Part one of a million pt.10


It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since I first picked at this spot and I still have bins full of their stuff to look through. Recently, I got sick of seeing it take up space on my shelves. I did some sorting and took some photos, but many items went straight to the yard sale bin. Some of those things might have been fun to blog about normally, but at a certain point it’s more fun to deal with “fresh” junk.

Now all I have left is a couple shelves full of old photos and paper ephemera. There’s some very cool stuff in there, but I have to find a way to document it in a condensed way. My tendency is to want to take pictures of everything, but it’s just not realistic to do so.

Anyways, here’s a whole bunch of junk. Still lots more to come… Zoom in for a better look! (Edit: WordPress has made some changes and for some reason these photos aren’t clickable… I’ll try to figure this out for the next blog post).


I really enjoyed finding this collection of old seeds. These ones probably date from between the 50s and 70s. The images on the older packets are particularly nice.

I’d guess that these date to the 40s based on that graphic design. I wondered if old seeds could have value because they might be “heirloom” varieties, but I’m not sure how that works.


I found a lot of old fabrics here, including some antique clothes that won’t be making the blog (I hate taking pictures of clothes). This hunk of black fabric probably dates to the 20s or 30s. One thing’s for sure, that factory is long gone (that address isn’t too far from where I live).


This carefully wrapped package ended up containing a hunk of very old plain burlap.


I saved lots of bits of fabric that probably served a purpose several decades ago. What purpose, I have no idea.


I do know what handkerchiefs are for, even if I don’t use them. One of these had a name and the year “1887” written on it.


I also saved these two cute sewing boxes.

I haven’t had much luck at all for over a month now. A lot of times I’ve come back empty-handed or close, though at least last week I found a couple pieces of sterling. I continue to feel unmotivated, probably due to “pandemic brain.” I have lots to share, but I haven’t been able to muster the focus necessary to do so.

14 thoughts on “Part one of a million pt.10”

  1. You’re living the life I dream about living one day. Unfortunately, the pickings are very slim and the quality of things left out is very low, where I live currently. But I very much enjoy reading your blog and Instagram page…keep up the good work.

  2. Well I’ll share that picking at the usual local thrift stores (Renaissance and Village des Valeurs) has also been not great over the last 8 months or so. I’d usually score some good stuff each visit though I’ll leave there empty handed quite often. An interesting thing to try to figure out!

  3. Thank you for this blog post, Martin. I am always curious to see the variety of items which you have salvaged — from antique fabric to seeds to shoe polish — all of which reflects our human history and interests. You and me and a lot of other people are feeling unmotivated these days… I appreciate you taking time and energy to create this blog post!

  4. I am in agreement that “new” old junk is more exciting than “old” old junk. The boxes in my basement languish while I walk the alleys in my hometown wishing for fresh pickings. Think Spring. It’s been a long covid winter here in Wisconsin.

  5. The little blue bottle of Evening in Paris is worth $25 if there is perfume in it. It used to cost .25 cents at the drugstore! To fill the gap in have you considered placing an ad for “home clean out services as you have storage space and friends who work with you. Different than an estate sale, you either charge customers to remove all the items from the property or you can just buy all the contents if it looks appealing. You probably would have to rent a truck for a day, but from what I have seen, the upside can be very good. Check out Curiosity Incorporated, he did two hoarder houses and found amazing stuff.

  6. You’re back! Thanks for rallying out of the pandemic ennui to get this blog post out to us, your appreciative followers.
    This particular house provided so many interesting stuff ‘n things. Your pictures are always great; they provide a real “feel” for the objects. I especially love the shot of the wrapped-up package. 🙂
    Hang in there, Martin. All tunnels have an end, and I can see a glimmer of light at the end of this onerous pandemic one.

  7. So nice to see a new post from you, Martin. Thanks for taking the time to put it together as it is always a delight to find it in my Inbox. Those seed packets sure are interesting. Listing items on eBay is one of my least favorite activities. I love the finding and even the shipping, but the listing is a bore. Lately I have been convincing myself it is a GIFT to my future self to list, and somehow I am getting through my neglected pile. Sales sure perk me up. And I have a feeling there is going to be a big Garage Sale Season this Spring/Summer. More sunny days ahead. Hang in there, buddy.

  8. Hi ! I downloaded the pictures: when I open them after, they are very large and we can see many details.
    You have lots of nice stuff.
    I envy your discoveries.
    Thanks for the sharing.

  9. I read yout Tweet about your frustration with the curfew.I feel the same way.I urge you to get up early in the morning and drive off at dawn to scavenge.Another trend that is happening is that garbage collection is being scaled back to once every two weeks instead of once a week.Pointe Claire started collecting garbage only once every two weeks in 2016.Since then,various West Island municipalities have cut back garbage collection to once every two weeks.The Montreal borough of St.Laurent also now collects garbage once every two weeks.In Longueuil the municipality announced last week that garbage collection is being cut back to once every weeks and that mechanised trucks will be used that will empty plastic trash cans into the truck mechanically.Loose garbage bags will simply not be collected.This trend might sweep the other boroughs in Montreal too.Take full advantage while the current system lasts.And go get the COVID vaccine even though you are only under 35.I am 37 and plan to get it as soon as it is available.

  10. It is true Longueuil has moved to garbage collection once every two weeks.But because the trucks are mechanised no human employee will empty the trash manually into the truck from plastic trash cans.Also since no loose garbage bags will be collected.If this trend spreads to more Montreal boroughs,you will find it harder to spot treasures.Loose garbage bags are much easier to rummage through than big plastic trash cans with lids on the top.I hope you develop even better skills to detect treasures in big plastic trash cans.

  11. The curfew must restrict your scavenging at night.But since last July twice as many homes are being sold compared to other previous years.Every neighborhood that I visit has too many ‘MAISON À VENDRE’ signs.Every street in some boroughs has Home for sale signs or VENDU on the lawn.A number of people must be getting rid of some good stuff.I wish you good luck in rescuing more treasures this spring.The real estate market is very hot now–the opportunities for you are plentiful.You must try out new neighborhoods and streets sometimes,including Laval,South Shore and Nun’s Island.

  12. The bits of fabric and crocheting look to me like collars and cuffs and banding, from the days when these would be removed for washing separately from the garment.

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