17 Victorian Life Hacks That Are Just As Useful Today As They Were In 1880

1. How to increase your lung power and capacity
The real answer was put the cigarettes down and walk away. “Stand erect on the balls of the feet with the head held well back. Then inhale deeply until the lungs are fully inflated, gradually exhale, allowing the chest to sink first, followed by the lungs. Repeat exercise several times both morning and evening.”
2. How to build a fire without wood
“A good substitute [for kindling] is to use pieces of paper screwed into twists as the picture shows. Two or three pieces of newspaper are quite sufficient to start a judiciously built coal fire.”
3. How to prevent your glasses from steaming up
“The moisture which collects on eyeglasses causes a great deal of trouble, but if the glasses are daily rubbed with soap and well polished afterwards, a very thin, invisible film of soap remains, which has the effect of preventing the condensation of moisture on the glass.”
4. How to carry a heavy jug
“The correct way to hold the jug is shown in the right-hand sketch. This prevents the weight from pulling the jug down and so spilling what it contains, as is likely to happen if carried the other way.”
5. How to pull out long nails
“It is often rather difficult to pull out a long nail from wood into which it has been driven, for when drawn out a short distance as in A, there is no purchase from which to pull it further. If, however, a small block of wood be placed under the pincers, as in B, the nail can be pulled right out without difficulty
6. How to crack boiled eggs
“To boil cracked eggs as satisfactorily as though they were undamaged, a little vinegar should be added to the water. If this is done, it will be found that none of the contents will boil out.”
7. How to revive cut flowers
“To revive choice blooms that have faded during transit, plunge the stems into hot water, and allow them to remain until the water has cooled. By that time the flowers will have revived. The ends of the stems should then be cut off and the blossoms placed in cold water in the usual way.”

8. How to fix squeaky boots
“When new boots make a squeaking noise, a good remedy is to drive several brads in the center of the sole. Another method is to place the sole in a dish or plate containing oil, the heel being propped up in order to immerse the whole of the sole, and the boot left until the oil has thoroughly soaked into the leather.”

9. How to cut fresh bread into thin slices
“Plunge the bread knife into hot water and when thoroughly hot, wipe quickly. It will be found that the heated knife will cut soft, yielding new bread into the thinnest slices.”
10. How to pick up broken glass
“To pick up broken glass quickly and cleanly, a soft damp cloth will be found to be most effective, for it takes up the small splinters. The best plan is to use an old rag that can be thrown away with the glass.”
11. How to clean new shoes
“A successful method is to rub the boots all over with half a lemon, allow them to dry, after which they will easily polish, although occasionally it may be found necessary to repeat the application of the lemon juice.”
12. How to remove a tight ring
“To remove a tight ring from the finger, the finger should first be well lathered with soap. It will then be found that, unless the joints are swollen, the ring can easily be taken off. If, however, the finger and joints are much swollen, a visit to the jeweller is advisable.”
13. How to make a candle fit into a small holder
“If a candle is too thick to fit the candlestick, don’t pare the end, but get a bowl of hot water and hold the end of the candle in it until the wax softens. If the candle is now pressed into the candlestick, it will sit firmly.”
14. How to separate two glass tumblers
“When two glass tumblers stick together, there is a danger of breakage in trying to separate them. The simplest and most effective method of releasing the glasses is to put cold water in the upper one and place the lower one in warm water. They will be found to separate at once.”
15. How to properly bandage a foot
“Rest injured foot on operator’s knee on a clean towel. Commence bandaging in manner shown by the lower diagram, the bandage being bound over and round the back of the foot in a spiral fashion, and eventually affixed by a safety pin, just beneath the ankle as shown in the upper illustration.”
16. How to detect a gas leak
“Paint strong soap solution (thick soapy water) on the suspected length of pipe and the gas will then cause bubbles at the escaping point, which can be dealt with at once.”
17. How to cool wine when you don’t have ice
“If no ice is available for cooling wine, a good method is to wrap the bottle in flannel and place in a crock beneath a cold water tap. Allow the water to run over it, as shown in the picture, and in about ten minutes the wine will be thoroughly cool and ready for the table.”