Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Flash in the pan pt.1

This spot was briefly productive during the dog days of summer. I happened upon the first pile completely by chance, came back the next week to find this one, and that was it. Last I saw the house was up for demolition. So it goes. As usual, I wonder what I might have missed before I first arrived.

On this day I saved a bag largely filled with old tobacco pipes & accessories.

It was quite the collection, though most were quite dirty. I performed some light cleaning and brought them all to the auction house, where I think the lot sold for 55$. That seemed reasonable to me, considering none of the pipes looked to be super valuable individually, and definitely needed further cleaning and maintenance (including new stems in many cases).

These little lighters were worth more than the pipes. They’re both “Baby Mylflams” that were made in Germany, I think in the 1930s. The one on the left is decorated with 835 silver and marcasite. I’m not sure why exactly they have value (many other old lighters do not), but 150$ for the left and 75$ for the right look attainable based on what I’ve seen on eBay’s completed listings (the best and most accessible tool available for researching the value of garbage in my opinion).

I found lots of other quality junk here, like these vintage mugs & cups…

… and a few fur muffs that held together pretty well over the years.

This spot also produced a fair bit of interesting paper ephemera, including old letters and photos. It would have been a bit much to show everything here, so I condensed the collection to several interesting pieces. That board on the left, which I assume was the back cover of a book, was first signed in 1826. I saved lots of letters like the one on top, which is written in German and dates to 1946.

I’d guess that a past owner of this stuff was a German Jew who emigrated here sometime before WWII. That little booklet dates to between 1933-1935, based on the German flags seen below. There could be some interesting info in all those letters I found, if only I could read German.

This signature book is a fun piece of ephemera. Most of the entries are written in German, and all date to the 1930s.

Drawings, clippings, and photos accompany many of the entries. The book is about 100 pages long (rough estimate), but only around half the pages are filled. You can look at a few of the standouts below!

I also found three or four of these old bulletins from the Temple Emanu-el, which is apparently the oldest Reform synagogue in Canada. I think two were from the 30s, and one was from the 50s (I don’t know where I put them, or else I’d check). This one in particular was interesting because it was published around six months before WWII began. It features a Passover message that speaks of inclusivity and liberty in the face of racialism, a message that’s still relevant today.

I found more, mostly small things here, which I’ll share soon enough. I’ve been pretty busy recently, in large part because one particular spot is producing a tonne of very cool old stuff. Sorting through it all is a job in itself, let alone figuring out how to blog about it! But that’s a good problem to have I think.


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