The existence of a profession depends on few things. Did we invent the printing press? No more copyists. Did we invent electricity? No more lamplighters. Do we invent calm? No more town criers. In short, it’s all a matter of context, and if there are jobs that exist only because you’re stupid, there are also jobs that aren’t very widespread because you don’t really need them. Jobs practiced by almost no one in France.
1. Civil Semaphorist
It was the job of Josiane, now retired, who worked in the port of Etel in Morbihan. Basically, from its semaphore (a building used to communicate with boats), it guided the boats entering or leaving the port to avoid accidents. And our good friend Josiane was the only civilian to do that; the other semaphorists are soldiers who do simple surveillance. I don’t know about you but I’ve already learned too many things when this is only the beginning of the top. I hope I’ll be able to sleep tonight anyway.
Have you ever heard that word in your life? Normal, we never talk about it. There is only one felt maker, and it is Jean-Claude Casteix, who practices in Lourdes. There, his role is to sell the candles to the pilgrims, to manage the stocks and to clean the trays full of wax. Can’t wait for the start-up nation to take hold of the thing and rename the profession of felt maker to ” candle manager“. It would look good in LinkedIn hell.
3. Trained craftsman
Ok, I’m not sure I got it all, but apparently the girl is making shapes to make sheets of paper. It looks like a very nice job, it’s true, but if she’s the last to practice it in France, it’s maybe that there’s a good reason (like the fact that we produce paper in the factories perhaps).
4. Manufacturer of coloring earths
Well, for once, we are mainly talking about the last company to do this in France. It is Le Moulin à Couleurs, a small family business in the Ardennes, which manufactures natural pigments and coloring earths. Basically, the craftsmen will grind earth loaded with iron oxide to make colored powders intended to color paints, cements or coatings. Now, no one does that with natural processes like them. I feel like Jean-Pierre Pernaut when I talk to you about this, and it’s not unpleasant.
In 2018, Orange sent the last telegraph from France. The end of the activity marked the end of the career for the last telegraph operator in France. His job was to receive messages and transmit them in Morse code so that they could be translated on reception by another telegraph operator. Considering all the other technologies we have today, it’s already phew that the thing survived until 2018. Soon we will be able to tackle Faxes and many other old technologies that we still use.
In 2017, there were only 5 grinders left in France. If I stopped on this information, you would be angry with me, so I take a minute to explain to you what a grinder is. The grinder is the one who sharpens cutting utensils, blades, knives etc. for others (mainly for merchants). It was a very common business before, but since now you can buy cheap blades quite easily, grinders have lost quite a bit of market. Everything is lost my poor friends……..
7. Lighthouse Keeper
There are only four left to take turns guarding the Cordouan lighthouse, the last inhabited lighthouse in France. At the time, all the lighthouses were, but once we automated everything, it wasn’t really worth paying someone to live there 24 hours a day. In Cordouan, the guys take care of the maintenance of the lighthouse but also of the guided tours, which justifies the fact of continuing to pay them. Because I’m not going to do my right reaction, but it’s true that giving money to guys who twiddle their thumbs all day would have been a bit stupid.