By Drake Baer
We could all be dinosaurs. The Economist predicts that robots are going to replace telemarketers, accountants, and retail workers
, and Bill Gates says software bots will take even more jobs
. This isn't the first time that whole swaths of the labor market have gone extinct: The Industrial Revolution did away with gigs that your great-great-grandparents might have had that sound preposterous to us today.
Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic's occupational classification list from 1850
and some research of our own, we found several bizarre-sounding occupations that are now totally extinct.Additional reporting by Vivian Giang.
9 Bizarre Jobs Our Ancestors Did That No Longer Exist
"Computer" used to be somebody's title. Before electronics took over, these workers--usually women--would convert figures and crunch other numbers by hand.
Factory workers needed a little entertainment, so a lector read news and literature aloud to them.
> Find a job in manufacturing
Before everyone had refrigerators, milk quickly went bad. So you'd need it delivered regularly by your milkman. With home refrigeration, this profession disappeared.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Chimney sweeps cleaned out the soot that built up over winters spent burning wood to keep warm.
Before we had selfies, we had daguerreotypes, the earliest kind of publicly available photograph. These images on polished silver were made by dedicated daguerrotypists.
> Find a job in photography
Hemp used to be a major part of the linen industry. The people that separated the coarse parts of it were hemp dressers.
Photo: Library of Congress
Rat catchers snagged the disease-carrying rodents that once ran rampant in residential neighborhoods.
A quarryman would extract stone from the earth that may be used for various construction purposes, like a kitchen counter.
How did people get up for work before alarm clocks? They hired a "knocker-up" to tap or shoot peas at their windows at an appointed time.
Photo: Recuerdos de Pandora