Part one of a million pt.4

On my first stop here, many months ago now, I spotted an old dollar bill in shopping bag full of junk.

I ended up saving four bills in total, as well as a pill bottle filled with coins, a few of which were silver dimes.

Finding cash in the trash is a good indicator that the people doing the tossing aren’t being too careful about it, so I made a note to keep an eye on this little part of the curb. I’ve been going back ever since.

Here’s a selection of interesting finds, in no particular chronological order. I’ve always been a fan of maps, and this A.T. Chapman Montreal road map from 1900 is a pretty great one.

It’s cool to see what parts of the city were developed back then. Montreal was growing quickly at this time: it roughly doubled in size between 1881 and 1901, and then doubled in size again by 1921. I like picking in neighbourhoods with some history to them, so I look at the map and see a lot of fun trash-related destinations. I’m not sure what it’s worth, but I might just keep it for myself. I wasn’t able to find any others like it online, so it’s likely pretty uncommon.

This spot has produced lots of great paper ephemera. Here we have 12 segments of a 1917-1918 calendar (for some reason there’s two December 1917s). The images are great, featuring drawings of young ladies in the fashions of the day holding their favourite flower.

They were made to promote Glass Garden Builders Limited, a greenhouse construction company based in Toronto. I have them listed on eBay for 100$. Maybe that’s too high for a quick sale, but I don’t mind if they sit around for a while.

Here’s a National Food Shops flyer, which I’d guess is from the early 60s. It seems like this place is still open, though it looks like they moved a little further up the street at some point. Either way, this flyer would look great in a frame!

Here’s a few more antique ring boxes. This purple example, with a mother of pearl button, recently sold for 55$. It was made for a jeweller on St. Catherine’s Street.

These Victorian-era ring boxes are very small and cute. I think the one with the writing could sell for around 100$, and the other a bit less.

This silver comb had seen better days. The comb itself degraded with time, but the silver handle was fine, and was still worth about 10$ for scrap.

This vintage LL Bean fanny pack is in great condition for its age. It’s hard to find comparables online, but vintage LL Bean stuff does fairly well on eBay. It was made in Freeport, Maine.

Here’s the contents of an aged plastic shopping bag I found back in November. Those embroidered red mitts were a hit on Instagram. I expect they were made in eastern Europe, but I’m not 100% sure. That brush at top left is marked “Genuine Ebony.” I think the little pokey thing at top right is probably a hair pin, and made from some kind of horn. That blue piece at the bottom looks quite old. It has a handle, and inside was a collection of handkerchiefs. For people who like vintage & antique clothing and textiles, there’s a lot more of that to come in future posts.

Maybe a month ago I saved a big collection of vintage razors, some of which were in their original boxes. I decided to go the auction route with the lot, and they’re doing quite well. The bid is currently at 75$, which I’m personally very happy with. If you want in on that action the auction ends tonight.

I didn’t find anything particularly exciting last week, but overall it’s been a good month or so. Friday’s weather situation was pretty bad once again. It’s been a while since I’ve gone out on a Friday (I usually do runs Monday through Friday, whenever there’s trash days around the city), but I don’t mind taking a bit of extra time off in the winter. I’ve made some pretty good sales lately, but I’ll save that information for an upcoming post…


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
5. Email: – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items

17 thoughts on “Part one of a million pt.4”

  1. I think the pokey thing you id’d as a hairpin may go together with the top barrette in the picture. Good finds 😀, I really look forward to this blog!

    1. I think Sharon is right about the two hair items going together – the “pin” goes down into the hole in the larger piece, under the hair, then up and out at the other side of the hole and everything is held in place.

  2. Looks like some money-makers here.
    Keep the map!
    Is it just me, or do those black Victorian-era ring boxes look like little coffins? 🙂

  3. I agree with Sharon on all counts. Hope it all sells for great prices.

  4. Nice finds! I love seeing all the small personal items people used in their everyday lives. One more vote saying keep the map—unless you can get a fortune for it! 😊

  5. Isn’t it amazing what people throw away!

    So many of those brand names in the grocery flyer are still going strong. That’s another amazing thing.

  6. Love your finds as usual. See you had a easy time selling the nutcracker for big $ !!!! Still hopeful that you will list the gold and black circular necklace pendant from the last post in photo #11 Let me know when you are ready.

    1. I’m not sure where I put that, so don’t expect to see it anytime soon, lol. They don’t cost that much though, so if you want one soon you can probably find one online for a reasonable price. Apparently it’s a “damascened” piece made in Toledo, Spain.

  7. Martin, I just love those ring boxes. For the life of me, I can’t figure out anyone threw such beautiful things away! The map is super cool, too. Keep up the great work!

  8. That map is priceless! Love all the things you’re finding at that spot Martin. Happy sales!

  9. I love your finds.I have a friend who lives on Courtrai street .She says you should check out Courtrai street because she has seen good stuff thrown out there.She also suggests checking out Bonavista street.Do you know those two Streets?They are in the CDN borough.

    1. I pass by Courtrai on occasion, no luck there yet but it’s a nice looking street with garbage potential. I had some luck on Kent a couple years back, and on Van Horne before that, but not much in that part of CDN since. I actually passed by Bonavista this week, after not having done so for some time, but didn’t see anything. A lot of the time you just have to be in the right place at the right time… Fortunately, because I go picking frequently and have a good eye, I’m “there” often enough to make a living.

Comments are closed.