Many past jobs which were of paramount importance to our daily lives have been replaced. Most of them due to the rise of machinery and the industrial revolution and some because they were just simple to swap.


Presently, we are experiencing changes in the way we live and how society works. For instance, social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with others and self-driving cars are one of the many future short-term developments that we will see.


Through this post, we are going to share with you some of the jobs that no longer exist, some of which, you might have never heard of.


  1. Human Alarm Clock

Yes, you read that right, no phone alarms and no technology in place. A simple person will just walk to your neighborhood and knock on your window with a stick to ensure you’re awake and ready for work. They were referred to as the “Knocker Up”.


Human Alarm Clock

  1. Ice Cutter

Back in the day, people didn’t have the modern refrigerators we now do. Therefore, most of the ice that was delivered to every household was cut beforehand on a frozen river or lake with a saw in hand by Ice Cutters.


Ice Cutter

  1. Rat Catcher

Especially in big cities, rats were spreading up fast. In order to limit its population growth, government & law enforcement created a unit to minimize its growth. Rat Catchers were exposed to bites and infective diseases amongst other dangers.


Rat Catcher

  1. Lamplighter

How amazing it is to see all the city lights turning on at the same time automatically right? It saves up energy and effort but before this was even possible, lamplighters would have to light every lamp post manually with a stick and refuel it often.



  1. Switchboard Operator

Who connects your call to the other end? Machines do. Back in the day, when technology was just a concept, switchboard operators would manually connect you to the other person. Imagine getting it wrong right? That could have led to some interestingly awkward conversations.


Switchboard Operator

  1. Milkman

Before anyone had refrigerators, milk would go bad within a day or two. That’s why people needed milk delivered to their household regularly by the milkman. Now, well… we have refrigerators.



  1. Chimney Sweeper

Now we see chimneys as a luxury but back in the day, people didn’t have any other way to keep themselves warm. Chimneys were used regularly and in winter time, exhaustively. Hence why chimney sweepers were needed, to clear all the soot.


Chimney Sweeper

  1. Computers

Fascinatingly enough, computers were people, people who would convert numbers and data and crunch them by hand.  Normally this task would be carried out by experienced women.



  1. Elevator operators

Before elevators became automatic and safe, elevator operators would learn to use levers and machinery to help people get on and off manually. We don’t know how well you stand elevators, but we can all agree that an operator would be ideal for people who fear them.


Elevator operators

  1. Pre-Radar Listener

The army would use these huge detectors to anticipate enemy movement and sounds from a large distance. Pre-radar listeners were important for decision-making purposes and to prepare.


Pre-radar listener

Although this list seems pretty old, it wasn’t and it won’t be long until another writer will create a similar post about our present daily lives.


If you’re interested in getting a glimpse of what the future of work might look like, take a look here.