A is for Ale Brewer: an Occupational Alphabet


This charming 1850’s children’s alphabet primer, which we spotted over at The Retronaut, is both lovely and informative, detailing many of the then-common professions of the time. We like the intricate woodcut art and the peek into the kind of occupations that would be instantly recognizable to a young child in 1850 — from hatter to hawker to vintner — some of which wouldn’t necessarily even be understood by an average adult today. According to Ptak Science Books, however, only seven of these occupations are entirely extinct, and 47 of the 59 are still relatively common, which is a pretty good showing for a list that was written 162 years ago. Turns out people are pretty much always going to need fishmongers and carpenters. Click through to learn your ABCs — though if you’re going to be an optician (read: a “traveling magic lantern entertainer,” not the person who checks your eyes), you probably don’t need to.