Canadair pt. 1

In the spring I was cruising around Villeray and spotted an intriguing collection of bags on the curb. Inside I found some cool old stuff, including an old iron and other items in their original boxes.

None of that stuff was super valuable, but finding old things in their boxes can be a good omen that other quality trash might emerge. Over the next few months I made sure to check that spot every garbage day. There wasn’t always a heck of a lot, and a good portion of the stuff was dirty or damaged by dampness. However, I still found plenty of interesting items, including two finds of particular note.

I managed to get 20$ for the Commodore calculator at the bottom left. The internals were probably bad, but it was in decent cosmetic condition and it seems that collectors like the model. There were plenty of stencils here as you’ll see in future photos. Also, whoever lived here probably worked for Canadair as I found a number of items related to the company. My plan it to group all the Canadair items together and sell them on eBay to an aviation collector.

I have this sealed Nintendo game listed on eBay for its sticker price of 39.95$. That might be asking too much, but maybe someone will bite.

I found this odd wooden box, which I’d guess is a little tube radio made as a high school project. I have no idea if it works or how one is supposed to work it, but I’m guessing that someone at a yard sale will buy it regardless.

I’d never seen a figurine like this before, so I was pretty interested to find out what it was. Honestly, my first guess was that it was sci-fi related – the dress, “helmet,” pose, and eyes reminded me of sci-fi characters from the 30s and 40s. However, it turns out it’s much more likely a Balinese figurine from the 1950s. In my defense it does look to be an unusual variant of that type of figurine.

I found some neat old books, including a large collection of airplane construction training books published around 1940. They’re pretty neat, see the pictures below if you want a better look (and remember there’s a “view full size” link on the bottom right of the page if you want to zoom in a bit). I listed them for 75$ but no one’s bit yet.

Otherwise, most of the books were old textbooks dating back to the 1920s.

None of them are super valuable, but they do make good yard sale material. I particularly like old geography textbooks, I’ve loved looking at maps ever since I was a little kid. Here’s a map of the regions of Quebec c. 1920. I grew up in the Pontiac, not far from Bryson.

I often check between the pages of old books to see if anything neat is stuck between the pages. The practice paid off this time, as one of the papers ended up being pretty valuable.

It’s a small piece of paper, a little larger than your average business card. On it was printed the Montreal Canadiens 1944-1945 season schedule. It was made for Henri Henri, a local hat shop that’s still open today. I’m not sure how it was intended to be used, but it does say to “insert [the card] into your leather hat band.” Henri Henri claims to have invented the hat trick by offering a free hat to any Canadien that scored three goals in Montreal, though others have made similar assertions. Regardless, I tried hard to find another such schedule online but had no luck. It seems to be a pretty uncommon piece.

At first I thought it was cool and that a collector would probably pay around 20$ to have it, but after seeing what some other vintage hockey schedules were selling for on eBay I decided to price mine a fair bit higher. It ended up selling fairly quickly for 150$, and I got good feedback to boot. Pretty sweet eh? Not bad for a small piece of paper!

This spot provided another unusual but profitable find. I’ll share that with you soon enough.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

29 thoughts on “Canadair pt. 1”

  1. Love the way you display and photograph your finds! Your comments are great, too – always a pleasure reading your blog. Stay safe out there

  2. I am looking for unwanted wires, copper pipes and aluminum (Montréal) cacher cette annonce

    © craigslist

    12024 Rue Lachapelle

    (Hi !

    I am looking for unwanted wires, copper pipes, aluminum that you want to throw away. I will come and pick them up preferable In Saint-Laurent, Cartier-Ville, Ahunsic, West-Island and Laval depending on quantity.




  3. I love reading your blog. And I love all of the history you discover and share with us. And I love how other readers sometimes chime in with their insights. And I love how you have learned over time what some of the promising clues are for possible future payoffs… and then you remember to monitor those curb sites. And I love that you have learned to shake out old books in case anything unusual/interesting/valuable might fall out. And I love the photos of where you find stuff and then photos of (some of) what you have found. Can you tell that I love your blog? Thank you for doing what you do and then sharing it with the rest of us.

  4. Hey, vintage steam irons are worth more than you might think–modern day irons are lightweight, which is easy on the arms but not so useful for all the seam pressing that sewists need to do, so they(/we, really) will buy up the vintage all-metal ones!

