Categories: History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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