As technology such as artificial intelligence and robots continue to replace workers and perform their jobs more efficiently, there is growing concern that people will soon be completely replaced by automated processes. In reality, automation and new tools have been replacing human-operated jobs for hundreds of years.
From knocker ups to log drivers and switchboard operators, there is a time and place for every job until it’s no longer needed. You might still find a few of these positions in the wild but they are mostly ceremonial or used as gimmicks in modern times.
Wait until you read about the illegal work that “hush shopkeepers” were tasked with completing in plain sight of police.
Other than the occasional breakdown, elevators are easy to operate with the push of a button but that wasn’t always the case. Until automatic elevators came around in the 1950s, they were almost always controlled by an elevator operator. Elevator operators were responsible for controlling the doors, choosing elevator speeds and ensuring the elevator was not over capacity during busy times of the day. Some fancy hotels and buildings in metro areas still provide for this job but it’s obsolete in terms of actual need. In this photo, an elevator operator takes a sheep and goose for a ride in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.