  5. Please go to Nun’s Island.Tons of antique furniture,cute lamps and other good stuff get thrown out there.Much of it goes unrescued.I am a hairdresser in downtown;I have a client who works as an interior decorator and furniture designer in ILes des Soeurs;he told me that he sees a lot of good stuff thrown out there.A lot of rich businessmen,rich politicians and rich hockey players live there.I do not remember reading about your foraging on Nuns Island.Please go there periodically and write about your findings.

  6. Martin,please do explore tiny streets like Avonmore,Holmdale,Dalou and Michel Bibaud in the Snowdon area.They may produce surprises.I live nearby and often walk my dog on these streets.

  7. I would just like to say, that my friend and I revisit your page daily. We laugh in awe, at the wonderous things you find in people’s garbage! However, we appreciate your page tremendously, as it always lifts our moods. 🙂 Have a great day, and stay safe!

  8. I am a big proponent of cash use.I rarely use creditr cards or debit cards.Martin,please read this illuminating piece from The Guardian.

    Why we should fear a cashless world
    Dominic Frisby

    Poor people and small businesses rely on cash. A contactless system will likely entrench poverty and pave the way for terrifying levels of surveillance


    Monday 21 March 2016 10.04 GMT First published on Monday 21 March 2016 09.30 GMT

    The health food chain Tossed has just opened the UK’s first cashless cafe. It’s another step towards the death of cash.

    This is nothing new. Money is tech. The casting of coins made shells, whales’ teeth and other such primitive forms of money redundant. The printing press did the same for precious metals: we started using paper notes instead. Electronic banking put paid to the cheque. Contactless payment is now doing the same to cash, which is becoming less and less convenient. In the marketplace convenience usually wins.

    That’s fine as long as people are making this choice freely. What concerns me is the unofficial war on cash that is going on, from the suspicion with which you are treated if you ever use large sums of cash to the campaign in Europe to decommission the €500 note. I’m not sure the consequences have been properly considered.

    We already live in a world that is, as far as the distribution of wealth is concerned, about as unequal as it gets. It may even be as unequal as it’s ever been. My worry is that a cashless society may exacerbate inequality even further.

    It will hand yet more power to the financial sector in that banks and related fintech companies will oversee all transactions. The crash of 2008 showed that, when push comes to shove, banks have already been exempted from the very effective regulation that is bankruptcy – one by which the rest of us must all operate. Do we want this sector to have yet more power and influence?

    In a world without cash, every payment you make will be traceable. Do you want governments (which are not always benevolent), banks or payment processors to have potential access to that information? The power this would hand them is enormous and the potential scope for Orwellian levels of surveillance is terrifying.

    Cash, on the other hand, empowers its users. It enables them to buy and sell, and store their wealth, without being dependent on anyone else. They can stay outside the financial system, if so desired.

    There are many reasons, both moral and practical, to want this. In 2008 many rushed to take their money out of the banks. If the financial system really was as close to breaking point as we are told it was, then such actions are quite justified. When Cyprus’s banks teetered on the cliff of financial disaster in 2011, we saw bail-ins. Ordinary people’s money in deposit accounts was sequestered to bail out the system. If your life savings were threatened with confiscation to bail out a corporation you considered profligate, I imagine you too would rush to withdraw them.

    The Inequality Project: the Guardian’s in-depth look at our unequal world

    Today we kick off a new project investigating inequality of all kinds, all over the world. Here’s how we plan to approach it – and how you can get involved

    Read more

    We have seen similar panics in Greece and, to a lesser extent, across southern Europe. Mervyn King, the former governor of the Bank of England, recently declared that banking was not fixed and that we would see financial panic again. In Japan, the central bank has imposed negative rates and you are charged by banks to store money. This is to try and goad people into spending, rather than saving. So much cash has been withdrawn from banks that there are now reports that the country has sold out of safes.

    These are all quite legitimate reasons to want to exit the system. I’m not saying we should all take our money out of the bank, but that we should all have the option to. Cash gives you that option. Why remove it? It’s our money. Not the banks’.

    The telephone teaches us a useful lesson. At its peak in 2008, there were 1.3bn landlines for a global population close to 7 billion. Today more than 6 billion people have a mobile phone – more than have access to a toilet, according to a UN study. Many assume that the mobile succeeded where the landline failed, because the superior technology made widespread coverage more possible. There is something to that.

    But the main reason, simply, is that, to get a landline, you need a bank account and credit. About half of the world’s population is “unbanked”, without access to the basic financial services you need. Telecoms companies saw no potential custom, the infrastructure was never built and many were left with fewer possibilities to communicate. But a mobile phone and its airtime you can buy with cash. You don’t need to be banked. Almost anyone can get a mobile – and they have. The financial system was actually a barrier to progress for the world’s poor, while cash was a facilitator for them.

