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tirsdag 21. september 2010

Sandefjord 1801: Occupations

The people who lived in Sandefjord in 1801 weren’t idle, but pursued a wide variety of occupations:

All of those mentioned in the chart represent a translation into English of the wording in the census for 1801 (see – so reasonable people may reasonably disagree on some of the terminology.

One little issue is whether such activities as “Handicraft” constitute true “occupations” or might be efforts to make some additional money from an ordinary activity in the household – but never mind: if it were mentioned to the census taker it was probably of some significance to the person giving the information.

Some observations:

  • The largest “occupation” is that which is described as “Service” – which covers a variety of household workers – in Norwegian most often described with the term “tjenestefolk” or similar. These are quite evenly distributed between the two streets: 25 are found in Østre Gade; 22 in Væstre Gade.
  • The same is the case for those engaged in “Handicraft” – 10 and 12 respectively.
  • The “Able-bodied Seamen” whose number is 32, are evenly distributed: 16 in each street.
  • The exact same distribution is observed with regard to “Day labourers”
  • The “Merchants” too are evenly distributed: 3 in Østre Gade and 4 in Væstre Gade.
  • All of which makes it all the more remarkable that 8 out of 9 people who are “skippers” are found in Østre Gade – and only one in Væstre Gade; the latter is also described as merchant and ship-owner. One wonders why.

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