From the Archives: Forgotten Jobs

A 1962 employee manual shows off various jobs at Duke

Doris B. Jordan
A 1962 job description for a chauffeur. Click for an enlarged version.

Due to advances in technology and work skills, positions at Duke have come and gone over the years. Before faculty and staff had computers, key punch operators recorded data. And while employees currently enjoy the technology of VoIP Cisco phones, switchboard operators once received and transferred phone calls.

There was also a time when the Duke president and officials had a chauffeur. In this collection of job descriptions from October 1962, a 900-page Human Resources manual included the outline of duties for "chauffeur," which, along with driving the president around Duke or Durham, included duties like delivering mail and keeping the university car in top shape.

Valerie Gillispie, university archivist, said that because of a lack of documentation, it's hard to determine when a position like the chauffeur originated and specifically ended. Lisa Jordan, who currently works as executive assistant to President Richard H. Brodhead and has worked at Duke since 1979, recalled that when H. Keith Brodie became Duke president in 1985, he didn't use a driver. Jordan also served as Brodie's assistant.

Another position from the 1962 manual you won't find at Duke today is a duplicating machine operator. He or she made copies and worked with Xerox machines to create various printed materials like pamphlets or books. That work is now performed by copiers and printers found in offices across campus.

Here are enlarged versions of the job descriptions:

Curious about today's job descriptions at Duke? Find them on the Human Resources website.