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OLD TIME OCCUPATIONS & PROFESSIONS

  • ACCOMPTANT  An accountant.

  • ACCOUCHER  A midwife.

  • ACTUARY  An accountant or public business account keeper.

  • ALCHEMIST  A chemist.

  • APOTHECARY  A pharmacist who prepared and sold medicines and drugs.

  • APPRIENTICE  A trainee who is bound to a skilled master for a specified period of time to learn the trade.

  • ARTIFICER  A military mechanic who does repairs.

  • ARTISIAN  One who is employed in any of the industrial arts such as a handicraftsman, mechanic.

  • ASSAYER   Person who determined the proportions of minerals in ore.

  • AURIFABER  A goldsmith

  • BAGMAN  A travelling salesman.

  • BAILIE  A bailiff.

  • BALER  A person who baled wool or cotton goods.

  • BAXTER  A baker.

  • BEETLERAN  A person operating a bettling machine which embossed textiles.

  • BINDER  A person who bound books.

  • BLACKSMITH  A person who worked iron with a forge and hammer.

  • BOARDMAN  A truant officer checking school attendance.

  • BOARDWRIGHT  A carpenter who made tables and chairs.

  • BOATMAN  A person working on the river or a boat repairman.

  • BOATSWAIN  Petty officer in charge of the ship's crew, rigging and deck maintenance.

  • BOBBIN CARRIER  Person who supplied spinning and weaving looms with bobbins.

  • BOBBIN LIGGER  Person who placed spools for spinning.

  • BOBBIN TURNER  Person who made wooden bobbins used in textile mills.

  • BOILERMAKER  An industrial metalworker.

  • BOILER PLATER  A person who made rolled steel or iron place for steam engine boilers.

  • BONE LACE MAKER  A person who made pillow lace.

  • BONE PICKER  Originally a person who collected rags and bones; later any discarded items.

  • BONIFACE  Innkeeper.

  • BOOK GILDER  A person who gilded book bindings with gold leaf.

  • BONIFACE  An innkeeper.

  • BOOKMAN  A student.

  • BOOTBINDER  A person who operated machines in shoemaking, binding uppers to soles.

  • BOOT CLOSER  A person who stitched shoe uppers to the soles.

  • BORLER or BORELER  The maker of borel, a cheap coarse woollen cloth.

  • BOTCHER  A tailor or a cobbler.

  • BOTTLE BOY  A pharmacist's assistant.

  • BOTTOMER  Carpenter who finished the rough shape in wooden chairmaking.

  • BRAIDER  A person who made cord by twisting cords or leather.

  • BRAILLER  A person who made girdles.

  • BRAKEMAN or BRAKESMAN  Person who operated the brakes on trains or trams.

  • BRASILER  A person who dyed material and fabrics.

  • BRAIZER  A person who worked with brass.

  • BREAKMAN or BRICKMAN  A bricklayer.

  • BREECH MAKER  The maker of breeches for guns.

  • BREWSTER  A brewer.

  • BRICKSETTER  The person who stacked or set bricks for firing in the kiln.

  • BRIDGEMAN or BRIDGER  Toll bridge keeper.

  • BRIGHTSMITH  A metal worker.

  • BRIMSTONE REFINER  A person who refined sulphur, one of the components of gunpowder.

  • BUCKLER  A person who made belt buckles.

  • BUCKRAM MAKER  A person who made buckram used for stiffening lapels, collars, etc.

  • BUCKWASHER  A laundress.

  • BULLWHACKER  An oxen driver.

  • BONE PICKER  A person who gathered rags, bones, and other discarded items.

  • BURGONMASTER  A mayor.

  • BUTTER CARVER  Person who prepared butter for sale.

  • CANNALLER  A canal boat worker.

  • CANDLER  A person who made candles; person who candled eggs.

  • CANER  Maker of woven cane chair seats.

  • CAPITALIST  Investor who provides capital for commerce & or industry.

  • CARDER  A person who combs (cards) wool or cotton.

  • CARTER  A person who transports goods by wagon.

  • CARTOGRAPHER  A mapmaker.

  • CARTOMANCER  A fortune teller who uses cards.

  • CHAISEMAKER  A carriage maker.

  • CHARWOMAN  A woman hired by the day to do odd jobs, usually cleaning.

  • CHIFFONNIER  A wig maker.

  • CHIMNEY SWEEP  A person who cleans chimneys.

  • CLOD HOPPER  A ploughsman.

  • COACHSTAND WATERMAN  A person who watered horses and tended to them in in the absence of the drivers.

  • COBBLER  A shoemaker and reparier.

  • COLLIER  A coal mine worker.

  • COOPER  Maker of wooden staves, hoops, casks, barrels, tubs, etc.

