Dribs & drabs

I reached a minor milestone on eBay recently by getting to 500 feedback. That means I get that cool purple star next to my username instead of the old turquoise one! The next colour is red but I won’t be seeing that for a while.

I had my second major yard sale of the season yesterday. It was pretty busy and I got rid of a lot of stuff, which is great because my storage space was a disaster and I needed the money. I was planning on announcing it here, but I wasn’t able to complete the blog post in time. Sorry!

I finally got around to looking through that collection of photos I found recently. There were a lot of good ones, but I think the most interesting was a series taken in the Yukon during WWII. It seems that someone was stationed there with the RCAF during the war. He also had a bit of time to do some exploring, including visiting some natives communities in the area. Fortunately the photos are well described on the back, thereby preserving a lot of the history that would have been lost otherwise. Zoom in on the pictures for a closer look! I wish I had more time to show you a more in-depth look, I just have too many other things to do.

Last month I went to Ville St-Laurent for heavy garbage day and found some old tools. I know this isn’t the best picture, but if anyone can identify these please let us know in the comments! I think the Eastman Machine tools were part of a fabric cutting machine, so maybe that’s a hint…

I found some neat old magazines in NDG. The coolest (to me) were the official guides for the 1969 & 1970 Montreal Expos, the first two seasons of the ill-fated franchise. Based on eBay’s completed listings I expect the 1969 to sell for about 50$ and the 1970 to go for around 40$.

Unfortunately, this spot didn’t provide much otherwise.

I’ve been having fun in St Michel lately. I picked up that cute end table a couple weeks back and sold it to a friend for 10$. I really like the old chair on the right.

It bears a sticker from St. Mary’s Hospital in Cote-des-Neiges and was probably made in the 1950s. It’s still really sturdy after all these years and should sell for maybe 10$ at a yard sale.

I went back to the chair spot the week after and met the folks doing the tossing. They were clearing out an old house, and offered me some furniture and junk they were looking to get rid of. My favourite piece though was one I saved from the curb, a sort of primitive looking cabinet maybe four and a half feet tall. I’d guess that it was handmade sometime in the 50s or 60s. Does anyone else like this style?

I did take a bit of free stuff, including this huge old mirror. It was in pretty nice condition, and I sold it to a friend for 50$.

I also took a few large pieces of art – I’m a sucker for the amateur stuff. These all sold for 10$ at my yard sale. This hunting scene seems to be signed “H. Jelos.”

I was told that “Peter” sold art door to door many moons ago. Based on the frame, I’d guess this was made in the 70s. It’s an attractive landscape.

This one, another “H. Jelos” features some obvious Christian symbolism.

There was some other nice stuff I would like to have taken, but there was only so much room in the car!

I noticed these bottles on the curb elsewhere in St Michel. The tosser noticed me looking at them and offered me two extra cases, which was nice! He told me that these old Italian Brio bottles were delivered door-to-door around forty years ago. That sounds about right based on the graphic design.

Otherwise, my best find from this Thursday’s run came in Ahuntsic. I spotted a pile of boxes on the curb and went to take a look. Most held nothing of interest, like long expired school textbooks, but one contained a neat old Heathkit AA-32 tube amplifier. From what I read this dates from 1964-1965 and was sold as a kit to be assembled by the user. It’s a pretty cool looking machine and is a fair bit older than most of the other amps I find. From what I can tell, this amp (which is in solid cosmetic condition) sells at around 100$ for parts and 250$ in recently serviced condition. I’ll test mine out and will likely eventually sell it for somewhere between those two amounts.

My haul last week was surprisingly small, outside of some stuff I’ll mention in an upcoming post. Here’s hoping this week is better. Some gold would be nice!


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Questionable judgment pt.4

I was organizing my garage with a friend the other day (well, more like the other week) when she noticed these candelabras. I hadn’t thought much about them since I found them in the fall, and I was prepared to give her one as part of her payment for helping me out. However, since I found so many other precious metal items at this spot I decided I should give them one more look over before giving one away.

Sure enough, this time around my eyes spotted some impressions I hadn’t seen previously. The candelabras are actually made from 80% German silver and likely date to the early 20th century – check out the stamps below and zoom in for a better look!

