Unusual Professions From The Past That No Longer Exist (17 pics)

Posted in INTERESTING       14 Jul 2016       5783       4 GALLERY VIEW

Pin Setter

Before mechanical pin setters came out in 1936, boys were hired to set the pins — you called them Pin Setters.

Phrenologist

Before it was dismissed as a racist, awful pseudoscience, lots of people went to Phrenologists, who could "read" your intelligence by the shape of your head.

Ice Cutter

Before you could get ice from your fridge, you had to cut it from a lake. You'd hire an Ice Cutter to do so.

Badger

Back in the day when the farmer's market was just the market, folks called Badgers would buy produce from the farmer, bring it to market, and sell it to the customer. Linguists think the phrase "badger someone" came from their relentless salesmanship.

Leech Collector

Back when medicine was in its "let's just bleed the patient" phase, people called Leech Collectors would cull leeches from the ground with animal legs and then sell them to doctors, who would then stick them on people to "treat" them.

Resurrectionist

In a similarly unsavory case of early medicine, Resurrectionists would dig corpses out of graveyards and sell them to medical schools.

Powdermonkey

If you were a young boy on a warship back in the seafaring days, your quick hands would be called upon to stuff gunpowder back into cannons. Your title: Powdermonkey.

Lungs

Alchemists needed somebody to keep their workshop fires going. Those professional stokers had a respiratory name: Lungs.

Computer

Computer used to be somebody's title. Before electronics took over, these workers — usually women — would convert figures and crunch other numbers by hand.

Lector

Factory workers needed a little entertainment, so a Lector read news and literature aloud to them.

Milkman

Before everyone had refrigerators, it was difficult to keep milk from going bad. So you'd need it delivered regularly by your Milkman. With home refrigeration, this profession disappeared.

Chimney Sweep

Chimney Sweeps cleaned out the soot that built up over winters spent burning wood to keep warm.

Daguerreotypist

Before we had selfies, we had daguerreotypes, the earliest kind of publicly available photograph. These images on polished silver were made by dedicated Daguerreotypists.

Hemp Dresser

Hemp used to be a major part of the linen industry. The people who separated the coarse parts of it were Hemp Dressers.

Rat Catcher

Rat Catchers snagged the disease-carrying rodents that once ran rampant in residential neighborhoods.

Quarryman

A Quarryman would extract stone from the earth that may be used for various construction purposes, like a kitchen counter.

Knocker-up

How did people get up for work before alarm clocks? They hired a Knocker-up to tap or shoot peas at their windows at an appointed time.




4   Comments ?
1
1.
Fenrisulven 4 year s ago
#12 is still a job being done, at least in cold areas where wood is still burned.
Never underestimate the power of large crowds, of stupid people.
       
1
2.
Bongfuhrer 4 year s ago
#16 is still a profession. Though these days they use powertools.
       
-1
3.
birdman 4 year s ago
#9.. actually the term was comp operators, and yes a whole industry disappeared with the advent of calculators.

#11.. In America maybe but in England it only stopped because French farmers couldn't deliver fresh milk to UK doorsteps each morning. So the the EU stepped in so french milk could compete with UK farmers. One reason BREXIT happened....

#12 Yup, agree with Fenrisulven, I used a sweep last year... upstate NY

#17.. Totally Still a real thing.... only now it's the local building contractor trying to rouse his "millennium generation" helpers because they are still asleep at 10am.
Oh.... but then peas ain't the ammo either
       
0
4.
Khysiek 4 year s ago
#15 still exists today.
       
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