20 Jobs From Way Back In The Day That Are Hard To Believe Ever Existed!

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We take technology for granted now a days and we often times forget that back in the day (which is many, many years ago), most all jobs were completed using physical and mental power. There were no computers and there were no where near the amount of fancy machines to do the work, like we have today. 

Here are 20 jobs from ‘back in the day’ that actually existed!

1. Rat Catchers

In the Victorian era, people made a living by helping to control the rat populations in cities. Sometimes even little orphan children stayed out all night catching rodents with their dogs.


2. The Lector

The duties of a Lector were to read to large rooms of factory workers as they worked away at remedial tasks for hours on end.

Lectors were sometimes even hired with pooled money from the factory workers themselves for their entertainment.


3. Pinsetter

After the bowling ball did its thing, they would have to set up the appropriate pins for the next frame.


4. Human Computers

A computer used to be the title for a person. A person who did calculations, or computations. The Irony! This terminology of a person as a “computer” was still widely accepted until the early 20th century.


5. Milkman

Before there were places to keep anything cold for any real length of time, especially for nights on end, there was the milkman to bring you daily (or every other day) milk, before it spoiled. Well, that and to be the blame for hundreds of illegitimate children across the country.


6. Driver

Someone who manually drives cattle or sheep. Also known as a Cowboy. 


7. Knocker-Upper

No, not THAT. They were hired to make sure others would wake up for their jobs, using long sticks, pebbles, and clubs to knock on windows.


8. Ice Cutter

Before modern refrigerators, cellars and ice boxes required consistent, fresh ice, and these guys would have to saw up blocks of it in harsh, awful conditions.


9. Airplane Listener

Before radar and further advances in military technology, soldiers would use acoustic mirrors and other listening devices to listen for enemy airplanes approaching.


10. Lamp Lighter

Using long poles and/or ladders, lamplighters would light, douse, and refuel lamps.


11. Log Diver

Before cars and other transport methods were commonplace, log drivers would float and guide logs down river to treatment plants.


12. Switchboard Operator

Back when phones were in their early years, an operator would have to manually switch calls using a pair of phone plugs inserted into the appropriate jacks for each end of the line.


13. Resurrectionist

Universities would need cadavers for educational purposes and… well, getting them legally was a lot harder and more expensive. So these dudes stole bodies.


14. Chimney Sweeper

Responsible for inspecting and cleaning chimneys.


15. Hemp Dressers

Linen factory workers separated the coarse parts of hemp.


16. Daguerreotype-ists

The earliest photographer, Louis Daguerre, created the earliest publicly available photograph, the Daguerreotype, which would be developed on plates by Daguerreotypists.


17. Gandy Dancer

Slang for railroad worker. These were the guys responsible for laying and maintaining the track.


18. Leech Collector

Collect leeches for medical use. Though not a popular practice today, leeches were once used in hospitals for bloodletting.


19. Town Crier

When important news needed to be spread, these guys would stand on the street corners yelling it.


20. Nomenclature-ist 

Follow your master around in daily life and at parties (where he or she is stinking drunk and can’t remember anything), and remind him of the names of all the people they’ve met and why he needs to suck up to them.

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