back to top

What Would Your Job Have Been In The Victorian Times?

It's going to be pretty grim.

Posted on
  1. John Thomson/Stringer/BuzzFeed
    As soon as the sun rises
    Just before sunrise
    When the river is low
    In the dead of the night
    Only when I leave the pub
    When it’s not raining
    All day long
    Whatever hours I want
  2. Hulton Archive/Stringer/BuzzFeed
    Via BuzzFeed
    Via BuzzFeed
  3. John Thomson/Stringer/BuzzFeed
    Incredibly lazy
    A bit lazy
    I’ll work my contracted hours
    I work so I don't starve
    I don't *mind* working
    A bit hardworking
    Pretty hardworking
    Really hardworking
    I WORK SO DAMN HARD
  4. John Thomson/Stringer/BuzzFeed
    Via BuzzFeed
    Via BuzzFeed
  5. John Thomson / Stringer/BuzzFeed
    I’ve got a very sharp eye
    I fucking love dust
    I can hold my breath for at least a minute
    I’ve got asbestos hands
    I’m unsentimental
    Nothing scares me
    I’m not afraid of a painful, gory death
    My biceps would make Hercules blush
    I’ve got a very strong stomach
  6. John Thomson/Stringer/BuzzFeed
  7. Topical Press Agency/Stringer/BuzzFeed
    That time you almost drowned
    That time you got free beer
    That time Stan got swept away in a torrent of faeces
    How much you hate the mistress of the house
    How many families you can fit in one room
    Which of your colleagues has the most rotten jaw
    The filthiest knickerbockers you’ve ever seen
    That time you accidentally fell in a grave
    The story about when Eric bled out in a swamp
  8. Blood
    Via Flickr: 53921113@N02 / Creative Commons
    Blood
    Via Flickr: 53921113@N02 / Creative Commons
    Vermin trap
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Vermin trap
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Enormous shovel
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Enormous shovel
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Scrubbing brush
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons
    Scrubbing brush
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons
    Bucket
    Via Jon Pallbo / commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Bucket
    Via Jon Pallbo / commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Basket
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons
    Basket
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons
    Trowel
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    Trowel
    Via commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
    White phosphorous
    Via en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons
    White phosphorous
    Via en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons
    Washboard and tub
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons
    Washboard and tub
    Via pixabay.com / Creative Commons

What Would Your Job Have Been In The Victorian Times?

You got: Washerwoman

Brute physical strength is an absolute must in your exciting new job as a Washerwoman. On the up side, you’re a fairly independent female entrepreneur, running your business from a washtub in the poky front room of your humble cottage. On the down side, you now have to spend your days scrubbing posh people’s clothes from dawn pretty much right through ‘til dawn again. Whether you’re pounding fabric against the washboard, carrying literally tons of laundry to the line, or ironing deep into the night, this is back-breaking work. At least you'll save on a gym membership!

Washerwoman
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Scullery Maid

As a scullery maid you are the lowest ranking, and probably youngest, servant in the Victorian household. Your career would begin very young, possibly at the age of nine. Days are eye-wateringly long, and you’ll probably work seven days a week, perhaps with a half day on Saturday if you're lucky. You’ll be up before dawn sweeping, polishing, cleaning fireplaces, and generally preparing the house before the family wake up. But at least you’ll have food and a roof over your head!

Scullery Maid
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Dustman

As a dustman, you’re tasked with collecting dust from people's homes. Before the Hoover was invented, there were literally mountains of the stuff, largely made up of fireplace ash. Dust was kept in a "dustbin" and was one of the main sources of household rubbish in the days before over-packaged food. Dust could be sold on to brick makers, and was a fairly lucrative trade for a while – especially if you came across something valuable in the waste. But don’t get too cocky; as well as being completely covered in dust all day, breathing it in could also lead to dreadful lung problems.

Dustman
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Slum Landlord

As a Victorian slum landlord you’ll face very little regulation so will attempt to cram as many people as possible into a property. Houses that were meant for one family were let out on a per room basis, or worse, converted into dreaded "communal lodging houses" where London's poorest down-and-outs stayed on a per night basis. The houses of the poorest usually lacked clean running water, proper toilets, and ventilation and often had raw sewage in their courtyards as well as infestations of vermin. But at least you made a pretty good living, hey!

Slum Landlord
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Mudlark

You’re probably a young, desperately vulnerable, impoverished child. With little education, you resort to combing through the filthy mud of the river Thames at low tide looking for anything of value to sell on. Coins and jewellery were the most highly prized finds, but in the days before proper rubbish collection everything had worth; old clothes could be sold on to “rag and bone” men, and old pieces of wood could be sold as firewood. You might argue that wandering the shores of the great river all day beats the claustrophobic mundanity of office life, but you risk cuts from broken glass and metal, as well as the inevitable possibility of drowning at high tide, or sinking into the mud and THEN drowning at high tide.

Mudlark
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Night Soil Man

Your new job gives a whole meaning to expression “life’s shit”. As a night soil man you’re employed to empty London’s cesspools before they overflow. The sewer system hasn’t been finished yet, so you are literally the only person who stands between London and a tidal wave of turds. As the name suggests you’ll work at night because that’s when Londoners are less likely to complain about the terrible stench. One perk of the job is that you have an amusing answer to the tiresome watercooler question, “how was your night?” “Shit. It was literally me filling buckets with shit.”

Night Soil Man
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Matchmaker

Fiddly, repetitive work, long hours, low pay and an illness so horrific it makes your jaw fall apart – welcome to your new life as a matchmaker! Your work materials include the highly toxic substance white phosphorous, which is pretty likely to give you ‘phossy jaw’. At first you’ll notice a dull ache in your teeth. Your jaw will become red, sore and swollen, eventually turning into an abscess. Gradually, your face will begin to rot, giving off a foul stench, and revealing bones which glow in the dark. Glow in the dark bones! Cool! Organ failure follows, then death. White phosphorous won’t be banned until 1906.

Matchmaker
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Leech Collector

Leeches. These charmingly slimey, blood-thirsty little fuckers play an essential role in Victorian medicine. As a leech collector, you'll spend most of your days wading through rivers, bogs and marshes, cutting your own legs to attract your prey, then letting the leeches feed on you, before you put them in your leech jar and sell them to the medical profession. A word of warning: once you tear the sated leech from your wound, the cut will probably bleed for several hours. Hopefully you won’t die from this. Enjoy!

Leech Collector
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
You got: Gravedigger

You need to be prepared: inner London cemeteries were incredibly overcrowded during Victorian times, and could barely cope with regular demand, let alone the hundreds of bodies arriving during Cholera and flu epidemics. To get past this problem, you – the hot shot new gravedigger on the scene – will need to stack coffins on top of each other as well as gruesomely break up bodies which have barely begun to decay to make room for more. Cemeteries gave off a foul smell and decomposing matter seeped into drinking water supplies. Spa Fields burial ground in Clerkenwell was accused of disinterring and destroying freshly buried bodies in 1843 to make room for more.

Gravedigger
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app

Promoted

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss