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1904 World’s Fair treasures found in dumpster

ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI)– A St. Charles County man is living the old line about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure after discovering a treasure trove of historical St. Louis artifacts in a dumpster.

Josh Hill says this particular dumpster is special, “I’ve had buddies to find Rolex watches in there. Diamonds. Coins,” he told us. “It’s just like a scavenger hunt.”

The hunt last week led to finding mint condition postcards from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. There was also a stereograph, a sort of 19th century 3D, of the fairgrounds. A map for visitors to use at the fair was also among the artifacts.

The items likely belonged to Firmin Desloge, the owner of the nation’s largest lead company. There were other belongings in the discarded box, including bonds for his company signed by people like Louis Fusz, father of the man who started the well-known car dealership. There were also personal letters belonging to Desloge.

So how did all these things end up in this particular dumpster? The trash bin belongs to a storage company with a strict payment policy.

“If people don’t pay or are up to date on their bills, they just throw it in the dumpster,” Hill said.

He plans to keep most of the items to pass on to his kids, but he has tried to contact the Missouri History Museum. So far no one has called him back.

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