  • CORDWAINER  A shoemaker.

  • COXWAIN  The helmsman of a ship or a boat.

  • CROCKER  A potter who made crockery.

  • CURRIER  A stablehand who attended to the grooming of the horses; a leather tanner.

  • DAGUERREOTYPE ARTIST  Early photographer.

  • DEATHSMAN  An executioner.

  • DELVER  A ditch digger; a stone quarry worker.

  • DENTAL MECHANIC  Skilled laborer who made false teeth.

  • DOCKER  A stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo.

  • DORCAS  A seamstress.

  • DOWSER or DIVINER  A person who finds water using a rod or witching stick.

  • DRAGOON  A cavalryman.

  • DRAPER  A dealer of fabrics and sewing goods.

  • DRAYMAN or DRAYSMAN  A person who drove long strong carts without fixed sides to transport heavy loads and cargo.

  • DRILLMAN  Agricultural worker who operated a seed drill.

  • DRPVER  A person who drove farm animals to market; a dealer in cattle.

  • DRUGGER  A pharmacist.

  • DUFFER  A peddler of cheap goods.

  • EGGLER  An egg and/or poultry dealer.

  • ENUMERATOR  A person who collected and recorded census data from households.

  • ERITE  A heretic.

  • EREMITE  A hermit.

  • EWEHERD  A shepherd.

  • EXCISEMAN  A tax collector.

  • EXPRESSMAN  A messenger who collected & delivered letters or parcels requiring quick service.

  • FABER  A workman or artisan.

  • FACTOR  An agent or commission merchant who transacts business or another.

  • FAKER  A photographer's assistant who hand-colored monochromatic photographs.

  • FANNER  A person who winnowed grain.

  • FANWRIGHT  A person who made or repaired fans or winnowing baskets.

  • FARRIER  A blacksmith who shoed horses; horse doctor; cavalry NCO in charge of horses.

  • FEATHER BEATER/DRIVER/DRESSER  A person who cleaned feathers for sale.

  • FEATHERMAN  A person who sold feathers.

  • FELLER  A wood cutter.

  • FELTER  A person who worked with felt, usually in the hat trade.

  • FEWSTER  A personwho made wooden saddle trees, the "skeleton" of a leather saddle.

  • FITTER  1) A coal broker. 2) A skilled mechanic.

  • FLAGGER  A person who laid paving stones.

  • FLATMAN  Boatman working on a flat-bottom boat, mainly in rivers and canals.

  • FLASHER  A specialist glassmaker.

  • FLAUNER  A confectioner.

  • FLESHEWER  A butcher.

  • FLETCHER  The maker of arrows.

  • FLUSHERMAN  A person who cleaned out water pipes, gutters, etc.

  • FORGEMAN or FORGER  A blacksmith or his assistant.

  • FORM FITTER  A person who made fitted forms for building, in particular archwork.

  • FOSSETMAKER  A person who made wooden taps for casks.

  • FOUNDER  A foundryman who casted metal.

  • FREEDMAN  A freed slave.

  • FREEHOLDER  A land owner.

  • FREEMAN  A man who had served his apprenticeship and could work at his trade on his own.

  • FREEMASON  A stone mason.

  • GABELER  A tax collector.

  • GAFFER  A foreman; and elderly man.

  • GAOLER  The keeper of a gaol; a jailer.

  • GAUNTER  A glove maker.

  • GENTRY  Families of hereditary rank, baronets and knights of England.

  • GEOMETER  A person skilled in geometry.

  • GLAZIER  A window glassman.

  • GRAFFER  A notary or scrivener.

  • GRANGER  A farmer.

  • GROOVER  A miner.

  • HABERDASHER  The seller of clothing.

  • HACKER  1) A woodcutter. 2) The maker of hoes or other cutting tools.

  • HACKNEY MAN  Driver of horse-drawn cab. Taxis were orginally called hackney cabs.

  • HAWKER or HUCKSTER  A peddler or street vender.

  • HAYMONGER  A dealer of hay.

  • HILLIER  A roof tiler.

  • HODSMAN  A manson's assistant who carried the hod in which materials were carried.

  • HOOPER or HOOP SHAVER  A person who made hoops for casks and barrels.

  • HORSE KNAVE  A groomsman.

  • HOSIER  Retailer of hosiery such as socks, stockings, and gloves.

  • HOSTELLER or HOSTELIER  An innkeeper.

  • HOSTLER  1) A stablehand or groom. 2) Person who repaired railroad engines.

  • HOTPRESSER  A person who worked in textile or paper mills, pressing product to smooth and glaze it.

  • HUCKSTER  A street merchant or retailer of small wares from a shop or a booth.

  • HUSBANDMAN  Tenant farmer or a sheperd.

