Other lost jobs

Posted 7/22/22

Ice cutter. Back before mechanical refrigerators, people kept their food cold with ice. During the winter here, ice was cut from the Delaware River and local lakes. It was then stored in icehouses …

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Other lost jobs

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Ice cutter. Back before mechanical refrigerators, people kept their food cold with ice. During the winter here, ice was cut from the Delaware River and local lakes. It was then stored in icehouses under sawdust to preserve it through the summer.

Be a fashionable man with the right shirt collar.
Be a fashionable man with the right shirt collar.

Shirt collar manufacturer.  Troy, NY was “Collar City.” This was back in the day, when collars were removable—so they could be washed and starched—and you could replace them easily if need be. The collars were attached with collar studs. By the 20th century, 15,000 people worked in the shirt-collar industry just in Troy.

The Red Hill fire tower in Denning, near Claryville. Once, spotters watched for forest fires from towers like this. (During wartime, spotters watched for enemy planes, too.) ..The Red Hill tower is 60 feet tall and was built in 1921. As with all the Catskills fire towers, it was used less over time; fire-spotting from the air was more efficient. The tower finally closed in 1990...
The Red Hill fire tower in Denning, near Claryville. Once, spotters watched for forest fires from towers like this. (During wartime, spotters watched …

Fire tower fire spotter.  Red Hill, near Claryville, employed the last tower spotter in the Catskills until 1990.

Film developer.  Once upon a time we took our little rolls of film to a developer, and then picked up our photos a day to a week later.

Typewriter repairman.  When the keys stuck, it was time to take the typewriter to the shop. “The keys never stick now,” said one former owner of a typewriter. “It is never time to go to the typewriter repairman.”

Before reliable refrigeration, milk came to you once a day or so.
Before reliable refrigeration, milk came to you once a day or so.

Milkman. In the days before reliable refrigerators, milk was delivered once a day or so. “Daily milk delivery was necessary to prevent the milk from spoiling before people could drink it,” writes the Dairy Alliance. “It was the safest and most cost-effective way to get milk and other perishables to customers.”

A newsboy spreads the word.
A newsboy spreads the word.

Newsboys. According to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, they were often homeless boys trying to make a little money. Newspapers began using them in the mid-19th century, as mass-circulation newspapers took off. The newsboys went on strike in 1899, and conditions started to improve after that.

Abandoned telegraph poles in the Ten Mile River area.
Abandoned telegraph poles in the Ten Mile River area.

Telegraph employees. The telegraph was the only method of long-distance communication from the 1840s to the  20th century. By 1940, notes history.com, there were 40 telegraph lines across the Atlantic. Telegrams were the messages you sent over a telegraph, word-tight to save money. They’d be delivered to the recipient by a telegram service.

lots jobs, ice cutter, shirt collar manufacturer, fire tower fire spotter, film developer, typewriter repairman, milkman, newsboys, telegraph employees

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