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People don't often look back on the early 1900's for advice, but what if we could actually learn something from the Lost Generation? The New York Public Library has digitized 100 "how to do it" cards found in cigarette boxes over 100 years ago, and the tips they give are so practical that millennials reading this might want to take notes.

Back in the day, cigarette cards were popular collectibles included in every pack, and displayed photos of celebrities, advertisements, and more. Gallaher cigarettes, a UK-founded tobacco company that was once the largest in the world, decided to print a series of helpful how-to's on their cards, which ranged from mundane tasks (boiling potatoes) to unlikely scenarios (stopping a runaway horse). Most of them are insanely clever, though, like how to make a fire extinguisher at home. Who even knew you could do that?

The entire set of life hacks is now part of the NYPL's George Arents Collection. Check out some of the cleverest ones we could find below. You never know when you'll have to clean real lace!

More info: The New York Public Library

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Marioara Popescu
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a very useful life hack. I always needed to draw a duck without pencil leaving the paper and l strugled so much...

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Test the purity of butter by rubbing it on a fresh burn. If the burn still burns, it's butter. If the burn ignites then it is lava."

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Chris Causey
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If the stick is wet, its raining. If the stick is dry, its sunny. If the stick is gone, its windy.

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Mary Magennis
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ok, this one I will try. Do they have a hack for when the candle is too small? ;)

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Stille20
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

hmmm. Interesting. I feel like this could be use for certain kinds of flower arrangements.

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"How to attract the larger male match during mating season using a captured female."

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Crochet Rox
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This chick likes it better when you forget the water and leave the wine in the nottle!

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Bessy Eek
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is not about how to avoid eggs cracking, it's how to keep cracked eggs whole while boiling — are you people illiterate? Consider the fact that people in those days wouldn't throw away an ENTIRE, NUTRITIOUS egg just because it was a little damaged.

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Whosoever knocks over the urn now, must agree to consume all of the sand, as is customary.

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Flora Polvado
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apologies to germaphobes, but it is far easier on the form arm and wrist, especially with a full pitcher.

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Linda Stark
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Milk works, my husband had a pen that leaked in the pocket of his nice white shirt and I soaked it in milk. All the ink went.

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"How to discover your house's hidden interdimentional portal or rift."

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Pam Thompson
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Add this final step - hold your arm overhead with fingers 'loosely' straightened - gravity will help blood leave the finger. Jeweler's trick.

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Ariel
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Walking in backwards from a cold place to a warm place also stops glasses from fogging up.

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maidens are often quick-witted and nimble. How are we to catch them and extract the hair for this experiment?

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Cassie
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This works in the northern hemisphere. The method is different for the southern hemisphere. http://www.wikihow.com/Use-an-Analog-Watch-as-a-Compass

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Be sure to take photos of your experiment using the Gallagher quad copter - pictured at bottom right. Now with compass and extra nicotine."

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Ellen Jakub
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Bodkin - a blunt, thick needle with a large eye used especially for drawing tape or cord through a hem.

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Mary Magennis
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And if you soak an egg for a week in vinegar, the shell disappears & the egg becomes see-through & pickles

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Sylvie P
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sadly, now, ordinary cloth pins are made of plastic and would melt...

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I I
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3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

saffron aint cheap , probably cheaper to buy new shoes

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Helen Eldridge
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or if you haven't got wire, get a piece of thread and put a loop in each end. One end goes round the pencil and the other round a drawing pin or straight pin stuck into the paper.

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Craig Wright
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Simply insert one of Gallaghers delicious cigarettes into each hole and light. Smooth. Cancery. Cures trees."

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Mary Magennis
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Especially useful after walking with brads inserted into the soles of one's shoes.

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Cat-lover
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Water? Well, if it is water-based paint yes... Otherwise, I would use some kind of oil.

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rick hctep (Rick45)
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to make these by rolling the old news paper into tubes then flatten them and then plat them, they used to burn longer doing it this way.

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Jim
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chilblains/home/ovc-20165478 Chilblains (CHILL-blayns) are the painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air. Also known as pernio, chilblains can cause itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your hands and feet.

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Šimon Špaček
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For a moment I was not sure about the 'spirit' part. I would use water with salt. Still this could be a very nice gift.

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Data1001
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Send for doctor" seems like the only sensible part of that entire paragraph.

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Jim
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

ca·tarrh kəˈtär/Submit noun excessive discharge or buildup of mucus in the nose or throat, associated with inflammation of the mucous membrane. Or don't smoke....

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Flora Polvado
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This could be a cool paper craft idea. Just be careful what the ink is put on.

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Bradley Roon
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Modern blacksmiths soak their handles that are loose in pure antifreeze - not the diluted stuff. The plastics go into the crushed wood cells and swell it like water, but they don't evaporate...

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Martin
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm old, my c**k is already weathered, thank you very much!

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Charlotte Ayers
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

....with no adverse consequences from ingesting the alum itself. Just like mercury.

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rick hctep (Rick45)
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7 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not many lamp chimneys needed nowadays but I still have two oil lamps ,kept for emergency lighting.

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DW Tampa
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