garage or basement anymore.

However, to my surprise I spotted another beautiful radio while passing by the same house on my route last night. This one might be even better, depending on your personal taste of course.


It’s a old Philips radio that I guess would have been made in the 30s or 40s. It mostly made of wood and is finished with a nice veneer. The top is a bit scratched but overall it’s in great condition for its age.


The front dial is a bit of a linguistic mess, including phrases written in French, Dutch, and occasionally English. From what I can tell it plays FM, shortwave, and longwave, though I’m not exactly sure what the acronyms mean here. The absence of AM seems a bit odd.

The audio is terrific. As you’d expect the sound has that old-timey warmth to it.


The top also opens up to reveal a record player. It seems to be a bit finicky – you have to hold down the speed indicator for it to spin – but that’s something that’s probably easy enough to fix.

There are a few other issues. The FM tuning mostly works, but seems to miss out on the lower or higher stations. The shortwave and longwave tuners won’t go past the bottom 1/3 of range.

Regardless, it’s a beautiful and potentially valuable radio. Check out some of the prices realized by other old Philips tube radios. It might be worth putting a bit of money into to get it into top condition. I can’t figure out the exact model, so if anyone recognizes it let me know in the comments!

I’ll definitely keep an eye on this place to see if any more awesome radios appear!


Otherwise, I’ll show you a few other recent finds. I found some old tools in NDG; ….


… including a cool old metabo drill;


… a collection of “distressed” vintage dolls in Montreal West (which I left on the curb in front of my house for others to potentially save);


… a giant mirror that wouldn’t fit in the car in Mount Royal;


… a less giant mirror that did fit into the car from the same spot;


… and a shopping bag full of change (the glass jar is also filled with foreign coins) and a silver turtle bracelet in Mount Royal.

Recent sales (August 17 – August 30)

I’m going to spend the next month or so catching up on other projects and “life” stuff, so expect to see fewer posts on this blog. I usually spend 20-30 hours a week on the blog (not to mention all the other work I do) and I’ve neglected doing a lot of other stuff as a result. For example, my health card has been expired for six months. I still plan on writing here, but it’ll mostly be shorter articles that don’t take as long to write.

One of the things I want to get done is to scan some Expo 67 slides I found. I’ll share them here when they’re ready!

Things are a bit slow on eBay right now. This lull is common in the late summer according to the flipping experts at Fortunately it’s prime time for yard sales, so I was able to make decent money regardless.


1. Yard sales: many small items for 575$. I made 305$ the first sale, 235$ the second, and someone I met at the sale came by and picked up some more stuff later for an extra 35$. I’m pretty happy with a 200$ yard sale, so I was pretty pumped to make 300$ in one day! I set up with a friend at a great spot in the Mile End and had a great time. I really need to another yard sale stock photo though – the one above is from a sale way back in April.


2. Ray Ban “Clubmaster” sunglasses: On eBay for 80$. I thought these looked pretty cool on me, but I needed the money more than a nice pair of shades. Found this May in Mount Royal but listed fairly recently.


3. Hillybilly Cookin’ cookbook: To a reader on eBay for 12$. I forget where I found this now…
4. Christian Lacroix keychain: On eBay for 30$. Found in Westmount a few months back.
5. Aynsley teacup and saucer: On eBay for 25$. Not too many of these left now! Found in Ville St-Laurent in October 2014.


6. Getco sterling feather pendant: On Etsy for 30$. Found in Westmount but not mentioned on the blog.


7. 1950s “Au lutin qui bouffe” menu: On eBay for 90$. This fetched a great price. I’m having great luck getting good money for unusual (and rare) pieces of ephemera. I thought this menu was particularly beautiful. Found January 2015 in Verdun.

Total: 812$, 13612.75$ since the new year began. A decent couple of weeks overall!

New listings

1. Vintage Montreal Alouettes Banner
2. Vintage 1964 Cowboy Catalogue

Le voleur des ordures


Monday night’s run in NDG was a good one, although it was mildly controversial. I was looking through this recycling bin and finding some interesting old ephemera when this lady (who I think is a neighbour of the person who owns this bin) tells me in French that what I’m doing is stealing. I muster a “c’est pas” (basically: “it’s not”) but my French really isn’t good enough to engage in grand debates about the legality of trash picking. I continue on with my work and try to ignore her – she’s putzing around on her deck with her husband at this point, obviously present but not particularly disruptive.

After a while she snaps a photo of me (probably a terrible one, because it was dark out and I don’t think the flash was on). I wave for the photo, not particularly concerned about any legal consequences. I was pretty much done anyways, so a few minutes later I clean up and move on having engaged with the people as little as possible.

