Busy week!

It’s been a busy week. That’s a good thing of course, but finding garbage is also a lot of work. At one point I think I spent 9 of the previous 24 hours on the road, either driving or sorting, and also did plenty of other work on top of that. It can be hard to take a break (especially when you’re on a hot streak) but I skipped today’s morning run to ensure that I don’t get burnt out. Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I know that a birthday trash run will be more fun if I’m well rested.

Earlier this week I happened upon one of my best photo hauls in quite some time.

I saved a few shopping bags stuffed with photos. I looked through them a bit, but there were so many that it got kind of overwhelming. See the video below for context.

 

And that was just one bag! I did get a few shots of some of my early favourites, however. Click on the picture (particularly the “view full-size” button in the gallery frame) for a better look!

 

I always feel conflicted when finding old photos. For one, it’s impossible to know if everyone in the family consented to these being thrown out, and even if they did they may come to regret their decision somewhere down the line. Because of that I feel bad separating them, and usually keep the collection intact for at least a few months just in case I hear a story in the news about someone trying to track down some trashed photos. Beyond that, however, I can’t hold onto this stuff forever, and eventually the temptation to sell them is too great. Going forward I might try listing photos on eBay with the relevant last names – at least then there’s a better chance at someone in the family finding them.

I found a couple other goodies in those bags. Here’s a well worn Soviet 25 ruble bill from 1923, not too long after the revolution.

Here’s the back. According to one of my Instagram followers the text addresses the rapid inflation that occured in the early Soviet years, telling users that the value of the 1923 ruble is now equal to the value of 100 rubles in 1922 (and also, to trust in the republic). An interesting thing for sure, and though quite well worn it’s still worth around 20$.

The bag also held this neat Montreal Tramways student card from 1939. The paper was pretty beat up, and it looks as if the previous owner glued it to some fabric to keep it intact. The kid went to Baron Byng High School, a now defunct institution on St Urbain that at the time primarily served a lower-income Jewish population. Mordecai Richler is probably its most famous alumni. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, so it was a fun find for me (especially since I have an appreciation for old ID cards and transportation ephemera).

I also found a nice vintage Lucien Piccard watch box, which should sell for around 40-50$…

… and a small collection of jewelry. It looked as if someone had picked out the gold (except for maybe those two pieces to the right of the marcasite Star of David on the bottom), but there’s still a few nice pieces here, including some quality silver. The sterling & eilat cufflinks + tie clip at top left are probably my favourites, they should sell for a good price on eBay. I also like those Mexican silver cufflinks with the tigers. Zoom in for a better look!

On Tuesday afternoon I went on my first ever run to one of the nicer parts of town. I hadn’t gone before, largely because the timing of the pickup is difficult to fit into my schedule, but this time I finally bit the bullet. As it turns out I picked a great week to go! I happened upon three great piles overall, one each on the first three streets I covered. I was accosted by some grumpy old lady at the second one, but managed to save some good stuff before leaving.

I didn’t have time to document any of that stuff yet, but here’s a peek into a bag from the third spot. It contained a great collection of vintage / antique silverware, a lot of which is plated but some of which is 80% or sterling silver. I should be ready to share pictures of my haul sometime next week!

Otherwise, I’ve already started adding to my collection of found change.

I found this drawstring bag full of pennies not far from home. I don’t bother rolling pennies (plus, everything here smelled like cigarette smoke) so I brought them to the coin machine down the street for a quick buck.

The pouch ended up holding 1366 pennies and 1 dime. Easy money!

Here’s another collection of change I found just a minute away from home. I can almost get throwing away smaller currency, but if you throw away loonies it means you have way too much money. Those four one euro coins are also a nice get, though I’m not sure how to cash them in – based on my preliminary research it doesn’t seem like the currency converter folks deal in coins. If you know a place that takes them let me know in the comments! Worst case scenario though I’ll sell them to a friend who’s travelling to Europe, or at a yard sale on a deal of an exchange rate. I think I have around 30 euros in coins that I’ve collected over the last few years.

That’s all for now! I think I’ll need to hire my friend again next week to help me take pictures of all the junk I’ve found. In the meantime, here’s hoping I have a fun and profitable birthday run tomorrow morning! (My special day is on the 30th, just to clarify since I’m posting this quite late!)

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

Sortilège Pt.3

This box full of old picture frames was on the curb the first day I stopped here (it was fuller than seen above, but I tossed out some broken ones). I sold the frames to someone at a yard sale, who later returned the photos to me as part of our agreement.

Most of the frames contained 8 x 10″ photos signed by doctors. This guy is Nathan Shock – not a household name by any means, but someone apparently deserving of a Wikipedia page as the “father of gerontology.”

I can’t make out this guy’s name, but he looks like someone who might have a Wikipedia page. Any guesses as to who he is, or what the signature says?

This one is signed: “To a fine doctor and friend – Lou Wolfson.” Assuming it’s the same guy (he definitely has the same ears), this Louis Wolfson was a Wall Street financier and one of the first corporate raiders. He was also apparently big into horse racing – his farm bred Affirmed, who won the triple crown in 1978. His signatures don’t seem to be plentiful, so maybe this could have some value to a collector with an interest in horse racing or Wall Street.

I also found some loose photos, like this one from a 1957 American College of Chest Physicians meeting. The detail in this photo is great, zoom in for a closer look! I think I sold this at one of my yard sales.

I’ve been wondering who this guy is for some time now. I feel like he’s part of a boy band or something. Any ideas? I can’t make out his signature either.

