Alarm Clocks have been a life saver for a very long time, keeping us on track and never let’s us miss out on time. Well did you know that during the industrial revolution, humans were the alarm clock.
This human alarm clock were called knocker uppers. During that era, alarm clocks were unreliable, Rare and expensive, and so they will pay people to wake them up in the morning.
These knocker-uppers made sure people were awake on time. They will wake up around three in the morning and go around town waking people up at the time they requested.
Instead of a ringer like the modern alarm clock would, knocker uppers went around with bamboo sticks, batons or peashooters. The bamboo sticks and peashooters were used to knock on windows in the upper rooms while the baton were used to knock low windows.
These professional alarm clocks, tried to concentrate on many clients within short walking distance as it was necessary to wake everyone at the requested time. Consequently, the knocker-uppers swapped clients to cover as many houses as fast as possible. By doing this, they are able to serve up to one hundred clients each.
Certain knocker-uppers were knocking on the window until the client signaled to be awake. Some would knock only a few times and then proceed to the next client.
The knocker uppers was a respected profession and was mostly done by elderly men and women. Usually they are hired by individuals, however, companies sometimes hire them to make sure their workers get to work on time. Some clients would write the time they would like to be awake and hang it on their door fronts.
The knocker uppers were paid depending on the time and the distance if the clients house. Earlier hours like 4 am were more expensive than 5 am or 6 am.
If a client missed paying the knocker-upper, the client would be left to sleep, which meant getting to work late and losing their jobs. So everyone made sure they paid their knocker-uppers! If the knocker-upper feels like sleeping in, it means the entire district will be late for work.
By the 1950s, the profession of a knocker-upper became outdated because of alarm clocks, however, in some parts of England, the profession held up till the 1970s.
Technology has advanced and people now rely on alarm clocks as it is now common and are now on devices. Interestingly, some people still rely on human alarm clocks to shake them out of their sleep.