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I would have been a ‌

The students of the 6th Grade go back in time and follow some really interesting careers!!


(κυνηγός αρουραίων)

A rat-catcher was a person whose occupation was to catch rats as a form of pest control. Keeping the rats under control was practiced in Europe to prevent the spread of diseases to man, most notoriously the Black Plague and to prevent damage to food. Rat-catchers captured rats by hand or with traps and their payment was high. A rat-catcher`s risk of being bitten was high, as was the risk of getting a disease from a rat bite. Some say that some rat-catchers in Europe raised rats instead of catching them in order to increase their payment from the city they worked for. A famous rat-catcher from Victorian England was Jack Black.

Georgia as a Rat-catcher!!



A milkman was a person who delivered milk in milk bottles. Milkmen delivered milk in the morning and they also carried other things like eggs, cheese and butter. In the past milk was delivered to houses every day because there were no refrigerators. In some areas, houses had a small milk delivery door. The traditional milkman wore white clothes and drove a truck carrying milk from door to door. This job disappeared in the 1940s and ‘50s when people started to have refrigerators at home. There are milkmen today too but the modern milkman is not like the old and doesn`t bring milk to houses but to supermarkets.

Katerina as a Milkman!!



A knocker-up or knocker-upper was a profession in England and Ireland that started during the Industrial Revolution and lasted till 1920. Before the alarm clocks were affordable, a knocker-up`s job was to raise sleeping people so they could get to work on time. The knocker-up used a heavy stick often made of bamboo to reach the windows on higher floors. Some of them used a pea-shooter. The knocker-up wouldn`t leave a client`s window until they were sure that the client was awake. There were a lot of people (usually old men and women) doing the job, especially in large cities such as Manchester.

Mary as a knocker-up!!

Plague doctor

(γιατρός της πανούκλας)

A plague doctor was a special doctor who treated people who had the plague. They were hired by towns that had many plague victims during the plague epidemic and they helped both the poor and the rich people. The largest plague epidemic was in Europe in the 14th century. Some plague doctors wore a special costume; it was a long heavy coat and a mask with glass eye openings and a long nose like the beak of a bird. They also had a cane which they used to examine the patients without touching them. Plague doctors were valuable and they were given special privileges. Stratos as a Plague doctor!!

Switchboard Operator (χειριστής τηλεφωνικού κέντρου) In the beginning of telephony, until the 1960s, companies used manual telephone switchboards. Switchboard operators connected each call putting a pair of phone plugs into the correct jacks. The jacks had a light above them which lit when someone lifted the telephone receiver. Switchboard operators worked in a central office to complete long distance calls. It was a women`s job and it required good communication skills. The first switchboard operator was a man and started working in 1878 and the last operator was a woman who stopped working in 1982.

Katherine as a Switchboard Operator!!

Whipping boy

(παιδί για ξύλο)

A whipping boy was a young boy who worked for a young prince and was punished when the prince did something bad or was not good at school. Whipping boys first appeared during the 15th and 16th centuries. When the king was not at the palace to punish his son, other people in the palace found it difficult to punish the prince; so they used whipping boys. Whipping boys were educated with the prince. Because the prince and the whipping boy grew up together they usually had a strong friendship. The idea of the whipping boys was that seeing a friend being whipped for something that he did wrong would help the prince not to do the same mistake again.

Panagiotis as a Whipping boy!!

Log driver

(«οδηγός» κορμών)

A Log driver was a person who moved logs from a forest to a sawmill using the flow of the river. Sawmills were small buildings near the forest which were built next to rivers; the logs floated down to them by log drivers. The drivers usually divided into two groups and they watched the logs as they went down the river. In places where the logs jammed, they helped the logs move. This job required understanding of physics and a strong body. It was also a very dangerous job because the drivers had to stand on the moving logs and run from one to another. Many log drivers lost their lives by falling and being crushed by the logs.

George as a Log driver!!



