The aged cardboard box

My most interesting finds last week came from a blurry pile not far from the owl house. The aged cardboard box caused me to do a double take while driving by – it ended up containing broken pieces of stained glass.

Inside one of the bigger bags was a box containing two vintage Czechoslovakian table lamps. They’re quite nice and have little noticeable damage, though one is missing its hanging bits and neither looks to have any wiring. I brought them to the auction house, check out the listing page if you want a closer look (the auction is ending tonight, so bid now if you want them!).

I looked inside another bag and saw a bunch of sewing stuff. It started to rain, so I threw the bag in the car and sorted through it at home.

This old Macdonald’s cigarette tin held a tangle of buttons.

Most were strung through a metal wire. Many are made from mother of pearl, which do pretty well on eBay when sold in lots. There’s also a few WWII buttons on there, those are pretty common but always cool to find.

Also inside the bag was an old, beat-up folder filled mostly with crochet magazines.

The magazines date to the 1910s and 1920s, making them around 100 years old! These are the ones that survived the past century relatively unscathed – a few others weren’t quite so lucky.

I think magazines like these sell for around 10-20$ individually. However, that would require a fair bit of effort on my part, and they would probably take a while to sell. My current plan is to list them as a lot on eBay. We’ll see how that goes!

My favourite folder find however is the unusual piece below…

It’s an old air raid precautions poster from around WWII. It measures about 14 x 10.5″ and was probably made to be displayed in public. There was some concern in Canada and the US about potential attacks from Axis powers, but the risk was obviously far lower here than in other parts of the world. As a result, this piece may be rare – I had no luck finding anything similar on Google.

Zoom in for a closer look. Below is the French version that appears on the opposite side.

Pretty cool eh? I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet. It would likely have value to a collector, but maybe it would be better to give it to a museum or archive.

I fished these pieces from the bottom of one of the other bags. On the right is a very worn coin that I’m guessing is an old silver dime. On the left is a 1925 Jubilee medallion, and in the centre is a first communion souvenir dating from 1890. See the opposite sides below!

That’s all from this spot, at least for now…

I’ve been focused on clearing out my junk before winter; I’d say that the job is just about done. My garage is actually looking a bit empty after several purges, and I’m excited to begin a new era of organization and categorization with the auction house in mind.

My best recent finds have come from Côte-des-Neiges and Cartierville. I’ll be sure to share some of those here relatively soon.


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Very rich people pt. 4

Before we start, I should mention that my friend and I decided to postpone the last yard sale of the season by a week. It gives us a bit more time to prepare, and it’ll also be nice to take this weekend mostly off. It’s a bit of a gamble not yard sailing on what will be a unseasonably warm day, but the next weekend should be decent still, and the cooler weather might help sell some of the nice fall fashion clothing I’ve found recently. For now, the plan is to do the yard sale on Sunday October 1st, but if the weather turns sour the date could be changed again.

These photos came from that multi-million dollar house I’ve mentioned in three previous posts. Those guys just threw out a little bit of everything! All in all, I saved enough photos to almost fill up your average sock drawer.

The oldest were probably these old cabinet photos.

These were taken on the Saturnia and Homeric steamships in the early 50s. Presumably, these folks were travelling in first class.

My favourites though were probably the ones from WWII. Click and zoom in for a better look! There’s a lot of neat details you’d miss otherwise.

This message was written on the back of the one colourized photo.

Some of the pictures look to have been taken in the desert. Maybe they were taken during the North African campaign, in which Canada played a significant part.

I thought the guy at the center of this picture looked a bit like Winston Churchill. This person does have a similar collection of medals, and Churchill did make an appearance in North Africa in 1942, so in theory it could be him. What do you think?

There’s one more part of this series to share! Otherwise, I hope to come across some more big rich people hauls soon.

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Civvy street dance


I found this scrapbook in November of 2014. It was put together by a soldier who designed the decorations for a “civvy street dance” that took place in May of 1945, or around the end of the European theatre of WWII. The scrapbook mostly describes the making of the scene of the dance, but also includes a few clippings and an Canadian Army Art Exhibition booklet.

I’ve always thought this was a pretty cool item. It tells a less known but interesting story, that being the difficulty of reintegrating soldiers to civilian life – particularly after a war as long and painful as WWII. There were plenty of concerns regarding the ability of the soldiers to adjust to their new lives, and many civilians were even anxious that their return would spark an increase in crime and violence given their long exposure to the horrors of the battlefield. PTSD, then known as “battle fatigue” or “shell shock” was known of but not widely understood, and many people didn’t know how to relate to the veteran whose personality was often much changed from what it was before the war.

The “civvy street dance” then would have been bittersweet for many. While most veterans enjoyed being back home, many were also anxious about their future as a civilian. I suspect the dance was made to help ease soldiers into their reintegration, perhaps by providing a taste of the pleasures associated with civilian life. I wonder if this scene is still packed away somewhere, or if it was tossed out long ago to make room for the new.

Here’s a few relevant links if you’re interested in learning more about this part of our past:
1. CBC radio segment from 1944 discussing the complexities of reintegration (link)
2. A look at the government programs created to help with reintegration after WWII (link)
3. A review of a book specifically written on the topic of post-WWII reintegration (link)
4. The Amazon page of the book in question, which appears to have some great reviews (link)
5. A reading about the history of PTSD (link)

Towards the bottom I also included a set of four WWII-era photos I found two summers ago. Two were taken at CFB Uplands near Ottawa, and two were aerial shots presumably taken somewhere over the Ottawa Valley (which happens to be around where I grew up).

I hope you enjoy these scans! If you like this sort of post let me know – I can try to do them more often going forward.




(Does anyone know what a “honey dew shop” would have been? I googled the term but didn’t find much).



The scrapbook ends there. One page appears to be torn out, and the rest thereafter are blank.



This booklet is tied in to the very back of the book. On one of the pages is written a message relating to Bruno Bobak, a well known Canadian war artist. On the very back pages of the booklet is glued a newspaper clipping and a greetings card from 1944. To see a bigger view of any of the photos below, click on the photo and then click the “view full size” button on the bottom right hand side of the screen.



Here are the other WWII-related photos as promised. I found these two summers ago from in TMR. The planes look to be Spitfires.