Cigarette Cards

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.

 
 
Handy tip: The Ogden Cigarette card advises people to use a 'scout's staff,
 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’

 

 
Age-old problem: Gallaher's Cigarettes say smokers can overcome the problem of lighting a match
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’

 

 
Sage advice: For those who need advice on chopping down trees from a cigarette card
A tip for people wanting to survive while they go on holiday
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.

 
 
Helping hand: To rescue someone who has touched a 'live wire',
while adventurous types should get 'a boy' to swim a tree-tied rope
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

 

 
 
Useful: Preserve freshly laid eggs by burying them in dry salt but ensure 'no air whatever to get to the shell'
 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.

Emergency: Gallaher's advises people to mix salt, sal-ammoniac and salt for a ready-to-use fire extinguisher.
For a 'most handy and efficacious filter' drop water through a bucket filled with layers of sand and stones
 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
 
Problem solved: Gallaher's says to remove a splinter press your hand on a bottle filled with hot water.
 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’
 
Attribution: Becky Evans, Mail Online