As society progresses in time, while there may be new jobs that arise which have never been around before, in the same way there are many jobs which then become obsolete. For example, factors such as technology have greatly impacted jobs, with many that can now be done by machines, which is often more reliable, cheaper and safer. It’s hard for us now, growing up in such a technology-centred society, to imagine what it was like when people had to do many of the jobs which we now have machines to do.
Some of these jobs may seem bizarre to us now, but just think of it the other way round, if we could tell William Shakespeare that actually many of us don’t even read books anymore but they’re on a small tablet machine referred to as a ‘kindle’. For example, there used to be people employed as human alarm clocks who would throw stones at your window or bang at it with a long stick in order for you to wake up for work. There also used to be people who were employed as resurrectionists, who would dig up graves to sell bodies as cadavers to the local medical schools. Leech collectors used to be a popular job title too when doctors used leeches frequently in medicine.
Our latest infographic from Exporta Global explores these old jobs that used to exist, and when they became obsolete. It may surprise you to learn that even in the last 40 years there used to be a job title called a ‘Switchboard Operator’ who would manually connect long distance calls. Take a look at the infographic below to find out more about these strange jobs that are no longer around. Which one, if any, do you think you would have been employed as?