In recent time many people are fortunate enough to be able to strive to find work that they consider “meaningful” and “fulfilling.” And even finding it there are a lot of things to be annoyed like getting up in the morning and sitting in front of a computer for hours, answering phone calls etc. However, an average 9 to 5 job is heaven compared to some of the peculiar, dangerous or simply stinky jobs that people had to do in the past.
Check out the list of 15 weird and terrible gigs throughout the course of human history.
1 – Fuller
Fullers, responsible for Ancient Rome’s dirty laundry, had to stand in tubs filled with water and alkaline chemicals, which also meant stale urine collected from public restrooms, and clean the cloth.
2 – Resurrectionist
Their job was to dig the corpse out and sell them to the medical schools, but a controversy came to light, when the 19th century serial killers William Burke and William Hare, murdered people in order to sell their corpses.
3 – Rat Catcher
Rat catchers, as the name suggests, had to catch these disease causing rodents and some even made it big, such as Jack Black, who was given the awesome title of “rat-catcher and mole-destroyer” by Queen Victoria.
4 – Ornatrices
Ornatrices were enslaved hairdressers. They were responsible to create insane looks that were popular at the time, in ancient Rome. This person had to deal with a lot of gnarly ingredients such as hair dyes made out of pigeon poop, rotten leeches, squid ink, and urine.
5 – Whipping Boy
A whipping boy was that friend to the young prince, who played with him, and when the prince did some mischief, the boy used to be beaten.
6 – Lector
How boring would it be to just sit in the factory and work? So, there were lectors, who would read news and literature aloud to their colleagues.
7 – Nomenclator
Like how you have smart phones to save names and numbers of the people you meet, in the ancient times, there were nomenclators. People dragged these slaves to the party, and while they are drunk, the Nomenclators were forced to remember the names and numbers of the other people. They also told who the guy was, what you talked about, and whether he is worth contacting.
8 – Taster
This taster is different than the one we have in the modern era. In the ancient times, tasters would taste the food given to the tyrant all day, just to make sure that the food is not laced with lethal poisons.
9 – Pin Setter
Before mechanical pins came out, this job was done by boys specially hired for the task.
10 – Armpit Plucker
Like how you maintain your personal hygiene, in the ancient times, people got their armpit hair plucked to stay away from bad odour, with the help of an armpit plucker. To pluck hair from the hairy and smelly armpits is not at all easy.
11 – Ice Cutter
People used ice even when there were no fridge, because they got it cut from a lake, and an Ice cutter did this job.
12 – Leech Collector
Leech collector, a now defunct healthcare job of the 1800s, was a position that required people to collect leeches in bogs and marshes for the popular medical practice of blood letting. It was a seasonal position, since leeches were only out in the warmer months, and leech collectors were not well paid. They also faced occupational hazards considering they caught the leeches by wading into the water and letting the creatures attach on to their legs.
13 – Vestal Virgin
“Teen female virgin wanted for thirty year service. Must be Roman, having all limbs, and not the child of a slave”. This was the job description of the vestal virgin. These attractive and fully-limbed girls were to spend thirty years giving service to Vesta – goddess of the family. They had to keep the vestal flame burning and were in a position of great honor – the only female priests in Ancient Rome.
14 – Daguerreotypist
Before selfies, we had daguerreotypes – the images on polished silver made by dedicated daguerreotypists.
15 – Knocker-up
Before alarm clocks, there were knocker-up who tapped or shot peas at the windows of the people at an appointed time.