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August 2017 Writing Prompt

I recently read a fun article about jobs that no longer exist, and it got me thinking about the continued value of the work of writing. The article reminds all of us how we preserve history and memories through our stories.

What would happen if we didn’t write stories about the past? Would we forget how far we’ve come? Would we appreciate what we have now? Without preserving our stories, can you imagine what would happen to information? Perhaps plays and movies might be different without resources for set designers or costume makers to reference.

Thankfully, we have our words to remind future generations that we were here, and our life stories are worth preserving and celebrating.

As Labor Day approaches, I want you to think about jobs you know aren’t done anymore. The article names occupations such as the milkman, switchboard operator, clock-winder. Can you think of others? What do you remember about these people and their jobs? What changes have you seen since those jobs were replaced or discontinued? Did you once have a job that is obsolete today?

Have fun remembering. Your story might be just what other writers need to include accurate details in stories they want to write.

Ready? Get to work.

photo credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives Atlas Collection Image via photopin (license)


  • Judi
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Obsolete jobs make me think of one I really miss: Gas Station Attendant. I miss a smiling face coming out to pump my gas, clean my windows and check my oil. I once had this job, on Sunday afternoons, to make extra money. Long ago I said computers would put people out of work, and sure enough…..

  • Beverly
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Other obsolete jobs I remember have to do with the telephone. My cousin loved being a switchboard operator, the first job she had and kept after finishing high school. Just the other day, my daughter was explaining to her daughters what telephones were like when she was a teenager. She mentioned that the plastic casing was attached to a wall and had a long, twisting cord. They could not picture a contraption like that at all! Along with the switchboard operator, we no long have telephone repairmen to come to our house to fix a phone.

  • Virginia Nygard
    Posted August 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Really obsolete – I hope – The coal man coming to deliver coal through the basement window chute into the storage bin in the corner. Somehow he managed to perform this ritual at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning when everyone had hoped to sleep late! That sparks memories of Dad stoking the fire before bed on cold winter nights, and our hopes that the heat would last until we got dressed in the morning. It never did.

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