Blossom

I’m finally ready to do some blogging after catching up on my picture taking! This spot in Côte Saint-Luc provided some interesting and valuable finds over the span of a few weeks in September & October. The quality junk later turned to renovation materials, and I haven’t found anything of interest there since.

That first week was a good one, providing lots of great finds that made me excited to go back for future garbage days. I always love finding silver – its presence in the trash signifies that the tossers either aren’t paying attention, don’t know what things are worth, or just don’t care. These pieces are Mexican silver, likely made in the 50s or 60s. The pillbox, which was decorated with abalone sold on eBay for 40$ (the customer seemed pleased with their purchase), while the miniature perfume bottles and funnel are currently on sale for 55$.

I pulled these great green enamel industrial lampshades out a bag one night. They sold at auction for 40$ – I would have made more selling them on my own, but so it goes. I still have plenty of stuff that I don’t have time to list, so it’s inevitable that I’ll have to choose the fast nickle over the slow dime.

I found a couple of these vintage 70s outdoor thermometers, which appeared to be new in box. I love the green background on these!

These 1960s Montreal Masonic directory books were certainly unusual. Both had ads for 7-Up on the front and Dow (beer) on the back.

Inside were more ads, including some from Coca-Cola. I’m not sure what they’re worth, but I’m sure they’ll be of interest to a collector.

I found my first model teeth here. They were made by Columbia Dentoform, likely in the 60s and I’d guess that they were used to educate potential dentists. Mine has a dental bridge (made using some kind of silver metal) and well as a tooth cap. These sell for around 40-50$, but I love weird stuff like this and will likely keep it as a conversation piece.

I also found a bunch of plaster dental moulds / impressions, but those are more common and not worth much.

On the left is a ring of sample toothbrushes. I sense a theme? I also found a few old clocks, a neat promotional ruler, an old bar of Avon soap, and a nice makeup kit.

I saved four portable radios / Walkmans, the most valuable of which is the Sony Walkman II at top right. I haven’t tested it yet, but even if it doesn’t work it should sell for around 50$. Maybe more, as red seems to be a less common color for that model. Walkmans can be surprisingly collectible. FYI, from my experience Sonys are the main ones to look out for.

I love finding junk boxes.

This one wasn’t super exciting, but there’s definitely some yard saleable stuff here. To the right of the Swiss coin is a tooth with some gold in it. I don’t think there’s much in there, but I’ll leave that for my jeweler to figure out.

I found a nice pen, a Parker 75 ballpoint pen in sterling silver. It sold quickly for 75$ on eBay.

I also saved a cute brass pill box. On the inside is marked “Made in Italy”.

This vintage party sugar was a fun find. I’m a sucker for old food & packaging, so I think I’ll keep this in my personal collection.

Let’s finish with this cute vintage trash can that dates back to the late 1940s. It was in very nice condition for its age and I figured it would do well at the auction house. However, I wasn’t really expecting it to sell for 85$! I guess these old bins are hard to come by, and thinking about it now this was definitely the nicest one I’ve found over my years of picking.

Winter is definitely here but the finds haven’t slowed much. I’ll share some October trash from Côte-des-Neiges in my next post, and then I’ll get to sharing some more recent junk.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

23 thoughts on “Blossom”

  1. Cool lampshades. Always love your posts! Thanks for taking the time to show us your finds.

    Because of you I sold some snow boots I picked up from a Free Pile in my neighborhood and I sold them on eBay yesterday for $65. Thanks for showing me how to turn trash in riches. 🙂

  2. Breaks my heart that these things were trashed. But you rescued them, so that’s a good thing. That pink bin was sweet. thanks

  3. We are not allowed to leave stuff outside in bags, it would be classed as fly tipping and the owner prosecuted. It breaks my heart that people take bags like this to the tip and they are chucked in a skip. Love all your rescued stuff.

    1. I’m assuming this is in England, ha ha. That policy would totally put an end to my business as I rely on those bags to provide goodies. Thank goodness Montreal (and most of North America) allows the black trash bag, even though they often smell and get torn apart by squirrels and other scavengers.