As you might expect this increases their value greatly. I might sell a silver plated candelabra for between 5-10$, but I should be able to sell these 80% silver pieces for a few hundred dollars each, maybe more if I clean them up nicely. One of them has a bit of a break on the arm, but that could probably be easily fixed.

I figured this was a great way to finish up this series. This spot provided my best ever haul of precious metal items, and I hope to be similarly lucky sometime in the near future!

I’ll offset the months-old finds by posting about some stuff I found this past week. I love seeing moving trucks in rich neighbourhoods (in this case, Westmount) on garbage day as often there’ll be some bags of “trash” waiting off to the side.




I found this mug inside a shipping box. I guess someone didn’t appreciate it?

(By the way, if you know of a program I can use to trim off parts of a video please let me know! I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the useless sections, for example the bottom part where nothing happens).

I saved a bunch of yoga books (there were several others not pictured) and CD / DVD sets. The discs might actually be worth good money. For instance, that Master Immersion with John Friend set contains 19 discs and the cheapest one on Amazon costs over 100$. It’s probably a long-tail item, however.

I saved a bunch of nice soaps (the brown ones cost 10$ each) …

… some Chameleon Color Top markers (apparently these are fairly pricey);

… a working Kindle;

… some unopened food, all of which is barely or not at all expired;

… and a bit of jewelry. Most of these are silver. That white thing could be ivory, and I hope that nose piece is gold. Below is a silver snake, it’s quite large so I think it’s made to be worn on a leg.

One of the bags contained a smaller bag that held miniature objects which smelled like cat pee. Most of the items were charm-like, so maybe someone decorated their cat’s litter area? Regardless, this toonie and the metal (pewter?) shell were among those things. Fortunately, it was easy to remove the smell.

I also saved a nice feather pen with a pewter “quill” and stand …

… and a Parker Ingenuity 5th pen, which seems to be worth about 50$.

My best find though was this collection of fancy perfumes. The Byredo Super Cedar seems to be popular, I had many people asking about on Instagram but I ultimately sold it to a friend for 45$. The Salvatore Ferragamo “Tuscan Scent: Incense Suede” looks to be pretty expensive – there’s none on eBay, and a similar bottle sells for 260$ new at Saks. The Kilian “Smoke for the Soul” refill bottle and Terre D’Hermes are also very good finds. I should do well here!

The end of the month is near… here’s hoping I find more rich people move-out stuff!

Most of my success on Friday came while biking around the Plateau. This pile in particular contained some interesting quality junk.

I saved a bunch of vintage photography bric-a-brac, including glass slide-binders, filters, and a couple small lenses. I doubt any one piece is worth a lot, but a good number are likely in the 5-20$ range.

There’s a lot of neat stuff here (zoom in for a closer look!). I’m intrigued by that miniature light (on top, above the orange filter) as I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Near the bottom above the other orange filters is a pin from the 55th Esperanto convention in 1970, or sometime around then. Esperanto is an interesting concept, a constructed language made up of a combination of many different languages in an attempt to bring world peace. It never really took off as hoped, though more people are learning it these days thanks to its inclusion in various language learning apps. You’ll see a few more Esperanto-related baubles in one of the next pictures.

I’m also curious about these glass pieces, one of which has a copper backing. I’d guess that they were part of some photography mirror, but if anyone knows for sure please inform us in the comments!

Here’s some more camera doohickies. The labels on those filters appear to be written in Esperanto.

The contraption near the top right of that picture is an old Kodak self timer. It’s not worth a lot, maybe 5$ but it’s cool nonetheless. Perhaps I’ll return to this spot on Friday to see if any other goodies make it to the curb.

You might notice that I added a couple new links to eBay below. I make a bit of money when people sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay via these links so keep that in mind if you’ve been considering doing either of those things! eBay is also a great tool for researching the value of an item so use that third link if you want to look up something you have lying around the house (I don’t make money from searches, it’s just a good idea). Keep in mind that completed / sold listings are a much more reliable indicator than active listings, so check those boxes if you want a more accurate assessment (I use completed listings for the unusual items and sold prices for the more common).


