May 14, 2021

Before alarm clocks Brits paid people to wake them up

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uploads-2016-8-29-knockeruppers_5 By Alex Q. Arbuckle From Mashable

1900-1941 Knockers-up Snooze button not included.

Before alarm clocks Brits paid people to wake them up by tapping on their windows

Though designs for alarm clocks date back to the ancient Greeks, they were still not particularly widespread well after the Industrial Revolution. In Britain and Ireland, a large number of enterprising early birds made a living waking people for work.

A knocker-up would be paid a few pence a week to make the rounds and rouse workers, banging on their doors with a short stick or rapping on upper windows with a long pole. The knocker-up would uploads-2016-8-29-knockeruppers_3not move on until he received confirmation that his drowsy client was up and moving.

The profession died out in the 1920s as alarm clocks became cheaper and more reliable, but a few specialized knockers-up — such as Doris Weigand, employed by a railway depot to summon workers for short-notice shifts — survived for a few decades more.

uploads-2016-8-29-knockeruppers_2IMAGES:

c. 1910
IMAGE: PAST PIX/SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

c. 1915
IMAGE: PAST PIX/SSPL/GETTY IMAGES

uploads-2016-8-29-knockeruppers_41929
Charles Nelson of East London worked as a knocker-up for 25 years. He woke up early morning workers such as doctors, market traders and drivers.
IMAGE: J. GAIGER/TOPICAL PRESS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

1941
Doris Weigand, Britain’s first railway knocker-up, makes a call. She is employed to inform workers when they are needed for a shift on short notice.

For more on this story go to: http://mashable.com/2016/09/04/knockers-up/?utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed#WX9llXxSIEqk

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