  4. Always a pleasure to read these, and an inspiration to check out the curbside more closely. Lots of my furniture, gardening stuff, jewelry, fancy boxes, etc, have been found/rescued from the side of the road. Almost every week brings me some trash-to-treasure conversion. So glad a savvy person makes a living from it, though it’s not difficult to believe, since even my casual curbside browsing has been so fruitful. Thanks for posting your beautiful and historic finds.

  5. Hi! Love your blog- would be interested in the black fist pendant in the junk box – it’s on the top right- thanks!

  6. Great finds Martin! The pink can should be very popular with people who collect things from the 40-50’s” glad it was recognized as valuable and made some good money for you. Imagine someone saving a gold tooth, lol! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your sales.

  7. I never put valuables in the trash. I call charity and they remove bags or furniture from my porch. It doesn’t make sense to me to put things people may buy in the ground when the value can benefit someone. I admire what you do.

    1. That’s good. I often pick up more than I can chew but I make sure to leave the stuff I don’t want (but is still potentially useful) on the curb in a “free” box. There’s lots of pedestrian traffic around here so oftentimes it isn’t long before the box is empty.

  8. Thank you for another great post. It seems wise/healthy that sometimes you are choosing “the fast nickel over the slow dime” in order to keep from accumulating too much re-claimed stuff — as fascinating as it often is! — in your storage areas.

  9. How nice, in the dead of winter, to see a trash pile picture with green grass!
    Love the old silver bits, and the teeth, and and and … all the fascinating findd you come across and present so well to us, your devoted readers.
    I just read that sugar never goes bad. 😀 That’s the first time I’ve ever clapped eyes on “party” sugar.

  10. Hi
    I have been receiving your emails for a few months now. I am originally from Montreal, now living in Ottawa. I heard about you on a podcast I listen to, Scavenger Life. They casually mentioned you during one of their pod casts and I looked you up.

    I really like the simplicity of your blog. It is clean, neat, well organized and contains good detail. Your pictures are very, very good. I wanted to reach out and let you know how much I enjoy reading about all your finds. Knowing the neighborhoods you sometimes mention is somewhat nostalgic for me, having lived in Montreal for 50 + years.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi, glad you like the blog! I’ve been interviewed on Scavenger Life a couple of times actually, the links can be found in the “Press” section if you’re interested (they’re a bit dated now in terms of my business strategy, but I’m sure there’s still some decent info in there).

  11. You have not been posting any finds from Westmount and TMR in the past few months.Are you still making good findings in these two affluent areas ?

    1. I found some good things in TMR this summer I have yet to post. More recently I have found nothing and am giving the area a “break” (ie: skipping it on my weekly schedule of runs). Westmount is the opposite, I didn’t find much there this summer but have found a bit of blog-worthy stuff recently. I go again tomorrow in hopes of finding more.

  12. Martin,every year I find beautiful hardcover and softcover English,French,Spanish ,Japanese dictionaries in the trash.I have taken many to my apartment but I find a lot of redundant titles these days that I already have and no longer take them.I have found hardcover Le PETIT ROBERT which retails for $30 to $50 new.I have Wi-Fi and computers at home,but I still browse the paper dictionary often.
    I have found Chambers,Collins,Funk and Wagnalls as well as Websters in the trash.Why do people throw out expensive dictionaries in the trash?Many people still use them and cannot afford to buy new ones.
    Do you pick up discarded dictionaries?Do you think many others do?

    1. It depends on where you live. If you’re in a neighbourhood with lots of students I’d guess it’s because the kids are done the class and are moving elsewhere. Otherwise, I suppose some people now go with online translation and think of the old dictionaries as “clutter.” I take them sometimes, it depends on my whim in that specific moment. They are expensive to buy but are also large and tend to be hard to sell at yard sales (I do think most people go with the online translators now, though obviously the dictionaries are much better if you want a quality job). I’m sure they could be sold on Kijiji (especially when school semesters start) but I don’t have the time or energy for that.

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