In the late 1800s, Labor Day was established as a way to celebrate the dedicated American workers and their economic and social achievements. This national holiday is a "tribute to the contributions workers have made to strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country." Taking place on the first Monday in September, most of you just had the opportunity to experience a long weekend, inevitably followed by a short work week.

It is an honor to work alongside men and women who take this country's well-being very seriously, and encouraging to be part of the social and economic development in the Indiana communities. In honor of Labor Day, we want to remember some professions from the past that (thankfully) no longer exist. Here they are:

  1. Knocker-Up
    Imagine a world before iPhones and alarm clocks - Knocker-Ups served people like doctors, drivers, and market traders and acted as their personal alarm clocks each morning. They walked the streets and tapped on windows to wake their clients up.
     
  2. Pinsetter
    Bowling didn't used to be nearly as fun when actual people had to reset the pins after each round. This process became automated in 1957, and thankfully, bowling alleys have become a place of leisure rather than climbing into a tight space to reset pins.
     
  3. Lamplighter
    Remember when street lights were actually street lamps? It turns out, those lamps needed someone walking by each night to light them (and extinguish them each morning). The lamplighter became obsolete in the 1950s.
     
  4. Food Tester
    At first glance, this sounds like a great gig. It would be wonderful to travel the world and taste delicious food. However, this type of food tester was employed to royal families and high profile leaders to taste test food to make sure it wasn't poisoned. 
     
  5. Rat Catching
    Often a job for children, they had to run around the streets and catch rats in cages through the night. This "profession" stayed in place through the early 1900s. We know they caught the rats, but we aren't sure what happened to them afterwards.
     
  6. Switchboard Operators
    Though this position still exists in some capacity, it's nothing like it used to be in the 1950s. Towns and cities used to employ women to manually connect every phone call. Our modern situation looks similar, but it's Siri who connects us.
     
  7. Ice Cutting
    Before refridgerators spit out ice cubes, certain parts of town looked a lot like Disney's Frozen movie. Ice houses stored huge blocks of ice that would get delivered to establishments, then cut up into small, bite-sized cubes.
     
  8. Town Crier
    This profession was in place before newspapers, telephones, and certainly before instant messaging. It's hard to imaging a townsperson shouting important events wtih a booming voice. Now people just turn on the television or login to Twitter for the latest news updates.


While these jobs had extreme importance and significance over the years, it's nice to see that the processes have been automated. Though fear of the machine is still a relevant concern, technology and innovation continue to enhance the world we live in. However, the technology and innovation wouldn't exist without the dedicated men and women working hard to support our nation. On behalf of the Boughter Sinak, LLC, we would like to thank each of you for the countless hours of hard work you invest into our country. We hope you had a very happy Labor Day.

 

Source: Department of Labor & SFGate

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