  • ICEMAN  An ice seller who usually made house deliveries.

  • INDENTURED SERVANT  A person who committed for a set number of years to pay off a financial obligation such as ship passage to America.

  • INTELLIGENCER  A spy.

  • INTERFACTOR  A murderer.

  • IRONSMITH  A blacksmith.

  • IRONMONGER  A hardware merchant.

  • IRONMASTER  An owner of a foundry; manager of a foundry.

  • JACK  1) A sailor. 2) A young male assistant.

  • JOBBER  1) A dealer in goods. 2) A pieceworker.

  • JOINER or JOYNER  A skilled carpenter.

  • JOURNEYMAN  A tradesman who has served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft but not bound to serve a master.

  • KELLER  A bargeman.

  • KEMPSTER  A wool comber.

  • KILNER  A person in charge of a kiln; a limeburner.

  • KNOLLER  A bell toller.

  • LAMPLIGHTER  A person who usually was employed by the town to light gas street lamps.

  • LANDWAITER or LANDING WAITER  A customs official who oversaw landed goods from ships.

  • LARDNER  A person who was the "keeper of the cupboard."

  • LASTER  A shoe maker.

  • LATH RENDER  A person who rends and splits wood to form laths.

  • LATTENER or LATTENSMITH  A brass worker.

  • LAVENDER  A washerwoman.

  • LEDERER  A leather maker.

  • LEECH  A physician.

  • LITTERMAN  A horse groom.

  • LOBLOLLY BOY  1) Ship surgeon's assistant. 2) Errand boy.

  • LOCK KEPPER  A person who maintains and operates canal locks.

  • LONGSHOREMAN  A stevedore.

  • LOOPER  A person who operated a looping machine which closed the opening in the toe of hoisery.

  • MALENDER  A farmer.

  • MANGLER  A person who operated a mangle which wrung water out of washing.

  • MASON  A stone cutter or dresser; a bricklayer.

  • MASTER  The highest grade of skilled tradesmen, often owner of his own business.

  • MAWER or MATHER  A mower.

  • MEALMAN  Dealer of meal or flour.

  • MECHANIC  1) Machine operator who was less skilled than an engineer. 2) A Journeyman.

  • MERCATOR  A merchant.

  • MERCER  A cloth dealer.

  • MILLER  A person who ran a grain or saw mill.

  • MILLINER  A person who made and sold ladies' hats.

  • MILLWRIGHT  A person who designed, built, and maintained mills and milling machinery.

  • MILNER  A mill laborer.

  • MONGER  A person who sold goods and merchandise.

  • MOULDER  A person who made moulds for castings, brickmaking, etc.

  • MULESKINNER  A teamster; driver.

  • MULETEER  A mule driver.

  • NAYLOR  A person who made iron nails by hand.

  • NEATHERD or NEATHERDER  A cow herder.

  • NECESSARY WOMAN  Female servant who emptied and cleaned chamber pots.

  • NEDELLER  A person who made needles.

  • NIGHT SOILMAN  A person who emptied cesspits, ashpits and outside toilets, usually from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

  • NOTERER  A notary.

  • NURSE CHILD  A child being looked after by another family for payment.

  • OCCUPIER  A tradesman.

  • OILMAN  Seller of lamp oil.

  • OIL MILLER  Person who milled seed to extract oils such as linseed, cottonseed, etc.

  • OSTIARY  Doorkeeper at a monastery.

  • OSTLER or HOSTLER  Originally an innkeeper; later stablehand who looked after visitors' horses.

  • OUT CRIER  An auctioneer.

  • OVERLOOKER  An overseer or foreman.

  • OVERMAN  A colliery supervisor who check on the workers and coal quality.

  • PALISTER  A park keeper.

  • PANTLER  A butler.

  • PARGETER  A craftsman who applied pargetting (ornamental plaster) to buildings.

  • PETTIFOGGER  A shyster lawyer.

  • PHRENOLOGIST  A person who "read" bumps on the head for character assessment.

  • PIECE BROKER  Dealer of fabric remnants.

  • PITMAN  A coal miner.

  • PLOUGHWRIGHT  A person who either made or repaired plows.

  • POLEMAN  A surveyor's assistant.

  • PORTER  1) Door or gate keeper. 2) Person who carried baggage in stations or other public places.

  • PROTHONARY  A law clerk.

  • PUBLICAN  An innkeeper.

  • PUDDLER  A wrought iron worker.

  • RAG PICKER  A person who sorted useable items from rag collection.

  • RACKER  A street cleaner.

  • RODMAN  Surveyor's assistant who held the rod for the surveyor's theodolite observation.

  • SADDLER  A person who made, repaired, and sold saddles and tack for horses.

  • SAWBONES  A physician.

