Dictionary of Old Occupations

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Definitions of jobs Commercial Traveller - Cordovan

Commercial Traveller: generic tem meaning Hawker, Pedlar, travelling trader.

Commission Agent: salesman employed on a commission-only basis.

Commissionaire: an attendant at a hotel or other location, responsible for luggage, customer arrangements etc. In the UK the Corps of Commissionaires was a security company founded in 1859, and is the oldest security company in the world. The British monarch is the head of the company.

Companion: short for a Lady’s Companion, a paid companion for a wealthy lady. The companion would be of high social class herself, similar to or just below that of her employer. In Britain this occupation dates back to the 18th century.

Compasssmith: manufactured compasses.

Composition Frame Carver: carved the moulds to make composition frames. These frames were made to hold mirrors, paintings etc., and to resemble carved wood, sometimes decorated with exceptionally intricate and impressive patterns. Composite frames were made from resin, glue, chalk etc. They rivalled the use of carved wooden frames and were used from the 17th through the 20th centuries.

Compositor: a typesetter in the printing industry.

Comptometrist: operated a mechanical calculator known as a comptometer. These devices were used from the late 19th century through to the 1970s when they were replaced by electronic calculators.

Computor: undertook numerical or financial computation work.

Conder: a ship’s navigator.

Coney Catcher: one would initially assume this refers to a person who hunted rabbits, however this is actually Elizabethan slang for a confidence artist or thief.

Confinement Nurse: a nurse who attended to women in confinement – i.e. in the weeks following childbirth.

Conner: alternate term for a Conder, a ship’s navigator.

Constable: dates back to medieval times, a constable kept the kings armaments, or the weaponry of settlements used for civil defence.

Conveyor: generic term for a person who carried goods from one location to another.

Cooper: made barrels, tubs, casks etc. from wooden strips held together by metal hoops.

Copeman: 17th century term for a travelling g merchant or trader. Sometimes refers to a horse dealer.

Coper: old term for a horse dealer, or an abbreviation of Copeman.

Copper Beater: hammered copper laid on top of a bed of pitch or lead in order to make decorative patterns.

Coppersmith: also known as a Redsmith, a person who made items from copper.

Coppice Dealer: supplied coppiced hardwoods which were used for ship building, transport, and to a lesser extent buildings. In medieval times coppiced woodlands were used as a renewable source of fuel for iron making.

Copyright: Jane Hewitt. This dictionary is authorised for use on www.familyresearcher.co.uk only.

Coprolite Digger: A mid to late 19th century occupation. Coprolite Diggers mined fossilised animal dung for use as fertiliser because of its high phosphate content. Coprolite mining was performed on a large scale in several counties including Hertfordshire, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and others. The mined coprolites were transported to a factory for processing and treatment with sulphuric acid to produce phosphate fertiliser. The industry went into decline due to the availability of cheap phosphate imported from the US combined with the depletion of deposits in England.

Coracle Maker: made lightweight circular boats known as coracles. These were commonly used on rivers as fishing vessels.

Cordiner: variation on the occupation Cordwainer, a maker of luxury leather goods.

Cordovan: alternate term for a Cordwainer who made luxury leather goods. The term may derive from the name of the Spanish city Cordoba, from whence the leather originated.

This dictionary is my own work, and copyright Jane Hewitt. I sometimes find unauthorised (i.e. stolen) copies of my website content appearing on other people's websites. If you should read a group of identical glossary definitions elsewhere on the web, consider whether such sites are reputable or not.

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