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Slideshow: 9 Vanishing City Jobs

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Toby
Toby  
8/26/2014 4:08:40 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Keeping things sharp...
Here are the things I would like to see come round:

1) Guy to sharpen the knives

2) Guy to clean the windows...where have they gone.

3) Guy to trim the trees and lawn

4) Guy to take away large objects of trash

5) Guy to weld small bits of metal together to make something useful.

The last one is a stretch for most ctiy dwellers...granted.

 

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
8/18/2014 9:44:23 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Keeping things sharp...
Toby, there are a couple of guys here in Barcelona still doing that. They are retired, I think they do it just for fun and keep sharp themselves.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
8/18/2014 8:08:50 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: More suggestions?
As a former newspaper boy, delivering house to house in my early teens on a bicycle, I've always wondered why the job was taken over by adults in cars. That change happened way before the digital age. We still have bank teller here in my small town and there's no lines at all waiting, probably a combination of small town life, and the changes to online banking. The personal touch is always better than anything else, but economic realities are taking over a bit more than I'd like.

Toby
Toby  
8/18/2014 7:07:57 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Keeping things sharp...
When I was growing up (in the suburbs of Dublin) I recall a guy who came by on bicycle that he could turn into a workbench with a big grinding wheel on it to sharpen all the household knives and scissors. Great idea and long gone. there was also a guy every friday who came by on a motor scooter loaded with fresh fish.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
8/15/2014 11:50:04 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Dustbin men?
That's interesting, sunshine. I didn't realize the bin men were thriving so in the UK. 

As for the wheelie bin unsightliness, the alternative here is huge concrete-based containers hogging the pavement. Although newer containers are being put underground with only a grey pillar box and door visible on the street. 

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
8/15/2014 11:42:38 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Dustbin men?
Terry, that sounds like the Kleeneze salemen that used to come to our frontdoor in England. And they sold brushes, too, funnily!

And now I've just Googled them and discovered the founder of Kleeneze emigrated to the states and worked for Fuller Brush, before coming back to England to start his own company. They're still going, apparently, although maybe not door to door...

sunshine
sunshine  
8/15/2014 11:10:17 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Dustbin men?
Susan, in the UK the bin men are as prolific as ever, in fact more so as we now have general rubbish collection, recyclable 'rubbish' collection and garden waste/compost collection all by men (haven't seen any women doing this job) who generally put the wheelie bin back on the sidewalk. The worst aspect being that many of our older terraced streets with small or none existent gardens are permanently littered with wheelie bins

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
8/15/2014 9:45:23 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Dustbin men?
Who remembers the Fuller Brush Man? This small army of traveling salesmen would go door to door as one-man hardware stores. The amount of stuff they could fit on their person and in one luggable suitcase was seriously impressive. Gone-zo now, and like most retail outfits now are probably Internet-only.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
8/13/2014 11:45:03 AM
User Rank Blogger
Dustbin men?
How about dustbin men? Are they on the outs? Here in Barcelona, you get to throw away your own rubbish in communal containers on the street. But maybe that's more of a European thing.

When I lived in Boston, a garbage truck would crawl along the street as two guys at the back hopped on and off collecting plastic bins, emptying them and threwing them willy nilly back onto the sidewalk. It's was always like some small hurricane had come through.

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
8/12/2014 5:20:00 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: More suggestions?
It's kind of shocking how few people come to our doors these days (real estate agents and religious zealots, you don't count). The US Postal Service still comes to my door regularly; I'm one of 2 people on my block who still gets the newspaper delivered ("Why, hello middle age!"), though they don't really come to my door so much as hurl the news at me from a safe distance in an idling car.

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