5 Clever Life Hacks From 100 Years Ago That Are Actually Still Useful Today

ByMehak Anwar

Learning a truly good life hack can seriously change worlds and move mountains. But while you may have thought the whole life hack trend was just a semi-recent craze, popularized by a little thing known as the Internet (and in particular, Pinterest), you'd be wrong. As it turns out, everyday life hacks have been around since pretty much forever, and thanks to a recent post on Reddit, we now have a treasure trove of life hacks from over 100 years ago to blow our minds. And guess what? Most of them are still pretty useful.

Not sure what people living in 1915 could possibly have in common with 2015 you? Consider this: While they may not have had smartphones attached to their person 24/7 or spend their days talking to each other online rather than in person, life wasn't all that different back then. People in the early 1900s were still drinking tons of wine, trying to remove splinters, and agonizing over hard-to-clean crevices. And let's be honest, even though technology has made some tremendous strides over the last century or so, sometimes the old-fashioned way to do something is the best way.

If you're still pretty skeptical that any trick from 100 years ago could actually be useful today, check out some of these IRL examples of olden day tips and tricks. You might be surprised by just how handy they actually are.

1. How To Cool Wine Without Ice

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Forgot to chill that nice bottle of Pinot Grig you have? According to this super simple hack, all you have to do is wrap the bottle in flannel (which in British English means "washcloth") and stick it in a bucket of cold water with more cold water running over it for 10 minutes. This is definitely an easy and very doable method, albeit not all that environmentally-friendly.

2. How To Remove A Splinter

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This tip is truly genius. First, grab a wide-mouthed bottle (something resembling a mason jar will do) and fill it to the brim with hot water. Next, press your hand down on it tightly. This will soon create suction and... voila! No more splinter.

3. How To Remove A Tight Ring

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Sometimes, fingers just get stuck in rings — but when the good ol' fashioned try-and-have-your-friend-yank-it-off technique doesn't work, simply lather the area with soap and it'll slip right off. There's one catch, though: If your finger has swollen up around the ring, this hack might not do the trick.

4. How To Draw A Circle (Without A Compass!)

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Need to draw a perfect circle (for some reason, which I can't really imagine)? This tip says to twist one end of a wire around a pencil and leave the other end straight. Sharpen the point of the wire and use it like the leg on a compass and draw perfect circles at your leisure. You can even change the size of the circles by changing the amount you coil the wire.

5. How To Pick Up Broken Glass

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If you have ever held a bottle of alcohol in your life and/or gotten drunk, you've also broken a bottle of alcohol in your life. This 100-year-old tip suggests a not-so-obvious approach to cleaning it up: Use a soft, damp cloth, because it'll clean up all the tiny glass shards that could get stuck in your feet. (Amazing.)

Intrigued? You can find even more old tips that work below.

Images: jenny downing/Flickr; WhoHasSmeltRainbow/Imgur (5)