Tag Archives: lifestyle


I had some decent luck early last week. On Monday I stopped at this pile and met a lady who was clearing out her son’s apartment. She told me he had moved up north. Why he didn’t deal with his own stuff, I don’t know but maybe he just ran out of time. She seemed nice and offered me a few things but the best stuff was in the bags.

One of them held a bunch of jewelry, some of which was silver.

The rings were the most interesting pieces from that lot. The bottom row are all silver, except the one second from the left which is stamped 10k gold. The top middle ring might be silver too, but I haven’t tested it to confirm.

A couple of the rings look incomplete. The top middle one for instance has prongs for stones, but they aren’t bent as you’d expect to see if they were removed afterwards. There’s also a bit of extra material on the back that wasn’t filed off. The ring marked 10k gold may be finished, but is missing its decorations (perhaps pearls?).

I like the ring at bottom middle, it has a sort of mid-century look. It’s not stamped but my acid test confirmed that it’s silver. The ring (or at least I think it’s a ring) on the bottom left is also kind of cool. It’s marked sterling and is signed, but unfortunately as with most signatures it’s largely incomprehensible. I have no idea how to describe the style, so if you have any keyword ideas let me know in the comments!

Here’s some more jewelry. This stuff is mostly yard sale material except for that thing on the bottom.

I thought it looked special, so I posted some pictures on Reddit to see if anyone could help me identify it. There weren’t many guesses, but one person somehow found a link to a very similar “Rajasthan 19th c Anklet” on an antiques website. I don’t know how the seller came to that conclusion, but so far that link is the only information I have to work with. Regardless, the listed price is 120 British pounds (roughly 200 Canadian dollars) and I’ll be happy if that number is even vaguely realistic.

Here’s some more junk from that spot. I haven’t had to buy soap for a long time because people keep throwing it out! I always like finding vintage tins like the Borax on the right.

I also found this large 8″ “Malcolm X World Tour” patch that was made for the 1992 Spike Lee movie. It looks to have been signed on the X, by who I have no idea. If you have any guesses let me know! This should be something I can sell for a modest price on eBay.

On Tuesday I found some miscellaneous stuff in Park Ex and Villeray. The best find might be the TI-83+ calculator, which should be good for around 30-40$ though I haven’t tested it yet. The “vintage” phone is going into my electronics recycling pile. The YSL Opium is a decent find too, it’s only around 40% full but a new one costs 95$.

I was excited when I found the iPhone but it turned out to be a fake. It was modeled to look like a iPhone 5s (the phone I’m currently using), and while the phone looks good at first glance it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s junk. The fake is on the bottom in this picture – you can see how the buttons don’t fit very well, and how the material is a cheaper plastic that’s already starting to crack. Anyways, the phone doesn’t turn on and isn’t worth fixing, but at least now it’ll get properly recycled. This is the first time I’ve found a fake iPhone.

Otherwise, my spot in the Mile End continued to produce. I found some more sewing stuff, most of which wasn’t particularly exciting. However, these two unopened boxes of 100 Schmetz needles were a nice get.

Similar boxes sell for between 25 and 95$ each. The price seems to depend a lot on these numbers but I have no idea how to read them. If anyone can help me figure out what they mean I’d appreciate it!

One pretty random find was a folder containing a list of doctors who practiced at the Jewish General Hospital. I’d guess this was typed up in the 1960s.

I do well with vintage calculators. This 1970s Panasonic 1212 doesn’t work perfectly (divide and subtract seem to be glitchy) but I expect it’ll sell for around 100$ regardless. It’s in nice cosmetic condition, especially after I wiped it down with a microfibre cloth.

In one bag was a smaller shopping bag filled with miniature furniture. I would guess these were part of a dollhouse kit. Some were broken but most of those could be easily fixed. I might keep a couple pieces for my collection, I think they’re pretty cute.

My favourite find though was probably this box of watches. There are no mechanisms, just cases. Most of the watches are branded Precisa. The company is not well known, but they made some decent looking watches back in the day. A few of the cases are marked “plaque” or gold plate. All have a very mid-century look to them.

I haven’t really done much research into their value but I’m sure someone will have interest!

I didn’t get much picking done later in the week. There was a big snowstorm on Tuesday night, so I skipped my Wednesday and most of my Thursday run. It’s just too annoying to get around when there’s so much snow. On Friday I had my root canal, so I didn’t get anything done then either. Oh well! The beginning of this week was a bit slow, so hopefully I come across some good stuff on Thursday and Friday to make up for it.

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Last week wasn’t particularly productive but I have some things to show you nonetheless. That apartment building again supplied most of my finds.

