Technology changes the face of the working world. It creates new employment opportunities while it makes others obsolete. This has happened in our lifetime. How many switchboard operators do you know? How about gas station employees who pump your gas?
The only constant for the past century and a half has been changed. Let’s take a look at some occupations that were once quite common and now are either very rare or no longer exist.
- Watchman: The precursor to the security guard.
- Carter: A person who drives a cart. Similar jobs include coachman, drayman, hackman and teamster.
- Streetcar conductor
- Railroad jobs including hostler, lineman
- Livery workers: Liveries were places horses were lodged and fed in exchange for compensation.
- Porter: The precursor of the doorman and hotel valet.
- Stationer: Someone who sells stationary.
- Chimney sweep
- Whitewasher: Someone employed to whitewash objects.
- Cooper: Someone who makes barrels.
- Currier: Someone who dresses leather after it has been tanned.
- Mason: A constructor worker who builds using stone or brick.
- Miller: Someone who works at a flour or grist mill.
- Plasterer: Someone who works with plaster.
- Puddler: Someone who makes wrought iron.
- Tinner: Someone who works with tin.
- Wheelwright: Someone who manufactures and repairs wheels for wagons.
- Cesspool and sewerman
- Rat catchers
- Street sweepers
- Copyist: Someone who makes copies of documents.
- Bleacher: Someone who bleaches fabric.
- Dyer: Someone who dies cloth.
- Milliner: Someone who makes and decorates women’s hats.
- Tallowmaker: Someone who makes soup or candles from tallow.
- Warper: Someone who forms yarn for looms into warps.
Did any of your ancestors hold down these jobs? Leave a comment below.
Enjoyed reading this post? Join the mailing list and receive updates in your inbox whenever a new post is published. Simply enter your email address in the form on the bottom right of this page.
Latest posts by Melina Druga (see all)
- World War I Led to Prohibition - August 14, 2017
- At This Rate It’ll Take Me 100 Years to Finish My Novel - August 4, 2017
- America’s Preparedness Movement - July 31, 2017