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Check out these jobs that no longer exist

Jobs That No Longer Exist

Updated on April 20, 2021

 Personal Finance

Do you think your work is horrible? Imagine the type of work you could have done long ago. There are so many jobs now which have replaced the old and unnecessary jobs. Luckily most of these are jobs that no longer exist anymore, and have either become obsolete or have been repurposed.

Here Are Some Crazy Jobs That No Longer Exist

Before 1946, it was typically a teenager’s job to set and reset the bowling pins at bowling alleys. The machines now automatically reset the bowling pins, but people did it manually long ago and for very little pay. Some people might say that this was an easy job, but it was a lot of unnecessary and dangerous manual labor.

  • Rat Catchers

Oh yes, people use to go out in the streets and catch rats physically. It was a popular job in the 1800s, where rats were a big infestation in London sewers, factories, and homes. Rats became abundant in certain seasons, and so the rat catcher job was heavily demanded. Many children preferred doing this sort of job instead of factory work, working in coal mines and cleaning chimneys. Children were also convenient for this job since they could fit into small spaces.

  • Factory Lectors

A lector is somebody who reads, whether it is aloud or not. During the 1900s, companies would hire lectors to entertain tobacco factory workers by reading newspapers or books. The reason why this was done was to help stimulate the minds of the factory workers who rolled cigar after cigar and found the work monotonous. Twenty-five or so cents were the weekly wages for these workers. Maybe they should have listened to these stop living paycheck to paycheck tips.

  • “Necessary Women”

This job is quite like the standard, domestic cleaners you get nowadays for households. The “necessary women” would be emptying and scouring chamber pots as well as general cleaning of the royal apartments. A woman in history known as Bridget Holmes died at the age of 100 and dedicated her life to this job as a “necessary woman” in the 17th century. She was well known for her portrait that was painted of her dated in 1686 in the Royal Collection by John Riley.

  • Fart-Focused Jesters

A jester was historically known as a professional joker which entertained people in a medieval court. There was a most famous flatulent in the early 1800s named Joseph Pujol, who entertained French audiences with this crazy farting. His stage name was known as Le Petomane which means “fart maniac”.

  • Powder Monkeys

In the 1800s the navies use to hire children to work for them as “powder monkeys”, which was a job that involved filling gunpowder into ship cannons and reloading them during battle. This job ceased after child labor laws came into place since this was a hazardous job.

  • The Human Alarm Clock

Instead of today's automatic alarm clocks, people had their friends to work as an “alarm” in the morning. A person would pay a “knocker-upper” to go knock on their windows with a stick so that they would be on time for work, usually the factory workers during the Industrial Revolution which always worked horrible hours.

  • Town Crier

Town criers involved wearing elaborate clothing and broadcasting news to the public. Imagine the newspaper boy telling you the day’s news on your way to work, instead of you reading it at your own pace in any way that you prefer. In the time that this was most popular (1800’s), there was little communication or broadcasting to a large audience. The only possible way to receive news was through a town crier that shouted the news to all passersby on their daily commute. The large-scale newspaper printing you know of was only beginning to emerge near the end of the century.

  • Elevator Operator

Currently, we must press a button to either move up or down on an elevator. Many years ago, it was someone’s job to control the elevator at the right time when you would like to get out. The operator was faced with the mammoth task of stopping the elevator at the right level, with precision, for you to get out safely, without missing your level. Nowadays computers control the whole process, even though a Good Samaritan will press the button for you on occasion.

  • Newspaper Reader

This one is like the town crier but came later. A newspaper reader would read the newspaper to the workers while they are working in the factories. A newspaper reader also read books to factory workers. These are jobs that no longer exist and have been replaced by radio and television offering all that a newspaper reader could offer and more.

  • Barber/Surgeon

The same person that trims your hair with the finest precision, giving you a clean shave, could also be your doctor/ surgeon. Many barbers were also surgeons, which was necessary at the time of the war, where medical attention was short-staffed because of the number of casualties. This double occupation is one of those jobs that no longer exist for obvious reasons.

The possible reason why these jobs have disappeared could be because of technological advancements, change in the law and social changes. An example of this would be the Industrial Revolution in Europe which was the beginning of mass production as we know it today. Many young children worked in factories producing different products, and as there was a rise in demand for certain products. Many doctors also found that children developed arthritis and osteoporosis at a much younger age because of manual labor. This was a social issue that had to change. Mechanization took place, meaning that machines replaced humans. Therefore, the human’s job was no obsolete, as machinery completed the same task much more efficiently.

Those were the jobs that no longer exist anymore, which in some cases would be interesting to see a comeback for some, to bring about some nostalgia for many people, or for history fanatics.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.