7 Jobs That Have Disappeared ...

Do you dislike your job? Here’s a way to put it into perspective. I’m not going to be crass and say you should be thankful you have one but rather that thanks to both technological advancement and social change a surprising number of jobs have simply become obsolete and have phased out. In many cases automation is to blame as machines can do things faster, smarter and more cheaply than humans. Some current jobs are on the decline but here are 7 jobs that no longer exist.

1. Lamplighter

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Before our streets were fitted with electrical lighting, the lamplighter was employed to go round each dusk and light the gas lamps and then again at dawn to extinguish them.

2. Typesetter

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Another job that no longer exists is that of a typesetter. This was someone employed to load a printing press with the tiles that made up the piece of work to be printed. It was a job done at newspapers and in other commercial printers.

3. Switchboard Operator

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Although the job of switchboard operator changed dramatically when the switch exchange took over from those boards where someone used to have move plugs and cables about, the job in some form still existed right up to the 1980s. Since then though digital exchanges spelled the demise of switchboard operator and it is a job that no longer exists.

4. Ice Cutter/Ice Delivery Man

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Before the invention of refrigeration food was kept cool and fresh in an ice box. With no way to make ice it had to be purchased ready formed. Ice cutters used to visit frozen lakes and rivers etc to cut huge chunks of ice which would then be stored in the local ice house. The ice delivery man would then cut bricks off as it was ordered and deliver it by cart to the purchaser’s home or business.

5. Telegraph Operator

(Your reaction) Thank you!

This is one of the first recognisable professions where the job disappeared due to technological advancement. The operator used Morse code or some other coding system to send and receive messages. Semaphore, a message system using flags, also suffered demise thanks to telecommunications.

6. Court Jester

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Bashing people over the head with an inflated pig’s bladder and waving a stick with metal jangly things on that tinkled like bells when you shook it died out a long time ago. Hmm, I wonder why?

7. Typewriter Repairman

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Back in the days when companies had typing pools churning out reams and reams of documents the typewriter repairman was an essential and worthy job. Today you don’t call on a typewriter repairman, you call the computer fixer man.

Other jobs that have long since become obsolete are rat catcher, lector, copy boy, messenger, log driver, pinsetter, audio (Dictaphone) typist, elevator operator and breaker boy. As well as all the jobs that have disappeared so far, there are others still at risk of not being around in 10 years time but that’s another story.

Is there a job you wished didn’t exist already?

Top Photo Credit: B.B. Bellezza

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