It’s been a busy week. That’s a good thing of course, but finding garbage is also a lot of work. At one point I think I spent 9 of the previous 24 hours on the road, either driving or sorting, and also did plenty of other work on top of that. It can be hard to take a break (especially when you’re on a hot streak) but I skipped today’s morning run to ensure that I don’t get burnt out. Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I know that a birthday trash run will be more fun if I’m well rested.
Earlier this week I happened upon one of my best photo hauls in quite some time.
I saved a few shopping bags stuffed with photos. I looked through them a bit, but there were so many that it got kind of overwhelming. See the video below for context.
And that was just one bag! I did get a few shots of some of my early favourites, however. Click on the picture (particularly the “view full-size” button in the gallery frame) for a better look!
I always feel conflicted when finding old photos. For one, it’s impossible to know if everyone in the family consented to these being thrown out, and even if they did they may come to regret their decision somewhere down the line. Because of that I feel bad separating them, and usually keep the collection intact for at least a few months just in case I hear a story in the news about someone trying to track down some trashed photos. Beyond that, however, I can’t hold onto this stuff forever, and eventually the temptation to sell them is too great. Going forward I might try listing photos on eBay with the relevant last names – at least then there’s a better chance at someone in the family finding them.
I found a couple other goodies in those bags. Here’s a well worn Soviet 25 ruble bill from 1923, not too long after the revolution.
Here’s the back. According to one of my Instagram followers the text addresses the rapid inflation that occured in the early Soviet years, telling users that the value of the 1923 ruble is now equal to the value of 100 rubles in 1922 (and also, to trust in the republic). An interesting thing for sure, and though quite well worn it’s still worth around 20$.
The bag also held this neat Montreal Tramways student card from 1939. The paper was pretty beat up, and it looks as if the previous owner glued it to some fabric to keep it intact. The kid went to Baron Byng High School, a now defunct institution on St Urbain that at the time primarily served a lower-income Jewish population. Mordecai Richler is probably its most famous alumni. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, so it was a fun find for me (especially since I have an appreciation for old ID cards and transportation ephemera).
I also found a nice vintage Lucien Piccard watch box, which should sell for around 40-50$…
… and a small collection of jewelry. It looked as if someone had picked out the gold (except for maybe those two pieces to the right of the marcasite Star of David on the bottom), but there’s still a few nice pieces here, including some quality silver. The sterling & eilat cufflinks + tie clip at top left are probably my favourites, they should sell for a good price on eBay. I also like those Mexican silver cufflinks with the tigers. Zoom in for a better look!
On Tuesday afternoon I went on my first ever run to one of the nicer parts of town. I hadn’t gone before, largely because the timing of the pickup is difficult to fit into my schedule, but this time I finally bit the bullet. As it turns out I picked a great week to go! I happened upon three great piles overall, one each on the first three streets I covered. I was accosted by some grumpy old lady at the second one, but managed to save some good stuff before leaving.
I didn’t have time to document any of that stuff yet, but here’s a peek into a bag from the third spot. It contained a great collection of vintage / antique silverware, a lot of which is plated but some of which is 80% or sterling silver. I should be ready to share pictures of my haul sometime next week!
Otherwise, I’ve already started adding to my collection of found change.
I found this drawstring bag full of pennies not far from home. I don’t bother rolling pennies (plus, everything here smelled like cigarette smoke) so I brought them to the coin machine down the street for a quick buck.
The pouch ended up holding 1366 pennies and 1 dime. Easy money!
Here’s another collection of change I found just a minute away from home. I can almost get throwing away smaller currency, but if you throw away loonies it means you have way too much money. Those four one euro coins are also a nice get, though I’m not sure how to cash them in – based on my preliminary research it doesn’t seem like the currency converter folks deal in coins. If you know a place that takes them let me know in the comments! Worst case scenario though I’ll sell them to a friend who’s travelling to Europe, or at a yard sale on a deal of an exchange rate. I think I have around 30 euros in coins that I’ve collected over the last few years.
That’s all for now! I think I’ll need to hire my friend again next week to help me take pictures of all the junk I’ve found. In the meantime, here’s hoping I have a fun and profitable birthday run tomorrow morning! (My special day is on the 30th, just to clarify since I’m posting this quite late!)
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