Dirtiest Job From Victorian Era? - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
A recent Smithsonian article noted that the dirtiest job of all time probably belonged to the mid-Victorian era sewer hunters, also known as “toshers,” who scavenged for items that ended up finding their way into the sewers of London. The city made their work illegal by denying access to the sewers to all except a chosen few, but the men made do by breaking in at night and working by lantern light. They were known to be very healthy and some lived to be up to 80 years old, which was quite a long time for people of that period. The men were reportedly able to live upper class lives as the “property recovered from the sewers of London would have amounted to no less than 20,000 pounds per annum" or in today's value over 3 million dollars.
In the more recent times, a sewer worker in New York City earned a paycheck of over three quarters of a million dollars. The public employees that work in the sewers of New York City hadn’t received a raise in many years, so the back pay carried over to this fiscal year.