Dusty ol’ bags

Back in November I talked about some exceptionally dusty (or otherwise dirty) garbage in NDG. Most of the stuff was pretty junky and picking through it felt kind of gross, but I figured there was a decent chance I’d find something cool there eventually. This collection of vintage clothing was the best thing to come from my persistence. The items were carefully stored in plastic bags (as seen above) that protected them from the elements, and kept them in near pristine condition after however many years.

A lot of the clothing looks to be from a wedding. I think the yellow dress above, as well as the very similar pink dress below would have been worn by the bridesmaids. Zoom in for a closer look!

Those dresses came with some extra accessories (the other yellow ones might be around somewhere, but I couldn’t find them when taking pictures yesterday). I’m not sure what the top pieces would have been for, if you do let us know in the comments!

The dress above and the shirt below seem to match. For another bridesmaid perhaps?

This might be the only piece that wasn’t made for a wedding. It’s also the only one with a tag – it was designed by someone with the last name of Taxil.

This one’s definitely the wedding dress!

I’m not sure if this shirt goes with it, but it seems to match a little bit.

As you can probably tell I don’t know anything about clothes or weddings – please share any information or memories you might have in the comments! Also, if anyone has any experience selling this kind of thing please lend me your expertise. I’m a bit out of my element when selling clothes, so I’d probably use a middleman (like a consignment shop) if possible.

Finds have been a little hard to come by of late. Still, a few interesting bits and pieces have popped up, which you’ll see on the blog at some point in the future.

Otherwise, I’m curious about a couple things. One, how do you usually find my posts? I’m interested partly because Facebook seems to have a new algorithm for what appears on your wall – my last couple of posts have “reached” about half as many people as they usually do (though “engagement” seems to be normal enough). I wonder how many people rely totally on Facebook to tell them about my recent posts versus how many get here on their own or via email subscription.

Also, I wonder how often you’d like to see new posts on the blog. I’ve thought about writing shorter, more frequent posts, but some of you might be annoyed to receive more frequent notifications via Facebook or email. I’m sure it doesn’t make much of a difference to many of you, but I’m curious to see the results!


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

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

40 thoughts on “Dusty ol’ bags”

  1. Since it was not “acceptable” in the 1950’s for the bride or bridesmaids to be bare shouldered in a church setting (assuming the wedding took place in a church), I think the mystery pink and yellow pieces are small capes that were worn during the ceremony by the bridesmaids to cover their shoulders. Also, yes, the shirt or jacket was probably worn by the bride during the ceremony to cover her shoulders.

    After the ceremony, in the reception setting, these articles could then be removed.

    It works similar today. Some churches do not allow bare shoulders and some brides wish not to. Like for instance, in a British royal wedding there would never be any bare shoulder bearing!

    1. I was going to say something like that.

      In the movie “Foul Play”, Goldie Hawn is trying on her bridesmaid’s dress. One minute ready for the ceremony, then she pulls off a bit, and she’s ready for the events after the ceremony. The film was from about 1978.


  2. Consignment shop/vintage clothing shop is probably a good idea since you don’t sell a lot of vintage clothing. Those are nice pieces though, especially the lace dress/jacket (not shirt) early 1940s/1950s, and the dress with the Egyptian collar, early 1960s (research the label, could be important). Condition and measurements are important, if you don’t feel confident, don’t try to sell them online. Pink and yellow bridesmaid dresses and the last white dress/jacket are probably 1950s. Not sure, but I think the pink/yellow pieces are little “capes”, fingerless gloves, and headbands. At rummage sales, you should get at least $25.00 each, but if condition is good even more, esp on lace one and Egyptian one.

  3. Bottom 2 are bride for sure, the other set is most likely Mother of the Bride. These are VERY old, 1940s would be my guess.

  4. Nice finds. i hope you can find a good outlet for vintage clothng.

    Re your survey on frequency of posts, it wasn’t an option but my preference would be once a week. For really exciting news there could always be an “extra edition” but a regular post is something to look forward to and once a week is not spam for the interested. That said, given that writing the blog is time consuming, in the end the best option is the one easiest for you or that proves to attract the most viewers.

