Long before we had color television, microwave ovens, mobile phones and the all-mighty Internet, many things had to be done manually and took more time and effort to accomplish. While you may be reading RocketNews24 on your computer or mobile gadget now, the latest news and information used to be only available on handwritten sheets many moons ago.

In many cases, improvement and changes to traditional methods bring greater convenience to the masses, but gone with the olden ways of things are fascinating jobs that once existed to make life easier for the people of their era. How do you think people woke up on time for work before alarm clocks were invented?

If there are people who hate mornings now, there must have been people who hated mornings in the past as well. Before alarm clocks existed, there were “human alarm clocks” who went around waking sleepyheads up. Known as “knocker-uppers”, these early birds went from street to street shouting and knocking on doors and windows to rouse their clients from dreamland so that they could get to work on time. They commonly used long bamboo sticks, but sometimes resorted to throwing pebbles or shooting peas, to wake clients who lived on higher floors.




Lamp lighter
Also working with a long stick, this bringer of light’s job was, as its name suggests, to light lamps on the street. Before Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, gas lamps were considered the state-of-the-art lighting technology, and lamp lighters would manually ensure the gas fueled street lamps were lit before the sun went down.



Log drivers
Log drivers drive logs, of course! Before there were trucks and highways, the fastest way to transport lumber was to float it down the river. To ensure the logs got to their destination smoothly and safely, log drivers were there to guide them downstream. We wonder if they ever encountered traffic congestion…


Ice cutter
Thanks to the Disney blockbuster Frozen, millions of people today are now newly aware of the long-lost profession of ice cutting. Yes, the job really existed! Sawing up blocks of ice from frozen lakes, the frozen blocks were then made available to the masses with the help of Kristoff… I mean, ice delivery men. The ice was commonly used to keep food fresh.



Speaking of keeping food fresh, before there were refrigerators and milk processing methods to help lengthen the shelf-life of milk, the only sort of milk available was fresh from the barns. People at the time had no means of storing the milk, so the milkman had to deliver fresh bottles daily.


Rat catchers
It’s hard to imagine how someone could make a living by catching rats, but in the age when hygiene standards weren’t the biggest of concerns and pesticides weren’t widely used, rat catchers were highly sought after in Europe to control the infestation of rats. These men braved the risk of getting bitten by possibly disease-carrying rats to help prevent plague and damage to food supplies.




Bowling alley pinsetter
Every era had its fair share of entertainment. No computer games? Go bowling! In their early years, bowling allies didn’t come equipped with the complex automated systems we’re familiar with today. The knocked-over pins were replaced by children waiting at the other end of the lane after every turn.



Pre-radar listeners (for enemy aircraft)
Aeroplanes in the past didn’t have complex navigation systems built in them, and neither were there radars to help locate aircraft from the ground. When people began using aeroplanes for military purposes, super listeners were hired to use huge devices to listen for the sound of engines approaching from the skies.



Switchboard operator
There was a time when people had to speak to an operator before getting connected to the person they were trying to call. Switchboard operators manually and literally connected the calls by plugging and shifting wires around on the switchboard. Imagine the hassle if you got the wrong number (or if the operator linked you up to the wrong person)!



Many of us tune in to the radio or podcasts, or listen to audiobooks while working. Imagine every workplace having their own exclusive podcast, wouldn’t that be awesome? It used to be that way in the past when factories would hire lectors to recite works of literature to the employees while they worked!



This might sound rather creepy, but in the early days of modern medicine, doctors at hospitals and educational institutions used to hire “resurrectionists” to dig up corpses from graves for research and experimentation. Of this whole list, this is definitely a job that we’re glad has gone extinct!


Although most of these jobs were tedious and sometimes even dangerous, they helped pay the bills back in their time, and they most probably contributed to shaping the lifestyle we lead today. If you could travel back in time, which of these jobs would you like to try your hand at? Leave us a comment!

Source: Jandan
Images: Sharenator