8 awesomely illustrated cleaning tricks from the early 1900s

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Before we were bombarded with a million miracle cleaning products that get their magic from a chaos of toxic chemicals, people relied on natural ingredients, simple science, and common sense.

The following illustrated instructions come from those good old days; albeit good old days when smoking was all the rage, as these cards were included in packages of cigarettes. In the 1880s, cigarette companies began including "stiffening cards" in the paper cigarette packs to help protect the product. Not long after they began printing an encyclopedia's worth of information and trivia on the cards. Topics from cinema beauties, cycling and swimming lessons to animals and monuments of the world were covered in numbered series up to 100, a premium designed to inspire subsequent purchases. The practice died out in the 1940s, but not before countless collections of the curious cards were gathered.

The ones featured here are from the Gallaher Ltd of Belfast & London "How to do it" series from the 1910s. They are as wonderful for their wholesome practicality as they are for their charming illustrations and earnest advice. Enjoy!

This story is presented in a slideshow format to allow the images the width for legible text.

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