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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Miss Kepik
Community Member
4 years ago

Kop kop an!

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#2

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Dan Miller
Community Member
4 years ago

That is the best idea since sliced bread.

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#3

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Dhanya Munro
Community Member
4 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
4 years ago

define hot!

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#5

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Juana
Community Member
4 years ago

What is sal-amoniac?

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#6

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

this will keep me busy in the hospital while being treated for lung cancer

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#7

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Littoface
Community Member
4 years ago

What does dainty smell like?

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#8

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
4 years ago

Why would you want dry potatoes?

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#9

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

said the man with 90 weather apps on his phone.

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#10

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Curious Cat
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4 years ago

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great.. now ISIS knows how to heal their wounded..

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#11

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

ah!

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Stille20
Community Member
4 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
4 years ago

This is really helpful

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#14

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Stille20
Community Member
4 years ago

Anyone else hearing "candle in the wind"?

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#15

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Kjorn
Community Member
4 years ago

water fountain for chicks... LOL

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#16

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

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

BusLady
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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Monika Pucko
Community Member
4 years ago

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

Craig Wright
Community Member
4 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
4 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
4 years ago

Can't wait to go to the Smithsonian.

LizzyM
Community Member
4 years ago

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

Ian Payne
Community Member
4 years ago

Mr Bean could of done with knowing this!

Margaret Trueman
Community Member
4 years ago

I've done that and it works.

Tina Begue
Community Member
4 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
3 years ago

Mr. Bean is that you?

Jeannie Carle
Community Member
4 years ago

I learned this in art class in HS.

Bonnie Williamson
Community Member
4 years ago

will it work on my Elvis on black velvet?

Lissa Bryan
Community Member
4 years ago

OH DEAR GOD DON'T DO THIS!!!

Shari H
Community Member
4 years ago

Wonder if this will work on acrylics...

Ariadne.bat
Community Member
4 years ago

They love potatoes.

Mary Magennis
Community Member
4 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 Keedy Bateman
Community Member
4 years ago

A piece of bread works well also.

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#18

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

or Tequila..

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#19

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

Thus ends Red Lobsters reign of terror

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#20

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

how to vacume up sand from your floor...

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#21

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

sorry.. you said Jug? i though you said......

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#22

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Linda Stark
Community Member
4 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
4 years ago

okWHATjusthappenedinthere

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#24

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Dnelle1972
Community Member
4 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
4 years ago

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

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#26

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Mandy Bailey
Community Member
4 years ago

Or gloves for those sloppy painters

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Stille20
Community Member
4 years ago

LOL, why do you have potassium?

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#28

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Linda Stark
Community Member
4 years ago

Now that is interesting

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#29

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Jim
Community Member
4 years ago

Or don't smoke Gallaher Cigarettes.

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#30

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

Said the drunk man on girls night..

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Ariel
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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Jolynn Joutras
Community Member
4 years ago

Or feed it after midnight.

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#33

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Cathy Shift
Community Member
4 years ago

so on trend

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#34

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Curious Cat
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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#35

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

then light one up to make súre

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#36

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

who's trying to find a watch first and then the south??

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Rin Rin
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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Craig Wright
Community Member
4 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
4 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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Pam Thompson
Community Member
4 years ago

More about eggs - if an egg sinks when covered in water it's still fresh. If it sinks, it is spoiled!

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#41

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frank0ys
Community Member
4 years ago

...We don't want to upset the ink, don't we?

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
4 years ago

Useful for children! LOL

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#43

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Astrid Kernbauer
Community Member
4 years ago

I do this daily

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#45

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Jim
Community Member
4 years ago

wasting water for chilled wine, good times.

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#46

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Sylvie P
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
4 years ago

Was saffron cheaper than buying a new pair of respectable shoes???

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
4 years ago

when plastic didn't exist....

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#49

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

I'd have glued myself stuck indoors forever

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#50

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Yugan Talovich
Community Member
4 years ago

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Buttons, not laces!

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#51

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Helen Eldridge
Community Member
4 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.

#52

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nike.bordom
Community Member
4 years ago

No, I don't like to kill a tree stump

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#53

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DancingToMyself
Community Member
4 years ago

That's called a "fish bone bandage".

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#54

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Flora Polvado
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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nike.bordom
Community Member
4 years ago

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Or just hold the damn tongs straight

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Cat-lover
Community Member
4 years ago

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

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Susan L. Miller
Community Member
4 years ago

I read all my news online....

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
4 years ago

OMG, someone do this with their apple computer.

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#59

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Sophie G
Community Member
4 years ago

by wud?

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Mary Magennis
Community Member
4 years ago

Where did I leave my seccotine? Always misplacing it.

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Jim
Community Member
4 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
4 years ago

What was it used for?

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Šimon Špaček
Community Member
4 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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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
4 years ago

I would set the house on fire trying this one.

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Jim
Community Member
4 years ago

Surprised is doesn't say amputation.

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#66

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Marioara Popescu
Community Member
4 years ago

I wonder if you can cut the glass like this.

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#67

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Jim
Community Member
4 years ago

or use something clean like a cutting board.