A forgotten profession: In the days before alarm clocks were widely affordable, people like Mary Smith of Brenton Street were employed to rouse sleeping people in the early hours of the morning. They were commonly known as ‘knocker-ups’ or ‘knocker-uppers’. Mrs. Smith was paid sixpence a week to shoot dried peas at market workers’ windows in Limehouse Fields, London.
The reason I love this post is because my grandfather used to wake up everyone on his street in the 1930s/1940s it always amazed me that he would get paid for waking everyone up. If i didn’t set an alarm i would never wake up on time, yet he relied on his body clock to get him up so he could wake everyone else on the street up for work..to this day my parents don’t have an alarm clock and it amazes me how they manage
Photograph from Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870-1945.