Garbage of the Mile End pt.2

I’ve been having good luck in my own neighbourhood lately despite covering it much less than in years past. I spotted this pile a couple weeks back. Not long after I starting picking a lady came out and told me to be careful as her sixplex had recently been sprayed for bedbugs. I was thankful for the warning but continued with a highly conservative approach – sometimes people get overzealous when dealing with bugs and toss things they shouldn’t.

Indeed, I kicked one bag and heard the sweet sound of coins. Inside was a small collection stored in a ceramic dish.

A few coins might not be worth much otherwise, but two were pre-1968 Canadian dollars. Those are composed of 80% silver and are worth around 15-20$ a piece. I washed them of course, but realistically the coins weren’t likely to harbour any bugs.

I talked to the same woman again a little later and apparently she was familiar with the blog. However, she told me she had mixed feelings about what I do, citing “papers” as the reason why. I assumed she meant old, possibly intimate papers such as family photos, and explained that while I think garbage picking can be intrusive I believe the good greatly offsets the bad when you consider the environmental and historical benefits. Plus, I’m not particularly interested in getting to know the people I pick from.

Later I realized that she could have meant sensitive documents such as tax returns that could be used to steal someone’s identity. I have no interest in such things, and wish that people would go ahead and shred it (as they should). We didn’t talk for long so unfortunately I can’t be sure what she meant.

Most people I talk to are supportive, so it was interesting to hear a different point of view that didn’t involve being yelled at. If you have any thoughts about the pros & cons of ethics of garbage picking please share them in the comments!

Later on my walk I happened a mess of bags that had been ripped apart, presumably by other pickers. Most of the best stuff was probably long gone, but I did salvage a set of Pyrex “Vision” cookware that had been otherwise forgotten. I brought these to auction but they haven’t been listed yet.

A house not far away was emptied out over a period of a few months. I saved a lot of great stuff there, but unfortunately I was very busy at the time and wasn’t able to take many pictures.

On a couple of recycling days I filled the car with lab glass, a lot of which was still in its original packaging.

I saved so many beakers of different sizes. They aren’t really worth that much individually but I sold a bunch at one of my recent yard sales. These 30ml beakers might go on eBay since they’re in their original box and should be easy enough to ship.

This 5000ml pyrex boiling flask was another good find. It would have been expensive to ship so I dropped it off at the auction house instead. I think it sold for 20-some dollars, which is decent. New they cost a lot of money (there’s a pretty big markup on anything medical) but I would have had a hard time getting more than 40$ on eBay.

My favourite pieces were the red graduated cylinders, many of which were new in box. Despite their coolness they only sell for around 20$ + shipping on eBay. I sold a couple at a yard sale, brought a few to the auction house, and still have several, mostly in the 250ml format.

This really just scratches the surface of my lab equipment haul! It was actually overwhelming how much I found but thankfully I’ve pared it down to a reasonable amount. I still have some research to do, however. For example, there’s a bit of equipment including several pipet devices that might be worth decent money but I haven’t had time to figure out how much exactly. If anything ends up selling for a nice sum I’ll be sure to mention it on a future sales post.

That spot provided some other quality junk as well, including this vintage Radio Shack hockey game (which seems to sell for around 50$) …

… and these unusual ecclesiastical pieces. I had a hard time researching them but it seems that they’re vessels for holy oils. One is marked OS (oleum catechumenorum/oil of catechumens) and the other OI (oleum infirmorum/oil of the sick). Originally there would probably have been a third marked SC (sacrum chrisma/sacred chrism). They appear to be very old and silver plated (no hallmarks, some wear to the plate visible on the crosses). They’re about 3,25″ tall and have screw-on tops. That’s all I can say for sure, but please let us know if you have any relevant information to share! Regardless they’re pretty neat and likely worth between 50-100$ for the pair.

Elsewhere, another house was slowly emptied over a period of many months. Previously my best finds were a vintage butterfly tray (which sold quickly for 70$), a bag of clarinet reeds, and a silver class ring from the 70s. Last garbage day was better, however as these trinket boxes (and at least some of their contents) got chucked.

Here’s the costume stuff / random bric-a-brac, most of which will go into the yard sale pile …

… and here’s the stuff I can make good money on. The medical ID bracelet is 10k gold and worth about 100$ in scrap. The enameled Azores pin (featuring a pair of clogs), Catholic medallion, bouquet pendant, and each of the four bracelets are silver. Most of those have Portuguese hallmarks which I’ve never seen previously. The rhinestone bow-tie brooch probably isn’t solid silver but it’s definitely vintage. The same applies to the rosary. Unfortunately these folks seem to be done tossing, but these small finds definitely made my night!

As you can probably tell I’m pretty far behind on my posts, and as a result there’s a whole bunch of high quality finds I have yet to show you. I’ll try to get them posted relatively soon…

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

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.

Sortilège pt.2

Most of the snow from the past week has finally been cleared, making it easier for me to go about my business. I went on a long run this morning, passing through some of Outremont and lots of Cote St-Luc. I didn’t see much of interest, but five nice pens (including a Parker 51) I found on one of my last streets may have salvaged the day.

My Tuesday evening run was also saved by one good pile. Some rich folks who look to soon be moving put out bags and bags of clothes, most of which were in great shape. I found a bag loaded with barely worn jeans, a bag of nice shoes and boots, a bag of jackets, and a bag of dress shirts. Most seem to be in yard saleable condition, but one pair of 20-eye Doc Marten boots might be worth listing on eBay.

It’s supposed to rain a lot, and then snow again tomorrow which might put a damper on my picking. We shall see! In the meantime, here’s some more finds from the summer. This place was tossing out great stuff week after week, from fun vintage “quality junk” to some silver and gold jewelry. Above is a nice old rotary phone, an Oticon hearing aid doohickey, a Cartier watch box, and some chandelier crystals.

I saved a sewing box filled with shoe shapers, many of which sold at my yard sales.

The family looked to be Jewish. Above you can see a mezuzah and a medallion commemorating one of Israel’s military victories.

This coin celebrates the 25th anniversary of Israel. They don’t tend to be worth much – I think they were pretty commonly given out as gifts. However, maybe one day I’ll get lucky and find one made of silver or gold. This one is bronze.

I found some cool frames here. The green ones are a bit odd – they have no earpiece to speak of and are also perhaps the strongest glasses I’ve ever tried on. Usually it hurts my eyes to put on strong prescriptions, but these ones just make me feel drunk.

Here’s some of the costume jewelry, as well as some smaller pins & baubles.

You might remember those pens from a recent sales post. They were old Parker Vacumatics that despite not being in perfect condition still sold for 90$. That Birks frame was missing the glass but still sold recently for 30$. There’s another mezuzah here, as well as a nice vintage Montblanc pen box that should sell for a decent profit.

My favourite finds though were the bits of gold and silver jewelry you see above. Most went to my silver/gold scrap guy – he can do with them as he pleases. I kept the gold Star of David pendant, which I expect I can sell at above weight value online, and the charm on the bottom left. All in all, these pieces should end up making me around 300$.

There’s one more part to this series. It’ll include some interesting photos and an uncommon book!

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.