The Worst Jobs in History

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History Documentary hosted by Tony Robinson, published by Channel 4 in 2004 - English narration

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Image: The-Worst-Jobs-in-History-Cover.jpg

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As befits the man behind Baldrick, Tony Robinson has uncovered life in the underbelly of history. Whether it's swilling out the crotch of a knight's soiled armour after the battle of Agincourt, risking his neck in the rigging of HMS Victory, or as 'Groomer of the Stool' going to places where none of Henry VIII's six wives would venture, Tony endures the worst jobs imaginable to get to the bottom (sometimes literally) of the story. From the Roman invasion to the reign of Queen Victoria, Tony has met the challenge of seeking out the worst jobs of each era. The Gunpowder Plot drew Tony to the role of the Saltpetre Man who collected human waste because its nitrate content could be turned into gunpowder. In the same vein, he has revealed some of the worst jobs behind the building of the great medieval cathedrals. With Tony we discover the dire conditions of Nelson's Victory, where the most common form of retirement was being sewn into a hammock with a couple of cannon balls and dropped over the side. Then there's the impact of the Industrial Revolution, a source of wealth and power for the few, but a cornucopia of lousy jobs for the many. The very names "Toad Eater," "Vomit Collector," "Spit Boy," and "Seeker of the Dead" underline a fairly disgusting history. As he delves into the grime of how life was for the ordinary person, he brings "Gong Scourers" (Tudor cesspit cleaners), "Pure Collectors" (Victorian pooper-scoopers), and "Resurrection Men" (Georgian body snatchers) blinking into the limelight to provide a vivid alternative history of Britain.

[edit] Dark Ages

Tony Robinson presents a series examining some of history's least pleasant employment opportunities. He begins in the first millennium, trying his hand at everyday tasks including back-breaking mining by ancient Roman methods, and Saxon ploughing using wooden implements and oxen. He also enters the world of the Viking egg collector, which involved scaling cliff faces in search of guillemot eggs.

[edit] Middle Ages

Some of the least pleasant employment opportunities open to people in the Middle Ages. Tony Robinson discovers how fullers spent their working lives stomping on newly woven cloth in vats of stale urine, while leech collectors risked infection by wading into marshes and letting the bloodsuckers cling to their legs.

[edit] The Tudors

Dubious employment opportunities available during Tudor times. Being roasted in a hot kitchen as a spit boy is among the unenviable positions explored by the intrepid Tony Robinson, while the smell of greasepaint did not have much allure for a young actor at Shakespeare's Globe. Not quite at the bottom of the pecking order was the charmingly named groom of the stool - with the sole responsibility of wiping Henry VIII's behind.

[edit] Stuart Times

Tony Robinson examines disgusting occupations from Stuart times, including saltpetre men who collected urine and dug up latrines to gather the gunpowder ingredient potassium nitrate. He also looks at the petardier's assistant, who had to blow the gates off besieged castles, and discovers the modern violin was only made possible because string-makers rummaged for their raw materials in the guts of dead sheep.

[edit] Georgians

Tony Robinson examines employment opportunities during Georgian times, from the riding officer whose job was to enforce customs laws, to artists' nude models who were forced to remain in painful positions for hours. Also under scrutiny are the orphaned children obliged to work as scavengers in the Manchester cotton mills, who risked being crushed to death under the enormous machines.

[edit] Victorians

Tony Robinson reveals the grim occupations in Victorian Britain and explains that the workhouse was possibly the most infamous place of employment in the 19th century, and a day of picking oakum reveals the full horror of this sinister location. He also tries his hand at digging railways and rat-catching, as well as perhaps the worst job of them all, the tanner - a vocation that brought with it an intolerable stench and guaranteed social rejection.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 1909 kbps
Video Resolution: 720x480
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.500:1
Frames Per Second: 25.000
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 46:41.280
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 520 - 735 MB
Source: PDTV ( Thanks to jj666@a.b.documentaries )
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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