Occupations

The Footman and His Duties

One of the most important domestic workers in the household was the footman. According to one source, he was “so multifarious and incessant, that in most families, if he be industrious, attentive, and disposed to make himself useful, he will find full employment in the affairs of the house.” Though a footman might find full…

Read More

Oil Lamps and the Lamp Trimmer

Oil lamps were an alternative to the candle, and, in 1780, the Argand lamp replaced all oil lamps that had been used since ancient times. The Argand lamp, created by François Pierre Aimé Argand, a Swiss physicist and chemist, had an output of 6 to 10 candela — a base unit to describe the luminous intensity…

Read More

Beadles of the 1700 and 1800s

Beadle, sometimes spelled “bedel,” is a term derived from the Latin word bedellus or the Saxon word bydel. A beadle in the Anglican Church was described in England as a parish constable, whereas in Scotland it described someone who assisted the minister during divine services. One description of an English beadle claimed that he was…

Read More

Second-Hand Umbrella Sellers and Menders

It took some time for the umbrella, nicknamed brolly, gingham, or gamp, to become popular, but after it did, second-hand umbrella sellers and menders were in high demand. When ill-winds blew in, what other London street sellers lost in foul weather, the umbrella menders gained. The menders had two goals in mind: Repair or replace…

Read More

Stone Eaters

tone-eaters earned a living by “swallowing pebbles, and champing to pieces and swallowing bits of stone.” Stone eaters were particularly plentiful during the Georgian Era, although the existed into the Regency and Victorian eras. They could also be found exhibiting themselves in all countries and cities. Spectators were often encouraged to bring their own stones…

Read More

Occupations for Children in the Victorian Era

Unlike these lucky children released from school, many children worked during the Victorian Era because the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and business owners needed help. All sorts of jobs were available for children, but no protective, humane, or occupational societies looked out for their health or welfare. This meant children were sometimes inadequately…

Read More

Child Rat Catchers of the Victorian Era

By the Victorian Era it was common knowledge that rats carried diseases, and thousands of them were known to infest London sewers, factories, and homes. In the seasons when rats overran London, rat catchers were in high demand. Moreover, rats could be a big problem as reported by one Victorian rat catcher:

Read More