Sometimes in the modern world of accidents at work and the culture of health and safety surrounding them, we fail to comprehend how the modern workplace has evolved into the safe environment it has become, and we often neglect to realise the dangers and injuries in the workplace faced by our ancestors from the industrial revolution and even earlier. Here is Accident Advice Helpline’s guide to some of the most dangerous jobs in history.
The Georgian era of British history refers to the era of the reign of the Hanoverian kings each known as George, from George I (1714-1727) to George IV (1820-1830.) Here are some of the worst jobs undertaken by the Georgians.
- Artist’s Model
18th century Britain was host to a financial revolution, with many climbing the social ladder and a new class of gentry emerged. The 18th century also saw an establishment of a new period of art with such renowned artists as Gainsborough and Constable. One of the worst jobs of the time would be to serve as an artist’s model. Models were often strung up nude in the freezing cold for extended periods of time in devices which resembled medieval torture devices, in order to keep poses and please the Georgian eye for detail.
- Riding officer
The riding officer was the precursor to what is commonly known today as the taxman. During the 18th century, smuggling was rife and the customs and excise of the time were hard pressed to keep it under control. The riding officer would ride along the coasts of Britain at night trying to find and stop smugglers, and one was positioned roughly every 10 miles along the English Coast. Smugglers often chose poor weather conditions for good cover, and riding officers often worked in treacherous conditions. But the hard work started when a single officer was forced to confront a group of smugglers armed with only a pistol, especially when the smugglers had the sympathy and support of the local villagers.
- Bath attendant
Bathing had been a popular past-time in Britain up until the advent of the Black Plague and it wasn’t until the 18th century that bathing saw resurgence. Bathing was used to cure all sorts of ailments and bath attendants often had to lift pox-ridden clients from their sedan chairs into baths. Iron rings were used to lower clients into the baths which caused high iron content in the waters and the long exposure caused bath guides to be afflicted by all sorts of skin ailments.
Date Published: January 3, 2014
Author: David Brown