A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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ORDER XXVII.—PERSONS ENGAGED IN PERSONAL SERVICE (including Institutions, Clubs, Hotels, etc.)

929.—Others In Personal Service

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ambulance corps worker
is an ambulance man (q.v.) who belongs to a recognised First Aid Corps, e.g., St. John.
ambulance man
renders first aid to the injured pending medical attention; applies restoratives and artificial respiration when necessary; binds up wounds and fractures.
assistant (railway catering)
see attendant, buffet.
assistant manageress (railway catering)
a counter hand (q.v.) who is second in charge of railway refreshment room; in absence of manageress (q.v.), acts in her place, supervising staff, keeping stores and ordering supplies.
attendant, arcade; arcade beadle, arcade policeman, arcade porter
opens gates in morning; patrols arcade during day to see that regulations are not infringed; prevents admittance of undesirable persons; answers enquiries and directs strangers; locks gates in evening.
attendant, art school
waits upon teachers, pupils, etc., at a school of art, taking messages, carrying articles.
attendant, bothy
in charge of a bothy or hut, where quarrymen sleep, or where unmarried male farm or estate servants are housed; does simple domestic work; prepares meals.
attendant (buffet, cafe, saloon, etc.) ; assistant (railway catering)
attends to and serves customers with refreshments; cf. waiter (916).
attendant (cab, cab rank or cabman's shelter)
answers calls for cabs, taxis, etc., at cab stand; where shelter exists on rank, supplies cooked food to drivers; keeps cab shelters clean.
attendant, chair ; seat attendant, seat letter
sets out chairs, etc., in parks, on beaches, etc., and collects the charge made for temporary use.
attendant, cloak room (hotels, dance halls, etc.)
receives and is responsible for personal effects, hats, wraps, umbrellas, etc., left by patrons in cloak room; issues tickets and collects fees.
attendant, coffee stall
serves customers and renders general assistance at a coffee-stall, e.g. washing up.
attendant, dining car ; conductor dining car, conductor (railway)
sets and waits at tables in dining cars on railways.
attendant, dining hall, dining room ; dining hall maid
lays and clears tables, and waits in dining hall; also assists in keeping hall clean.
attendant, dispensary (dentist's or doctor's surgery)
a waiting room attendant (q.v.) employed in a dispensary; examines prescriptions presented by patients to ensure that they come within dispensary regulations; delivers medicine from dispenser; keeps surgery and apparatus clean.
attendant, dormitory
sweeps, cleans, and keeps tidy the dormitories of a college, school or other institution; makes beds; sometimes prepares weekly laundry lists.
attendant, female (P.O. Medical Department)
gives general assistance to Medical Officer of P.O. Medical Department, renders first aid, treats minor cases, etc.
attendant, invalid's
attends generally to the personal wants of an invalid, serving food, wheeling bath chair, etc.
attendant, ladies' waiting room
see lavatory attendant.
attendant (lavatory, latrine), ladies' waiting room attendant
is responsible for care and cleanliness of lavatories, etc., supplies clean towels; in public lavatories, collects fees, when payable.
attendant, mess room
(i) (workpeople's messroom) prepares and cooks meals; warms up diner's own food; waits on diners; cleans canteen or messroom; washes up;
(ii) (army messroom) as for waiter (916).
attendant, mid-day (special school)
looks after mentally or physically defective children during mid-day interval in a school.
attendant, mineral spring
serves and waits on customers in pump rooms at spas.
attendant, school playground
looks after children in a school playground; maintains discipline; sometimes conducts drill and organises games.
attendant, seat
see attendant, chair.
attendant, waiting room
attends to the needs of persons in a waiting room; makes appointments; answers telephone; ushers persons in and out of waiting room; sometimes also does simple clerical work.
attendant, workhouse (female inmates)
assists in dressing, washing and keeping clean old or infirm women in female inmate's ward of a workhouse; serves meals; cuts up food if necessary and acts generally as personal attendant in any way required.
bar assistant or attendant (temperance hotel)
serves at the bar of a temperance buffet; duties as for barman (915).
basket man, or boy (railway)
serves luncheon and tea baskets to railway passengers; also collects used baskets.
beadle (hospital, etc.)
obsolescent term in royal hospitals; duties now performed by head porter (917) (q.v.).
see bed maker (university colleges).
bed maker
(i) (lodging houses) makes beds, cleans and tidies bedrooms or cubicles;
(ii) (university colleges') bedder (slang); makes beds, and does all lighter domestic duties in all rooms on a staircase assisted by scout (Oxford) or gyp (Cambridge) (q.v.); makes beds and puts in order the bedrooms of residents (tutors or students).
boot black ; shoe black
cleans and polishes boots, etc. at a small stand near a station or in a busy thoroughfare.
brewer (coffee tavern)
brews or prepares coffee for drinking at stall or tavern.
brigade boy
a member of brigade of boys organised to supply casual domestic service; lives in hostel.
cabmen's shelter inspector
visits and inspects cabmen's shelters, maintained or owned by special society; reports regularly to management committee on each shelter, as to state of repair, cost of maintenance, staff, food supply, etc.
calenderer (job dyeing and dry cleaning)
dries and irons curtains, blinds, etc., in one operation by passing through calendering machine; cf. calender hand (918).
caller, caller-up
see knocker-up.
carves meat into portions for serving in restaurants; in lodging and boarding houses is generally also responsible for supervision of preparation of meals.
caterer's assistant
assists a caterer (911) (q.v.) in one branch or another of his business; usually as waiter (916) (q.v.).
chair ticket inspector
inspects tickets issued as receipt for money paid for the temporary use of chairs in park, on beach, etc.
chip potato cleaner
washes potatoes by means of scrubbing brush or broom in water in a pail or bucket; peels by hand with a knife; usually also slices into chips with a knife by hand or feeds potatoes into slicing machine which is operated by a lever; may also clean floors, tables, etc., of fish saloon or kitchen.
see guide.
clothes cleaner, garment cleaner
general terms for workers engaged in dry or wet cleaning clothes; see dry cleaner (929) , wet cleaner (918).
clothes presser, garment presser
irons and presses coats and other heavy goods after cleaning or dyeing, by means of hot iron and damp cloth or by use of steam press e.g. Hoffman press.
chintz glazer (dyer's and cleaner's)
glazes chintz curtains, covers, etc., by dipping in a special glazing solution, and then ironing by hand or machine.
conductor (Pullman car)
in charge of Pullman Co.'s saloon railway car, collects fees for use of the car, superintends the serving of light refreshments and receives payment therefor.
conductor (railway dining car), dining car conductor
see attendant, dining car.
cookery centre assistant
cleans premises of a school of cookery; washes dishes and utensils used in demonstrations and for dinners served to students; prepares vegetables; serves and sometimes cooks dinners provided from centre for schoolchildren.
cook inspector
inspects the work of cooks in large restaurants or kitchens of caterers; examines finished dishes before they are sent out, reports to management.
cook's boy
performs various minor duties in kitchen of hotel, restaurant or large private establishment, such as cleaning fish, plucking and drawing poultry, preparing and cutting up vegetables for soup, handing and measuring ingredients; differs from cook's apprentice (900) (q.v.) in that there is no undertaking to give instruction in cooking.
counter hand
sells light refreshments, sandwiches, alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee, etc. to customers at counter of bar or buffet; may be required to clean counters and assist with washing up; may also perform duties of still room maid (900) (q.v.).
courier (tourist agent)
travels with tourists at home or abroad; obtains railway and steamship tickets, sees to clearing etc., of luggage, secures hotel accommodation, acts as guide and interpreter, suggests likely places of interest, and generally sees to the comfort of patrons.
creche nurse ; creche attendant
receives children brought to public day nursery; amuses, washes and dresses them serves food, feeds by hand if necessary; keeps premises clean; treats children if necessary for minor ailments.
day boy ; odd boy
a non-resident domestic servant, doing odd household jobs, running errands, etc.
dining hall maid
see attendant, dining hall.
dispatch man (caterer's)
receives orders and sends meals out to be consumed off the premises.
dry cleaner ; French cleaner
soaks articles, usually wearing apparel, in spirits (naphtha, benzoline or petroleum), places them in rotary washing machine also containing spirit, then transfers them to a centrifugal drying machine to extract spirit.
dyer, dyer and cleaner
re-dyes articles of clothing, upholstery, etc., by dipping in vats of colour in solution, mixes colours and regulates temperature of the dye vats; may first clean, if necessary, see wet cleaner (918).
estate constable
guards an estate, patrols the grounds, sees to security of gate, locks, etc.
general term for workers in finishing department of job dyeing and dry cleaning works; see clothes presser, calenderer, glazer, cylinderer (918), ironer, ironer and finisher, gofferer (918), presser.
fire lighter
cleans fireplaces, lays, lights and maintains fires in large establishments; carries coal.
fish fryer
fries fish and chip potatoes in wire baskets dipped in batter and in boiling fat in tanks or pans; cleans frying range.
floor polisher
cleans and polishes floors of wood, mosaic, linoleum, etc., by rubbing with floor polish and a cloth mop manipulated by hand.
French cleaner
see dry cleaner.
gillie, ghillie
a personal attendant or outdoor valet who accompanies his employer and friends on angling, shooting or deer stalking expeditions; assists in carrying fishing tackle, baskets, bait, guns, lunch baskets, etc.; keeps poachers from fishing or shooting preserves.
glove cleaner
a dry cleaner (q.v.) who removes dirt from gloves; may also clean by wet method, see wet cleaner (918).
glove stretcher
cleans and stretches gloves with glove stretchers, in finishing department after dyeing or cleaning.
guide for blind children
acts as guide in a home for blind children, or conducts blind children from their homes to school.
guide ; cicerone
(i) conducts visitors, parties of school children, etc. round art galleries, museums and other places of interest, giving general and historical information, and sometimes short explanatory lectures;
(ii) (mountain) , leads individuals or parties to summits of or across mountains by recognised paths; warns them of danger; recommends necessary precautions; points out features of interest, gives information on history, legends, etc. of the district;
(iii) (tourist agency) is engaged by tourist agency to conduct travellers round towns and other places of interest, pointing out and describing the principal features.
a male personal servant to resident members of a college at Cambridge University; works for rooms on a "staircase"; assists bedmaker (q.v.) in all heavier domestic duties; carries water and coals; lights fires; serves meals from kitchen; may also wait at dinner in hall; cf. scout.
ham and beef cutter
slices ham and beef in ham and beef shop, restaurant or dining rooms, using carving knife or slicing machine.
handy man ; odd man
does odd jobs about a house, such as small repairs to locks and bells, cleaning boots, carrying coals, etc.
helper, dining centre
lays and clears tables, waits, clears and generally assists at a dining centre.
hospital orderly, hospital porter
attends at entrance of hospital or infirmary to direct and assist patients and visitors; makes up furnaces, fetches stores by hand or trolley, packs and unpacks cases; wheels patients to and from operating theatres, etc.
hostel assistant
keeps hostel clean; waits on the boarders.
hotel florist
responsible for the purchase, care and arrangement of all floral decorations in a hotel.
hotel yardman
does unskilled outdoor work at a hotel, watering horses, sweeping yard, etc.
hut keeper
as for attendant bothy.
infirmary porter
as for hospital orderly.
inspector (dining car)
see steward (dining car).
ironer, ironer and finisher, ironer and presser (dyeing and cleaning) ; presser
irons and presses (or finishes) articles after they have been cleaned or dyed, with flat iron (generally heated by gas or electricity) or on an American patent steam pressing machine, called Hoffmann press.
jobbing butler
a non-resident manservant, who acts as butler for special occasions in private families where no regular butler is kept; cf. butler (900).
knife cleaner
cleans steel of knives with emery powder on knife board or in knife machine; usually employed in restaurants, etc.; obsolescent occupational term.
knocker-up ; caller, caller-up, night caller
wakes up workpeople in their homes daily by rapping or knocking at doors or windows at a fixed time each working day.
layer-out of the dead
washes, lays-out, prepares and dresses body for burial.
linen checker
checks linen of an institution on its return from laundry, and on issue for use; and sends soiled linen to laundry.
shows guests or patrons at night to and from carriages or motors; calls vehicles by number; (term practically obsolete).
lobbyman (gas works)
cleans lobby, the quarters used by workmen between shifts or working periods; washes floors, baths, wash basins, cleans taps, etc.
manager, manageress (club)
in general charge of the business arrangements of a club; appoints and controls staff, orders supplies, sees to catering, etc.
manageress (railway catering)
manages railway refreshment room; see railway refreshment room manager (911).
manciple, college manciple
a steward or purveyor of food at a university college; obsolescent term .
marshal (university)
one of two officials at a university;
(i) messenger to Vice-Chancellor;
(ii) chief of proctor's attendants ("bull-dogs").
masonic tyler
stands at door of mason's lodge and guards against entrance of unauthorised persons.
matron of messengers (G.P.O.)
attends to the health and welfare of boy and girl telegraph messengers at a large post office,; responsible for discipline; supervises cooking of meals in messroom.
mess boy
assists generally in mess room, cleans and prepares tables for meals, waits, clears away, washes up, etc.
mess man (army)
is employed by mess caterer (911) (q.v.) to assist in mess room, cleaning, preparing for meals, waiting, etc.
night caller
see knocker-up.
odd boy
see day boy.
odd man
see handy man.
operating theatre assistant ; steriliser (hospitals)
cleans surgical instruments and sterilises them in bath of lysol, etc.; attends on anaethetist [sic] and surgeon, supplying with instruments, cotton wool, cloths; work usually done by qualified hospital nurse (844).
outdoor servant, outdoor assistant
a general terms which include servants whose main duties are performed out of doors, e.g., gardener, (013) stable boy, (725) (q.v.).
oyster opener
opens oysters, usually by forcing shells apart with a strong knife; sometimes serves them at oyster bar.
cleans by washing, scrubbing and polishing, pans and other kitchen utensils in the kitchen of a restaurant, etc.
plate cleaner
washes and polishes silver and electroplate in plate room of a restaurant, etc.
plateman (railway catering)
see plate washer.
plate polisher
polishes with a dry cloth plates dried in rack or in drying chamber (large restaurants and establishments only).
plate washer ; plateman
washes and drys [sic] plates, dishes, etc., in restaurants, etc.
police matron
has charge of women prisoners at a police station, and in police court; is responsible for the searching of women and girls charged at the station.
polisher (hotel, etc.)
cleans and polishes, by rubbing with a special metal polish, brass and other metal work in an hotel, etc.
takes to pieces or unpicks garments or upholstery before dyeing and cleaning.
see ironer.
private detective, private enquiry agent
an unofficial detective engaged to make personal enquiries as to conduct, etc. (especially for divorce cases), and to watch suspected persons.
scout (college)
a personal servant to college residents at Oxford University; works for a set of rooms or "staircase"; carries water and coals; helps bedmaker (q.v.) make beds and cleans rooms; serves meals from kitchen; may also wait at dinner in hall; cf. gyp.
fills coal scuttles in large hotels and clubs; attends to fires, etc.
seat letter
see attendant, chair.
see bootblack.
smoke-room assistant
serves clients in the smoke-room of an hotel or inn with tobacco, drink, and light refreshments.
sorts articles received at depot for dyeing or cleaning; marks and labels them for respective departments.
soup kitchen worker
renders paid assistance in some capacity or other in a soup kitchen (cook, scullery-maid, etc.).
removes, with suitable chemicals, such stains upon articles as are left after spirit or dry cleaning process.
brushes, on steam bed, articles of clothing after dyeing and cleaning.
steriliser (hospital)
see operating theatre assistant.
steward, stewardess (club, messroom, working men's institute, etc.)
usually in resident charge of club house, institute, etc.; keeps premises clean; provides, prepares and serves food, drink and tobacco; collects fees for use of billiard tables, green fees, etc.
steward (dining car) ; inspector
requisitions food, supervises preparation and service of meals in railway dining car; controls waiters and kitchen staff; examines dining cars to ensure cleanliness; on some railways travels with dining car, on others inspects cars before they leave terminus; duties are wholly supervisory.
straw hat cleaner
washes hat, bleaches it with chemical solution, dries it, and replaces hat band and lining.
supervisor (blind homeworkers)
provides material for homeworkers, supervises work done and collects (sometimes markets) finished article.
supervisor (dining centre)
exercises general supervision at a dining centre; controls staff, sees that meals are properly prepared and served, etc.
surgery boy, surgery girl, surgery maid
see surgery attendant.
table decorator
arranges ornaments, flowers, shaded lights and other decorations on dining tables in hotels, restaurants, etc., or on special occasions for weddings, dances, etc., at private houses.
commands silence and announces the toasts at public banquets.
tout (hotels, etc.)
solicits custom for hotels, etc., at railway stations, steamboats, wharves, looks after luggage, and conducts to hotel conveyance, etc.
trolley boy (railway catering)
sells light refreshments, sweets, fruit, etc., from a trolley to passengers in a train at railway station.
as for scullery maid (900).
wash-house man, wash-house woman (hotels)
as for wash-house man (918).

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.