I wake up without an alarm each morning, but there are mornings where I’m 20 or even 30 minutes past the time I usually rise.
Of course I’ve got any number of devices that I can set as alarms.
Before those devices we used an alarm clock (or two).
Some of you might even remember the wake-up call, where you could book someone to ring you up.
This article on Flashbak recalls the time when folk had the job of going around and knocking on doors (or windows) for a fee.
Knocker-Uppers have passed into history, but the struggle to get out of bed continues.
From the article:
Known as the “knocker-upper” these predawn risers would pass by working-class buildings, rapping on the windows of those who need to get up.
Rural laborers, used to keeping time with the seasons, relocated to manufacturing towns and cities at significant rates. They not only had to adjust to dangerous, fast-paced industrial work, but to new schedules. Night shifts in factories disturbed circadian rhythms; dock work in London depended on the movement of the tides. There were alarm clocks at the time, but they were expensive and unreliable.
Some workers might only find out they’d been called in for a shift from the knocker-upper that morning. Such was the case for many clients awakened by Doris Weigand, Britain’s first railway knocker-upper (below in 1941). Conditions could be cutthroat. “In London’s East End,” Paul Middleton writes “where life for the employed was forever balanced on a knife edge, being late for work could mean instant dismissal and a speedy spiral for those workers and their family into poverty, homelessness and destitution.”
Knocker-uppers used canes, long batons, and even pea shooters…
read the rest at Flashbak.