This is the second in a series about DIY household hints collectibles vintage cards.
WD & HO Wills Company was started by Henry Overton Wills (1761-1826), who began 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, famous for its DIY household hints collectibles vintage cards found, at that time in cigarette packages.
By 1901, Wills became part of the newly organized Imperial Tobacco Company.
W.D. & H.O. Wills was the first company to issue cigarette cards in Britain, and they featured other themes than DIY topics.
First cards issued in 1887
The first of the collectibles cards was issued in 1887 to advertise their tobacco products and stiffen their packaging of the weeds. Creators were wise to develop household and DIY related themes to increase their distribution and product sales.
The first cards series, a set of Ships, was issued in 1895, definitely vintage cards today.
Wills Vintage Household Hints Cigarette Cards- Second 5 cards in set of 1936 series
This group of 5 numbered cards in the series of 50 cards, 6-10, was again issued as DIY Household Hints in 1927. By the mid-1930s, cigarette cards collectibles was a national craze, with millions of cards being produced yearly by the numerous cigarette tobacco companies and a wide variety of other trade houses.
The cigarette cards have nice, colorful hand-drawn DIY illustrations on their fronts with around 115-word DIY household tips text printed on the rear of each card with mentions of the front-side artworks. Reminder: Spelling is England version of English!
See also the slide show of these 5 vintage DIY cigarette cards, numbers 6-10, which are a good DIY collectibles item for beginners. Reasonable in cost, you just might find a set in a yard sale for $2 like Bob Villa did!
Quite a lot of of these DIY Household Hints, state of the art in the 30’s and vintage as they are, are still worthy today.
Below is a listing with text excerpts from each card in the 1936 household hints series listed in the slide show.
Household Hints Cigarette Cards-1936 (Nos. 6-10)
Whitening a Ceiling (No. 6)
Take care of that dirty white ceiling now…
Best results are obtained if the old whitewash first of all is cleaned from the ceiling by the following method. Wet the ceiling thoroughly and work up the softened whitewash thoroughly with the sides of a brush. Brush on more water, then wipe the ceiling clean with a sponge. A greasy ceiling should be scrubbed with a hot solution of soda. Then scrape out any cracks, which should be moistened, filled with plaster of Paris, and sandpapered level. Apply the wash freely (do not use the heel of the brush), working the whole length or width of the ceiling in strips. It is advisable to complete the whitewashing in one operation. Keep doors and windows of the room shut while working, but open them as soon as the work is completed, to ensure uniform and rapid drying.
Useful Clothes Line (No. 7)
Save some money, make a moveable clothes line…
Discomfort and inconvenience are often caused after a shower of rain when the clothes have to be hung on a line stretching over damp grass. If the following method is adopted, much time will be saved and possibly colds prevented. Two small pulleys are required. Fasten one to the wall of the house and the other to the post or whatever is used for support at the far end. Thread the line through the pulleys, and tie so as to make a double line, as shown in our illustration. The clothes may now be pegged while standing in one spot, and a tug on the line will save a journey down the garden. Given a suitable support at the garden-end, a clothes line of this type would be found useful to occupants of upper-storey flats.
Cycle Brackets (No. 8)
Forget those store bought bicycle hangers, make your own…
This method of supporting a cycle is particularly useful when the latter is being cleaned or overhauled. The horizontal arms of brackets B B must be a little longer than half the width of handlebars, so that the cycle will easily clear the wall. The supporting blocks D D must be sufficiently far apart to allow brackets to fold back neatly against the wall. Horizontal arms B B are tenoned or halved into A A, while bracing struts C C are notched into A A and B B. A pair of stay hooks fixed to wall at E E engage with screw eyes fixed in brackets, F.
Distempering (No. 9)
Dictionary definition of distempering : “(using) a kind of paint using glue or size instead of oil” (The Oxford American College Dictionary)…
Wash the surface to be distempered with a large brush dipped very frequently in a large pail of water, scrape smooth, and fill all cracks with plaster of Paris or plasterer’s putty. Apply the distemper fairly thickly with a smooth, uniform action. The best method is to work in strips towards the light, ensuring that each strip is applied before the edge of the previous one is dry. Distemper splashed on paint work and floor should be sponges off at once. Close all doors and windows in the room while distempering, otherwise the work may dry in patches. Immediately on completion, they should be opened again to ensure rapid and uniform drying.
Making a Dog Kennel (No. 10)
Have fun making Fido a new home…
This kennel should be constructed in sections. Start with the floor using planks one inch thick and joining them by two strips of wood across the underside; these should stop short about 2 inches from each side of floor. Construct the two sides in a similar manner, shape the front and back tp support the roof, and cut an opening upright in the front. To assemble, nail together the floor and the two sides, driving the nails securely into the wooden strips upon which the floor rests. Next fit back and front. The roof should be made to overhang the sides and front, and when in position, should be covered with waterproof felt secured by battens, as shown on right.
Watch for our next article on Household Hints Cigarette Cards-1936 (Nos. 11-15).
Check out our articles on Vintage Garden Hint cards also.
- The Oxford English Dictionary
- Bob Vila
- The good life centre
- Decampe auctions