Remember the good old days? A time when technology wasn't at our fingertips and before refrigerators were a thing? Don't worry, neither do we, and in many ways, we should consider ourselves lucky.
Before modern advancements reached Australia, we relied on good ol' fashion man power to get us by. From the 'dunny man' to the 'rat catcher', take a look at these Aussie jobs of yesteryear that might help you appreciate just how good we've got it today.
That’s right, way before they had satellites and smartphones, people were connected manually. Initially it was only essential services like the police and fire brigade who had access to telephone lines, however, this later expanded to businesses and private citizens around the turn of the 19th Century. It has also been said that Instagram was not super popular back in these days.
Before trucks came along, farmers would employ tough-as-nails drovers to move their livestock across vast agricultural plains of Australia. These fellas were viewed as the true blue Aussie outdoorsman by many, and were the subject of many bush poems by Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson.
Before refrigerators became household staples, keeping milk cold was practically impossible and the friendly neighbourhood milkman was the solution to this dilemma. Delivering fresh milk to the grateful households/housewives of Australia was probably one of the more perky jobs of the last century.
Before street lights were turned on with the modern day witchcraft we call electricity, the lamps that lined the towns were lit and extinguished manually. It was the job of this night owl to make sure the streets were illuminated from dusk ‘til dawn, everyday.
Got an illegitimate child? Trying to keep it on the down low from your wife/family? No problemo! The town husband worked for the church and would collect money from you to forward on to your emotionally neglected child — kind of like Western Union for absent dads.
Sounds like a cool job right? Though it may seem like madness now, ice was something of a luxury before fridges became commonplace during the 50’s, so lads would cart around huge chunks of frozen water (the key ingredient to ice) and deliver them to households.
Before the distribution of rat poison were available to the public, professional rat catchers had no choice but to be a little more hands on. These guys would use traps and dogs to capture and kill our furry little friends, to stop the spread of disease and earn themselves a little cash.
What did people do before iPhone alarms to wake them up in the morning? They employed a ‘knocker-upper’. Kind of like a human alarm clock, this person would go around to houses and tap on windows in order to get you up on time. And going off our resentful relationship with the modern alarm, we can only imagine that whoever was doing this job back in the day, was a pretty unpopular chap around town.
Everyone likes money right? The almoner was the person who would distribute money collected by the church to the poor, which (you’d hope) would make them the most trustworthy person in town.
You can probably figure out that this person's job was collecting people’s waste from their ‘thunderboxes’ and outhouses. The dunny man would either come weekly, or (in densely populated areas) nightly, and take the contents of your household’s toilet far, far away. It’s kind of like the opposite of Santa Claus but with poo, not presents.