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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The rusty blue dumpster pt.1

Dumpsters are usually filled with renovation debris, but occasionally people load them full of junk as well. It was easy to tell in this case, because I could see a couple old trunks poking out the top.

I ended up saving like five or six. I sold a few at yard sales, and a couple at the auction house.

This one was my favourite. I’d guess it was the oldest of the bunch, and the hardware / latch was particularly nice.

Luckily for me this dumpster was out there for about a week. I returned daily to see if there was anything new inside, and most often there wasn’t. However, it seemed like each time I jumped in I found something new and interesting that I hadn’t seen before. Keep in mind this was stuffed nearly to the top, and the bin was about 10 feet tall.

Near the top (not much digging required) were a few boxes of old dishes and glassware.

There was plenty of nice clear glass, the fanciest of which are probably those candle holders in the back. I think they’re Cambridge glass in the chantilly pattern (you can see that a bit more on their bases), and seem to be worth something like 50$ each. This is the second time I’ve found Cambridge glass this year, after that great haul of statuesque stemware I found a little while back.

Some of the ceramics broke after being tossed in the bin, but a number of pots, bowls, old transferware plates, and other bits and pieces survived intact.

Perhaps my best ceramic find was this box filled with vintage Fiestaware.

I’d never found Fiesta stuff before, but I actually like it a lot! Maybe one day when I have my own place I’ll keep some for myself, it’s all very colourful and charming.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to bring this lot to the auction. It definitely has some value, but the pieces are quite heavy so shipping would be expensive and annoying. We’ll see how they do, but I set a reserve of 100$ because I wouldn’t want to sell them for less than that. If you’re interested, the lot is going live tomorrow night and will end next Thursday.

Soon I’ll share the rest of my dumpster finds, including tools and other junk. I’ve been pretty busy lately, trying to clear out the storages before the snow comes. Also, I’ve been finding almost an overwhelming amount of quality junk lately and it’s been hard to keep up!

In other news, I found my first ever Maga hat in the trash this week. We don’t see these too often here in Montreal, and the timing was kind of funny with the election coming up next week. Maybe it’s an omen. Anyways, I can’t wait until that’s finally all over, I’ll probably get a lot more work done if I’m not checking the news all the time. I’m not sure anyone cares, but if I had a vote I’d being going with Biden for a variety of reasons. I’m not sure that Trump guy has a single redeeming character trait. I try to avoid talking politics on this blog, but that’s just my two cents!

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.