What settlers did for a job
The early Pākehā settlements of New Zealand were labour-intensive hubs, with horse and carriage the way to get around, so many of the 19th century occupations reflect that reality: groom, wheelwright, saddler, ironmonger, blacksmith, tinsmith, ropemaker, and coach builder. Other occupations that appear in these early lists include miller, cooper, sawyer, tanner, ranger, slater, and gum sorter. While many of these jobs don't exist today, you have an idea about what these professions actually involved. But some jobs will leave most of us stumped.
1. Splitter - manipulated and split stone into different forms such as blocks, cobbles, tiles.
2. Currier – processed leather to make it strong, flexible and waterproof.
3. Caulker – drove tar-soaked fibres of cotton and hemp into seams between planks of a wooden vessel.
4. Cutler - made, sold, and repaired knives and other cutting instruments.
5. Tidewaiter - boarded ships on arrival to enforce customs regulations.
6. Turnkey – in charge of prison keys.
7. Waterman - ferried passengers in small boats on harbours and rivers.
8. Lumper - loaded and unloaded goods from carriages and trucks.
Today only ancestry.com providing free access to all New Zealand and Australian records which provide details of the occupations our ancestors had in 19th century and early 20th century New Zealand, so the perfect day to do some digging.
Contact tracing in close quarters
Worst day in the job…
"The chef was angry that day. I was advised by my co-workers to do whatever it takes to get on his good side. I thought, 'Eh, I'll just try to avoid him'. He was standing in the cooler taking inventory. Beside him were the five-gallon containers of prepped food. I sneaked in and tried to quickly grab the ranch container, but in my haste, I nudged another. It was the French onion soup. All five gallons of it. On his pants and shoes.
Yes, he was upset. The prep girl was upset. I had 10 minutes until lunch service started. I have no idea how I'm still alive." (Via Reddit)
Hats off to dry cleaner wit
A reader writes: "In the 1950s, there was a dry cleaning business on the corner of Lorne and Rutland streets in central Auckland operated by a boxer called Chubb Keith. He had an advertising board which asked customers to Drop Your Tweeds at Chubbs - much to the amusement of the public. However, the City Fathers at the time felt it may offend a few people so Chubb was forced to remove it."