in , ,

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today

The term life hacks is relatively new, but did you know that they have been around for a very long time? That’s right. In the 1900s, Gallaher’s Cigarettes started putting stiff paper in their packs of cigarettes to help add some strength because it made them last longer. Over time, someone came up with the idea that these pieces of stiff paper should have trivia, artwork, and pictures of famous people printed on them. This idea quickly caught on and they started to include “How To Do It” cards in each pack of cigarettes. Some of the tips were extremely useful, while others were more fun. Lucky for us, the entire collection which contains 100 cards is on display at the New York Public Library’s George Arents Collection. They also recently made these cards available online for all to see, but here are 40 of our favorite vintage life hacks from the Gallaher Cigarette packs.

1. When Boiling Cracked Eggs

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

2. Three Useful Knots

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

3. How To Treat Squeaky Boots

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

4. How To Treat Sprains

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

5. How To Test Butter

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

6. How To Tell The Points Of The Compass With A Watch

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

7. How To Take Ink Stains Out Of A Handkerchief

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

8. How To Stop A Runaway Horse

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

9. To Separate Glass Tumblers

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

10. How to Remove Sea Stains From Brown Shoes

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

11. How To Remove A Tight Ring From The Finger

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

12. How To Remove Glass Stopper From Bottle

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

13. How To Pull Out Long Nails

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

14. How To Preserve Valuable Vases

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

15. How To Pick Up Broken Glass

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

16. How To Measure With Coins

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

17. How To Make Corks Fit

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

18. How To Make Water Fountain For Chicks

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

19. How To Make A Simple Gate Latch

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

20. How To Make A Fire Extinguisher

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

21. How To Light A Match In The Wind

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

22. How To Kill A Tree Stump

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

23. How To Keep A Paint Brush Handle Clean

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

24. How To Judge Freshness Of A Lobster

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

25. To Fit A Large Candle

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

26. How To Extract A Splinter

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

27. How To Draw An Ellipse With String

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

28. How To Draw A Circle Without Compasses

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

29. How To Detect Escaping Gas

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

30. How To Detect Dampness In Beds

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

31. How To Cut New Bread Into Thin Slices

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

32. How To Cool Wine Without Ice

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

33. How To Clean Real Lace

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

34. How To Clean New Boots

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

35. How To Clean Bottles

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

36. How To Clean Oil Paintings

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

37. How To Adjust A Door

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

38. A Hint When Boiling Potatoes

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

39. How To Revive Cut Flowers

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

40. How To Carry A Heavy Jug

40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library
40 Vintage Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Surprisingly Useful Today
New York Public Library

It’s always cool to see what things were like in the past. And these cigarette cards are really fun to look at because they are vintage, but they also give you ideas on how to do things today, when it’s a bit more modern. It’d be really fun to see all of the cards in person. But if you can’t, you can view all of the Gallaher Cigarette cards that are now digitized HERE.

Like what you're reading?

Sign up for a daily dose of our top stories.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.