A lamplighter, historically, was an employee of a town who lit street lights. Lights were lit each evening with a wick on a long pole. At dawn, they would return to put them out using a small hook on the same pole. The first street lights were generally candles or oil. Another lamplighter`s duty was to carry a ladder and renew the candles and oil. In the 19th century, gas lights became the dominant form of street lighting. The first gaslights needed lamplighters but finally lights operated automatically. Today a lamplighter is a very rare job. In Brest as a tourist attraction a lamplighter is employed since 2009.

Mary as a lamplighter!!

Town crier


A town crier or bellman was a person who made public announcements in the streets. Usually they were dressed in special clothes; they wore a red robe, black boots and a hat. They had a bell to attract people`s attention and they shouted “Oyez, oyez” before they made the announcement. Criers were not only men, many town criers were women. In England they announced the news to the town because most people could not read or write. Today, many cities like Sydney have an official town crier.

Angela as a Town crier!!

Gandy dancer

(εργάτης σιδηροδρόμων)

Gandy dancer is a slang term used for the first railroad workers who put and repaired railroad tracks in the years before the work was done by machines. Gandy dancers were usually African Americans and immigrants from different countries. They had poor wages and working conditions and it was hard physical labour. The word comes from the “dancing” movements of the workers who worked on the tracks. Gandy dancers used a lining bar to keep the tracks in a straight line and they used to sing railroad songs to synchronize their work. In the southwest of the U.S. and Mexico they were also called “traqueros”.

Denise as a Gandy dancer!!



An iceman was someone who sold or delivered ice from a wagon or motor-truck. From the late 19th century to mid 20th century, in cities and towns icemen sold ice for ice boxes before the electric refrigerators were developed. Many icemen in the U.S.A came from Southern Italy. Arriving in the U.S with little education, many of these immigrants began selling ice, especially in New York City. In those times ice was collected from lakes and rivers in winter and stored in ice-houses. Icemen usually began their day at 4.00 a.m and finished late in the evening.

Makis as an Iceman!!

Bowling alley Pinsetter


A Bowling alley pinsetter was a person who put bowling pins in the correct place with his hands and returned the bowling balls to the players. It was a difficult job because it was not well-paid, it was parttime and took place in the evenings. For these reasons, pinsetters were usually teenage boys. Another name to describe this job is pinboy or pinspotter. In 1936 the mechanical pinsetter was invented so the job of the pinsetter stopped to exist.

Angelina as a Bowling alley pinsetter

Ice cutter


Ice cutting was a winter occupation of icemen whose work was to collect ice from lakes and rivers for storage in ice-houses and sale before the invention of electric refrigerators. The ice was kept all year round and it was delivered to customers with ice boxes to keep food cold. Ice cutters waited until approximately a foot of ice had built up on the water in winter; then they cut the ice with a handsaw. A large operation would have a crew of 75 ice cutters. This job became obsolete with the development of mechanical refrigerators and air-conditioning.

Nick as an ice cutter!!

Factory lector

(Αναγνώστης σε εργοστάσιο)

Factory lectors or readers in a cigar factory entertained workers by reading books or newspapers aloud. Cigar workers hired a reader to sit on a platform and read whatever they wanted. The workers would each give 25 to 50 cents of their weekly salary to elect a colleague to act as a Lector. Lectors were educated men who could read Spanish, English and sometimes Italian and other languages. The lector wasn`t always a man; sometimes there were women readers, too. In the United States, the custom ended in the Tampa Cigar maker`s strike of 1931. This job started in Cuba and it is still known there today.

George as a Factory lector!!

Chimney sweep


A chimney sweep was a worker who cleaned chimneys. In the United Kingdom and other countries, the master sweep took boys as young as four to do the job. Chimney sweeping was one of the most difficult and low- paying occupations of the time. The boys had to climb hot flues and this was dangerous because they could get jammed in the flue, suffocate or burn to death. They would start in the morning by walking around the streets calling “soot-oh sweep”. They slept together and the conditions to which these children were subjected caused concern and societies tried to find mechanical ways for sweeping chimneys. Thimios as a Chimney sweep!!

In times past  
In times past