100-year-old life tips and tricks that are still helpful today

gas stove
New York Public Library

When you’re in need of some tech-free life tips and tricks, it turns out you need look no further than some century-old cigarette pack cards.

Under its George Arents Collection, the New York Public Library has digitized its collection of cigarette cards, which used to be collectible items. Celebrities, ads, trivia, and fun illustrations graced the cards and also strengthened a cigarette pack’s packaging.

The coolest way to decorate these cigarette cards, however, might be the 100 how-to tips printed for Gallaher’s Cigarettes. Everything from how to conserve gas while cooking on a gas stove to how to treat a sprain was included on the cards. The best part is that by browsing the collection you might just learn a useful tip or two you can apply today.

Not all the life hacks have readily available supplies, are necessary anymore, or would pass modern safety standards. And, we had to google several of them to figure out what exactly the tips were even talking about (what is catarrh, for example, let alone why would you want to cure it?).

But, although you might not need to stop a runaway horse in this day and age, many of these tips are just as helpful today.

Here are some of our favorites from the collection:

1. How to Fit a Large Candle Into a Smaller Candleholder

Put away the paring knife.

candle in water
New York Public Library

2. How to Check if You’re Ordering a Fresh Lobster

Try this the next time you’re eating at a seafood restaurant.

New York Public Library

3. How to Revive Cut Flowers

Hot water is apparently key.

flowers in hot water
New York Public Library

4. How to Carry a Heavy Jug

One of those so-obvious-why-didn’t-we-think-of-that tips.

carrying a water jug
New York Public Library

5. How to Separate Glass Tumblers

Warm and cold water to the rescue.

glass tumblers
New York Public Library

6. How to Boil Cracked Eggs

Vinegar: always a wonder product.

cracked eggs
New York Public Library

7. How to Boil Perfect Potatoes

You just need the right amount of salt, sugar and dryness.

boiling potatoes
New York Public Library

8. How to Kill a Tree Stump

Holes and wood preservative required.

tree stump
New York Public Library

9. How to Cut New Bread Without a Serrated Knife

Bread knives weren’t invented when these cards were published and you don’t always have one on hand today.

cutting new bread
New York Public Library

10. How to Tell the Day’s Weather

Because sometimes your weather app isn’t available, and this was just fun to read.

weather judging
New York Public Library

[h/t: Bored Panda]

Life, Life Hacks

About the Author
Anna Weaver
Anna Weaver is a writer and multimedia journalist from Hawaii. Her two young kids keep her on her toes and hooked on online shopping. Anna’s also a fan of movies, reading, photography, and sharing far too many IG stories about cute dogs and capybaras. Visit Scripps News to see more of Anna's work.

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