Unusual Jobs that don’t exist anymore

Imagine doing a job and all of a sudden it doesn’t exist anymore just the next day!

Centuries or even decades ago there were jobs for the common man which at present no longer exist. Some of them simply disappeared for the advances in technology, while some got phased out because of the enhancement in labour laws. Let us have a look at some of these jobs and how they were done.

Knocker Upper

Way before there were electronic alarm clocks, have you ever wondered how would people wake up early in the morning?  Well, there were knocker uppers, for this role who did the job of human alarm clocks.  During the 1800s knocker uppers, would shoot peas to the window of people or blow whistles to wake them up.

Rat Catcher

Ratcatcher was an important position during the Victorian era when the London city got fully infested with rats. Young men were given the job of rat-catchers, where they had to poison or kill them with wooden sticks, to prevent diseases from rats spread into the public.


The ancient era had the job of an alchemist, which was mainly to convert certain chemicals into gold. The people with this job were also regarded as wizards since it was believed they made special elixirs that treated diseases or even could grant immortality.


Bematists were people in ancient Greece, who used to calculate the distance by measuring footsteps. Their job was to calculate the distance and publish it in books, which also contained distance between two well-known points.

Scissor grinder

A Scissor grinder was the job of sharpening objects like scissors or knives or other similar tools. The people who were assigned this job also had to go door to door to perform this service. This job disappeared by the late 1970s since most people thought buying new tools would be cheaper than sharpening the old ones.

Food taster

The core job of a food taster was to taste food prepared for another person to ensure that the food does not contain any poison. Generally, the food was made for an important person mostly of the royal family, for whom the food needed to be tasted before it could be served.


Much before street lights were invented, people were given the job of lamplighters who had to travel down the lane to light gas-burning lamps on the streets. Well, soon with the invention of electric lights, gas lamps got replaced and the job of a light lamper also disappeared eventually.

Which of these do you think could help people with a job if they still existed?

Back to top button