Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Odd Jobs



OK, we had some great fun yesterday in the comments with lots of creative ideas. A few were actually zeroing in on the correct answer. The man was holding ferrets and was a professional rat catcher. In the early 1900 diseases like plague were still a concern, so people went to great lengths to control rats and other rodents. Rat catchers were hired by individuals and businesses to clear the rats out of buildings. Ferrets were used, as were some small dogs, to root out pesky rodents.

Now for today's picture . . . what is this man's job?

21 comments:

  1. It looks like he is working on an early computer.

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  2. A job that today doesnt exist or one they have an app for.

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  3. I have no idea. Maybe he is working at some sort of message center, or some sort of early computer like DADD said.A taxi cab dispatcher, police dispatcher? a secret agent working for some diabolical secret orginization trying to take over the world?

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  4. I think he is a telephone operator.

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  5. Time - temperature - pressure - ????????????? measurement

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  6. He looks like a telegraph operator...am I close?

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  7. Is he doing something with the stock market? Recording trades or something? or taking bets at the race track?

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  8. Looks like He might be an early teletype machine operator. That might be a hopper under his hand that holds the paper.

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  9. A second guess,a calculator

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  10. Making controls for an airplane dashboard.

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  11. I think he is reporting horse race results which then get transmitted to various tiker tape machines at the end of the line. I like how the work stations back then are made out of wood, hand crafted and unique. No 2 are alike. Todays offices are sterile, all the same, borring, cube city. It's depressing. Thank goodness for " Old picture of the Day" to liven things up around here.

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  12. This man is the official time keeper for the Cimarron Territory (now the Oklahoma Panhandle). Back in the days before time zones, every jurisdiction kept it's own time zones and panhandle had 30 different time zones (as seen on the clocks behind him). This man's job was to keep track of the passing seconds on a metronome behind him on the desk and then telegraph the towns in the various zones when the sun was at its zenith so they could keep their clocks accurate.

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    Replies
    1. That is a very good guess ENM, but WRONG

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    2. I'm not so sure. Time was very important and you can see this guy never left his post. As you can see, they even hung a shaving brush from the top of the machine, so he could keep counting even when he needed to tidy up.

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  13. This man is tabulating the 1890 census using a machine developed by Herman Hollerith. Those are not clocks but dials recording the count on different census questions. He has his hand on a card punch. Out of the picture on the right is a card sorter.

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  14. Too funny ENM, and the chair doubles as a toilet. Thats dedication to your work for sure.

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  15. This man is a census worker, and he's using a tabulating machine! He's processing the data collected from the returned census information cards.

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  16. He's keeping track of workers on their coffee breaks. :)

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  17. Early teletype operator, the clocks are set for the time(s) in various cities around the globe.

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  18. Census worker with a Hollerith machine:
    http://www.officemuseum.com/data_processing_machines.htm

    A picture of Fawcett, as you can read on it.

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