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10 Weird Old-Timey Jobs from the Past that No One Does Anymore

Ever wondered how people managed to set up bowling pins or light lamps in the street before it was done by machines?


Some jobs may be dirty but someone’s gotta do them still. Luckily, technology has that pretty much sorted things out. Though it would be nice if we could take a look back in time at all the jobs people used to have to do manually.

For all the curious folks out there, here are 10 jobs from the past that have been completely erased by technology.

#1. Switchboard Operator

Switchboard Operator

Source: Wikipedia

This is a job that a lot of women did back in the day. Switchboard operators are responsible for connecting long-distance calls, something that is now done digitally in less than a millisecond!

#2. Ressurectionist


Source: Paul Barford

No, nothing to do with the occult here. Ressurectionists would dig out corpses from graveyards so that they can be studied in universities.

#3. Rat Catcher

Rat Catcher

Source: Retronaut

Before mass-produced rat poison and repellents, rat catchers were responsible for controlling the rat population in cities. They often suffer bites and infections but it was all part of the job.

#4. Listener for Enemy Aircraft

Listener for Enemy Aircraft

Source: Retronaut

You can laugh all you want but this job was very important during the war! They used acoustic mirrors and listening devices to detect the sound of approaching aircraft.

#5. Log Diver

Log Diver

Source: Wikipedia

Before logs could be hauled onto trucks, log divers would float and guide the logs down rivers from logging sites to the processing areas.

#6. Entertainer for Factory Workers

Entertainer for Factory Workers

Source: El Pais

Also called lectors, these entertainers would read to manual laborers to keep them entertained and alert.

#7. Lamplighter


Lamplighters used to literally light up street lamps with long poles with a lit taper at the end. They were also responsible for refueling and extinguishing the lamps.

#8. Ice Cutter

Ice Cutter

Source: Sharenator

Before the invention of the refrigerator, ice cutters would saw up ice from frozen lakes for people to use in their cellars.

#9. Human Alarm Clock

Human Alarm Clock

These folks would knock on doors or throw pebbles at windows to make sure their clients would wake up on time.

#10. Bowling Alley Pinsetter

Bowling Alley Pinsetter

Source: Shorpy

Before machines collected and re-set the pins, young boys would usually do this task manually.

Before electricity and robotics, more people had jobs, menial as they were but with the advancement of technology, these jobs soon became extinct.


A Thousand Japanese Soldiers Were Completely Wiped Out By Crocodiles During World War II

Refusing to surrender to the British forces, Japanese soldiers hid in the swamp not aware of the scary threat that waited for them.

In 1942, the Ramree Island was successfully overtaken by the Japanese Imperial Army. It was World War II at the time and Ramree was strategically an important spot since it was located at off the coast of Burma.

3 years later, the Allies attacked the Japanese forces in order to reclaim the island.

It was a bloody battle and eventually, the British army managed to drive about a thousand of their enemies into a mangrove swamp that spanned about 10 miles of Ramree.

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A Chicken Farmer Spied On Hitler And Became WWII’s Greatest Double Agent

We have to admit – James Bond has got nothing on Juan Pujol Garcia!

Juan Pujol Garcia wanted to do his part in taking down Hitler. At the start of World War II, Garcia easily determined Hitler was the real enemy and so he felt he had to do something about it.

Born February 14, 1912, the Barcelona-native bravely risked his life as he fought against the Nazi as a spy. The plot twist here, of course, is that Garcia wasn't really a spy by profession. In fact, he never had any experience nor did he receive any kind of training.

He was merely a chicken farmer.

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The Interesting Story of How the Potato Chip Was Invented By a Frustrated Chef

The story behind our favorite and “droolworthy” potato chips.

One cannot simply resist a delectable and crispy treat like potato chips. This widely-known American snack has easily become everyone's favorite comfort food enjoyed by many "potato lovers" across the world. A variety of flavors were also introduced, from plain-salted, barbecue, cheese, sour cream and onion, usually kettle-cooked, deep-fried and baked.

Another interesting fact about potato chips is its origin goes way back to 1853 - and its creation can be best described as a "happy accident."

According to a local legend, a frustrated chef named George Speck or "Crum" was trying to please a disgruntled customer and it eventually led to the birth of the ever-famous potato chips. Speck was born on June 15, 1824 in Saratoga, New York with a mixed-race ancestry. He had a penchant for hunting and spent his youth as a guide in the Andirondacks.

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