Strange Jobs! (Oct, 1938)
Listening for Echoes, Renting Snakes, Smelling Fish by Electricity
AMONG the strangest jobs in the world would be listed tea tasters, coffee drinkers, wine tasters, cheese tasters, perfume smellers, color matchers, bee-doctors, and the like. To this group might be added those whose jobs are illustrated here. In a famous German electrical factory, the effectiveness of sound dampening materials is tested by a man who sits in a swivel chair to listen for and measure echoes.
Another strange business is that of Louis Ruhe, who rents reptiles at $5.00 per foot. It seems that, on occasion, society debutantes like to drape themselves with live snakes, to give their “snake charmer” costumes an air of authenticity. Some people are gifted with a very acute olfactory sense. But scientists realize that this ability fatigues easily; hence, those who are constantly handling fish are not always able to tell by smell whether the fish is good or bad, yet smelling is an old and satisfactory way of making such tests. Now the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries has developed an electrical apparatus to indicate the quality of the fish long before its odor becomes powerful enough to issue a note of warning.