First class pt.2


Part one

Today we finish with the things I found in Westmount a couple months back. A lot of the papers were related to a family owned chain of department stores. It was a pretty successful business from the looks of things, operating locations in several different cities in Eastern Canada. The business appears to have disappeared off the face of the earth in the 70s (I can’t find any information on it through Google), which I’d guess is a result of it being bought out by a bigger chain.

Most of the papers weren’t very exciting – old tax papers, receipts, blueprints, that kind of thing – but I thought these old internal business letters were cool. They provide an interesting window into what running a business was like in the 1950s. To clarify, the recipient was the President of the business.



Here’s a 1961 Montreal Alouettes season ticket card. 1961 was just the fourth season of CFL. The Alouettes weren’t very good that year, finishing last in the division.


This card, issued by the Anti-Tuberculosis League indicates that the holder was tested for the disease. Tuberculosis is still around but is not the killer it once was, thanks to antibiotics and other public health endeavors.


There was a bunch of stuff related to Canadian federalism, including a collection of speeches and essays on national unity and these flyers promoting a “no” vote in the 1980 Quebec referendum.


There were a whole bunch of these “Share in the land of Israel” certificates. They (and similar ones regarding planting trees in Israel) seem to have been common anniversary and birthday gifts in Jewish households. I’ve seen a fair amount of similar certificates in the trash over the last year or so. This one is the oldest though – it was purchased in 1937 when the area was still known as Palestine. The shares were part of a National Fund Project that aimed to promote “Jewish colonization in Palestine.”


A collection of mostly 1980s magazines. One calls Ronald Reagan the “Man of the Year,” while another announcing “the second coming” of Pierre Trudeau. The latter is pretty funny, as we’ve just elected another Trudeau.


This poster was made to promote Dreamstage, a 1977 Harvard project that combined science and art to produce “an experimental portrait of the sleeping brain.” The poster is very cool, and I expect it to one day sell for a decent amount on eBay.


A pamphlet promoting the Chargex card, one of the first credit cards aimed at Canadian consumers (1968). Here’s an interesting story about how the Chargex was actually a tough sell at the time.


A photo of Johnny Jellybean with four happy children. Johnny Jellybean (Ted Zeigler) was the host of kid’s show that was very popular in Montreal in the 1960s.


One time the trash bin was full of old dishes, the vast majority of which were cracked or smashed. Some was really nice uranium glass that would have been worth a pretty penny in nice condition.


This small flag (around one foot wide) looks to be a Pearson Pennant. Canada decided in the 1960s to replace the Union Jack / Red Ensign as the national flag, and this was the preferred choice of Lester B. Pearson, the Prime Minister at the time. He didn’t get his way. I’d never seen one of these in person before, so it was kind of a neat find. Here’s a classic (at least for Canadians) heritage moment about the “Great Canadian Flag Debate”.


Some cool scout badges. The one on the far right is Hebrew, though I think I have it spun around the wrong way.


One of my favourite finds was this medallion commemorating the 25th anniversary of Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital. The design in very cool, combining Jewish elements with Canadian symbols, most notably the Beaver. It looks to be plated silver, though I haven’t tested it to see if it’s sterling. Usually sterling is marked, but sometimes not.


I’m not sure what you call this thing. Does anyone know? It’s made to go around the neck, as was presumably worn at some kind of event.



Finally, this piece of fabric was in the same little box as the piece above. It looks very old, and parts of it are worn in a similar way as you’d see on an old teddy bear. I have no idea what it is or what it might have been used for. If anyone has any ideas, let us know in the comments! It’s about 7″ tall.


22 thoughts on “First class pt.2”

  1. Memories of Carling’s Red Cap Ale, when beer was beer. I now live in Toronto, an easy bike ride away from one of the last Carling Breweries, on Carlingview Drive.

    That Chargex card brings back memories too. Was living at 327 Dorval ave.. in 1969 and they pushed pre-authorized cards through the mail slot. It was your choice whether you used it or not…I did, it was my first credit card.

  2. Did you find one of those old gadgets for getting the imprint of the charge card?

    I saw one a few years ago, a store having problems with the electronic system, but they happened to have the old mechanical gadget.

    I did find a charge card reader (the kind you just wave the card at) a few years ago when a used bookstore closed. That sort of thing, I wonder if it belonged to the store to throw out. I would have thought it something the company rented to the stores.


    1. Random memory: they actually still use these imprint machines on “The Canadian” (the Via Rail train, the memorabilia of which I shared in my last post). I suppose it’s because for so much of the trip you’re in the middle of nowhere, without even cell reception.

  3. The collar is Odd fellows, 1899 according to an listing I screen shot and sent to FB page. It appeared in images by googling “past noble grand” regalia.

  4. Hi there. I am a fellow Montrealer living in the west island. I’ve enjoyed following along with you on your blog. I am a mixed media artist and I love using vintage papers etc in my art. I love all the paper you have been finding. Are you willing to part with it? I’d gladly pay for it. It would be fun to see vintage Montreal papers in my art instead of the Spanish and US stuff I have been buying online. Lol. Let me know. You can see my work on my blog

    1. Cool, yeah a lot of this stuff ends up in my yard sales. Maybe let me know specifically what you like and I can save some for you.

  5. You should check out Beurling street and Champlain street in Verdun,west of Jolicoeur metro more often for curbside treasures.There is a lot of good stuff thrown out on these two streets—I think you rarely cover these streets.

    1. I actually found a collection of great coins on Beurling last year (post: “Nova Eborac”), one of which I recently sold for a very nice payday. That section of Verdun, the Thursday morning pickup between Melrose and Stephens, is actually one of my favourites. However, I don’t go there regularly (only if I do go and happen to find stuff) because it has to compete with other wealthier routes such as Westmount and Cote St-Luc. It’s also a bit further from home.

  6. hello Martin, I was wondering if you have sold or kept for yourself, that letter from Paris about the perfumes…..beutiful old perfumes…so if you are still able to sell it how much do you want for it? thank you Nicole

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