Just like today, hacks were helping people fix everything up 100 years ago. While today’s shortcuts to a more efficient life include technology and more advanced appliances, there are still plenty of century-old tricks that can totally be incorporated into our world today. A Reddit user uploaded a “How to Do It” packet issued by Gallaher’s Cigarettes providing life’s essential secrets for pulling out long nails, making a simple gate latch, drawing a circle without a compass and so much more. Check out some of the best, below.
1. How to Cool Wine Without Ice: Though helpful, this one is definitely not environmentally (or economically) friendly. Instead of wrapping your room temp bottle in flannel, placing it in a bucket and letting cold tap water run over it for 10 minutes like this hack suggests, just throw that alcoholic bev into the freezer pre-dinner party or try out the SpinChill to get a cold drink, fast.
2. How to Keep a Paint Brush Handle Clean: This is the best DIY hack ever. To keep your hands a little bit cleaner during painting projects, grab a piece of a card and cut a hole big enough for the brush handle to slide through—no paint will run down it, keeping that brush from getting wet or sticky.
3. How to Remove a Tight Ring From the Finger: We’re sure you’ve had at least one instance where you couldn’t slide a ring off your finger. Hopefully not when you were trying them on at the store ;) The 100-year-old hack (which we’re sure you’ve used in the past) is to lather your finger with more than enough soap. Then the ring should slide right off without any struggle or pain. But if it doesn’t budge even after the soap lathering because your fingers and joints are too swollen, the card suggests, “A visit to the jeweller is advisable.”
4. How to Revive Cut Flowers: Never be annoyed about those gorgeous flowers you picked up at the farmer’s market dying the next day with this hack. To bring those faded beauties back to life, plunge their stems into hot water and keep ’em there till the water is cooler. Make sure the ends of the stems are cut off and the blossoms are situated in cold water the normal way to keep those buds alive and well afterwards. Need even more floral advice? We’ve got plenty! ;)
5. How to Make Corks Fit: You know how annoying it is when you pop the cork to a wine bottle and for some reason don’t finish it but can’t get the cork back on? Well this trick is supposed to help make that too-large cork fit once more. Simply roll the wine topper under the sole of your foot while exerting steady pressure for a little while, then the size of the cork should be reduced to fitting back into place. The only party foul here is not finishing that bottle off ;)
6. Three Useful Knots: KNOTS! 100 years ago these were the only three you needed to *really* know according to Gallaher’s Cigarettes. They are the Timber Hitch, useful in lifting all kinds of heavy things, the Fisherman’s Knot, a good way to join two ropes together, and the Clove Hitch, which becomes tighter the harder you pull on it. Are these still the only important ones?! Only the professional knotters know for sure.
7. How to Pick Up Broken Glass: After shattering a glass and shouting various expletives, cleanup time begins. To efficiently clean up that mess without getting any glass in your skin or leaving remnants behind, try using a soft, damp cloth to pick up all the glass — even the tiniest of shards. Just make sure the rag you use is an old one that can be tossed alongside that broken glass.
8. How to Extract a Splinter: Splinters are the worse! Make that pain extraction a little less so by filling up a mason jar-like bottle with hot water to almost the top. Then, press the splintered part of your hand tightly into the mouth of the bottle, allowing a suction action to pull down your skin while the steam magically draws out the splinter. Confused? Us too. Let us know if this one works for ya.
9. How to Pull Out Long Nails: Just like splinters, getting out a nail is on the same level of annoyance. To make the nail-out-of-wood task a little more seamless, place a small block of wood under the pincers to create opposing pressure. And voila, that nail should pop right out.
10. How to Clean an Oil Painting: Is that painting on your gallery wall looking a little dusty and tired? Bring it back to vibrant by dusting it off, rubbing it gently with the flat surface of a cut raw potato and then finalize the cleaning process with a rub of pine linseed oil with a soft rag. Sidenote: You should continually clean the dirty part of the potato by paring it off so its surface and the painting remains clean.
Which century old life hacks do you think are still useful today? Were there any you never thought of before? Let us know in the comments.