Vintage Cigarette Cards are a nice topical DIY collectible item.
WD & HO Wills was founded by Henry Overton Wills (1761-1826), who opened a shop in Castle Street, Bristol in 1786.
He traded as Wills, Watkins & Co, until the retirement of his partner in 1789, when the company became Wills & Co
By 1901, it was part of the newly formed Imperial Tobacco Company
W.D. & H.O. Wills was the first company to issue cigarette cards in Britain.
The first of the cards was issued in 1887 to advertise their products.
The first cards series, a set of Ships, was issued in 1895.
Wills Household Hints Cigarette Cards- First 5 cards in set of 1936 series
This group of 5 numbered vintage cards in a series of 50 cards was issued as DIY Household Hints in 1927. By the mid-1930s, cigarette cards collecting was a national craze, with hundreds of millions of cards being produced annually by the many cigarette tobacco companies and a wide variety of other trade houses.
The vintage cigarette cards have nice, colorful hand-drawn DIY illustrations on their fronts with about 115-word DIY tips printed on the back of each card with references to the front- side illustrations. .-Note: Spelling is England version of English!
Also, view the slide show of these 5 DIY vintage cigarette cards which are a good DIY collectible item for beginners. They are quite reasonable in cost. Bob Villa found a set in a yard sale for $2. A lucky find!
States of the art in the 30’s, many of these vintage DIY Household Hints are still good today.
Below is a listing with text excerpts from each card in the 1936 household hints series listed in the slide show.
Household Hints 1- A Simple Barometer-
Here is a simple barometer a child can make. All that is required is an empty vinegar bottle, an empty glass jam-jar and some water coloured with red ink. Half-fill the bottle with the coloured water, and place the jar upside-down over the bottle. Now reverse, so that the jar is standing upright, with the bottle standing in it upside-down. Allow the coloured water to flow into the jar until the level of the water in the bottle is about an inch or two of that in the jar. By the rise and fall of the water in the neck, the weather may be fairly accurately foretold. Fine weather will cause it to rise, while a drop may presage rain or rough weather. A ruled card fixed behind the jar enables the rise or fall to be seen more easily.
Household Hints 2- Restoring a Crushed Broom-
Brooms should never be stood on the bristles, as in time this will result in the bristles getting crushed. If this has happened, they may be restored in the following manner. Half fill a kettle with water and bring it to boil. When the steam is pouring from the spout, hold the crushed bristles to it. Rub the hand smartly over the brush, taking care however, not to let it approach too near the scalding steam. This treatment will restore both bristle and fibre brushes. A simply-constructed rack for holding brooms is described on Card No. 3.
Household Hints 3- A Broom-Rack-
Brooms kept in a rack are never in the way and run no risk of getting their bristles crushed. To make this rack, obtain a well-planed piece of deal, about one inch thick. Saw off two equal lengths, according to size of rack required (twenty to twenty-four inches is suitable length for a two-broom rack), and in one, cut openings as shown in our illustration. The second piece is used as the back. Round off the corners, provide two triangular pieces for supports, and screw the whole firmly together.
Household Hints 4- Ridding a Carpet of Moths-
Regular brushing or vacuum-cleaning should as a rule keep a carpet free from moths. If, however, a carpet has become infested, the following method of treatment should destroy all moths’ eggs in the material, and thus prevent future damage. Dissolve a quarter-pound of rock ammonia in a pail containing about a half-gallon of boiling water. Immerse the centre of a large house cloth in the liquid, keeping the edge dry by hanging them over the sides of the pail, as shown on left. Wring the cloth dry by the dry ends, lay flat on the carpet, and iron with a very hot iron until dry. Go over the entire carpet in this manner.
Household Hints 5- Replacing Loose Castors-
Loose castors on chairs are troublesome and dangerous, and should be repaired without delay. The illustration on the left shows a method of repairing castors which are attached to the chair-leg by a central screw. The trouble here is usually caused by the screw working loose and enlarging the hole. Make a new plug for the latter, A, firmly glue it into position, and re-bore the hole, B. Another type of castor, shown on the right, has a cup which fits round the leg. In this case, looseness is usually caused by a piece of wood splintering away from the leg. To repair this, saw the break clean, C, roughly shape a new piece, glue firmly into position, and finish off with wood file or glass-paper before re-fitting castor, D.
So hit those yard sales, maybe you can find a set of these vintage DIY hints like Bob did and become part of a “cartophily” group. (the hobby of collecting cigarette cards). Good luck.
Be sure and watch for our article and slide show of the next vintage Wills Household Hints Cigarette Cards -1936 (Nos. 6-10)
- Bob Villa