20 Outdated Occupations That Have Bitten the Dust

Knocker-upper

Back in the days when alarm clocks were pricey and unreliable, knocker-uppers would do the rounds each morning and wake factory workers by banging on their front doors with a heavy stick or similar implement.

The profession, which was common in the industrial cities of Britain and Ireland during the 19th and early 20th centuries, didn’t actually die out until the 1950s in some places.

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3 Comments

  1. Jane L Polley says

    And aren’t we thankful that these occupations are no longer needed !!

  2. Benjamin H. Campbell says

    One of the biggest trades of all – Type setters, linotype operators, and many that composed a newspaper operation when hot type needed to be cast to form the copy. In addition, thousands upon thousands of little mom and pop job shops to produce letterheads, etc. There were literally millions employed in the newspaper printing industry and the job shops that are no longer needed. At it’s peak the Birmingham News where I worked as a type setter for many years needed at least 300 workers daily in the composing room. When lithography came to the industry, the paper could be produced with only about 15 workers.

  3. Janet says

    Thank you for putting this piece together. I had heard of some of these occupations but having the pictures along with the information was quite charming and informative!

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