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.
2. How to Check if You’re Ordering a Fresh Lobster
Try this the next time you’re eating at a seafood restaurant.
3. How to Revive Cut Flowers
Hot water is apparently key.
4. How to Carry a Heavy Jug
One of those so-obvious-why-didn’t-we-think-of-that tips.
5. How to Separate Glass Tumblers
Warm and cold water to the rescue.
6. How to Boil Cracked Eggs
Vinegar: always a wonder product.
7. How to Boil Perfect Potatoes
You just need the right amount of salt, sugar and dryness.
8. How to Kill a Tree Stump
Holes and wood preservative required.
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.
10. How to Tell the Day’s Weather
Because sometimes your weather app isn’t available, and this was just fun to read.
[h/t: Bored Panda]