It’s pretty clear now that whoever lives, or lived here worked in the fashion industry. A while back I found this folder full of designs, and now I find …

… a whole bunch of buttons, many of which are sets. Most look to have been made in the 70s and 80s, but some of them could be a bit older. I put them all in one medium-sized box and listed them as an eBay auction – I usually do “Buy it Now,” but I don’t really know much about the market and didn’t feel like listing them individually.

There’s some nice stuff in there, like these mother of pearl (?) buttons that were made in Japan …

… and some vintage needles and threads. The auctions ends today at 10:10PM EST, so if you’re interested put in a bid! Unfortunately, because of the weight of the package it would be kind of expensive to ship to the States. A local buyer who can come and pick them up would definitely get the best deal. Here's the link, and there’s more pictures on the listing if you want a better look.

Some of my favourite finds from this spot were tucked away in this 1960s Chatelaine magazine. I didn’t even know they were there until a few days ago.

They were four hand-drawn fashion designs. The art is classic and very much “of its time.” I think they’d look great framed, even the one with a piece cut out as that part would have been negative space anyways. Do you like them too? Zoom in for a better look!

There’s a little description glued to the back of each of the coloured drawings. They look to be written in Italian, but I’m not sure.

I also thought this book was cool. It contains a collection of Svijet (which according to Google means “world” in Bosnian) magazines dating from the mid 1950s. From what I can tell this magazine was about the fashion scene, but I have a hard time figuring it out exactly.

Regardless, the images inside are pretty cool. The graphic design is very 1950s, and distinctly Eastern European.

Buttons nearly always come with other small items that aren’t buttons. This time it was vintage Christmas lights. These actually have decent value on eBay, and sell for 1-3$ each depending on the condition. Some other, more unusual ones sell for a lot more. I’ll hold onto these until next fall, by that time the Christmas light market should pick up again. Otherwise, I found a vintage receipt, some scissors, an old toothbrush, and a stamp last used on August 10 1984.

I also found a cool vintage Shell Oil file holder (I listed it on eBay for 100$, my go-to totally made up price in hopes that a petroliana collector might want it, but so far no bites) …

… some miscellaneous paper stuff, including a 1960s guide to Montreal and a small folder with photos inside (most of the photos I’ve seen here have been ripped up, so it’s nice to find some that aren’t);

… and a small collection of 1970s Playboys. These always make good yard sale material.

This spot produced a lot more stuff this week, I look forward to showing it to you!

The week was pretty dismal otherwise. I will share the story though of a random trash can that in recent times has offered me a small collection of books nearly every week.

Sometimes the books are cool, sometimes not so much (ie: textbooks from the 70s and 80s). This was my selection from last week’s offerings. My favourite of the bunch is the 1920s Ritter Practice Building Suggestions book, which details how new dentists should design their facilities. It’s in very nice condition for its age. The others I’ll try to sell at a yard sale, though I expect some will end up in a free box or donation bin.

A good number of the books feature old Montreal City Library bookplates. I imagine these were discards though they’re not marked as such. This one was last taken out in 1985.

Here’s the section for Montreal from that old 50s lodging book if anyone’s interested.

Some of the books I find there have been ruined by moisture. However, I salvaged these encyclopedias despite their non-optimal condition. The covers are in pretty rough shape, but the pages are in good condition.

A lot of people like making art, or doing collage with these. The print and the drawings can be pretty fun to work with.

One was an atlas. Most of the maps unfortunately are printed over two pages which makes them less desirable for framing. However, if someone was careful they might be able to cut them out and reattach them mostly seamlessly. The encyclopedias are from 1909 if I remember right, and as you’d expect the maps are very outdated. For instance, in this map Newfoundland is still its own dominion, and what’s now the north of Quebec is a territory called Ungava. Can you spot any more differences?

This week has been better, even with the recent snowstorm that mostly cancelled my Wednesday and Thursday runs. I’ll share it all with you soon!

Tomorrow I’m finally getting that root canal that I’ve been putting off. It’s my first one, and I hear they’re not that bad but I would appreciate any words of encouragement!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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Parker 51


In my last post I said I was saving my best find for later. In the end it wasn’t so conclusively my best find, though it was still a very good one regardless.


Basically, I opened up one of those bags and found a MacBook Pro and an older Macbook.


At first I thought the MacBook Pro would earn me an easy couple hundred bucks. It looked clean, and other than a busted screen looked to be in good condition. However, the value of the MacBook Pro depends greatly on how old it is. This one was made in mid-2008, and to be honest I didn’t know Apple made MBPs before 2009. Apparently they made them even further back, starting in 2006, but those ones are more obviously older.

Despite it being older than I expected, the MBP still had some value. I listed it “for parts or repair” on eBay and it sold quickly for 125$.