    1. Thanks. This last little while I’ve been posting around once every four days on average, which I think is a good number. Sometimes it’ll be every second day, but sometimes I’ll go a week or more without a post. But we’ll see how it goes, my blogging habits have changed often over the years.

  5. I would have to agree with Christine that these wedding dresses are very old, much older than 50’s, I’d say 30’s to 40’s. They are probably very delicate as well. You may not get a lot of money, but these will require some kind of conserving or pro cleaning by the buyer I think.

  6. The Met in NYC has a clothing/costume team. It may be interesting to find out more about some of those pieces.

  7. You could also contact the Costume and Textiles department of the McCord Museum.

  8. For the wedding dresses, I would guess 50’s and they would have been worn with a hoop skirt for structure. The golden dress is probably from the 60’s.

  9. Another amazing post! To think that these well-packaged, jewel-like garments from what was probably a very important day were just tossed in the trash blows my mind. Who are we? How does this happen? Why are we in such a rush? Hurrah for you and others like you with a willingness to recover and preserve useful — and at times exquisite — things like these dresses!

    1. I was thinking this as I looked at the post. I could never throw things like this away. If they had no monetary value I’m sure you could give them to an amateur dramatics society.

  10. What a wonderful find. In the garbage! If it were me who had them I would try to find some sort of museum that displays vintage clothing. These are especially well-preserved and would be nice examples of wedding attire from the mid-20th century.

  11. Hello,
    Fellow eBay seller here – you could always sell the dresses as a lot on eBay but maybe they’d do better selling Consignment or Etsy….
    I found your blog via another eBay blog and receive all updates by email which is the format I prefer. Your posts are great and you’re obviously putting a lot of time into documenting your work, I certainly would keep reading if you did have ads on here to help compensate for the time and money that goes into keeping the blog. I’m sure many of your readers would feel the same way!

  12. I like to look at vintage fashion on a website called. Rustyzipper.com she sells clothing and may be interested in buying them from you

  13. gorgeous finds Martin, and so lovingly preserved. I agree that they merit discussion with a museum or conservation group. I will speak with a friend who works at the MFA; perhaps she can provide a local contact; but i also like Cheryl’s suggestion of the Met in NYC.

  14. Those dresses are amazing! I really feel like they belong on Ebay at a very high starting bid as opposed to a local consignment shop. I also think they are much older, like 1940’s or earlier. You may want to join the scavengerlife forum and ask for help listing them on there. There are many who sell incredible vintage items on there, including the couple who run the forum. It would be worthwhile, as I think these have much value.

    As for the frequency of the posts, the more the merrier! I check almost daily to see if there is a new one 🙂

  15. Those dresses are really amazing. The two with jackets seem to be made by the same person because of the design of the jackets (especially the buttons.) However, I am definitely not a fashion expert. Looking at them made me think that all of them except for the shorter dress may be from the same designer. I definitely think the two with jackets are. Maybe someone else knows about these sort of things, but is it possible that the bride wore both of those dresses with the jackets?

    When I zoomed in on the wedding dress, the detail on the top of the wedding dress that I didn’t notice initially is stunning and is really interesting design-wise. So is the bottom of the dress. I think that the right buyer would pay for aomething like this. It is so unique, one of a kind, vintage, well made, and the design and style and materials is so great. Also, even though it is vintage, it also looks like something I could see today.

    I would see if you can find more information about the designer. Or find a consignment shop or someone that sells vintage wedding dresses. If you think about how much wedding dresses cost… and bridesmaid dresses for that matter, I think you could get a lot for them and the buyer would be getting a deal. Brides also like that one of a kind factor which usually entails paying thousands for a dress. I am a thrift store, garage sale, curb-side shopper, and I would easily pay $500 or more for a wedding dress that was old, in good shape, beautiful, and so cool. I would think $500 would be a steal. Thinking about it, I would probably be way more likely to easily part with this money if I found it in a shop, saw it, and it fit.

  16. Torespond to your question,you should have more posts and the posts should be usually short.I did not find out about your blog from Facebook but a friend told me about your blog while we working out in a gym together.He read an article about your blog in The Gazette.
    It is likely that more than two-thirds of your new subscribers and readers might discover your blog through Facebook.But some of us have discovered your blog through old-fashioned media articles and coverage or through mouth-of-word publicity.Do not forget the power of old-fashioned word of mouth.
    Do you know if many of your readers and subscribers discovered your blog by googling idly’Making money from garbage scavenging.?Want to know your perspective.Cheers.

