The knocker-up: an alarm before the alarm clock


In a time before alarm clocks became affordable and reliable, a knocker-up was hired to wake sleeping people so that they could get to work on time.

“The knocker-up used a truncheon or short, heavy stick to knock on the clients’ doors or a long and light stick, often made of bamboo, to reach windows on higher floors. The knocker-up would not leave a client’s window until they were sure that the client had been awoken.”


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“The knocker-up: an alarm before the alarm clock” sources: Nationaal Archief / Wikimedia Commons / Wikipedia