Household Occupations in 1920

In reviewing a 1920 census of school children in Park View — a survey I’ll share in full in the future — I found the following data interesting. Based on 1,750 fathers of school age children in Park View, the occupations in the following chart were listed. This data does not include information for 24% of Park View families, as those families were childless.

Even with the limitations of the 1920 census, it provides an interesting snapshot of how people that lived in the neighborhood earned a living.
(Click on image for larger view)

Using roughly the same categories that were used in 1920, take the survey below. I think it would be interesting to see what the employment makeup of the neighborhood is today.

Explore posts in the same categories: Jobs, Work, & Occupations

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5 Comments on “Household Occupations in 1920”

  1. JM Says:

    I’ve noticed that “clerk” is a fairly common job description in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. I suppose that every time we use Excel for a business application, someone in 1920 had to enter numbers by hand into a ledger. Sort of a lost occupation due to computer technology (although obviously we still have accountants at the high end).

  2. Kent Says:

    When I was looking at the list of occupations, some of the thoughts that came to my mind were that some occupations were no longer relevant due to changes in the city — agriculturalist, for example — and others will have merged or changed due to technology. I don’t think we make many distinctions between professionals and managers any more.

  3. IMGoph Says:

    i wanna meet the people whose occupation was ‘dead’

  4. sheepprofessor Says:

    …meanwhile, the term ‘professional’ applies so widely to middle-class America these days that it’s almost meaningless. Given that a lot of the job classifications are obsolete, the survey would be more revelatory if it dug into what those 75% of your respondents who classify themselves as ‘professional’ actually do.

    I imagine that many of those ‘dead’ respondents were lost during WW1, which ended the year before the survey was completed.

  5. Kent Says:

    Good point on the ‘professional’ category. I think there is another census at DCPL from a later date, and digging into other official censuses would also be fun to track categories over the years.


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