    1. I can see some of the search terms people use to get to the blog, and indeed some of them are typing things related to how to find cool things in the garbage, or how to make money from the garbage. Hopefully I provide them with some useful information!

  17. The yellow dress is very similar to the dress my Aunt wore for my parents wedding in 1967. These top items are capes like others have said.

  18. Late 40s/early 50s wedding party dresses. Capes and jackets for modesty at church. For resale of vintage clothing always think condition and size. This style was super popular in the late 90s but has lost popularity since. However, making a comeback with farm chic. Think this fancy dress with cowboy boots. To make your life easier I’d go through consignment shop…which will not maximize you money but will maximize your time. However, a great resource can be Instagram…for both selling and intel. I follow you there and think you could create a higher visibility. Plus folk friendly and happy to help.

    1. I like the consignment idea because I don’t have the time to put any special effort into this stuff. If I sell the dresses on my own there’s just too much to figure out, like sizing, describing, taking nice photos, etc. Plus, there’s a desire for perfection when buying wedding stuff, so I could be looking at a return if I make an error, or even if I don’t (ie: it just doesn’t fit the person as well as they might have wanted). Thanks to my eBay skills I get top $ for a lot of my items, which makes it easier to take less than top dollar for more finicky / complicated items like this.

  19. Beautiful dresses! Thank you for saving them from the trash. If you posted everyday I’d be thrilled! I do know life can intervene so I’m grateful for what you are able to do. Keep up the good work and happy hunting!

  20. We live in an overregulated society and many people do not appreciate the wonderful work you are doing.Psychiatrists routinely abuse their power and label people as mentally ill for having a nonconformist lifestyle like yours and prescribe drugs against the patient’s will.Scavengers like you are wonderful.
    Read this ad from Montreal craigslist in the community section.
    LOOKING FOR A “PSYCHIATRIST” (montreal) cacher cette annonce

    I was institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital after a drug overdose, I went down to the hospital and voluntarily admitted myself after experiencing “a bad trip”. I expected to leave when the episode was over but was instead confined for a month, diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on anti-psychotics.
    I now find myself an “out-patient” and required to visit the hospital every 6 weeks for an injection of an anti-psycotic, if I choose not to go I am told that can get a court order and that I would be involuntarily admitted. I believe that psychiatry involves an unequal power relationship between doctor and patient, and the diagnostic process is subjective, leaving much room for opinions and interpretations. I find the practice of psychiatry to be a coercive instrument of oppression and I wish to put this terrible experience behind me. Does anyone know of a sympathetic psychiatrist that would prescribe oral medication over injections? Any help would be much appreciated.

  21. Hi Martin,I love your blog.I agree with the post above saying that psychiatrists too often abuse their power and are not kept in check by the system.If you or any of your friends is involuntarily sent to a psychiatrist at one point or another for a relatively small thing,please contest it and fight the system.
    Also please read and subscribe to the blog http://www.madinamerica.com where hundreds of articles about ethics and mental health have been written by social workers,patients,writers,activists,psychologists,etc.
    KEEP IN MIND the blog http://www.madinamerica.com .Spread the word to your friends.Cheers.

  22. Martin,I love your blog and collect CDs and vinyl records and listen to them.Read this very sad story.I hope your readers read it too.

    CBC to destroy record collection

    PostSat Feb 24, 2018 6:20 pm

    http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2018/02/23/publ … -destroyed

    By the way who knows if there are no vitaphone records there too…

    Public broadcaster music library closing, CD’s to be digitised, destroyed

    By Marc Montgomery | english@rcinet.ca
    Friday 23 February, 2018

    Canada’s public broadcaster CBC (English) and Radio-Canada (French) is going through massive changes.

    The sprawling headquarters of the Radio-Canada network in Montreal have been sold, and the organisation will move to new and much smaller rented quarters being built on one of the former parking lots. PHOTO- google street

    With huge funding cuts from the government and increasing costs, this has meant equally massive staff and production cuts. Rapidly developing technological developments are also driving the changes.The broadcaster, with its stations across the country has, over the decades, amassed a vast collection of recorded music and other artefacts.

