Around the bend

Here are some finds from a one-hit wonder spot I happened upon a few months back.

There were lots of bags out on the curb, but many were filled with random junk that made sorting difficult. Also, I knew the garbage truck would pass by soon (usually around 10am here) so I had to work quick.

I could tell by the sound of this bag that were were coins in there. Peeking inside, I saw watches as well, so I just took the whole thing to sort though later.

As I was about to leave, a guy a little older than me came running towards the car. He asked nicely if I had taken a hard drive, which ended up being in the bag I grabbed. I gave it to him, which he appreciated. After, he apologized to me for throwing out good stuff, and said “you’ll like that bag, there’s some good stuff in there” (paraphrasing a bit). So that was a pleasant enough encounter. I don’t deal in hard drives anyways, especially external ones because they’re often finicky and don’t age well (I usually just recycle them), but I can understand if someone if concerned about their privacy.

My best finds from that day included a Murano glass penguin, which made it to the curb undamaged, an iPod, an electronic label maker, a Panasonic recording device, a Sony Dream Machine (which I’ve been using at the garage to test / use found iPods), and a pair of sunglasses. I forget which brand they were right now, but I do remember it being a fancy one.

Otherwise, my best finds were watches. There weren’t any Rolex’s here, but there were some other nice brands like Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Diesel, and Nautica. The pen on the right is a Lamy, and there was around five bucks in mostly American coins, including four of those 1$ pieces that apparently no one uses. I included that disposable lighter because I found a bunch here, like 10, all of which worked, which probably means that is the guy at the party who leaves with people’s lighters at the end of the night. I ended up giving those to anyone who wanted one.

The guy told me that this was the last of the trash, which it was. I guess they sold the house and moved. But last week I went back for old times sake and found some big hunks of chain. The new owners are doing renovations it seems, so perhaps some of the original elements of this 100 year old house are being removed. Anyways, people like old iron chains, and these went straight to the auction. We’ll see what they end up going for.

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Wild horses / not so fast

I decided to do a Monday morning run for the first time in a while. It was real cold out, so I did my usual driving route which includes the Golden Square Mile, some Westmount adjacent, and a bit of Cote-des-Neiges. I didn’t have much luck til near the end of my run, when I spotted this horse near the UdM campus.

It was an old Tri-ang rocking horse, probably from the 1950s. The horse is metal, apparently tinplate which is steel or iron coated with tin. All in all it’s in pretty decent shape for its age, just missing the “hair” and the rubber saddle is all dried up (here’s a pic of a pretty similar horse).

As I was loading it in my car, the previous owner came out to talk to me. She was really happy to see that I was taking it, telling me that she’d bought it as a project 10 years ago but never got around to it. It’s always nice to have a positive encounter out on the curb. I brought this to the auction, and soon it will be someone else’s project.

At the same pile was this cute hand-made rocking horse. Apparently, when the neighbour of this woman saw her horse on the curb, he decided to bring over a horse of his own that he was looking to purge. Anyways, I took this guy as well and dropped him off at the auction.

Otherwise, here’s some pics from a spot I mostly wrote off, but ended up producing one more good haul. I picked up a few nice bits of glass and pottery, including those colourful ashtrays, two cute Mexican plates (signed by someone fairly known, but I forget who right now), and a promotional Continental tire ashtray. That style of ashtray has become fairly collectible, and I think this one ended up selling for around 40$ at auction.

Here’s a few more bits and bobs, like a vintage electronic blackjack game and some coins, including one of those 10% silver Mexicans pesos from the the 1960s.

I also found a neat old transferware plate with a copper frame. I’m not sure if the frame was there originally, or if it was added after because of that big crack in the middle (I read somewhere that you can make the stain go away using boiling milk, but there’s got to be a better way).

Here’s the production mark on the back for folks that are interested in such things. I’d like to know more about it, but I didn’t have any luck figuring this one out. Please let us know in the comments if you have any ideas!

Lastly, I found a box full of vials containing weird compounds like c25h34o4 aka Crispatene. I don’t actually know what that means and after googling it I still don’t, other than it’s probably used in organic chemistry. Anyways, I didn’t really want to mess around with this stuff so I brought them to the eco-centre for safe disposal.

Anyways, I’ve spent much of the last three days on the computer following this dang election which is hopefully over soon. I’ve still been doing my runs, and have continued my string of good luck. I found bit of gold today and Monday, which is always exciting and profitable. Anyways, I’m hoping to share more here soon now that I’ve gotten most of my big organizational / winter preparation projects done.

Jack of all trades pt.1

This spot first caught my eye in early May. After a couple of months of regular production and intriguing finds, there was a period of maybe five weeks where nothing was put on the curb. That led me to take a break from that route, but when I returned maybe six weeks later I found that the trash flow had returned.

I call this post “jack of all trades” because it’s been hard to tell what these folks did for a living. I’ve found such a wide range of things here, many of which could indicate a profession, but nothing that conclusively says, for example “ah, this person was a doctor.”

For instance, one day I found around half a recycling bin full of old Montreal bus/metro transfer tickets.

This seems like the kind of thing that only someone working for the STM (or past versions of it) would own. However, I’ve found nothing else which would indicate that. The collection was pretty well organized, and tickets were often bound together with elastics or paper sleeves indicating a route and date. I brought about 20lbs of these to the auction house, and they sold for 55$. I have no idea what the purchaser plans to do with them.

One thing’s for sure, someone who lived here was a tinkerer. The bins never contain bags, which is unusual, but instead are stuffed, often to the brim with loose junk. So far, most of it has been stuff you’d find in a basement or garage. My guess is that the tossers wheel the bin inside the house and then just go around dumping things inside. I always make sure to dig all the way to the bottom so I don’t miss a thing. The only item of any value in this pic is that brass vase, but there was lots of hardware bric-a-brac underneath.

I’ve picked lots of metal out of those bins, including bits and section of scrap copper, brass fittings, copper wire, motors, aluminum, and so on. My run on this day wasn’t too exciting, but the scrap helped make it a little bit profitable.

I’ve saved some cool toolsy things, like this old hanging brass scale made by Fairbanks Morse…

… and this cast iron doohickey made by the Victory Tool & Machine Company right here in Montreal. Looking it up now, it appears to be a can sealer missing the bits that would attach to that screw end near the centre-right. Either way, it’s gone to the auction and hopefully a collector will appreciate it.

I also saved this neat cubby hole / printer tray thing. People love these, and this one was particularly old & nice. It sold for 120$ at auction, which was more than I expected.

There’s lots more cool stuff from this spot to come, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve been pretty distracted lately, there’s so much going on in the world and I have a hard time not reading about it! Also, since business has been going well I’ve had a bit of money to invest in stocks for the first time and I’m reading and learning a lot about that. Anyways, for today I’m happy I managed to focus on writing for a few hours, which is long enough to get a blog post out there.