1935

This spot in Ahunstic was a one-hit wonder that gave me lots of fun stuff to sort through. I think I spent around two and a half hours digging through all these bags.

There was a whole lot of jewelry, though these people did a pretty good job picking out the precious metals.

The nicest piece was probably the sterling silver rosary. I also saved a pair of silver earrings, and few tiny pieces of gold.

This spot was also notable for its fun vintage ephemera and old photos.

My favourites were a couple of framed shots, this one with a gang of people in front of a train …

… and this one of an old house with “1935” marked on the roof. I’ll probably add this one to my personal collection of found junk.

Here’s some more miscellaneous stuff, including two Expo 67 passports, a couple cute handkerchiefs and a pair of gloves, a miniature sewing machine (not sure if it’s supposed to be functional, or if it’s more of a toy), a bit of perfume, and some scrap metal.

I only started picking up metal for scrap a couple years back, and I wish I’d started sooner. It looks like a pile of junk, but there’s probably about 10-15$ here. All these little bits and pieces add up in the end.

The thermometers don’t really have any value, but I show them because they contain mercury, which isn’t supposed to go to landfill. Over the course of my trash picking career I’d guess that I’ve saved at least 10 pounds of mercury from going to the dump. Sometimes it’s these small household thermometers (most of which, I’m guessing were made before 1980), sometimes it’s a big ol’ sphygmomanometer (blood pressure reader) that used to belong to a doctor (there’s so much mercury in those things that you can hear it sloshing around insider), sometimes it’s antique jars full of the stuff. There’s also some amount in some old batteries, electronics and lightbulbs. So make sure to bring that old mercury to the Eco-Center or other hazardous waste disposal site if you have any.

It finally feels like spring outside, and that definitely helps motivate me to go out and get picking. My luck has been slightly better recently, though I’m still not finding anything mind-blowing. I could really use a nice gold haul right about now.

Links

1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
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4. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that I really suck at email right now, and can’t fulfill most requests for items

Fog-brained

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. My brain just hasn’t been very cooperative lately. I have a hard time focusing on anything for any length of time, and keep procrastinating on essential tasks like finishing my taxes and buying clothes. I sometimes struggle to see the point of it all, which sure sounds like something someone with depression would say. I’ve probably spent / been spending too much time alone, which doesn’t help. However, I am trying to eat better (snacking on raw veggies like snow peas, carrots, and turnip), exercise more (going on bike rides, often inspired by nearby trash days), and cut down on caffeine. We’ll see how that goes.

Regarding garbage, this year’s really been a dud so far. I haven’t found any “omg” finds, some nice stuff here and there but little that’s blog worthy. I’m starting to feel like a lot of people did their purging last year, which was great for me, and that the next year or two might be less fruitful than usual. Either that, or I just haven’t been particularly lucky.

Anyways, here’s a few things from last year I haven’t posted yet (there’s still lots more to share, including some “omg” finds). Someone sent me a picture of the pile above on Instagram, and I went to check it out. It looked like an entire apartment was on the curb. I saw evidence of potential bedbuggery on one of the furniture pieces, so I decided to focus on small, easily cleaned items. 

This stuff was pretty grody, so it was probably for the best regardless. All my finds fit into this gross lockbox and a cast iron pot.

It needed a good clean, as you can see. The few things that needed a more delicate touch, like that watch, I wiped down with a damp cloth. 

That was a nice hunk of copper for the scrap bin (left). Haven’t seen any others quite like it, so I wonder if whoever owned it worked in metal processing or something.

Anyways, here’s my pick of the most interesting stuff (and a bit of random junk). I saved a pewter gargoyle & bird skull bracelet, a wizard brooch, a Zippo lighter, a small amount of scrap silver and a tiny bit of gold. That skull ring is a little intense, I’m wondering if it’s a biker thing. It’s silver plated and marked “G&S RP 87.” Based on my acid test I think that bird skull bracelet (?) at top right is unmarked solid silver. It looks pretty well made, and the eyes are some kind of milky-coloured stone. I’m going to have to do some research on that one before doing anything with it. 