As I said, I’m not concerned at all about the legality of it. I’m sure the police couldn’t care less. I’m mostly concerned that they’ll talk to their neighbours and make them paranoid about identity thieves. It could cause them to put out their trash in the morning instead, or perhaps shred more than they are already.

Now, about the spot. I’ve had my eye on the trash there since it provided me a couple old toy cars a month or so ago (these did not appear on the blog, but a couple are in my eBay store). Since then there has been the occasional interesting find, including some cool old books and some WWII-era buttons (the only find that made the blog). There always seems to be a bag or two of shredded papers – old taxes documents perhaps – but the trouble isn’t taken to destroy other (presumably less personal) papers and books. I suspect the people living there are planning on selling the house and are very slowly downsizing.

There’s often a bit of junk left by the tree on the right. This is visible in the post that mentions the WWII buttons, but not visible here because I snapped the photos later in the evening, after I already had taken the stuff and long after the concerned citizens had moved on with their lives. It seems like the homeowners are leaving things out for others to find as the items always could have easily fit in their garbage can.


Anyways, I took home both items: a large tin filled with bric-a-brac (which was fairly similar to the one shown in the military button post) and a vintage desk lamp. At the top of the tin was a plastic container holding around 100 pennies, which I put into my box of found small change.


The tin otherwise held a bunch of screws but also a few other more interesting objects, a couple of which you can sort of make out in this photo. (Not the bell – it ended up in one of my free boxes).

(Just a reminder! All of these photos, particularly the scans later on are of pretty high quality. If you click on the image you can get a more up close look at each shot).


At right is what would have been a little silver picture frame. It’s marked Birks sterling. At bottom centre is a flattened coin, which I would guess would have been one of those big old Canadian pennies.


The most valuable piece of the bunch is probably this old catholic pendant. This side has an image of Mary and the words “Marie a ete concue sans peche” (Mary conceived without sin).


The other side shows an image of a heart and the latin phrase “Cor meum jungatur vobis,” which apparently translates to something like “Let my heart be joined to you.”

coin sterling

The bottom is marked sterling, making it an especially nice find. It’s a fairly heavy piece, weighing a bit over 20 grams (and so worth around 10$ if sold for scrap). It was apparently made by the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, a Roman Catholic society whose history I couldn’t begin to attempt a summary of. If you know anything about them let us know in the comments!

As for value, it’s hard to say but someone in England is trying to sell one for 60 British pounds (around 120 Canadian dollars).


Inside the recycling bin (where I was looking when that lady confronted me) was a small collection of ephemera, much of which seemed to date from the 1920s to 1950s. Here are two old brochures for Bermuda, one of which was published by Canadian National Steamships.


There were several different Canadian National Steamships menus, all of which were printed in the 1930s.


I also saved a few programs, including one to a 1934 Empire Day banquet …


… a couple of brochures featuring the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, which is one of Canada’s prestigious grand hotels (the one on the left is particularly beautiful and was printed in the 1930s);


… a notebook from the same era filled with a bunch of writings, some of which seem to be a copying down of that person’s favourite quotes;


… and a old book (“The Bride’s Book“) published by Henry Birks and Sons.


The book isn’t dated, but given the design I expect that it too was made in the Art Nouveau era.


The book is around 20 pages long and describes the proper way to do a wedding, including sections on: the responsibilities of bride and groom, the engagement, the invitation, the announcement, the order of procedure, wedding gifts, the wedding breakfast and more. It’s a cool piece in excellent condition for its age. I can’t find any reference to it online so it might be a good thing for me to scan and upload.


Otherwise, I found some cool old postcards (any ideas where “Plakias Lunch” might have been?) …



… and two of what I would assume to be old (my guess is the 1930s again) souvenir greetings cards. They fold open to reveal a blank spot for writing. I’m not sure how the one on the top was printed but you can feel the ink around the blank parts. The bottom features a photo marked “Old Montreal – The Harbour 1840” which I’d guess is a reproduction made in the 1930s.

berhardt wall

Let’s finish off with this little work of art (the paper itself is about the size of a postcard). It appears to be signed by a guy named Bernhardt Wall, who in the early 1900s was known as the “Postcard King” because he designed so many of them. It looks to be an original etched plate print, one which I can’t find reference to anywhere else. I don’t think this makes it particularly valuable but it is pretty cool.

I have some other stuff from that night to share with you. Expect that post sometime in the near future!