Old Job Titles

Advancements in technology have made many jobs obsolete. Because technology keeps increasing at a fast pace every day and it’s taking over everything, including people’s jobs. Reading this article means going through the memory lane to know the jobs of our forefathers. Sounds interesting, right? Grab your popcorn and start reading. Out of many old job titles, a few important ones are elevator operators, billy boys, typists, and switchboard operators. Several old jobs still exist today, but with much more modification. Below, you’d get to know more about these old jobs and their tasks.

Old Job Titles

Obsolete Jobs And Their Titles

It’s worth knowing these old jobs because they give one an idea of how things worked in the olden days. The following are the old job titles and their tasks;

Switchboard Operators

Thanks to digital exchange. Today, people can make calls to each other across the globe.   

In the olden days, our forefathers had to hire people who can connect long-distance calls and help keep direct communication. These people were called switchboard operators. 


Organizations still welcome the services of typists up till today. Though, instead of using typewriters, computers became the replacements. 

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

The typists were influential and wealthy people. As a result of the high demand for their work. The demands for their work ranges from the publishing, clerical and administrative sector.

Billy Boys

Another name for the billy boys is “Errand boys.” Billy boys were apprentices who made tea for their bosses alongside. This is akin to having an intern who gives his/her intern boss coffee every morning. But, no one will want to be called a billy boy anymore.


Eggs cartons came into existence in 1911. A group of people makes ends meet by selling eggs. 

They sold eggs, and soon spice up the business with other poultry products and food as well. Today one will still find people selling eggs in a local farm market. But you dare not call them egglers! 


Most of our World War 1 and World War 11 soldiers were called cavalrymen. Everyone knew this set of soldiers loved riding horses, camels, and elephants, such that they gave them this special name. Every country still has soldiers, but they don’t ride animals again, thanks to planes and vehicles.

Log Drivers

Log drivers make a living by using the river’s current to transport logs to sawmills. And pulp mills downstream from the forest where they cut the logs. Today, log drivers don’t have to pass through the stress of using the river’s current. Technology has provided timber trucks and lorries. 

Dispatch Riders

Dispatch riders still exist but they carry out different tasks today, they help convey items to customers. During our forefathers’ times, dispatch riders were the soldiers’ aid. 

They help convey urgent messages between militaries during war times. Radio transmissions were underdeveloped then compared to how they are now.


Our ancestors who lived in the early 1900s and late 1800s never had electric street lights. They had to find certain people who’d switched on and switched off the street lights. To them, it wasn’t stress though, it was a source of making money.

Town Criers

Social media is the exact name to call the ancient town criers. Many had cell phones but they weren’t as advanced as today’s cellphones.  Newspapers existed as well but many couldn’t read.

Therefore certain people with good and loud voices had to walk around to distribute important information across the streets. They still post the important news at the bars after the town criers have shouted from house to house. 

That way people absent when the town crier was talking and can read will get the information at the bar. Therefore no one is left out of receiving any important information. If someone can’t read, they’d ask another who can read to read out to them.


Inventors created the first mechanical alarm in 1847 but before then, it was hard for most people to wake up on their own on time. In order not to miss out on important things because of sleep, people hire the services of certain people called “Knockerupper.”

A knockerupper will either tap the glass windows of people’s houses with a long pole or shoot peas. Today, the digital alarm is our best friend & foe at the same time but in the old times, it was the Knockeruppers.


Instead of the calculators and computers, we have today to help with calculations. Women with high IQs were the computers and calculators of the organizations in the early 17th century. The movie titled Hiddle Figures will give you much more knowledge of this. 

Elevator Operator

People need to appreciate the act of just pressing a button in an elevator and it’d take them to their destination in the workplace. In the olden days, every workplace hired people who’d stand at the elevators. 

This person is in charge of controlling the elevator for people entering and leaving. Imagine having to stand from morning till night now, technology has made life easier!

Herb Strewer

An herb strewer is the replacement for the production of sprays and perfume. In the ancient 16th and 17th centuries. Rich people living in the palace and castle seek the help of an herb strewer.

This herb strewer helps take away the bad odors that lurk around their houses. They use herbs to replace the terrible odors before the production of perfumes, sewage, and plumbing systems.


That’s it with the majority of the jobs that they’re now obsolete. Knowing these jobs will help people appreciate what technology is doing and the people behind the everyday advancement in technology. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What was the first set of work human beings made?

The first set of work was farming, carpentry, and tool making.

Who established working five days a week?

Henry Ford established working five days a week in 1926. Also, in the same year, he established working for 8 hours only daily.

What is the 2nd oldest job that still exists?

Prostitution is the 2nd oldest occupation that’s still in existence today. What’s more? The name hasn’t changed since it started.

Old Job Titles

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