Have you ever wondered how some professions we know came about? One of the most thought-provoking facts about society is how these modern professions came to be. With the advancement of technology, one can pursue modern careers such as drone operator and virtual assistant that were non-existent a century ago. Discover interesting historical facts about society in these ten modern professions.

1. Dentists

According to Forbes, there are 1.6 million dentists globally. But dentistry is not a modern concept – it traces back to the ancient world. For example, Ancient Egyptians used gold and precious stones for dental fillings. Physicians used bow drills and hand-pulled forceps to do extractions. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about tooth decay — recommending cautery as a solution. There’s also evidence of dental bridges from animal and human teeth. It dates back to 4,000 years ago and has been found in modern-day Mexico. However, it wasn’t until 1840 that the first dental college came into existence in Baltimore, Maryland.

One of the exciting facts about society is the use of toothbrushes. Do you know the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in 1780? The inventor is William Addis, an English entrepreneur. The first toothbrushes had handles made from cattle bone or bristles from horses and badgers. However, European nobility used toothbrushes with bristles made of precious metal like silver. Before Addis could mass-produce toothbrushes, people rubbed teeth with cloths and twigs. Thanks to Addis’ toothbrush design, more improvements were on the way. Modern toothbrushes are made of nylon bristles and ergonomic handles.

2. Exterminators

An exterminator is a professional who identifies and eliminates various pests. These pests and organisms can cause health risks such as allergies. They may include insects, rodents, and birds. However, the history of exterminators is one of the surprising facts about society.

From ancient times, people had to deal with unwanted pests. The Sumerians and Egyptians used traps, natural repellents, and cats for pest and animal control. The agronomic communities had to use these methods to protect their homes and crops from pests. Some societies in ancient Greece, China, and Rome invented botanical extracts as natural pesticides.

One of the most famous stories involving an exterminator happened in the 18th century. It revolves around Claude Dupin — ‘The Great Rat Catcher of Paris.’ The story goes that Claude had a unique ability to communicate with dogs to catch rats. He trained the dogs to locate and capture rats, which helped reduce their population in Paris.

Paris was faced with an incredible rat problem. Thus, Claude became a folk hero when he helped with the problem, immortalized in paintings and literary works. So, next time you are tempted to think of pest control as a lowly job, imagine a world infested by pests and unwanted animals.

3. Lawyers

According to the American Bar, there are currently 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S. alone. Watching characters in Suits and Boston Legal, it’s tempting to think being a lawyer is a modern profession. Yet lawyers were a basic part of ancient societies such as Rome. What we call ‘advocates’ today comes from the Latin word ‘advocates,’ which means a person who speaks on behalf of another in legal matters.

One of the interesting facts about society is how much the Roman legal system influences modern life. The very existence of the legal profession traces it back to Rome. It was lawyers such as James Madison who drew their political ideas for the United States from ancient Rome.

A more exciting fact about lawyers is how the profession has changed. We now have disability attorneys, workplace lawyers, and animal rights lawyers. The landscape has changed to offer more representation for a diverse client pool.

Yet this change is also reflected in the lawyers’ poll. Now we have more female lawyers than at any other time in history. It all started with Myra Bradwell, an American lawyer and women’s rights activist. In 1869, she applied to the Illinois Bar but was denied admission because of her gender. Yet she continued advocating for women’s rights.

4. Roofers

Roofing remains one of America’s most essential contractor professionals. It’s physically demanding and requires a special skill set. Yet it has been a prestigious profession even in ancient times. During the Middle Ages, roofers were skilled craftspeople essential to society. They shaped the architectural landscape of the medieval world.

Roofers used traditional roofing techniques and methods. For example, they did thatch using straw, vegetation, and reeds–creating a waterproof covering. They also used sod roofing, which used sod roofs to insulate and protect structures. To this day, roofing contractor businesses borrow some principles from ancient roofers.

One of the surprising facts about society and roofers is their status. In some regions, white-collar jobs are considered more prestigious than blue-collar jobs. However, being a roofer was a high-status job in the ancient world, especially if you were the ‘Master Roofer.’ You would be the most skilled roofer with exceptional knowledge and skills. The master roofers oversaw roofing projects and trained apprentices.

In medieval Europe, roofers formed guilds to protect their profession and maintain high standards. Through these guilds, roofers received training for quality craftsmanship. Seasoned roofers would pass down their secrets through these guilds.

5. Accountants

One of the oldest books containing facts about society is the code of Hammurabi. It’s also one of the ancient books that mentions accountants and bookkeeping. Thus, accounting practices trace back to over 7,000 years in ancient Mesopotamia. It’s no wonder accounting is one of the most popular professions in the modern world.

According to Statista, there are more than 1.4 million accountants in the U.S. alone. In ancient times, accountants recorded goods, crops, and livestock transactions. Thus, they laid the foundation for modern accounting principles.

Luca Pacioli — an Italian Mathematician – was the first to introduce the concept of double-entry bookkeeping. Pacioli published ‘Summa de Arithmetica’ in 1494. The book laid the foundation for revolutionary accounting practices.

