10 Jobs that no longer exist

Ever wonder about which jobs that were popular in the early 1900s simply don't exist anymore?  Here's a list of 10 interesting jobs that aren't around anymore

1. Bowling Alley Pinsetters

Way back before there were those fancy machines that set the pins, local kids would work in the alleys setting the pins by hand after each roll.


 2.  Human Alarm Clocks

That's right, there used to be people called "knocker-uppers" who basically acted like alarm clocks.  They'd go by and knock on clients' windows or doors to ensure they got up in time for their jobs. 





3.  Milkmen

There's a long tradition of milk delivery men and women dating back to the 1800's all across the world.  This is often one of the things we remember most about the 1950's and 1960's when the milk man would come by.  












4.  Lamplighters

Before most street lights were electric, there were men hired to go by and light each of them every night and then extinguish them in the morning.  There's something romantic about the images of lamplighters, but I'm sure it was often a cold, thankless task!






5.  Ice-Cutters

Back before refrigerators became popular, people would employ "ice cutters" to bring out large, heavy blocks of ice from frozen lakes or rivers.   It was a dangerous job.  




6.  Log Drivers

While we're familiar with seeing large trucks carrying logs on the road, I bet you've never seen how they used to do it!  As you see in the photo from 1917 above, men would essentially "ride" the logs down rivers to a processing plant.  


7. Aircraft Listeners

Before radar technology had been developed, the military would use very odd-looking machines like the one above in order to try to detect enemy aircraft.  They typically employed younger men who already had strong hearing skills.  









8.  Switchboard Operators

Remember having to call in to the operator every time you made a phone call?  Well, these hard working people would connect you to the right person.  It's all done digitally now, but you can imagine what these rooms must have been like back in the day!




9.  Lector Hired to Entertain Factory Workers 

We can all imagine (or know first-hand) how tedious factory work can be, but did you know that in the 1920's and 1930's, workers often pitched in to hire someone to read to them all day?  This photo is from inside a Cigar company in Tampa, Florida in 1929.  












10.  Human Computer

Before there were actual computers in most workplaces, there was a job simply called, "computer".  The job involved converting figures and crunching numbers and often involved some basic translation and cryptography.  These jobs were popular especially round WWI and WWII.  


[I wonder if they had problems with crashing… and what happened when they needed an upgrade?]

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012