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Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Flotsam & Jetsam

I’ve found plenty of interesting junk this past month. Some was probably tossed as part of spring cleaning, but some was a result of people cleaning out houses. This particular pile in Rosemont sat near a recently sold house so in this case I’d presume the latter.

The pile featured a large pile of wood. Usually wood isn’t worth poking through (it’s often a better source of tetanus than quality junk) but I gave this collection a chance; in previous weeks I’d found some interesting stuff at this spot, and it seemed like the previous owner wasn’t keen on throwing anything out. I ended up finding two great pieces mixed in with the debris, if you look close enough you can kind of see the first one in the middle of this pic.

As a lover of politics and political ephemera I great appreciated finding this vintage PQ election sign. This would have been from the 1976 election when the Parti Quebecois had their first electoral victory. Paquette won his riding (Rosemont) and held it for around 10 years.

I’ve now found two 1976 PQ election signs. The last one was from the Plateau – it sold for 130$ but also had a cool separatist mural painted on the back. I’d guess that this one is worth a bit less than that, but I’ll bet it’s still worth around 80-100$.

I hope to find more election signs. A vintage Pierre Trudeau might be my holy grail – he served the riding of Mount Royal, so it’s not a total stretch that I might happen upon one someday.

I found this awesome wooden cabinet near the bottom of the pile. I’m not sure what it was made for originally but its future is probably as a curio cabinet. For reference, the piece is approximately 26 x 25 x 3.5″ and each box measures roughly 2.25 x 2.25 x 3″. Some on Instagram suggested it might have been for sorting mail, but I can’t see it given the small size of the boxes.

On top of each box is an old label that looks to reference a place in Quebec, or sometimes towns in provinces nearby. The white papers sometimes hang over the old labels and also feature more mostly Quebec place names.

If you have any ideas as to what it was made to do please let us know in the comments! Regardless, it’s a great piece that I’ll be tempted to keep for my myself. If interested take a look at the photos below – click on the picture and then the “view full size” button on the bottom right if you’d like to zoom in.

I also saved a collection of old toolsy stuff, most of which I’ve since given away or sold at a yard sale. I was hoping to find more quality stuff at this spot, but I think this haul was its last hurrah.

I found this three pronged flag stand while touring around Westmount with my mom. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before – my guess is that they were made to go on the front of a car. Each flag measures about 8 x 4″.

“Fast colours” and “British made” are printed on each flag while the metal base is marked “Stadium” and “Pro Pat.” I can’t be sure when this was made, but I’d guess that it dates at least to the 40s and quite possibly before that. Two of the flags are pretty stained but maybe they could be cleaned up. If you have any insights as to how this would have been used let us know in the comments!

Later that day I saved an old electric soldering machine by made by the P.W. Ellis company. The patent date is 1923, making this device quite vintage. I know, it looks pretty grungy but I think it’ll clean up pretty nice. It could be a fun decor piece, or maybe it still works…

A bag I found in TMR contained more intriguing junk.

I have no idea what this doohickey is. My first guess was a thurible, one of those incense burning things that are used in church, but I’m not sure of that. For one, there’s only one hole in that bottle left piece which would make it unsuitable for distributing incense. I’m also not sure why there would be little wheels on the top section. Do you know what this is? You can see a couple of different angles below.

Inside that old soiled Birks bag was a collection of silver.

Despite the green tarnish (most often seen in copper) all these pieces appear to be solid silver. The little bird dishes, the small plates, and the small spoon all look to have Egyptian 90% silver marks. The larger spoon (stamped 925) is a Mexican tourist piece from way back when. The sterling salt shaker, if I read the marks correctly was made in London in 1882. Most of what I find is from the 20th century, so it’s always fun to find something older than that.

I tried cleaning these and was surprised how easily most of the blue stuff came off. There’s still some work to be done though as some of that tarnish is pretty troublesome! If you have any tips on cleaning it off let me know. For now I’ll soak the pieces in soapy water to see if that breaks down the grime. Unfortunately, the little spoon snapped when I tried to wipe it down.

The weather has been great lately and I’ve gone on more garbage runs as a result. I had some success in St Michel yesterday morning and in NDG last night. Here’s hoping the good weather and finds continue through the rest of the week!


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