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The Ten Strangest Jobs in the Travel Industry


February 3, 2009 - Following the repeal of prohibition, a US Federal Law required that all bottles which contained "legal" alcohol be broken after use to prevent their reuse as a container for the homemade, illegal, stuff.

Hotels complied with this law and a new job was created - a bottle breaker.  The responsibilities included the separation of deposit bottles from those that needed to be destroyed and than, with the assistance of a "breaking machine" (no workman's comp. claims from flying broken glass), the liquor bottles were smashed. 

I was the Chief Steward at the Hotel Roosevelt in Manhattan in the late fifties and at that time all the major  hotels had a bottle breaker on staff. Laundry hampers full of bottles from banquets and dining rooms would be taken to the bottle room for disposal.

The ground glass was sold to a recycler "by the can" - you can just imagine the weight of those garbage cans, once filled.  So, even then, hotels were practicing green fundamentals.


Jim Landon
Innmentor, Inc.
6235 Windsor Trace
Norcross, GA 30092

Also See: The Ten Strangest Jobs in the Travel Industry / February 2009

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