As our world changes and we continue to make great leaps in technology, many jobs that were once widely available have now become a thing of the past. Our modern society isn’t safe from this either and in the future, A.I. might take over certain jobs. One thing’s for sure, these jobs are never going to make a comeback. Here are five occupations that have become obsolete over the years.
1. Herb Strewers
London was quite a stinky city during the 1800s thanks to the open sewers and mounds of animal dung lying around. The royal family in particular, weren’t keen on the stench. So instead of getting to the root cause of the problem, they hired a herb strewer to freshen up their palace. It was a solely female job and it was her duty to scatter fresh herbs and sweet-smelling petals to mask the terrible odor. The last known herb strewer, Anne Fellowes, was let go in 1830 due to budgetary concerns.
Prior to the discovery of electricity, the streets of London during the Victorian Era would be swept in complete darkness at night. That’s where link-boys came in. For a small fee, they would accompany passing patrons to wherever they wanted to go, providing light using their flaming link. These youngsters were found every few yards on almost every roadway. The job didn’t pay much, so some crafty link-boys picked up a side job that involved leading unsuspecting customers down dark alleys where thieves and muggers would be waiting for them.
3. Knocker Uppers
Alarm clocks haven’t always been around but jobs that require us to be present first thing in the morning certainly were. So how did people manage to get there on time? The knocker uppers, that’s how. These people were employed by factories and mines to ensure that their employees didn’t sleep well into the noon. Using very long sticks or peashooters, the knocker uppers repeatedly “knocked” on the employee’s windows until they were certain they were awake. But the real question is, how did the knocker uppers get to their job on time?
4. Human Computers
There are many inventions available to us today that we simply take for granted. Like the calculators and computers that we rely on to carry out large quantities of complex data. But as you already know, these devices weren’t always around and had to be done manually. These people were known as human computers and they played a prominent role in many of our technological advancements. It was because of those geniuses that we were able to make it to the moon and back safely.
If you were able to travel to Ancient Egypt and feudal Japan, then you’d notice there were people carrying the sandals of their superiors… and washing their feet. They were sandal-bearers and their jobs weren’t as bad as you may think. This seemingly low position was considered to be a prestigious one and sandal-bearers were often able to rise through the ranks. Such was the case of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who went from carrying his superior’s sandals to becoming an Imperial Regent of Japan. Today, the closest thing to a sandal-bearer is getting a pedicure at the nail salon.
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