Drivers lead mules pulling coal cars out of the mine.
Building Trades and Real Estate
- Owns property to rent out to people or businesses
- Hod carrier
- Works with bricklayers carrying loads of bricks
- Cuts and shapes stone and uses it to construct buildings
- Chisels sculptures and carved decorations on buildings
- Constructs and repairs systems for piping water and sewage and natural gas for light and heat. Installs home heating systems that were first starting to appear in 1900.
- A woodworker who makes furniture
- Builder or building contractor
- Buys materials and hires and oversees all the different workers needed for a building project
- Day Laborer
- "Laborer" or "day laborer" with no particular job or employer listed on the census. These workers did whatever physical jobs they could find, usually hired for just days or weeks at a time.
Manufacturing - Labor
- The census might list them as a laborer in the "Steel Works" or one of the various places in the mill: Bolt Works, Tube Works, Wire Works, Beam Yard, Blooming Mill, Foundry, Furnace, Open Hearth, Mill, Rolling Mill, Ore Yard, Machine Shop, Forge, etc.
- Crane man
- Operates the overhead machines that move ladles of hot steel, ingots, and other heavy loads.
- Furnaceman, Laborer at furnace
- Operates blast furnace or converter to smelt (melt together) ores to make iron or purifies iron into steel
- Heater, Heaters keeper
- Operates furnace to reheat bars or plates of steel in a furnace so they can go on to be forged, rolled, straightened, or other processes.
- Master Mechanic
- Keeps railroad or mill machinery in working order.
- Runs power-driven metal-cutting, boring and grinding machines set up to make many identical metal parts
- Designs, builds, or repairs mills or mill machinery
- Rail straightener
- Finishes the last step in rolling steel rails for the railroad
- Shapes hot iron or steel by hammering (by hand or by machine)
- Pours molten steel into molds to make shapes (a process called "casting")
- Makes sand moulds and cores for casting metal
- Operates machines called "mills" that shape hot steel by pressing it between two rotating steel rollers.
Blooming mills flatten ingots into "blooms" that are rolled into smaller shapes in rolling mills.
Rolling mills press hot steel flatter and flatter to make sheets, rails, bars, or other shapes.
- Cuts or "turns" shapes with a lathe, a machine used to spinning metal or wood
- Wire drawer
- Makes wire of a certain thickness by pulling metal through smaller and smaller holes (either by hand or machine)
- Make wooden patterns for casting or stamping steel into shapes
- Gas maker
- Works processing natural gas, which was often used for lighting in 1900.
- Brewer, laborer in brewery
- Mixes, presses, and ferments (brews) grains or fruits to make alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages
Manufacturing - Management and administration
- Worker in charge of another group of workers in a factory, mine, rail yard, or construction site.
- Head over all the workers and operations at a workplace
- Clerk in brewery, mill, railroad
- Secretary or bookkeeper who keeps office records
- Often works in the general offices rather than the factories
- Watches the finances in a company
- Other management workers:
- Supervisor, officer, executive, administrator, director
Coal miner was a general term just like "steelworker." The mines needed workers skilled in all the different jobs required to get to the coal underground, loosen it from the earth, break it into pieces that mules or humans (and later power machines) could handle, transport it out of the mine, sort and clean it, and finally ship off it to customers. "Miners" worked inside the mine; "company men" worked outside the mine.
- Pick miner
- Loosens coal with picks, drills, and explosives, then loads it onto cars. Paid by the carload of coal. (When we think of "coalminer" we usually picture a pick miner.)
- Shot Firers
- Drills holes in the coal, packs them with gun powder, then explodes it to loosen coal
- Rock man
- Blasts out rock to reach the coal underground and make an entrance to the mine
- Daily inspects every area of the mine for safety explosive gasses, bad roofs and other dangers
- Mule Driver, Mule Boss
- Works the mules that carry cars of coal in the mine, takes care of the mules in their underground barn
- Operates the electric "motor" that hauls coal cars and the "man train" on tracks in the mine
- Spragger, trip rider, brakeman
- The motorman's helper who stops, connects, and disconnects cars
- Installs and repairs the electric trolley cables that power the motor
- Doorboy, trapper
- Boys who open and close ventilation doors for the motor.
