Packs of cigarettes are not the first place people today would look for health and safety tips.
But as these cards show, smokers were given bizarre lifehacks when they lit up.
Among the tips contained in the cartons are practical pieces of advice that are still useful today, such as lighting a match in the wind or removing splinters.
The Ogden Cigarette card advises people to use a ‘scout’s staff, a walking stick or even a handkerchief or hat’ to distract the rabid dog to make time to give it a ‘disabling kick’
Gallaher’s Cigarettes say smokers can overcome the problem of lighting a match in the wind by cutting thin shavings towards the end which make the ‘flame stronger’ and give it a ‘better chance’
For those who need advice on chopping down trees from a cigarette card, Gallaher’s gives a diagram on how to do so (above) and A tip for people wanting to survive while they go on holiday (below) involves plaiting wool and leaving one end in a pail of water and the other in the soil
However, other nuggets are less likely to resonate with people today.
They include advice on how to battle a mad dog, rescue someone who has touched a ‘live wire’ and chop down tree.
These ‘How-To’ series were published by Gallaher Ltd of Belfast and London and Ogden’s Branch of the Imperial Tobacco Co in the 1910s.
Hints for customers include using the end of a pole or a ‘Scout’s staff’ to distract a rabid dog and give someone enough time to launch a ‘disabling kick’.
Smokers could also turn to the cigarette card for information on how to cut down a tree and rescuing someone who has touched a ‘live wire’.
The card advises people to stand on glass or dry wood and not to touch them with bare hands before calling for a doctor.
To rescue someone who has touched a ‘live wire’, (above) Gallaher’s wisely advises people not to touch them unless they are wearing rubber gloves but to stand on ‘glass or dry wood’ and try to switch off the current until the doctor arrives, while adventurous types should get ‘a boy’ to swim a tree-tied rope (below) to the other side of a river and then ‘fasten a seat to a running loop or a block pulley’ to pass poor swimmers over water
Preserve freshly laid eggs by burying them in dry salt but ensure ‘no air whatever to get to the shell’
Other tips were for everyday concerns.
Before the electric refrigerator became common, Gallaher’s Cigarettes told smokers to preserve eggs by burying them in dry salt.
Annoying splinters could also be removed by steaming the flesh over hot water.
The perennial problem of lighting a match in the wind is also solved for card holders.
They are advised to cut thin shavings towards the striking end to help the flame catch.
The first cigarette cards were put in cartons to stiffen the packaging and then began depicting actresses, baseball plays and Indian chiefs in the 1870s.
After UK company WD & HO Wills started including advertising on their cards about ten years later, other companies followed suit.
The likes of Ogdens and Gallaher’s grouped related cards and they soon became collectables.
Gallaher’s says mixing water, sal-ammoniac and salt makes a ready-to-use fire extinguisher. They said throwing bottles into the flames (above) should help and ‘any serious outbreak will probably be averted.’ For a ‘most handy and efficacious filter’ drop water through a bucket filled (below) with layers of sand and stones
Gallaher’s says to remove a splinter press your hand on a bottle filled with hot water. ‘The suction will pull down the flesh, and steam will soon draw out the splinter’