Amuse residents with this list of professions that no longer exist. Start by saying the profession and waiting to see if anyone can guess what this was for.
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Amuse residents with this list of professions that no longer exist or are scarce in modern times. Start by saying the profession and then wait to see if anyone can guess what this was for.

Switchboard operator:
Telephone assistant to help callers reach the person they are calling.
A woman employed to teach children in a private household.
A person who reads aloud to others; newspapers or scripture passages in a Church service.
A woman who made her living by sewing clothes for others.
Very rare these days, the milkman sold or delivered milk door to door in glass bottles.
A compositor or a 'type setter' was the person that set the written material into type.
Wet Nurse:
Wet nurses were hired when the mother of a baby was unable or chose not to nurse the child herself.
Carriage drivers:
Before cars, it was the main form of transportation in big cities. They were a lot like today's taxi drivers.
Radio Actors:
Very popular before television. Musicals and dramas were played over the wireless to the delight of many.
Elevator operators:
Men in charge of the safety of elevator the passengers.
In the early 1900s, pinsetters were young boys that would reset the pins in the bowling alleys for very low wages.
The major cities of the world had hundreds of lighting men. They had to carry a ladder with them to reach the lamps.
A man employed as a servant to wait on tables, attend the door and run errands.
Coal stokers:
A dangerous and challenging job. The boiler room on large ships needed stokers to get going. (The Titanic had men stoking the coal around the clock to keep it in motion).
Gas/Petrol Station attendants:
People hired to attend customers at gas stations, their jobs included: filling up your car, wiping your windshield, checking oil, checking transmission and cranking up your car to get it started if necessary.
Chimney Sweeper:
This age old profession was sure to cover the person in soot and ash by the end of the day. In Europe, at the turn of the century people used children as chimney sweepers because they were small enough to fit inside the tiny chimneys.


Satomi 29th Dec 2015
Hi, just to add FYI. I live in Adelaide Hills and there are a quite few chimney sweepers as most houses are using open or combustion fire place. I lived in Sydney, Bendigo, Canberra, Sunshine Coast and this is the first time to use a combustion fire place and gas from a gus bottle. I would like to know whether other places in rural Australia use the fire place or gas bottle. Thanks, Satomi.
Susan 29th Dec 2015
In the UK some of these are still going. We still have the milkman, switchboard operator, seamstress, chimney sweep, radio actors, footman and governess. The last 2 mainly working with royalty or very high class families.
Very interesting subject though that will be great to do with my residents.
Deborah 19th Aug 2014
Great stuff.brought back memories for me......we use to get bottle milk at school for recess. Pink.brown.yellow. those were the days.
Jessie 8th Apr 2013
All good subjects for our reminiscing time. Golly, it was only 20 years ago at my wee(no pun intended) country cottage that I had an outside dunny with a nightman emptying it once a week. Thank the gods for septic toilets.
Debbie 3rd Apr 2013
Windmill mechanics are a dying breed. Nippers working on railway gangs and firemen on the railway. What about the men who would collect and empty the dunny cans in everyones backyard thunderbox?
Solange 26th Apr 2012
Thank you Wendy; feedback is always welcome!I will add it to the quiz.
Wendy 26th Apr 2012
Shoe shine boys.- ( Men/boys who polished and shined your work shoes) Paper boys - (stood on the corners and sold the afternoon paper)


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