The recent recession may have turned the job market on its head, but larger economic factors have drastically changed the U.S. market over the last century. The Industrial Revolution has all but eliminated once stable, middle-class jobs that were commonplace for your great-grandparents living in rural farmlands.
To find out what types of jobs were around before the Industrial Revolution, we combed through the occupational classification list from 1850, the first year the government collected data on what Americans do for work, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We then compared it to a part of today's Census called the Standard Occupational Classifications, which identifies 31,000 active occupations in America.
Below are jobs from the past that are no longer recognized by the BLS:
1. Chimney-sweeps: Someone who inspects and cleans chimneys. The job typically requires a certain level of dexterity since it involves a lot of climbing, squatting, kneeling, and stretching.
2. Daguerreotypists: These people were the pioneers of photography using the camera obscura, an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen.
3. Drover: Someone who drives cattle or sheep.
4. Hemp dressers: Someone who worked in the linen industry separating the coarse parts of hemp. They were also known as hacklers, the instruments they used to separate hemp.
5. Lapidaries: An artist who collects precious gemstones and minerals and forms them into decorative items.
6. Lathmaker: Someone who works to set up, operate, or tend wood sawing.
7. Match makers: Someone whose job consists of matching two people up, usually for the purpose of marriage.
8. Occultists: People who study magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, and divination.
9. Quarrymen: A man who works in or manages a quarry, which is a type of open pit mine for extracting rocks and minerals.
10. Shoe peg maker: This is a traditional form of shoe-making using pegged construction.
11. Salaeratus makers: A person who makes baking soda.
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