Beginning in the early 20th century, professional accounting organizations started to crop up. One of the major ones is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), founded in 1887. These organizations set standards for ethical accounting practices. Today, accounting is one of the most professionalized fields with widely accepted certifications.

6. Bail Bondsman

Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, also known as ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter,” gained national attention as a bondsman. Some reality T.V. shows focus on the bail process and how bail bonds people work. Yet, bail dates back to medieval England in the 13th century.

English courts employed a concept known as writs of mainprise. The courts issued these documents to release individuals from custody before their trial. The release was under certain conditions, and there had to be supervision of a surety. The surety would ensure the defendant’s appearance in court on the scheduled date. Today, what we refer to as bail bond agents are known as sureties.

During the late 19th century, the bail bond system became more prominent. That was because of population growth necessitating a system for securing defendants. Soon, there were commercial bond dealers offering services for free. These bondsmen work by entering into agreements with the defendants and thus providing a surety bond to the court on their behalf.

Today, you can easily find a bail company in your state without a hassle. According to IBIS World, there are currently about 8,881 bondsmen in America. Like their predecessors, modern bondsmen take responsibility for a defendant before trial.

7. HVAC Technicians

According to the Energy Information Administration, at least 90% of households in America use HVAC systems. Historical usage might not have been large-scale, but HVAC systems have existed for centuries — and so have technicians. The ancient Romans and Greeks developed early models of HVAC systems for their heating and cooling needs. They used a hypocaust system that circulated warm air through ducts below the building for warmth. Ancient Greek communities used windcatchers to channel cool air into buildings.

However, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that the HVAC systems landscape transformed. The invention of the steam engine redefined heating–increasing comfort and productivity. In the late 19th century, the invention of electric fans improved ventilation systems. Thus, the HVAC industry increased, and so did HVAC services.

Now, the industry employs many technicians and other professionals, such as marketers. HVAC technicians have become indispensable both in residential and commercial setups. It was also relevant to start training technicians to ensure high standards. That’s how the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) was established. Thus, today, HVAC technicians are licensed professionals who ensure comfortable indoor environments.

8. Electricians

It’s hard to talk about electricians without mentioning Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. In the late 1800s, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse engaged in the ‘Current Wars.’ Edison promoted the D.C. system, while Westinghouse advocated for the A.C. system.

Their rivalry shaped the present electrician profession and the electrical grid. Nikola Tesla added to the development of the A.C. system and redefined electrical distribution. His work set the pace for the widespread adoption of A.C. power in homes and industries. Tesla remains an iconic figure for electricians because of his extensive work. Indeed, electricity is one of the interesting facts about society.

According to IBIS World, currently 1,069,933 electricians are in the U.S. To offer an electrician service, you must be knowledgeable about electrical codes. It has been in existence for more than a century. It’s built on the National Electrical Code (NEC), first published in 1897 by the National Fire Protection Association. NEC sets the standards for safe electrical installations. Electricians play a critical role in implementing the NEC guidelines. Thus, being an electrician is one of the most essential roles in society that ensures public safety.

9. Mechanics

Mechanics, like electricians, perform irreplaceable roles in society. Sir Isaac Newton is one of the most recognizable faces in the history of mechanics. He laid the groundwork for classical mechanics that redefined the understanding of mechanics. Most modern mechanics still use principles laid out by Sir Newton.

So, remember Sir Newton whenever you see an auto collision center. One of the most fascinating facts about society is our transportation system. It has evolved from steam engines to automatic planes. The Wright brothers were the first to make a successful flight.

Automotive mechanics trace back to the late 19th and early 2oth centuries. The automotive industry was multiplying, creating a need for skilled mechanics. Companies like Ford Motor started mass-producing automobiles and thus made the field of mechanics even more popular. According to IBIS World, there are currently about 600,000 mechanics in America. They are dedicated to servicing and repairing automotive vehicles. However, a significant percentage work in industries.

10. Plumbers

Plumbers are like modern superheroes who whisk away the dirt and water and usher in freshness. Yet plumbing may be as old as civilization itself. Civilizations like ancient Rome had complex plumbing systems to supply water and carry waste water away. The skilled plumbers were known as ‘aquarii,’ and they constructed complex aqueducts. Modern plumbers borrow principles of plumbing from ancient techniques.

Joseph Bazalgette was probably one of the best plumbing designers of the 19th century. After the Thames River became heavily polluted due to poor waste disposal, he designed a system to divert waste from the Thames. His system became a blueprint for modern urban sanitation systems. Today, you can call a plumbing company to fix your system. It wasn’t until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that indoor plumbing became common. Plumbers played a key role by installing features like toilets, sinks, and showers.

To bring it all together, modern professions feature some of the most fascinating facts about society. What we view as modern occupations traces back to the Middle Ages and even the start of civilizations. It’s essential to understand how professions have evolved as they professionalized. Even more, these professionals who work in the blue-collar economy are the backbone of society. Without them, society would not be able to meet basic needs.

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