An excellent slideshow from NPR highlights once jobs that were once ubiquitous but are now largely extinct. Some are the classic extinct jobs you would think of, like milkman and switchboard operator. Others, like lector and pinsetter are less obvious. There are many interesting facts, like New York City lamplighters were responsible for lighting 200-300 lamps and hour, and switchboard operators were initially teenage boys but they were replaced by woman for nearly a century because the boys were playing too many pranks.

It makes you wonder, what jobs of today will be obsolete in 2100 and will the people of the future find curiously antiquated? It’s hard to picture cashiers existing for much longer, especially at the grocery store. Coal mining, which already seems like an out-of-date occupation, would go away pretty quickly with the advent of some scalable, cheap, high-tech source of energy in the future. Others?

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