Most common jobs 150 years ago in Virginia

(STACKER) — Virginia was a very different place 150 years ago than it is now. In 1872, the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery in the United States had only been in effect for seven years and Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone patent was still four years away.

Most jobs back then were agricultural in nature, and the country was in the early stages of the industrial revolution at the time. Labor laws were also not as comprehensive as they are now, meaning that people often worked 7 days a week for 12 hours a day and children made up a large part of the workforce.

It’s easy to see how different life was in 1872 compared to today by looking at the most common jobs of the day, as well as the images on this list:

#1. farm workers

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 162,604
– National employment: 2,885,996
— #2 most common job in the US

#two. Farmers and planters

Underwood Archives // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 80,739
– National employment: 2,977,711
— #1 most common job in the US

#3. domestic servants

English Heritage/Heritage Images // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 54,008
– National employment: 975,734
— #4 most common job in the US

#4. Workers (unspecified)

Alexander Alland, Sr./CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 27,730
– National employment: 1,031,666
— #3 most common job in the US

#5. carpenters and carpenters

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 6,912
– National employment: 344,596
— #5 most common job in the US

#6. Tobacco factory operators

Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

– Employment in Virginia: 6,073
– National employment: 11,985
— #80 most common job in the US

#7. Smithy

World History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 4,077
– National employment: 141,774
— #11 most common job in the US

#8. store clerks

World History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 3,680
– National employment: 222,504
— #6 most common job in the US

#9. washerwomen and laundresses

Bettmann // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 3,623
– National employment: 60,906
— #21 most common job in the US

#10. Fishermen and oystercatchers

Lewis W. Hine/Buyenlarge // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 3,580
– National employment: 27,106
— #48 most common job in the US

#eleven. Tailors, tailors and seamstresses

Lewis W. Hine // Library of Congress

– Employment in Virginia: 3,130
– National employment: 161,820
— #8 most common job in the US

#12. Shoe and boot manufacturers

Frances Benjamin Johnston // Library of Congress

– Employment in Virginia: 2,986
– National employment: 171,127
— #7 most common job in the US

#13. Employees of railway companies (not employees)

SSPL // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 2,944
– National employment: 154,027
— #9 most common job in the US

#14. Professors (unspecified)

Everett Collection // Shutterstock

– Employment in Virginia: 2,521
– National employment: 126,822
— #12 most common job in the US

#fifteen. Traders and distributors (unspecified)

Charles Phelps Cushing/ClassicStock // Getty Images

– Employment in Virginia: 2,355
– National employment: 100,406
— #15 most common job in the US

In an effort to capture a snapshot of US labor market history, Stacker compiled a list of the most common jobs in Virginia from 150 years ago using data from the US Census Bureau by transcribing Table XXVII not previously transcribed from the 1870 decennial census, a statewide look at the historical labor market can be seen. Nationwide, farmers and planters were the most common occupation 150 years ago, just one of many farm jobs that made up more than 47% of all employed people over the age of ten.

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