According to Mental Floss, in the Victorian Era, ratteners would capture and sell rats to pubs where they were eaten by dogs and played with for entertainment.
Rats, I can’t believe I missed that “premium” entertainment!
The job disappeared when the internet made porn more universally available. The word shrank down to ratter, and that task was taken by farm-cats, and digger-dogs like my two Scottish Terriers.
People in Medieval times were often given surnames based on their occupation. The job, and the name, goes back far beyond the Victorian Era. In both English and German, the spelling first became Rattner, then diminished to Ratner, like Brett Ratner, a Hollywood director, recently mired in a #MeToo and Time’s Up scandal.
Eventually some versions reduced to Radner, and to Radnor. There is a Radnorshire in Wales. This time the egg came before the chicken. It was founded by a couple of English families who moved there to escape their cruel town and despicable occupation, to become farmers.
At the steel warehouse where I worked – long ago – the floor in the fabrication section was poured concrete, but in the actual metal storage area, it was flattened dirt, covered by pea gravel. On one side, bundles of steel sheets formed stacks eight and nine feet high.
Rats got in, and would burrow under these stacks, occasionally causing one to collapse and tip over into its neighbor. Righting one of these piles was a slow, somewhat dangerous task, often with product loss.
Nearby was a worker, a recent immigrant from Germany. His job was to take bundles of 20 foot steel angles or flat bars, and use a large, gravity-fed, horizontal band-saw to cut them to smaller lengths, for fabrication. Since the bundles might be fifty to a hundred pieces, each actual cut time could be ten to fifteen minutes.
During these un-busy periods, the company urged him to go through the storage area, spreading rat poison, and baiting and checking 15 or 20 big wooden rat traps. He once proudly told me that he was the company ‘Rattenfanger,’ another German word for rat catcher.
After having to do this task twice, as a home project, https://archonsden.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/oh-rats/ . I wouldn’t want to have to do it again. I prefer capturing accolades. Why don’t you stop by again in a couple of days, and bring some with you. Remember, I prefer the butterscotch flavored ones. 😉