    Shortly after his death in 1997, the collection of legendary CBC broadcaster Clyde Gilmour was donated to the CBC . It consisted of more than 10,000 long-play records, 4,000 CDs, programme scripts, notes, correspondence, files, tapes and reference materials. This was added to the already extensive and often historic collections at the public broadcaster PHOTO-CBC

    In 2012, and subsequent to a massive budget cut, the CBC began a policy of digitizing its collection to save space and storage costs, even as a move began to sell off buildings and move into smaller quarters.

    Digitized and destroyed

    The main French-language production centre of Radio-Canada in Montreal has also been digitising its collection. However recently it was revealed that most of the collection of over 200,000 CDs will be destroyed when the process is completed in 2019, prior to the move to new quarters in 2020.

    Radio-Canada will keep the recordings that it produced. PHOTO- Pascale Poirier

    The collection consists of some 151,000 CDs, and 56,000 “doubles”. The huge headquarters building of the French broadcasting network has been sold and the remaining entity is to be moved to a new smaller rented building being built on the former property.

    The Montreal headquarters has a vast collection of music books and scores, some very old, and many very rare

    An executive with the project said, there will be no room in the new building for storage of the library.

    In addition to the almost 200,000 CD’s, the library houses thousands of LP’s, some now relatively rare.

    She added the doubles will first be open to offers from cultural or educational organisations. Certain special compilations however will be preserved as will some of CBC/Radio-Canada’s self-produced recordings.

    The executive also noted in a Radio-Canada story that they can’t give away the rest of the discs without first verifying the copyright situation, adding that doing that for the whole collection would be a far too expensive and time-consuming task. Another option of putting the collection in storage would also be too expensive.

    In addition to the racks of LPs, the library also holds thousands of old and rare 78s

    The solution apparently is to destroy the CD’s, along with the disc covers and liner notes. Producers have said that liner notes can provide useful information for programmers and hosts, and that much of that will be lost without the hard copies.
    Some people aware of the situation have said that as the broadcaster eliminates its “hard copy” libraries, many rare items are likely to be lost forever.

    The Montreal library also houses about 200,000 vinyl LP records. Many of these are now quite rare. Even more rare are the approximately 70,000 old 78rpm discs. Few of these were ever re-recorded on LP, and almost none of these exist on CD.

    While very few of the 78’s would ever have been transferred to LP, let alone CD, many of these old 78’s are in French, making them even rarer

    In addition the library houses a multitude of rare and extremely rare musical scores and books
    It is not known at the point of this writing what will happen to the vinyls, or the vast collection of music books and scores, but it was revealed that there is pressure to move quickly on the closure of the physical library and collection. Staff said they themselves did not know what would happen to these items, although it is possible they may end up in some cultural museum context. In a memo dated December 12,2017, Radio-Canada said it was consulting with Library and Archives Canada about the thousands of manuscripts and books.

    Other artefacts include music scores, again some dating back decades, and which could be considered heritage and historical items

    Artists in Quebec are saying the news of the digitisation and eventual destruction of the CD collection is sad. One of Quebec’s iconic and much loved music stars, Michel Rivard is quoted in the Radio-Canada article saying, “it’s very bad news”.

    additional information-sources

    Radio-Canada: L-P Ouimet: Feb 21/18- numerisé et destruction (Fr)
    Globe and Mail: G Dixon: Mar 26/17: Quiet dismantling record libraries
    Vancouver Sun: J Mackie: Jun 1/12: CBC Vancouver collection sold
    Archives- CBC/Radio-Canada
    CBC Calgary: Jan 26/12 record library close
    Le Devoir: C Montpetit: Feb 23/18: CDs seront detruites

    This is nøt å signåture.™

  23. It is a very sad story.CBC should sell the unwanted vinyl records and CDS to private collectors across North America.This destruction is insane.

  24. I would suggest you talk to Jill, the owner of the Little Shop in Parc Ex. She has an amazing arsenal and a rich knowledge of vintage clothing. She also has connections to people working in museums, theatre and the art scene in general. Good luck!

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