Thursday, August 31, 2006

Odd Jobs

To mark the imminent Labor Day holiday, has released a list of interesting occupations found in the U.S. and U.K. Census Collections. Here are some highlights:

  • Some were more creative in answering census takers' questions. Rather than simply listing "laborer" as their occupation, their occupations were "Sandwich Man," "Soda Dispenser," "Inspector of Lunch," "Collector of Eggs" or "Prepares Fruit"
  • The 1880 Census reveals the lure of the "Wild West" during that time period. Almost 30,000 individuals reported their occupation as "Saloon Keeper." There was also a significant number of "Cattle Herders," "Cowboys," "Saddle and Harness Makers," "Horse Dealers," "Street Sweepers" (to clean up the after the horses on the big city streets) and even an "Outlaw" appeared on the census takers list
  • Some people showcased their seeming lack of occupation, listing jobs such as "Old Batchelor," "Good Talker," "Reading the Bible," "Bird Fancyier," "Buggy Riding" and "Gent at Large"

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