During the 1900s, cigarette manufacturers used to put stiffening cards into their packs of cigarettes to give them strength and help make them last longer.
In the 1910s, Gallaher Ltd of Belfast & London and Ogden’s Branch of the Imperial Tobacco Co printed “How-To” series, with clever hints for both everyday and emergency situations.
From steaming out a splinter to stopping a mad dog, these cigarette cards told you the smart way to handle many of life’s problems.
Someone during this time had an ingenious idea to put trivia, artwork and even famous people (Elvis Presley anyone?) and athletes onto the stiffening cards.
1. How to Extract a Splinter
Gallagher’s Cigarettes made a special series of 100 cards that included “How to do it”, useful tips and tricks for everyday problems in the early 20th Century.
2. How to Light a Match in the Wind
3. How to Tell the Points of the Compass with a Watch
The whole 100 card collection was recently digitized and made part of the New York Public Library’s George Arents Collection.
You can visit the NYPL Digital Collections at digitalcollections to see all 100.
4. How To Treat Sprains
5. How To Make a Fire Extinguisher
6. How To Carry a Heavy Jug
7. A Hint When Boiling Potatoes
8. How To Kill a Tree Stump
9. How To Make Corks Fit
10. How To Pull Out Long Nails
11. How To Measure With Coins
12. How To Detect Escaping Gas
13. How To Cool Wine without Ice
14. When Boiling Cracked Eggs
15. How To Preserve Valuable Vases
16. How To Remove Sea Stains from Brown Shoes
17. How To Make a Simple Gate Latch
18. How To Clean an Oil Painting
19. How To Test Butter
20. How To Draw a Circle Without a Compass
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