NPR logo The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations

The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations

Today as we download our music, type on our computers and tweet and text to our friends it may be hard to imagine a time when you needed to rely on a switchboard operator to make a call. Or a time when telegraphs were used to transmit messages around the world.

In general, while communication and other things are now faster, some of the technological advances that we enjoy may have come at the cost of interacting with people — the elevator operator, the iceman and the milkman.

As innovations render more jobs obsolete, NPR takes a look back at some of what we've lost to progress.

A worker distributes a block of ice in 1936. Fox Photos/Getty Images hide caption

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Fox Photos/Getty Images

A worker distributes a block of ice in 1936.

Fox Photos/Getty Images

View a gallery of historical photos of jobs gone by the wayside.

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