Jobsolete

Jobsolete

Ever wonder what kind of job you would have if you were born in a different time? Jobsolete is a new podcast that asks that very question every week. Helen Hong and Matt Beat take a spin through the workplaces of the past, looking at a different obsolete job in every episode. From the forgotten jobs of history to obscure occupations that still survive, you'll discover some of the most interesting and unusual ways that people have made a living. Go listen to Jobsolete, find out what it was like to be a switchboard operator, a town crier, a food taster, or an MTV VJ. Listen to Jobsolete to learn about History’s Most Fascinating Jobs.

Episodes

April 29, 2021 34 min

Railroad workers who laid the tracks that first crossed America were often called gandy dancers. Find out what it was like to work on the rails in those frontier days!

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Let's return to the Age of Sail with our guest K.C. Crowell, who tells us what it was like to be a sailor on a tall ship.

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In 1981, the world was introduced to Music Television, and the job of video jockey, or VJ, was born.

In this second part of a two-episode special, our expert guests are Martha Quinn, original MTV VJ, and Bob Pittman, who led the team that created MTV.

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In 1981, the world was introduced to Music Television, and the job of video jockey, or VJ, was born.

In this first part of a two-episode special, our expert guests are Martha Quinn, original MTV VJ, and Bob Pittman, who led the team that created MTV.

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Our own Amelia Palka helps sort

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Writer John Van Wyhe takes Helen and Matt around the world to catch a glimpse of the now obsolete Victorian Specimen collector, He also shares the story of his favorite collector of all, Ida Pfeiffer.

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March 18, 2021 32 min

Eleanor Herman, author of The Royal Art of Poison, shares her tales of food tasters though history with Matt and Helen. She also dispels some myths about what was actually killing royalty if it wasn't poison.

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March 11, 2021 35 min

Author Marc Hartzman tells Matt and Helen about the odd profession of Stone Eaters and they find out that there is another job hiding behind this one.

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March 4, 2021 34 min

Professional Royal Mistress? Professional? Yup. Eleanor Herman, author of Sex With Kings, 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge, joins the show to help Matt and Helen shed a little light on this often overlooked and misunderstood profession.

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February 25, 2021 35 min

Kyota Ko, mastermind behind the website Metro Classic Japanese, Joins Helen and Matt to discuss the long and fascinating history behind Samurai.

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February 18, 2021 33 min

Sea shantys weren’t just a way to pass the time on a ship, they were integral to the running of it by keeping the men working like clockwork. TikTok TikTok. James Revell Carr joins brings Matt and Helen on this expedition into the harmonic world of Sea Shanty Singers.

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February 11, 2021 33 min

Did you ever think the shape of your head has something to do with your personality? No? Good because it doesn’t, but Phrenologists thought exactly that. Author and historian Dr. John van Wyhe joins Matt and Helen to talk about this odd school of pseudoscience that was at the dawn of understanding the brain. 

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February 4, 2021 34 min

Writer and professor Jennifer Tucker joins Helen and Matt to discuss Wax Workers, Wax sculptures have been around for centuries and before the printed image wax museums were very popular around the western world.

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January 28, 2021 35 min

Often a film geek, many times a bored teen, video store clerks were the gatekeeper to your weekend movie binge. Helen and Matt are joined by Sandi Harding, the manager of the last Blockbuster video to chat about the early mom and pop video stores to the collapse of Blockbuster Video.

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January 21, 2021 33 min

At the dawn of human flight you had one option... Balloons! Balloons were all the rage in 1700s France and Aeronauts were the daredevils / entertainers at the cutting edge of this new science that made the spectacle come alive! Matt and Helen discuss this magical time with professor and writer Jennifer Tucker.

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January 14, 2021 33 min

Long before Amazon could bring you a case of Topo Chico, seltzer delivery people were doing just that. Once as common as a Prime truck, there are just a few left. Matt and Helen discuss the ups and downs of seltzer delivery with Alex Gomberg of Brooklyn Seltzer Boys and discover the joy of a NYC Egg Cream Soda.

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January 14, 2021 34 min

Don't shoot the messenger! as Matt and Helen talk about Town Criers. David Mitchell brings his booming voice to the show to give Matt and Helen the scoop on what it takes to be a Town Crier. Matt and Helen are inspired to try it out for themselves.

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January 14, 2021 33 min

Matt and Helen discuss a time when phones didn't have dials and making a call required talking to a switchboard operator. Sarah Autumn from the Connections Museum in Seattle helps them connect to this Jobsolete profession and they listen in to what it took to make a long distance phone call in the 1940s.

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January 6, 2021 1 min

Ever wonder what kind of job you would have if you were born in a different time?       

Jobsolete is a new podcast that asks that very question every week. Helen Hong and Matt Beat take a spin through the workplaces of the past, looking at a different obsolete job in every episode. 


From the forgotten jobs of history to obscure occupations that still survive, you'll discover some of the most interesting and unusual ways that peo...

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