This fun photo was taken at “Au Lutin Qui Bouffe,” a long defunct Montreal restaurant best known for having their clients pose for photos with a piglet and a milk bottle. I found a cool old menu of theirs a while back, which I ended up selling for a nice profit.

I found a few books but this one – a bid book published by the organizing committee of the 1980 Moscow Olympics games – was the most noteworthy of the bunch. Bid books are basically official responses to an IOC questionnaire sent to every city that wants to host the Olympics.

The book was very nicely designed. This is one of the first pages, which opens into a large photo of Moscow (below).

Inside the cover was this business card. I did a bit of research on Gresko (I found more info under “Alexander” than “Alexandr”) and he was suspected of being a KGB agent on top of his role as a sports organizer. This article contains some interesting anecdotes about him, while this book mentions how “it became clear” to Canadian officials that Gresko was KGB.

Bid books often do quite well on eBay. I can’t find any others like it online, and the Moscow games were notable for the politics involved so it seems likely that this book is worth a least a couple hundred dollars. I just need to figure out how to glue to picture of Spasskaya Tower back on the cover – it has come undone after 40 years. Can anyone suggest a type of glue that would work well but not damage the book in any way?

Check out the pictures below if you’d like a closer look!

 

My car right now

In other news, yet another massive dump of snow (about 36cm apparently) will make trash picking annoying for about a week. I’ll probably go on only short runs to familiar spots for at least the first half of the week.

I bought this overhead light on Amazon. It should arrive early next week, and I hope that it’ll allow me to take quality photos in my garage.

Finally, the guy who won the Bakelite bead auction hasn’t paid me yet, so it seems likely that I’ll have to go through the auction process again. It’s a bit disappointing, but I was careful not to get my hopes up and I’m happy to know that the beads are worth more than I expected (though likely not as much as they were bid up to).

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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.

Michel

The original post with address erased.

I did a little yard sale a few weeks back and returned home to a message from a reader. It contained a screenshot of a post on a local Facebook page informing people about an apartment being emptied in St Michel. I got the message many hours after the fact, and figured I was probably too late to find anything good. In the Plateau an obviously interesting trash pile (ie: one that attracts attention even from casual pickers) will often be ripped to shreds within a few hours.

I had planned on doing a trash run in the area regardless, so I went and checked it out just in case. As you probably expect by now, there were indeed still things to be found and the pile itself was surprisingly intact. The trunks in the original picture were long gone, but most of those bags and milk crates remained – and seemed largely untouched.

Maybe the pile survived that long because there’s less foot traffic in St Michel as compared to the Plateau. But it could also be that the stuff didn’t look all that interesting at first glance.

A lot of what I saved was stored inside old binders, the kind I would have used back in high school. But instead of containing old school notes these mostly contained old slides and photos.

I should be able to make a few bucks off the one binder of Expo 67 photos.

It contains about eight pages of slides, most of which look well shot and well captioned.

I think my photos of the slides came out pretty well all things considered. Some turned out better than others, but unfortunately I couldn’t spend too much time on them. If you want to zoom in on the photos below, click on them and find the “view full-size” button on the bottom right hand side of the screen.

My plan at the most is to auction them on eBay. I don’t usually do auctions, but I figure that Expo 67 market is reasonably hot right now, and auctions make it so that I don’t have to think too hard about pricing.

Otherwise, a lot of the photos feature various flora, fauna, and fungi. His knowledge of plants looks to have been pretty good, as many of them are captioned with their latin names.

These slides were the most usual. They were taken in Africa in the 50s and 60s …

… and this particular page features multiple elephants being butchered. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you have a weak stomach) my photo of this page didn’t come out as clearly as some of the others.

I wonder how common photos of Africa are from that era. I suspect they’re still common enough, but I’m sure they’re less common than tourist photos of Europe and North America. Personally, I’ve found photos from the north of Africa before (like Egypt and Tunisia), but never from the area around the equator. Most of these photos look to have been taken in Gabon, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic. It wasn’t immediately clear, from my brief study of the photos, what the photographer was doing in the area.

I also found binders of developed photos, including some of birds …

… and a few smaller albums filled with photos of local pow-wows. The location of these photos is unclear, but the other ones were taken in Kanesatake near Oka. They were all taken in the mid 1990s.

I found one film, a 16mm reel that was captured in Gabon in the 1950s. It could be interesting to digitize.

I also saved a pillow bag full of negatives that were taken in Nepal …

… and some smaller items suitable for the yard sale pile. The 80s watches are kind of neat, I’ll throw a battery in them and see if they work.

The coins were mostly from France in the 50s and 60s. The tokens on the right are for old French public telephones. None of these are worth much, but they’re good yard sale material.

All in all this was a pretty interesting pile. I would guess that the person who took the photos has passed on. If he was in Africa in the early 1950s that would make him at least 85 years old today. That’s not too old of course, but I have a hard time seeing someone deciding to throw away their life’s work like this. It’s a bit sad to find these things on the curb, but I like to think that he might have been happy to know that others are appreciating his work.

I owe thanks to the reader who informed me of this spot, as otherwise it’s unlikely that I would have happened upon it. If anyone else knows of an intriguing garbage pile, feel free to send me an email.

I plan on doing a yard sale tomorrow at 4096 Coloniale near Duluth. My storage space there is a total mess and I want to get it organized while it’s still warm out. Hope to see you there!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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.