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

#1

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

Did anyone actually tried this?

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#2

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Rosanne Sterenborg
Community Member
3 years ago

It looks like the steam also makes human bodies dissappear. Creepy!

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#3

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Dhanya Munro
Community Member
3 years ago

I have broken enough glasses already . I wish I had known this trick.

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#4

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Sophie G
Community Member
3 years ago

define hot!

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#5

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Juana
Community Member
3 years ago

What is sal-amoniac?

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

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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#7

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

This just reminds me of something involving drugs. IS THE BUTTER PURE?!!

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#8

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

Why would you want dry potatoes?

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

Reading this in 2017 is hilarious. "grabs phone and sees weather for next 7 days"

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#10

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

"How to prevent jug snakes from laying eggs on your feet."

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Stille20
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#13

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Anamaria Sânziana
Community Member
3 years ago

This is really helpful

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#14

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#15

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Crochet Rox
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Curious Cat
Community Member
3 years ago

will try this on my Monet next time it gets dirty.

BusLady
Community Member
2 years ago

Or the Picasso, the Van Gogh......LOL

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Monika Pucko
Community Member
3 years ago

As someone with a degree in Art Restoration, I recomend you NOT to do this!

Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

No! Don't listen to her! Do it! And post the outcome! As someone with a degree in art destruction, I fully endorse this method.

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ugaas wiilhoog
Community Member
3 years ago

At this point of the post I've got hankering for Gallaher's cigarettes, it seems they are the solutions to life's little problems.

FullSpectrum Survivalist
Community Member
3 years ago

Can't wait to go to the Smithsonian.

LizzyM
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm NOT rubbing potatoes over my paintings. Nope. Not doing it.

Ian Payne
Community Member
3 years ago

Mr Bean could of done with knowing this!

Margaret Trueman
Community Member
3 years ago

I've done that and it works.

Tina Begue
Community Member
3 years ago

Good to know. I have family portraits done in oil years ago and had no idea how to clean them!

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William Yauwry
Community Member
2 years ago

Mr. Bean is that you?

Jeannie Carle
Community Member
3 years ago

I learned this in art class in HS.

Bonnie Williamson
Community Member
3 years ago

will it work on my Elvis on black velvet?

Lissa Bryan
Community Member
3 years ago

OH DEAR GOD DON'T DO THIS!!!

Shari H
Community Member
3 years ago

Wonder if this will work on acrylics...

Ariadne.bat
Community Member
3 years ago

They love potatoes.

Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

*Note: does not work on pointillism paintings or any other paintings that have texture (or value!).*

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#17

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Heather Kopacz
Community Member
3 years ago

A slice of bread also picked up the small bits

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#18

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Bessy Eek
Community Member
3 years ago

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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Curious Cat
Community Member
3 years ago

Thus ends Red Lobsters reign of terror

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#20

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Flora Polvado
Community Member
3 years ago

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
Community Member
3 years ago

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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#23

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Sophie G
Community Member
3 years ago

okWHATjusthappenedinthere

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#24

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Dnelle1972
Community Member
3 years ago

Where are we supposed to be getting all of this sand?

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#25

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Mary Stueben
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't most knots get tighter the harder you pull?

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#26

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

"How to prevent an ornery broom from taking to the air."

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Jim
Community Member
3 years ago

Sure, no poisonous gas here....

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#28

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Jim
Community Member
3 years ago

Or don't smoke Gallaher Cigarettes.

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Pam Thompson
Community Member
3 years ago

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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#33

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

What is real lace and what is calcined magnesia?

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#34

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Curious Cat
Community Member
3 years ago

nice.. now i can wear my loafers on the beach..

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#35

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

"how to shave a pipe"

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#36

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Cassie
Community Member
3 years ago

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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Rin Rin
Community Member
3 years ago

At first I saw a man blowing onto pigeon, slightly confusing.

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Craig Wright
Community Member
3 years ago

"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
Community Member
3 years ago

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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

"upsetting" . Even accidents were talked about poilitely

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

Useful for children! LOL

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Astrid Kernbauer
Community Member
3 years ago

I do this daily

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Psic. B. Elizabeth Herrejón Cortés
Community Member
3 years ago

And you will have wasted a horrible amount of water :/

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Sylvie P
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

"Prolonged respectability". I love when my shoes have that

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 years ago

when plastic didn't exist....

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#49

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Sophie G
Community Member
3 years ago

I'd have glued myself stuck indoors forever

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#50

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

I now limp in pain, but at least my shoes don't squeak.

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#51

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Helen Eldridge
Community Member
3 years ago

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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#52

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Caitlyn McCracken
Community Member
3 years ago

"shoot the stump several times"

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Flora Polvado
Community Member
3 years ago

This is a great method to use in batik or tie dying

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#55

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Kjorn
Community Member
3 years ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

who still use nails?

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Cat-lover
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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rick hctep (Rick45)
Community Member
3 years ago

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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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

OMG, someone do this with their apple computer.

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

Wtf is spermaceti?

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
3 years ago

Where did I leave my seccotine? Always misplacing it.

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Jim
Community Member
3 years ago

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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nike.bordom
Community Member
3 years ago

What was it used for?

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Šimon Špaček
Community Member
3 years ago

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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Sylvie P
Community Member
3 years ago

They almost invented induction fire hahaha

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Data1001
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#66

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

I wonder if you can cut the glass like this.

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Jim
Community Member
3 years ago

or use something clean like a cutting board.

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Sophie G
Community Member
3 years ago

off with their heads!

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