The old MacBook didn’t have a hard drive, and may have had other issues that I couldn’t test. I had another old MacBook sitting around, so I listed the two as a lot. They sold pretty quickly for 85$. Overall, the two computers together earned me around 165$. Not bad!


I’ve had some success recently in the traditionally working-class areas of Montreal. I happened upon this collection of bags in Rosemont, the sector east of Iberville.


I got excited when I looked in the box at the end of the mass and saw a vintage IBM Model M keyboard. I love old tech because it makes me nostalgic, but it’s also true that mechanical keyboards often command good prices on eBay.


This one was in fantastic cosmetic condition, and with a little cleaning it looked even better. The keyboard also worked great, which might be more important. I listed it at 200$, which is a bit high as compared to similar keyboards but I figured I’d try for a top dollar price – I can always lower it later. I had a hard time finding other French mechanical keyboards on eBay, so I wonder if that might make it more desirable to some. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s a nice find even if it sells for “just” 150$.


Otherwise, I looked through all the bags and saved a whole bunch of junk. My household was a little short on Tupperware before this, but we definitely aren’t now! If anyone knows what that leather thing at the middle bottom is supposed to be let us know in the comments. It looks like it’s made to be hung from something.


I found a lot of small things too. These were my favourites, though some other cool photo-worthy stuff didn’t get documented because I was busy at the time. The flashlight was the most useful find, as it’s a bit smaller than most and thus quite suitable for bringing on future trash runs. The wind-up clock works fine. In the pill bottle was a bunch of push-back earring pieces and three small elephants, two of which are plastic and one of which is older and probably made from bone or ivory. If you know what that old metal comb at top-right is let me know. It’s marked “Clauberg & Sons” but I can’t find any similar things online. I think it’s way too intense to be made for human hair.


The best piece of that bunch was probably this old Stanley carpenter’s rule. I’d bet that it was made sometime between the 20s and 40s. Old tools can be pretty collectible, and I think that I could sell this rule on eBay for around 40$ + shipping. It’s in great condition for its age.


My mom was in town last weekend and we had a nice visit. I dropped her off at the bus station on Monday, and on the way home happened upon this trash in the Plateau. It was pretty cold out, but I spent a good 30-45 minutes searching through these bags anyways.


I saved a bunch of stuff, including four black bags full of old clothes and fabrics. I didn’t have the time or motivation to look at them much, as clothes aren’t really my thing (especially when I have to look through them in the cold) but I took a chance anyways. They looked decent, and I figured I could examine them further when the weather warmed up a bit. For now, they’re stashed at my storage spot. I’m not expecting any Chanel coats, but I saw a few hand-knit things that might appeal to a certain demographic, and some vintage stuff that might be desirable if in good shape.

For the record, because of bedbugs I’m pretty careful when it comes to taking garbage clothes, especially from somewhere like the Plateau where infestations are more common. However, I didn’t get a bedbug vibe from this place, and even if I were wrong the cold would kill any potential bugs before spring. There are benefits to the Canadian winter!


I saved a few tins that were stuffed mostly with sewing brac-a-brac. We’ll see if anyone at a yard sale wants it.


This is the “best of” from that pile, basically the things that caught my eye. I found three utensils in a Laura Secord box that I think are solid silver (they have markings I can’t make out, and I tested them with acid which seemed to indicate a strong silver content), a Superman belt buckle, a collection of thimbles, a small silver Notre-Dame-du-Cap pendant, and two vintage Parker Pens.


The pens were in nice condition for their age. The more valuable of the two was a blue Parker 51 with a gold-filled cap. This model seems to be a classic of sorts, and while its value is a bit lower because the previous owners name is inscribed on the barrel I still expect it to sell for around 70-80$ + shipping. The other was a Parker 21, which isn’t quite as desirable but still worth somewhere between 25-30$ in its present condition.


I found a bit more neat stuff last week, but I’ll wait until it gets warmer before documenting it. It just sucks to sort through stuff at my storage right now. One notable item though was this repoussé silver picture frame I found in CDN. It’s marked “Lisham Art 925” (you can see this at the bottom right corner). It features a relief of Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall, as well as some Hebrew phrases that I don’t understand. If anyone can help me translate them I’d appreciate it!

I looked it up and found a similar one that sold on shopgoodwill.com for 201 US$. That listing made it sound as if the frame was pure silver, but my frame (which I assume was made in a similar way) is actually a layer of silver on top of a resin mould. I wonder if that influenced the eventual selling price. I listed mine at 250$ CAD (which is less than 201 USD). I’m not confident at all that it will sell at that price, but I figured I’d give it a try anyways.

Next week should be warmer, but there’s plenty of snow on the way. Hopefully I can find some good trash regardless.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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