Once upon a time everyday working folks paid someone to “knock them up”. It was a quaint and curious English and Irish custom, begun during the Industrial Revolution and carried forward into the early twentieth century (and beyond for some locales). Before alarm clocks were available and affordable, “getting knocked up” was essential to ensure working men and women avoided fines for arriving late to work.
It may have been a curious custom, but it was honest work for anyone willing to arise before anyone else in the neighborhood, and rain or shine walk around tapping on their clients’ windows, or should I say “knocking them up”. They would advertise themselves as a “knocker-up” or “window tickler” and were paid two to three pence per week to make sure their client rolled out of bed on time.
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