May 21, 2015

40 Vintage Life Hacks from 100 Years Ago

 

Back in the 1900s, cigarette manufactures used to insert stiffening cards into their paper cigarette packs to add strength and help them last longer. Along the way, someone had the bright idea of printing trivia, artwork and even famous people and athletes (Honus Wagner anyone?) onto the stiffening cards.

In the early 20th Century, Gallaher’s Cigarettes printed a special series of 100 “How to do it” cards that included some truly useful and helpful tips for everyday situations and problems. The entire 100 card collection is part of the New York Public Library’s George Arents Collection and was recently digitized.

Below you will find 40 of the Sifter’s personal favorites. Visit the NYPL Digital Collections to see them all.

 

 

1. How to Extract a Splinter

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (29)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (30)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

2. How to Light a Match in the Wind

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (67)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (68)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

3. How to Tell the Points of the Compass with a Watch

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (71)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (72)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

4. How To Treat Sprains

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (11)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (12)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

5. How To Make a Fire Extinguisher

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (15)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (16)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

6. How To Carry a Heavy Jug

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (35)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (36)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

7. A Hint When Boiling Potatoes

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (13)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (14)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

8. How To Kill a Tree Stump

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (5)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (6)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

9. How To Make Corks Fit

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (9)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (10)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

10. How To Pull Out Long Nails

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (1)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (2)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

11. How To Measure With Coins

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (39)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (40)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

12. How To Detect Escaping Gas

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (45)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (46)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

13. How To Cool Wine with Ice

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (25)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (26)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

14. When Boiling Cracked Eggs

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (63)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (64)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

15. How To Preserve Valuable Vases

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (53)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (54)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

16. How To Remove Sea Stains from Brown Shoes

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (61)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (62)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

17. How To Make a Simple Gate Latch

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (7)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (8)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

18. How To Clean an Oil Painting

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (27)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (28)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

19. How To Test Butter

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (23)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (24)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

20. How To Draw a Circle Without a Compass

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (47)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (48)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

21. How To Clean Real Lace

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (17)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (18)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

22. How To Revive Cut Flowers

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (73)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (74)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

23. How To Judge the Freshness of a Lobster

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (75)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (76)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

24. How To Make a Water Fountain for Chicks

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (19)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (20)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

25. How To Treat Squeaky Boots

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (31)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (32)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

26. How To Adjust a Door

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (21)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (22)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

27. How To Cut New Bread Into Thin Slices

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (43)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (44)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

28. How To Remove a Stuck Glass Stopper

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (55)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (56)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

29. How To Detect Dampness in Beds

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (3)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (4)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

30. How To Draw an Ellipse with String

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (51)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (52)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

31. How To Pick Up Broken Glass

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (59)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (60)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

32. How To Stop a Runaway Horse

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (79)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (80)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

33. How To Clean New Boots

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (41)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (42)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

34. How To Remove a Tight Ring from the Finger

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (33)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (34)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

35. How To Keep a Paint Brush Handle Clean

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (49)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (50)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

36. How To Take Ink Stains Out a Handkerchief

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (57)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (58)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

37. How To Fit a Large Candle

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (69)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (70)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

38. How To Clean Bottles

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (37)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (38)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

39. Three Useful Knots

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (77)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (78)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

40. How To Separate Glass Tumblers

 
vintage life hacks from the 1900s (65)

vintage life hacks from the 1900s (66)

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, the Sifter
highly recommends:

 

 

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