- Tipple workers
- A tipple is a building outside the mine where the cars are unloaded by tipping them over onto a conveyer belt. In offices and shops nearby work shop maintenance men, watchmen, blacksmith, electricians, watchmen
- Weighs carloads of coal -- miners' were paid by the ton
- Checks cars leaving the mine for slate
- Breaker boy, bony picker, picker
- Removes pieces of slate and rock ("boney") from the coal
- Coke worker
- Makes coke, a purified coal used to make steel, out of coal by heating it in beehive coke ovens.
- Foreman and assistants
- In charge all the workings and workers inside the mine
- Boss over everybody at the mine -- inside and outside
- Other management jobs in coal mining:
- Manager, mine owner or operator
- Mine Inspector
- Government employee who checks to be sure the mine was obeying mining laws
More about coal mining jobs in the article "Old Time Mining" published by IUP libraries.
- Doctor, Physician
- Minister, Priest, Rabbi, Pastor
- School Teacher
- Veterinary Surgeon
- Civil Engineer
- Designs public building projects, like bridges and roads
Retail and Wholesale Sales
Wholesalers place huge orders with manufacturers, then sell smaller quantities to their customers -- "retailers," builders, or smaller manufacturers. Retail stores and salespeople sell small quantities directly to the final customers.
Clerk on the census could mean either a sales clerk in a retail store or a clerk working in an office. If you see "clerk" in a neighborhood where there are also stores and merchants mentioned, they are probably salesclerks.
- Other sales job titles:
- Trade, dealer, merchant, storekeeper, owner, agent,
- Makes complete dresses, skirts, and other women's clothing. Usually a woman.
- A woman who sews. May or may not be a dressmaker.
- Makes clothing, like overcoats, suits, jackets, and skirts, that is fitted neatly and sized exactly to customers needs. Also alters ready-made clothes to fit. Usually a man -- a woman tailor was sometimes called a "tailoress."
- Maker of women's hats
- Seller of men's clothing
- Common retail stores:
- Furniture, Hardware, Dry Goods, Mercantile, General Store, Grocer, Green grocer, Butcher, Music, Shoes, clothing
- Pharmacist who owns a drug store
- Salesman/woman on the census:
- Could be wholesale or retail sales. Wholesale salespeople are often called "sales representatives" or "sales reps" for short.
- Delivery men for retail businesses:
- ice man, coal man, milk man, bread man, huckster
- Packing house
- Wholesale meat and ice
- Office boy
- Utility company employees: electric light, natural gas
- Draughtsman (draftsman)
- Hotel keeper
- Barber, hairdresser
- Saloon keeper, bar keeper
- Cook, Chef
- Laundry, Laundress
- Servant, maid, manservant
- Repairmen, handyman
- Usually a railroad engineer who drives a locomotive, also "Locomotive Engineer"
- Carries luggage at a railroad station or works in a sleeping (Pullman) car or parlor car, also "Pullman porter"
- Yard Master
- Weighs freight to find out how much to charge customers
- Boiler Fireman
- Keeps steam engines stoked with coal and water in the engine boiler
- Applies brakes in a train -- every car has brakes, which must be applied at the same time
Trolley or street railway
- Trolley driver
- Motor House
- Drives a team of animals pulling a freight wagon
- Works at a livery, a stable where horses and carriages are kept for rent
- Drives a horse-drawn carriage
- Dairyman or dairy farmer
- Truck farmer
- Vegetable farmer
- A "day laborer" on a farm
- Grinds wheat, corn, and other grain into flour or corn at a mill
- Harvests crops with large machines called reapers, harvesters, or combines
- Thresherman or thresher
- Separates the seeds from harvested plants
- Reapers and threshers owned their equipment and traveled from farm to farm at harvest time.