Here’s some jewelry I found at a one-off in Hampstead. The little necklace in the middle was tangled up pretty bad but was silver & made by Tiffany. I think it ended up selling for a couple hundred bucks. The rest of this stuff was silver as well, if I recall correctly.

This was the only interesting piece of jewelry found at another spot. Can anyone make out this signature?

I found another small jewelry haul in NDG, along with some other quality junk though nothing exciting enough to post here. The bracelet was silver, and the lone cufflink was 18k gold. The latter was hefty enough that it alone was worth around 250$ for its weight. I was thinking the pearl earrings were gold too, but they were not. 

Here’s some stuff from a Westmout one-hit-wonder. There was lots of relatively high-end touristy stuff here, a lot of which went straight to the auction. I took pictures of the smaller stuff, like that little stone dish (made in Kenya), and those little ceramic tiles (made in Mexico). 

They also tossed a nice collection of pens. The nicest: a Sheaffer fountain with an 18k gold nib (gold cap near middle), a Cross fountain which I can’t find right now, and a matching Pelikan fountain & ballpoint. Most of the rest were medical swag, so I’m guessing the previous owner was a doctor. I didn’t know thalidomide was still around… the more you know.

Finally, some pens from a particular successful run (at least when it came to finding pens) in NDG. One spot offered two of the same Parker “cisele” sterling silver ballpoints, which are always an easy sale (though I may keep one), while another spot gave me a set of Sheaffers, a nice green Parker fountain, and a very striking gold-tone Parker with a 14k nib. I still have all these, I have to figure out the model name and all that if I want to get the best price.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Hopefully it won’t be another two months before I can get my brain in gear again.

Flash in the pan pt.1

This spot was briefly productive during the dog days of summer. I happened upon the first pile completely by chance, came back the next week to find this one, and that was it. Last I saw the house was up for demolition. So it goes. As usual, I wonder what I might have missed before I first arrived.

On this day I saved a bag largely filled with old tobacco pipes & accessories.

It was quite the collection, though most were quite dirty. I performed some light cleaning and brought them all to the auction house, where I think the lot sold for 55$. That seemed reasonable to me, considering none of the pipes looked to be super valuable individually, and definitely needed further cleaning and maintenance (including new stems in many cases).

These little lighters were worth more than the pipes. They’re both “Baby Mylflams” that were made in Germany, I think in the 1930s. The one on the left is decorated with 835 silver and marcasite. I’m not sure why exactly they have value (many other old lighters do not), but 150$ for the left and 75$ for the right look attainable based on what I’ve seen on eBay’s completed listings (the best and most accessible tool available for researching the value of garbage in my opinion).

I found lots of other quality junk here, like these vintage mugs & cups…

… and a few fur muffs that held together pretty well over the years.

This spot also produced a fair bit of interesting paper ephemera, including old letters and photos. It would have been a bit much to show everything here, so I condensed the collection to several interesting pieces. That board on the left, which I assume was the back cover of a book, was first signed in 1826. I saved lots of letters like the one on top, which is written in German and dates to 1946.

I’d guess that a past owner of this stuff was a German Jew who emigrated here sometime before WWII. That little booklet dates to between 1933-1935, based on the German flags seen below. There could be some interesting info in all those letters I found, if only I could read German.

This signature book is a fun piece of ephemera. Most of the entries are written in German, and all date to the 1930s.

Drawings, clippings, and photos accompany many of the entries. The book is about 100 pages long (rough estimate), but only around half the pages are filled. You can look at a few of the standouts below!

I also found three or four of these old bulletins from the Temple Emanu-el, which is apparently the oldest Reform synagogue in Canada. I think two were from the 30s, and one was from the 50s (I don’t know where I put them, or else I’d check). This one in particular was interesting because it was published around six months before WWII began. It features a Passover message that speaks of inclusivity and liberty in the face of racialism, a message that’s still relevant today.

I found more, mostly small things here, which I’ll share soon enough. I’ve been pretty busy recently, in large part because one particular spot is producing a tonne of very cool old stuff. Sorting through it all is a job in itself, let alone figuring out how to blog about it! But that’s a good problem to have I think.

Links

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5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com