George Aldrich has worked for NASA for over 40 years, and his job is to smell things. This is to ensure that there are no unpleasant smells on ISS and the shuttle. His nose also gets calibrated and tested every 4 months.
27. Between 1917 and 1928, clock dial painters (mostly women) were told to lick the brushes to get a fine point. They were also told that the night-glow paint was harmless in spite of the fact that it was radioactive radium that made it luminous. Later, when sued, some employers tried to discredit workers by blaming cancer and jaw rot on syphilis.
28. The “Groom of The Stool” was a role created for the first time for Henry VIII to “monitor and assist” in king’s bowel movements. Due to the proximity to the king, the royal wiper often became wealthy and powerful.
29. Divers working on deep-sea infrastructure such as oil pipelines live in a pressurized chamber for a month, taken between the chamber and their worksite by a pressurized diving bell. That way, they only need to be decompressed once, at the end of each 28-day job. This is known as Saturation diving.
30. Before alarm clocks were invented, there was a profession called a knocker-up, whose job involved going from client to client and tapping on their windows (or banging on their doors) with long sticks until they were awake. This job lasted into the 1920s.
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"Porn Judge" is an actual Chinese government job title. Judges such as Wang Dong are paid $32,000 per year to view porn and “have the sacred task of returning the Internet to a clean and safe state”. Most are employed within the police system.
32. The original job of the Senate Sergeant at Arms was not to protect the senators, but rather to make sure that the senators could not leave the chamber while business was being conducted.
33. It was the job of a ‘Gong Farmer’ to remove human waste from a pit underneath a castle. The gong farmer was dangled from a rope tied around his waist, while he emptied deep pits filled with human excrement.
34. Scotland Yard has a team of “super-recognizers.” These people are so good at remembering faces, even after a fleeting glance, that law enforcement employs them.
35. Devil's advocate was a real job within the catholic church. The devil's advocate was called upon to deliberate on behalf of the devil for any claims of sainthood and would argue for why someone should not be made a Saint of the catholic church.
From about 1600 to 1914, there was a profession known as a "Funeral Mute." Their main purpose was to stand around at funerals with a sad, pathetic face.
37. In medieval Europe "barber-butchers" were barbers that practiced surgery as well, a profession ranging from amputations to haircuts. The red and white “barber swirl” in front of most barbershops today signifies blood and bandages which was common in their trade.
38. There was once a profession called being a "donkey puncher" whereby a man would operate a steam-driven winch in logging or mining operations, called a steam donkey.
39. It was the job of a Town Crier in Germany to remind the local populace not to defecate in the river every time its water was drawn for brewing beer.
40. The job of a “Chicken Sexer” is to check a chick’s anus to determine its sex.
41Men for Rent
There is a service in Japan where you can rent middle-aged men for ¥1000 (9$USD) an hour. The men, who have previous or current experience in a range of professions from engineers to marketing managers, meet up with their charges in person to offer everything from life advice to music lessons.
42. Some Japanese noblewomen of the Edo period had servants who were employed to take the blame for their farts if they passed gas in front of others. This was done by the servant 'confessing'/verbally proclaiming it was her at the moment.
43. There is a profession where you can become a professional cuddler, where customers will pay to have someone to cuddle with in a platonic manner.
44. American coal breakers up to the 1920s relied on breaker boys aged from 8 to 12 who separated impurities from coal.
45. Ancients measured long distances by hiring "bematists." They were trained to count steps while walking between locations and could measure hundreds of miles with more than 95% accuracy. Eratosthenes used one to accurately calculate the circumference of the Earth within 15% in 240 B.C.E.
46Navajo Code Talkers
America recruited 29 Navajo-speaking men during World War 2, who later came to be called Navajo code talkers. They had created a brand new set of code words in the Navajo language, which even if intercepted could not be translated by the enemy forces.
47. Some of the first dwarfs to have their histories recorded were employed as court dwarfs. They were owned and traded amongst people of the court, and delivered as gifts to fellow kings and Queens. With dwarves, Royals appeared much larger and they visually enhanced their powerful position.
48. Resurrectionists were legally employed grave robbers who dug up bodies for anatomical research in the 18th-19th centuries. The public hated them and frequently attacked them. The profession came to an end when several people were murdered for anatomical research.
49. There is a profession known as "Sexual Surrogate", in which you work in conjunction with Sex Therapists by actually performing sex acts with the patient in order to achieve a therapeutic goal.
50. The job of a “Worm Charmer” is to vibrate the soil to encourage the worms to surface.