Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Last step


Last week got off to a quick start. I had just finished writing my last blog post at a café, and as I was walking home I came across this profitable pile.

I saved a bunch of great stuff, including my third working iPad of the year, a Zoom digital recorder that I should be able to flip for 60-70$, and a bag of small change. The hair dryer and straightener likely work too, but since they have European plugs I can’t test them.

I’ve found so many iPads this year that it’s almost passé. I guess these first generation iPads are old enough now (6 years about) that those with disposable income don’t think twice about tossing them out, especially when they move.

That’s a bit disappointing, because even though they’re “old” I wouldn’t say they’re obsolete – they’re still very useful for a lot of stuff. In addition, these sorts of electronics shouldn’t be thrown out even if they’re broken. They contain lots of toxic stuff that shouldn’t be dumped as well as materials that can be recycled. That’s why they have this “no garbage” logo on the back. Anyways, the practice benefits me because a working iPad sells easily for around 70-80$.

Otherwise, they threw out a couple of nice art pieces. On the right is a cute vintage print of a Winans “Camel” steam engine, and on the left is a drawing of Tattershall Castle that looks to have been taken from an antique book. I’d have to take off the back to be sure of its age, but if you look closely you can see that there looks to be writing on the other side of the paper. Also, on the back is written in pen: “Tattershall Castle, Stimson & Cole 1722.” My guess is that this references the original book.

The rest of the week was actually pretty slow, but I found some stuff in Outremont that might end up making me some good money. It was a good night for bottles, as I managed to collect several dating from between the 50s and 80s from two different places. I have a little collection of bottles myself, but most of these will end up in my yard sale box.

My personal favourite is the Resdan anti-dandruff shampoo. It was probably made in the 50 or 60s and still contains a bit of the original (and pretty stinky) shampoo. I’ll be tempted to keep that one.

This is the first time I’ve come across the unfortunately named “Eskimo” soda. I can’t find any similar bottles online, does anyone remember it?

My most profitable find though was a collection of US Army recruitment posters from the 1970s and 1980s. Specifically, they were made to promote the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, South Carolina. The middle one makes a bold statement in saying that the “last step towards becoming a man” involves joining the paratroopers! I listed these three together for 100$, and while I may have to lower the price a bit I’m sure they’ll go for a nice profit.

Apparently the poster on the right was pretty popular with the 82nd Airborne at the time. If you google the name of the artist (Mike Mangiameli) you can find a few old newspaper articles describing the poster, and photo of the artist holding one. It was created because, according to one of the articles, “the members of the 82nd Airborne [preferred] a ‘blood and guts’ approach to recruiting to the softer lines the Army’s advertising agencies [were] using.

I found 23 near-mint copies of the one on the right. That’s great for me because I get to list 23 items for the same amount of effort it usually takes to list one. Very time efficient!

Also, I priced the posters at 40$. Assuming they do eventually sell I’m looking at a profit of about 920$. Pretty good for a night’s work! It remains to be seen whether or not they’ll move at that price, but even at 30$ (which I’m confident they’ll sell at) I stand to make close to 700$ which is still very good.

It wasn’t really the busiest week for trash, but thankfully it’ll probably end up being a profitable one anyways.

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