A forgotten profession: In the days before alarm clocks
were widely affordable, people like Mary Smith of Brenton Street,
London 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. Photograph from
Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870-1945