    Six billion people around the world will have a smartphone by 2020. They will have pretty much everything they need to participate in e-commerce – internet access, basically – except the financial inclusion. Which is why there will be a huge role to play in the future for new forms of digital cash – from Kenya’s M-Pesa to bitcoin – money you can use even if you are not financially included.

    No wallet, no worries: Denmark considering cash-free shops

    Politicians in Denmark to vote on proposal to let retailers accept only card or smartphone payments from 2016

    Read more

    Cash has its uses for small transactions – a chocolate bar, a newspaper, a pint of milk – which, in the UK, are still uneconomic to process by other means. It will always be the fastest and most direct form of payment there is. I like to tip waiters, for example, in cash, knowing they will receive that money, without it being siphoned off by some unscrupulous employer. I also like to shop in markets, where I can buy directly from the producer knowing they will receive the money, without middle men shaving off their percentages.

    It also has its uses for private transactions, for which there are many possible reasons, and by no means all of them illegal. Small businesses starting out need the cash economy. Poor people need the cash economy. The war on cash is a war on them.

    If you listen to the scaremongering, you’d start to think that all cash users are either criminals, tax evaders or terrorists. Sure, some use cash to evade tax, but it’s paltry compared to the tax avoidance schemes Google and Facebook have employed. Google doesn’t use cash to avoid tax. It’s all done via legislative means.

    Cash means total financial inclusion, a luxury the better-off take for granted. Without financial inclusion – and there will always be some who, for whatever reason, won’t have it – you are trapped in poverty. So beware the war on cash.

    1. Why? Here? I believe blogs are intended for people to log their personal story and followers comment on topic communication. I am simply a follower of this blog and don’t know him but I and many other people don’t like seeing people peddling their wares on another persons blog. Please be more considerate and courteous.

    2. Hey Humberto – nobody reads what you’re posting here. Just saying…

  9. I had a student debt of $7000 two years ago.I stopped using credit cards and debit cards/INTERAC for most transactions.Today I have no student loan debt left.I am 28 and have a full-time job as a lab technician.My friend who had a similar credit card debt refuses to give up credit cards and debit cards for most transactions and has only increased his credit card debt to over $10,000.You and many other people should increase use of cash,regardless of what banks say.Think of your own financial health.Promote the cash economy.

    1. Why is this here. If Martin is your friend plz send him an email. This info does not belong on a blog that does not belong to you.
      I believe blogs are intended for people to log their personal story and followers comment on topic communication. I am simply a follower of this blog and don’t know him but I and many other people don’t like seeing people peddling their wares on another persons blog. Please be more considerate and courteous. Use your manners.

  10. In the last three weeks,your blog has gained a lot more subscribers and followers.You should be proud of yourself.

  11. I love finding ordinary old stuff. It’s why I follow your blog. There was lots of interesting stuff in this find. The hat trick/schedule card was a big surprise, a profitable surprise. Thank you for sharing, even the simple things.

  12. The article on a cashless society’s dangers is relevant .Banks give out credit cards to almost every one these days and ask them to spend money they don’t have to buy things that they often throw out in the trash soon after.Martin is here to educate people about the environment.The article is goading people to use cash to avoid getting into debt and indirectly to buy fewer things that people are going to junk soon thereafter.A cashless society is not good for a person who holds a lot of garage sales.Most people pay cash at garage sales to avoid INTERAC charges;for E-bay electronic cash transfer is fine.Martin should be opposed to the cashless society;that is why the article was put,I imagine.(In Sweden many restaurants do not accept cash payment at all ;it is wrong).Martin and other occasional trash pickers work in the informal economy;this topic is very relevant to us.VERY RELEVANT.

  13. I know some can and bottle collectors who pick out cans and bottles from the trash and recycle them from money to supplement their pensions.They fear a cashless society and do not want their earnings from such foraging known to the government.They have no credit cards and strongly dislike the idea of a cashless society.The Clever Blonde may not like the articles posted on your blog by a reader,but many scavengers and readers including I appreciate the article.

    1. I’m okay with the article personally. I don’t really want a cashless society but it doesn’t worry me at this point as it doesn’t seem imminent. In Montreal, for example the cash society is still going strong. There’s lots of places, more than anywhere else I’ve been (outside of rural areas) that only accept cash.

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