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Thread: Contents of An Old Safe - Half Century Old Money Inside

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  1. #1
    us
    The Urban Pirate

    Jul 2014
    New York City
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    If there's no dirt under your nails, you're not trying hard enough.
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    Cool Contents of An Old Safe - Half Century Old Money Inside

    I know you guys sometimes struggle to believe my treasure stories because of how utterly awesome they can be sometimes, well today was another one of those days. Today I found an old safe with old money still inside.
    I was walking around one of the New York sanitation dumps and saw this huge broken-open safe laying on its side. I investigated and found lots of envelopes and even a small cardboard box still inside. I scooped up some envelopes and began reading a few letters - many of them were dated from the 1940's, the latest were from the early 1970's. I asked the sanitation workers about the safe and they said it had come in with a load of demolition debris - apparently it had been abandoned in an old building. The workers said the guys who brought it in had cut the door off earlier but didn't find anything of value - just junk papers. I asked them if I could take the contents of the safe before it was all carted away. They said I could take everything - so I grabbed as many stacks of old papers I could find. Back at home I meticulously looked through all the papers and I ended up finding two crisp 1963 $20 bills, dozens of unused vintage stamps, old letters, and some other neat stuff.

    The 52-year-old $20 bills were inside a sealed envelope that contained a receipt for the sale of a 1957 Chevy truck. I assume this $40 may have been change for the truck or the original deposit. Whatever the case this $40 stayed in that envelope for nearly half a century until I opened it today. Besides the $40 I also found an entire envelope of brand new stamps, mostly 8-cent "US Air Mail" stamps but also 30-cent "Special delivery" stamps. I also found a really cool 30-cent stamp of Robert E. Lee.

    Some of the nice stuff:
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    My first peak of some green:
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    Good condition for being over 50 years old:
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    Stamps:
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    Robert E. Lee stamp:
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    Some old letters:
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    Some of the many junk papers:
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    jeff of pa, whammy, OBN and 24 others like this.
    Let history be your treasure map .

  2. #2
    us
    Sep 2011
    Denver, Colorado
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    20 years ago I would've had a hard time believing that someone took the time to get it open and not look through everything but now-a-days it doesn't surprise me at all.

    Nice saves. HH ALL
    UnderMiner likes this.

  3. #3

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
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    looks like the owner may have been a member of the Kiwanis.

    Or at least was Honored by them for something.

    I'd say the Guy in the Middle who looks like a deer in the headlights

    cool history find
    Last edited by jeff of pa; Feb 04, 2015 at 03:40 PM.
    UnderMiner likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Surrender the Booty

    Apr 2011
    Royal Palm Beach, Fl
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    So do you find other cool stuff at this dump? I this the same sort of dump that modern trash (food, cat litter, .....garbage) is dumped?
    Hardest working man on the beach

  5. #5
    us
    The Urban Pirate

    Jul 2014
    New York City
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    Quote Originally Posted by signal View Post
    So do you find other cool stuff at this dump? I this the same sort of dump that modern trash (food, cat litter, .....garbage) is dumped?
    Yes, all garbage is dumped there. I wear special boots and clothes just to walk around because of all the filth. But I never go a week without finding something of significant value - that's why I do it.

    There are alot of old neighborhoods in NYC, probably some of the oldest in the nation are here. And most of these places are lived in by the very rich and the very old. So when the old rich people die their flats/houses are immediately gutted by their next of kin or landlord - because the property is infinitely more expensive than anything inside it - were talking multi-million dollar properties. Some very nice apartments cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars to rent per year. So there is no time for the family or landlord to waste - the property is gutted of everything as fast as possible and a whole lot of all this old expensive stuff inevitably ends up either on the street, in a dumpster, or at one of the many dumps. I've found many treasures just in dumpsters and on the side of the road, just a couple of days ago one house threw away a very rare civil war officer's sword and a suitcase full of pewter-ware.

    They always said the streets of New York were paved with gold, but they were wrong - it was the curb next to the road that contained the gold. And all this stuff from the curb inevitably gets concentrated at the dump. I should really write a book about the science of urban treasure hunting.
    Last edited by UnderMiner; Feb 04, 2015 at 03:34 PM.
    Let history be your treasure map .

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Sorry Honey, I can’t. I’ve got plans with my metal detector.

    Nov 2013
    Mountain Maryland
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    I like the letters, looks like one guy was on hard times, the other guy was lining himself up for a new job.... cool.
    UnderMiner likes this.
    EVERY COIN, SILVERS, AND TOKENS FOUND IN FLORIDA I SOLD...STARTING FRESH IN MARYLAND

  8. #8
    Charter Member
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    Martiobarbuli

    May 2012
    Wyoming
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    Sweet finds! Closest things I can relate to that involved 2 different house cleanouts. Found an envelope with 6 bucks in 50s-early 60s dollar bills at one, and at another an envelope with 18 cents, the 1960 dime being the score in that one. Both cleanouts yielded gobs of good antiques too, including a 1950s "Pluto Platter" frisbee that I sold for over 550 bucks among many other goodies. Good luck gleaning more rare and interesting treasures from the trash!
    UnderMiner likes this.

  9. #9

    Jan 2013
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    That's a really cool find. Congratulations

  10. #10

    Feb 2007
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    very cool,thanks for sharing

  11. #11
    us
    Nov 2012
    South Hadley
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    I look in every house clean-out dumpster I see (though admittedly Im looking for weird hoarder stuff - semi-vintage household products/packaging type items - most of the time) - a lot of these places are definitely cleaned out in a hurry - I know for every one I see - Im missing a ton of others - - you should slap those old papers/etc (if you aren't keeping them) on Ebay under ephemera - Ive done very well selling random lots of old paper....junk mail - photos - anything.....
    UnderMiner likes this.

  12. #12

    Apr 2014
    Tartarus Dorsa mountains
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    Stayin' alive :D
    They don't require recycling of great big heavy metals? Around here it is not legal to put that kind of thing in a landfill

  13. #13
    us
    Jan 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Bounty Hunter QuickSilver Garrett AT PRO Garrett propointer
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    Very cool story. I'll take your word on "all of your stories". I have also found a couple of good finds in the trash. No where near as great as yours but not bad. Best of luck to you on the next find. Keep up the great work. We need to people like you to rescue things such as what you have already found. I'd kill to find a civil war sword as easily as just looking in a trash can!!!!
    UnderMiner likes this.
    Eat. Dig. Sleep. Repeat.

  14. #14
    us
    Okie

    Apr 2013
    Eastern Oklahoma
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    Metal Detecting and Native American Artifacts
    Nice finds! I bought an office safe one time from a local lady whose husband had used the safe in a realty office. While removing the interior drawers and shelves to clean it up and repaint it I found two one hundred dollar bills that were late 50's series, I don't remember the exact series year, I had bought the safe for only 220 dollars, I called the lady back and told her the story and offered to give her the money back and she just laughed and said "I guess you bought a safe for 20 dollars, finders keepers its yours" I used to say that NEVER happens to me but that time it did!
    The wicked flee when no man pursueth but the righteous are bold as a lion

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    "WP"

    May 2012
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    A dang time capsule of sorts UnderMiner. Congrats and continued good hunting to you.
    UnderMiner likes this.

 

 
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