  • SAWYER  A worker in a saw mill.

  • SCRIBE  A clerk; a writer.

  • SCRIVENER  A notary public or professional writer or copyist.

  • SCULLERY MAID  Female servant assigned to perform menial tasks.

  • SCULLION  Male servant assigned to perform menial tasks.

  • SEXTON  A church caretaker who sometimes dug graves or rang the church bells.

  • SHANTYMAN  A woodman or a lumberman.

  • SHARECROPPER  A tenant farmer who received a fixed portion of the crop as pay.

  • SHIP'S HUSBAND  A person who supplied the stores and maintained ships in dock.

  • SHIP'S MASTER  The captain of a ship; often the owner of the ship.

  • SHIPWRIGHT  A person who built and repaired ships.

  • SHOESMITH  A cobbler.

  • SHOT FIRER  A person who fired the blast in quarries.

  • SHRIEVE or SHRIEVER  A sheriff.

  • SLATER  A roofer.

  • SLAYMAKER  A person who made reeds (slays) used in weaving.

  • SOAPER or SOPER or SOAP BOILER  A person who made soap.

  • SPURRER or SPURRIER  A person who made spurs.

  • SQUIRE or ESQUIRE  1) Country landed gentleman. 2) Magistrate or justice of the peace. 3) A professional man.

  • STABLER  A person who attended to horses.

  • STATIONARY ENGINEER  Person who operated steam engines, usually in a factory setting.

  • STAYMAKER  A person who made corsets.

  • STEAM HAMMER DRIVER  Person who operated large steam-operated hammer to forge iron and steel.

  • STEEPLEJACK  Person who works on steeples, chimneys, flagpoles, etc.

  • STEERSMAN  A ship's helmsman.

  • STOKER  A person who tended and fed coal to boilers.

  • STONE DRESSER  A person who prepared quarried stone for building, cutting it to blocks with a reasonably even surface.

  • STONE PICKER  A person who removed stones from fields prior to planting a crop.

  • STOVER or STEVER or STAVER  Senior member of a partnership of miners & in charge at the surface.

  • STOWYER  The person who stowed nets on fishing boats.

  • STRIKER or STRYKER  A blacksmith's assistant.

  • SUMPTER  A porter.

  • SUTLER  A merchant or peddler in an army camp.

  • SWAILER  A miller or a grain dealer.

  • SWAIN  A herdsman.

  • SWINGLER  A person who beat flax which removed the coarse portions.

  • TAVERNER  An innkeeper.

  • TEAMSTER  Driver of a team of horses or mules.

  • THRESHER  Person who operated machinery which separated chaff from grain.

  • TILLER  A farmer.

  • TILLMAN  A ploughman.

  • TINCTOR  A person who dyed fabric or cloth.

  • TINKER  A tin pot and pan salesman.

  • TINNER  A tin miner or tinsmith.

  • TINTER  Artists who tinted monochromatic photographs before color was available.

  • TOBACCO SPINNER  A person who made cigars.

  • TOP SAWYER  Upper man in a sawpit using a long two-man saw.

  • TRIMMER  1) A ship's crewman who trimmed coal. 2) Dockworker who trimmed bulk cargo in the ship's hold to spread it out evenly.

  • TROUNCER  A drayman's assistant.

  • TURNCOCK  Employee of local water company who opened & closed off the water supply.

  • TURNKEY  A jailer.

  • TYRESMITH  A blacksmith who specialized in making iron bands around wooden cart wheels.

  • VALET  A gentleman's personal male servant.

  • VALUATOR  A valuer.

  • VAMPER  The person who made the upper part of a boot or shoe which covered the instep.

  • VASSAL  The lowest order of servant.

  • VINTAGER  A graper grower or wine maker.

  • VINTER or VINTNER  A wine merchant.

  • VULCAN  A blacksmith.

  • WAGGONER  The driver of a wagon or 4-wheeled cart.

  • WAINWRIGHT  A person who made or repaired wagons "wains."

  • WAKEMAN or WAIT  A night watchman.

  • WARDER  A jailer.

  • WAY MAKER  A road builder.

  • WAY MAN  A road surveyor.

  • WHACKER  Horse or ox team driver.

  • WHEEL TAPPER  A railroad worker who tapped wheels to detect cracks.

  • WHEELER  A person who made wheels or a spinning wheel attendant.

  • WHEELWRIGHT  A person who made or repaired wheels, wheeled vehicles.

  • WHIPPING BOY  Servant who was whipped in place of royal miscreants.

  • WHITE LIMER  Plasterer who used lime.

  • YARDMAN  Worker in railroad engine yards.

  • YEOMAN  Farmer who owns his own land; Naval petty officer in charge of ship's stores.

    Submitted by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2008


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