It’s almost a regular occurrence to see all kinds of jobs become extinct now due to advancing technology. All these occupations that are now outdated are no exception. At one point in time, they were just as common as the rest. While some of these jobs were ridiculous, others made total sense. Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane and take a look at some obsolete profession we don’t see around anymore.
Each and every morning in the 1950s, the milkman would deliver bottles and jugs filled to the brim with milk. If you got lucky, there were times he would also deliver other essentials like eggs and butter. As home refrigeration became more common, milk stayed for longer periods of time. The profession itself expired. After all, who can finish entire bottles of milk in just one day? Even if it were a family, it’s a hard feat to achieve.
Elevators didn’t always move with just the push of a single button. Back in the day, elevator operators were in charge of controlling everything from the elevator doors to the direction, speed, and capacity of the elevator. There were many different aspects to the job. In the 50s, however, automatic elevators began to be more common. That’s when people had to start pushing their own buttons, and eventually, elevator operators were no longer needed.
Can you imagine how different life would be without the backspace button? It’s crazy to think about. Well, former linotype operators most definitely can imagine what that’s like. The highly skilled workers used the linotype, a hot metal typesetting system, to produce the daily newspaper in the late 1880s. In the early 1960s, phototypesetting was creating, rapidly replacing all the operating positions.
This particular job has been around for hundreds of years now and peaked during the Industrial Revolution. After that, it fell into a steep decline once electric and gas alternatives began being used instead of chimneys. It’s for the best, really, as being a chimney sweep had many serious health and safety risks. Here’s a little bonus fact: Door-to-door chimney sweeps were also called knellers.
If you happened to see the movie Hidden Figures, then you already know what a computer is. No, it’s not what you’re using right now at work. We don’t mean the modern machine. We’re talking about women who, in the early 17th century, would calculate figures and crunch numbers all day long – by hand. That’s right, there were no calculators at the time, obviously. So they had no other choice but to do it all the slow way.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Billy Boys were young apprentices in training who would have to make tea for all the other men at work. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Sounds just like a young intern having to grab a whole load of Starbucks for everyone in the office. As it turns out, some things change, but others tend to stay just the same. The only real difference here is the location of the drinks.
Bowling Alley Pinsetter
If you’re someone who loves playing games and is in need of some extra change, being a pinsetter at a bowling alley was the best option for you. These workers typically organized all the pins manually for every single game played. The job was taken out of rotation once the mechanical pinsetter came into play. In 1936, Gottfried Schmidt invented the very first mechanical pinsetter. The rest, as they say, is history.
Years ago, people didn’t have phone numbers the way they do today. The entire phone system worked rather differently. Instead of picking up your phone and dialing a number, you would pick it up and ask the switchboard operator to connect you with whoever you wanted to speak to. Of course, this was all before digital exchange changed everything. By the time the 80s came about, this position became obsolete.
Despite the fact that typists are still in-demand today, the position is different. They work without the typewriter now. Back in the 1940s, typists were popular positions in publishing, administrative, and clerical industries. Nowadays, this same role has been upgraded. Instead of typing into a typewriter, typists now use computers to accomplish the same job only in a modern way.
As you probably guessed from the name, a clockwinder did jus that: wind clocks. It only makes sense that it was a matter of time before electric clockwinders would be taking over. After all, they required less maintenance and fewer repairs. They began getting produced in the Industrial Revolution. As we all know very well, today there are more digital clocks all over. Whether you’re walking down the street or are in a museum, you’re likely to see a digital clock somewhere. If not, you can simply check the time on your cellphone!